Aaron Campbell


I have more than fourteen years of web development experience, have been a regular contributor to WordPress for the last seven years, and even co-lead the WordPress 3.6 release. I have experience writing quality code that is both fast and scalable, and have a knack for translating ideas and goals into functional sites. I’ve worked with clients ranging from small local businesses to Google, Yahoo, Disney, and Harvard. I’ve been called both a coffee snob and a beer snob, but I consider both to be strong complements. When not buried in code, I enjoy spending time with my wife and son, attending or hosting beer tastings, and reading sci-fi/fantasy books.

What are you speaking on this year?

I have two talks this year: One in the Community track and one in the Advanced Development track:

Community talk

Community: Getting Involved

You love WordPress? Want to pitch in and help out? Not sure how? It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer, a developer, a translator, or just someone that uses WordPress on your own site, you can help make WordPress better and I’ll show you how. From helping answer people’s simple questions to landing your first patch in core (c’mon, who doesn’t want that!?!).

What do you want people to learn from your presentation?

Everyone can help make WordPress better, I want everyone to see a niche they can help in.

Advanced Development

Integrating WordPress with External APIs

Learn to use WordPress’s built in functionality (especially the HTTP library) to integrate with external APIs. We’ll touch on properly caching results to keep your site fast, fault tolerance, and even how to handle those strange APIs that send you data when you didn’t send a request for it (PayPal IPNs anyone?). We’ll talk theory, but mostly we’ll look at plenty of code and walk through examples from plugins that you can constantly refer back to for example code.

What do you want people to learn from your presentation?

The right way to interact with other systems by leveraging the tools WordPress already supplies.

Why did you decide to speak?

One of the things that sets the WordPress ecosystem apart from other web development is the community. We share. It makes working in this arena better, which is important to me, so I like to put my mouth where my mouth is so to speak.

What attracted you to WordPress in the first place?

Back in early 2005 I had a client that needed something simple that they could manage themselves. Today that sounds totally normal, but a non-tech person managing their own website was far from normal at the time. Anyway, I looked all around and decided on WordPress (1.5 at the time) because of it’s ease of use, and I’ve been using it ever since.

What is your favourite plugin or theme, and why?

This tends to change pretty regularly depending on what I’m using. Right now I’d have to say Debug Bar and the Debug Bar Console.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Toronto?

I always look forward to the people. Seeing the people that I only get to see at these event and meeting new ones.