Speaker Interview: Jay Hoffmann

In the run up to WordCamp Lancaster, we will be featuring some of our speakers here on the website.

  • Jay Hoffmann

    How and when did you get started with WordPress?

    When I first started building websites I used Flash (don’t tell anyone). It took a couple of years after that for me to start using WordPress, probably around version 3.0. The reason was actually incredibly simple. I needed a blog for a digital lab I was working with, and WordPress came up again and again. Having a site up in 5 minutes might seem kind of slow these days, but it was fascinating when a decade ago. Since then, I’ve kind of come in and out of the WordPress community, always astonished to find what’s been added in my absence. WordPress was my introduction to proper web development, web standards, and open source technology. I suspect I’m not alone.

    If you’ve attended WordCamp Lancaster before, what’s your fondest memory of it? If not, what do you like most about WordCamps?

    WordCamps are a chance to put real faces and personalities behind people you probably interact with all the time online. In the tech world it can be easy to squirrel away in a corner, peeking your head up for a question every now and again. I think what I like about WordCamps is that they force people from across the community to just be in one place together. The kinds of conversations and development that can come out of a single day of this is incredible.

    What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk?

    I’ll be talking about Javascript, which I think is a language facing down a lot of WordPress developers right now. With all the hype, it’s easy to get the impression that by this time next year, PHP will be gone, and Javascript will have taken its place. That’s not the case. But Javascript will be an important part of WordPress’ future, and has been a major part of the web’s history. It can be a tough language to wrap your head around, and can be all at once forgiving and extremely complicated. My hope is to give people a few different entry points into Javascript so they can walk away feeling like they have a real starting point. And as Javascript becomes more and more important in WordPress, I hope developers can feel comfortable evolving alongside it.

    What are you currently learning?

    I’ve been paying very close attention to the new developments in Javascript lately, and trying to get at the fundamentals behind the libraries, frameworks and silver bullets out there. Angular vs React vs Backbone vs Why Do We Need A Framework? started to make my head spin. So I’m going back to basics and learning what Javascript is and what it can do. I’ll go from there. I will say, though, that VueJS has really caught my interest. I think it’s going to be big in 2016.

    Do you know what a stroopie is? No googling.

    Nope. If I had to guess, I’d say a big fan of strudels (as in strudel + groupie).

    What did you do during the blizzard?

    My wife and I spent the entire weekend inside. There was much television and snacks.

    Where can we find you online?

    I’m on Twitter @jay_hoffmann, and on GitHub as JasonHoffmann. One thing I’m trying to do is blog more. Force me to at jayhoffmann.com.

Jay Hoffmann‘s session is titled First Steps with JavaScript and WordPress. View the full schedule.

WordCamp Lancaster will be held on March 5th with Contributor Day on March 6th. Get your ticket today.