Speaker Interview: Sean Manion

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Sean Manion

Location

Ashland, OH

Current Gig

Proximity Marketing

Career Summary

Much Freelance work. Few years at a SaaS startup. New hire at a digital marketing agency.

One word that best describes how you work?

quietly

Current Mobile Device/Why

iphone 4s because it hasn’t died yet..

 

 

 

What do you listen to while working?

people talking

 

What are you currently reading?

my answer as I type

What sort of work are you up to now?

b2b manufacturing

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

somethings are better left unsaid.

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

 

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ????? answer these same questions

 

Speaker Interview: Adam Silver

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Adam Silver

Location

Redondo Beach, CA

Current Gig

Husband. Dad. WordPress Educator, Podcaster & Developer, Social Media Manager, and all around nice guy.

Career Summary

Short version: Degree in Theatre Performance and love technology. Mixing the two best I can.

One word that best describes how you work?

Frenetically

Current Mobile Device/Why

Iphone 6 – Apple since 1982. Ain’t changing now!

Current Computer/Why

2012 15″ MacBook Pro Retina. Work anywhere.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Obvious answer: WordPress. As a tester and troubleshooter, I love, love love DesktopServer. Much smarter and safer to test things locally. Pretty fond of OmniFocus, Dropbox and Freshbooks as well. All that said, I’m trying to do a technology sabbath one of these weekends.. unplug for a long weekend, as I know it’s important.

What’s your workspace setup like?

Custom hacked standing desk with Ikea Expedit series.

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Checklists and laying out my running clothes the night before.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

David Allen’s GTD. I use OmniFocus for task management.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

Blendtec.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Explaining high level technology/concepts to non techies/new people to the subject. Also finding the lighter side of any given moment, when appropriate.

What do you listen to while working?

Depends on task. Focused tasks I use Focus@Will. Running: Podcasts + Music playlist for the last few laps/mile

What do you do to stay inspired?

Hug my children.

What are you currently reading?

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

What sort of work are you up to now?

Handful of client and personal projects plus planning my exit from the “Day Job”

What’s your sleep routine like?

In bed fairly regularly by 10pm. Up at 4:45am.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ????? answer these same questions

My wife or kids!

Speaker Interview: Kyle Maurer

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Kyle Maurer

Location

Jackson, Michigan

Current Gig

Lead Guitar

Career Summary

I started my career milking cows on a dairy farm. Since then I’ve found myself in a variety of roles which all gradually involved more and more technology, particularly web technology. In 2011 I decided I’d rather run my own company so I partnered up with a friend and we began taking on client work. Since then we’ve grown our team, grown our client base, taken on many exciting projects and have become very involved in the WordPress community.

One word that best describes how you work?

Coffee

Current Mobile Device/Why

You mean my iPhone? Are there others?

Current Computer/Why

MacBook Pro. Because I can rely on it.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Slack, Podcast App, Fitbit

What’s your workspace setup like?

Kinda looks something like this 

porch

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Running instead of walking and driving really fast.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

Momentum https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/momentum/laookkfknpbbblfpciffpaejjkokdgca

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

My guitar tuner

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Writing rap lyrics about WordPress

What do you listen to while working?

Enya and The High Kings

What do you do to stay inspired?

Listen to podcasts

What are you currently reading?

Star Wars: Cloak of Deception

What sort of work are you up to now?

Painting our upstairs bathroom and working on my WCNEO presentation

What’s your sleep routine like?

10pm – 5am most days

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you lift others up around you and make people feel comfortable and good about themselves, you’ll be a very popular person

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

I really love craft beer and home brewing. I’m also really hoping you’ll consider attending WordCamp Ann Arbor this year as well. We’re looking for speakers, sponsors and volunteers now.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ????? answer these same questions

Jeff Chandler

Speaker Interview: Don Abbott

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Don Abbott

Location

Kent Ohio

Current Gig

The Snarky Gardener – a Northeastern Ohio vegetable gardening blog.

Career Summary

Software developer for 30+ plus years; last 8 years at Kent State University

One word that best describes how you work?

Distracted

Current Mobile Device/Why

Nexus 6 – Android’s phone means I’ll get updates sooner.

 

 

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Live 5 minutes from work

 

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

A.M. Leonard Soil Knife. I always have a knife/trowel on me while in the garden

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Gardening sarcasm

What do you listen to while working?

Podcasts, audio books, and rock music

 

What are you currently reading?

Earth Abides by George R. Stewart

What sort of work are you up to now?

Non-fiction and fiction writing, including my first book to sell via my blog.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Bed by 10 PM; up by 7 AM

 

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

Guest blogger for Mother Earth News

Speaker Interview: Melanie Sklarz

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Melanie Sklarz

Location

Cleveland (proper)

Current Gig

Director of Marketing

Career Summary

Museum Educator/Curator turned Content Curator/Marketer – from DC to Cleveland.

One word that best describes how you work?

Strategic

Current Mobile Device/Why

iPhone 6S – but, of course!

Current Computer/Why

Dell Netbook. Laugh all you want, but it’s small and mighty.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Canva and PicMonkey

What’s your workspace setup like?

M2S workspace

Bold, colorful, and creative.

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Chunking tasks.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

I’m a visual person, so I like Trello.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

Does my microwave count?

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Organizing my time. I use a analog planner and everything is color-coded.

What do you listen to while working?

Thievery Corporation Pandora station.

What do you do to stay inspired?

I shake up my routine as much as I can. I try a new exotic food, go someplace new or randomly search the web following my curiosity.

What are you currently reading?

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau

What sort of work are you up to now?

Professionally – online branding and marketing. Working on a new website. Personally – developing a creative retreat for the fall.

What’s your sleep routine like?

8 hours a night. I love sleep. It helps me be more creative.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Trust the process.

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

I was trained as a feminist art historian. I love visual culture.

 

Speaker Interview: Seth Alling

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Seth Alling

Location

Madison Heights, MI

Current Gig

Lead Developer at Ranch House Designs (http://ranchhouseesigns.com/). I work on all new sites that require custom functionality beyond a standard WordPress install. I also design most of those sites as well.

Career Summary

I’m a developer turned designer turned developer and so on. I’ve switched back and forth between the two because I’ve gotten tired of the other, which has actually helped me become someone who can do both. I’ve been working with WordPress since 2009.

One word that best describes how you work?

“Strategery”

Current Mobile Device/Why

Galaxy S7. I prefer having a little more customization over my device, so I prefer Android over iOS.

Current Computer/Why

15″ MacBook Pro/Working with a Mac gives me easier access to a *nix command line, while still appealing to my designer side. I also love hotkeys, and it gives me the ability to program 5-finger shortcuts, which a Windows can’t do. I have the 15″ because I value the extra screen space when I’m traveling.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Sublime Text, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, ForkLift, Sequel Pro, Twitter, DropTask, CodeKit, Spotify

What’s your workspace setup like?

20160516_084300_001

I’m organized in some things, and not in others. The photo contains a quick clean of half the desk. I work out of an office I built in my basement. Yes, that’s an old CRT Monitor to the left. They still exist and mine will be replaced soon. And I stack my monitors on old religion manuals from college.

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Writing bash scripts to take care of my mundane tasks.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

DropTask. Everything is visualized into circles. I can’t do lists.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

My wife and kids. Not a gadget, but I’d be lost without them.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Making a Sloppy Joe sandwich.

What do you listen to while working?

Spotify. The music changes all the time; I really don’t have a specific working soundtrack.

What do you do to stay inspired?

I’m religious. I attend church weekly. I try to serve others in need and I read from the scriptures and pray daily.

What are you currently reading?

Brainrush by Richard Bard

What sort of work are you up to now?

Doing a deep clean of our basement so we can move most of the kids toys out of our living room.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Go to bed around 1 or 2. Wake up at 8.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To not worry about pleasing everyone, because it’s impossible.

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

My parents bought our first computer when I was 18 months old. It had double 5 1/4″ floppy drives, no hard drive and an amber monitor. I was fortunate enough to be able to play games on it. To access the game menu, I had to type my name and press enter. When I was 3, I was in a nursery class at church and we were asked if we knew how to spell our names. I eagerly raised my hand and proudly said, “S-E-T-H-Enter.” I was doomed to become a nerd.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ????? answer these same questions

Matt Mullenweg

Speaker Interview: Melinda Helt

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Melinda Helt

Location

Pittsburgh, PA

Current Gig

Freelance Graphic Design, WordPress Websites and WordPress Training

Career Summary

I started my career as a print graphic designer and spent 7 years working in Higher Education Marketing where I transitioned into online design and then WordPress. I left the education world in 2011 to build my own freelance/consulting business.

 

Current Mobile Device/Why

iPhone – I’m an Apple user all the way. Tried an Android Tablet once… that wasn’t fun 🙂

Current Computer/Why

Apple MacBook Pro – Why? See above!

 

What’s your workspace setup like?

I have a small dedicated home office, but I’m often found working on the dining room table, from the couch, or from any number of local coffee shops and cafes.

 

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

While I admit it’s overkill, I use Podio for work-related to-do lists. I have a few ongoing clients that I use it with, and it’s easier to keep all of my to-dos in one place. The mobile app isn’t perfect, but it works.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

The only other tech gadget I use on a regular basis is my iPad. I wish I could say I used it for many things, but really, it’s just a Netflix viewer for me.

 

What do you listen to while working?

Depends on the day. Sometimes nothing, sometimes music from Pandora, sometimes background noise at the location I’m working from. Sometimes it’s even power tools!? (There’s always a renovation project going on around my house!)

 

Speaker Interview: David Brattoli

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

David Brattoli

Location

Elyria, OH

Current Gig

Owner of Infinite Reality LLC and Web Designer/WordPress Developer at Lorain County Community College

Career Summary

Graduated from Bluffton University in 2007. Bachelors Degree in Mathematics with minor in information Technology. Associates degrees in Computer Gaming and Simulation Design and Associate of Arts with emphases in Graphic and Web Design from Lorain County Community College in 2010 and 2015. Have owned Infinite Reality LLC, a web and graphic design firm, since 2012 with an emphasis in WordPress for the last two years. Along with my business I have worked as a web designer/WordPress developer at Lorain County Community College since 2013. I have also begun teaching a Web Design class focusing in WordPress and advance web design techniques at the college.

One word that best describes how you work?

Inventive

Current Mobile Device/Why

iPhone 6 Plus. I prefer Apple products and like the powerful intuitive design of the phone and OS.

Current Computer/Why

Macbook Pro 15 inch. I find Macs to be better suited for graphics and web design. Also because it gets the job done!

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

WordPress, Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom), Brackets, FileZilla, Netflix, Hulu

 

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

My responsive theme framework. Having a solid framework that includes responsive tools to get a project jump started saves me time everyday

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

Microsoft OneNote

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

My Nikon DSLR camera, Xbox and Playstation. My camera because it encourages me to get away from my computer and allows me to find inspiration for my designs. Along with the camera, my Xbox and Playstation allow me to decompress because without them I might just go crazier than I already am.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Actively listening. I find the more critiques I get on my work the stronger the work I produce.

What do you listen to while working?

Country mostly, but I mix in just about everything from 70’s rock to hip hop, RB and Rap. I listen to just about everything. It all comes down to my mood and the project I am working on.

What do you do to stay inspired?

Read blogs and websites on web and graphic design trends, videos on WordPress TV, talking with other web/graphic designers and going to local WordCamps .

What are you currently reading?

Smashingmagazine.com, WpTavern.com, mor10.com, WpBeginner.com and audio books of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code/Inferno/Lost Symbol

What sort of work are you up to now?

Working at Lorain County Community College. We are currently transitioning all College sites to WordPress. Along with this I am currently working with several non-profit clients to create unique custom WordPress sites.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Sleep? What’s that?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Best advice or quote I have ever heard came from a movie. Here it is
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that! ”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

 

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ????? answer these same questions

 

Speaker Interview: Hilary Fosdal

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Hilary Fosdal

Location

Chicago

Current Gig

Owner of Red Phone Studio

 

Current Computer/Why

MacBook Pro, 15-inch w/8GB memory | It’s super reliable and easy to carry to client meetings, coffee houses or to my couch.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

On my phone: The Weather Channel, Gmail, Gmail calendar | On my laptop: Sublime, Dropbox, iTunes, MAMP, Transmit, TweetDeck

 

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Don’t hit the snooze button on your alarm. Get up or turn your alarm off and go back to sleep and get the rest you need.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

Every morning make a to-do list of what you need to get done that day. At the end of your work day, create a new list based on what you need to do the next day when you sit back down at your desk to get started. Revisit/reassess the list in the morning. Pen and paper are my to-do list tools of choice.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

iPod – I listen to podcasts during my runs and long drives.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Hanging out with my dog Zed. You can meet him over at zedthedog.com.

What do you listen to while working?

Public radio, classical/symphony, opera, techno/dance or nothing at all.

What are you currently reading?

I’m working my way through the Sword of Truth series written by Terry Goodkind.

What sort of work are you up to now?

Encouraging web designer and agencies to introduce more process/project management into their businesses, starting with a robust client intake form.

 

Speaker Interview: Ross Johnson

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name

Ross Johnson

Location

Ann Arbor

Current Gig

Partner at 3.7 DESIGNS, Owner of SnapOrbital Plugins

Career Summary

I often find myself involved in one too many things. I started 3.7 DESIGNS in 2005, SnapOrbital in 2014, have taught at Washtenaw Community College, currently teach at Michigan State University and have founded at least a few other companies as well.

One word that best describes how you work?

Methodical

Current Mobile Device/Why

iPhone 6, because the 6+ was too big and my first android experience was not a good one.

Current Computer/Why

Apple Macbook Pro 15″. I had an older 17″ mackbook pro for eight years and I loved it. I would get another 17″ if they offered it, but alas they don’t… I love technology that gets out of my way and currently, that’s what Apple provides.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Photoshop, Atom, Git.

What’s your workspace setup like?

I’ve got two locations. I work from home a few times a week so I can see my daughter while she’s been watched by grandparents and then I work from the 3.7 DESIGNS office the remainder of the time.

Both offices are furnished with pretty standard Ikea furniture. Once I get focused the world could burn down around me and I wouldn’t notice, so beyond ergonomics I have very little need from my office setup.

That said I realize this is fairly specific to me, so I have put some effort into making the 3.7 DESIGNS office nicer for everyone else. My business partner and wife keeps both offices very clean and tidy, because I could work in a dumpster and not notice.

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

Two thoughts, first high level the second more practical.

First, work on the right things and ignore the rest. It’s easy to get bogged down in tasks you feel that you’re expected to do that don’t help accomplish your goals.

For example, etiquette says you *should* respond to every e-mail that comes in, but if those e-mail responses get in the way of a bigger, more important task and you answer them anyways… then you’ve lost.

It’s simple, boring and cliche but defining weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals helps you keep on track. For year’s I’d only tackle the quick, easy tasks because the dopamine hit of chopping my todo list in half made me feel like I was making progress when in reality I was just spinning my wheels.

Knowing I have thirty days to accomplish something makes it very easy to ignore the tasks that are urgent but not important for those that are important but not urgent.

Second on a more practical level, use the pomodoro technique. It’s a simple focusing method where you setup short “sprints” of work followed by short breaks. I’ll do 25 minutes on a task and then take a five minute break. This helps on multiple levels.

First, the timer is a pretty strong kick in the pants to “get going.” Second, the incentive of a guilt free break typically leads to more engaged work. Finally, for most people the hardest part of a task is getting started… the start of the countdown makes it very easy to get started. Then you’re focused and flying before you realize it.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

We use Wunderlist and Basecamp, nothing fancy here… I don’t think there is a silver bullet of task management. Provided you have a way of prioritizing your tasks one method is just as good as another.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

My mechanical watches… because they’re beautiful and I love them.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Not saying things. Seriously, I’m amazing and keeping my thoughts to myself.

What do you listen to while working?

Anything and nothing. Sometimes I work in silence, other times I listen to a wide range of music.

What do you do to stay inspired?

I often try and find other people I respect in the business, web, WordPress community and use their accomplishments as inspiration.

What are you currently reading?

Lots of books. I’m horrible at starting a book and never finishing it. The last book I started was the power of habit.

What sort of work are you up to now?

Working on premium add-ons for popular WordPress plugins, advancing the Project Panorama core, creating Panorama add-ons, planning a new curriculum for class, client work, lost of stuff…

What’s your sleep routine like?

Go to bed at 10:30, fall asleep at 11:00, wake up at 7:00, exercise for 20 minutes.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be intentional with every aspect of your life. There is a gravity to social norms that will always try and pull you towards the popular way of doing things, but that way might not be the best way for you.

Maybe you work better at night? Maybe you don’t learn well in a classroom? Maybe owning a house and waking up in the same place every day bores you?

Take the time to reflect on what the ideal day, week, month and year would look like for you and take action to move towards it.