Brad Parbs is a core contributor, plugin author, theme designer, open source fanatic, and startup lover. Brad has created open source WordPress tools, themes, and plugins. Brad currently runs Snow Day Group, a Milwaukee-based WordPress development agency. When not making things with WordPress, Brad drinks Chai Tea, plays with his cats, and listens to loud music in his car.
He’ll be presenting Getting SASSy: Fun with CSS Preprocessors.
Why do you use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it’s fantastic in so many ways. It is the simplest CMS for a user to learn on, because managing all sorts of content is simple and clear.
I also love WordPress because it is awesome to develop on top of. There are very few projects that can’t be built on top of WordPress. I’ve personally built or worked on tons of websites and a few larger web applications.
Anyone who says it’s just a blogging engine is way wrong!
What tips or resources would you recommend to a new WordPress user?
I’d really recommend getting involved in the community. This might be going to a local Meetup group, going to WordCamps, following along online on the Make blogs, or where ever you feel comfortable. It may feel daunting at first, but it really is awesome to know people that can help you out with any problems you run into.
The greatest thing about WordPress is the community. You can ask anyone.
What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
I’ve learned a lot over the past year as I’ve gone through the path of being a freelancer to a business owner. The biggest thing to remember if you want to be successful is making sure your clients are always happy. This doesn’t mean to give them everything they want – but to make sure you set expectations correctly. Hit your deadlines, deliver awesome work, and and treat everything like it’s a million-dollar contract.
Also, never stop learning. If there’s something you don’t think you can do – work harder until you can!
How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc.)?
And if you’re like me, and sometimes too busy to have time to read a bunch of blog posts, I love watching the various WordPress podcasts that are out there. My favorites, are WPWaterCooler, the DradCast, the Matt Report, and Week in WordPress. It’s awesome to be able to listen to these while on the go.
Also, make sure you check out Brian Richard’s new project: WPSessions.com – in two words: it’s awesome. I’ve gotten tickets for every session held so far, and I love it. Very smart people talking on awesome topics.
There’s a wealth of resources out there, so there’s no excuse for constantly learning and bettering yourself!
What do you like most about WordCamps?
It’s really hard to pick one part of a WordCamp to call my favorite. I really love WordCamps. I suggest that everyone who even thinks about WordPress should check one out at some point.
My three favorite things about WordCamps are meeting people, hallway tracks, and inspiration.
I’ve met more awesome people at WordCamps than anywhere else. There’s a lot of people in the WordPress community that I really look up to, and it’s awesome to chat with them over lunch or a beer at a WordCamp.
Hallway tracks are also really really awesome. For those not familar, hallway tracks are the time in between sessions or when you skip a session, and you spend some time with a few people either chatting or working.
I’ve never been more inspired than from WordCamps. The collective knowledge, excitement, and awesomeness isn’t found anywhere else. It makes you just want to make something awesome!