Kellen Mace Speaker Interview


Kellen Mace

I was born in Toronto, then raised in the Metro Detroit area. College at Grand Valley State took me to West Michigan, where I got to know several of my good friends. A few years after marrying my adoring wife and high school sweetheart, we moved to Colorado for a short time, only to trace our roots back home and settle in beautiful Rochester Hills, Michigan. When not slinging code, I love to make music on guitars, drum kit, keyboards and in digital audio workstations like Reason, Pro Tools and Logic. I also like to read quite a lot about technology, nutrition and science, with some fiction thrown into the mix to spice things up. Lastly, I’m a huge fan of the marvelous WordPress community of developers and designers that I am privileged to be a part of.

Kellen will be participating in the “Lessons Learned From WordPress Developers” at 4:30pm in the Vandenberg Room.

Why do you use WordPress?

The excellent community of developers and designers, the amount of client work that’s readily available, the ability to work remotely, and the ease of use and robust feature set that WordPress offers.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

In 2012, I decided that I wanted to switch careers and do something related to software development. One of my close friends is a WordPress developer, and taught me a bit about the platform, then I was hooked! I began building sites for friends and family members for little or no money, then later started a freelance company and began doing freelance client work.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

You will get to meet with, learn from, and bounce ideas off of some of the most influential and inspiring developers, designers and entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet, and leave motivated to build and do very cool things with WordPress.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

Meeting inspiring developers who run successful businesses that I can learn from.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

I am currently building my first WordPress theme from scratch. It’s based on the excellent Underscores framework, and will be geared toward small businesses. I also built, which was the first time I had used custom post types extensively.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Talking with and learning from influential and inspiring developers.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Reach out to the very welcoming community for help, and return the favor. Determine what kind of product or service you want to sell, and learn everything you can that will help you achieve that goal.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

My wife and I just had our first child! We named him Desmond James Mace, and he is an incredibly cool dude.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Brian Richards from WPSessions.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

Educating myself on HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript, and how to use those languages to successfully build and deploy websites.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

I’ve learned about aspects of WordPress, and considerations to make when building sites/plugins/themes and I either didn’t know existed, didn’t have any experience with, or hadn’t thought to consider before.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

Run your own business building sites or commercial plugins.

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

No prerequisites for this one; it’s a relatively straight forward panel discussion on the pluses and minuses of being a WordPress developer. Anyone considering WordPress as a career choice should attend.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

Brian Krogsgard’s excellent Post Status.

Where can we find you online? or @kellenmace on Twitter.