Interview with Eric Marden

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress:

I’m a polyglot programmer (php, ruby, python, javascript, etc) and have been building for the web since 1996. WordPress is a fantastic and flexible CMS and one of my favorite open source technologies. I’ve contributed to core and am a core dev on the K2 theme. I’ve build all manner of sites with WP and when it was my primary platform, my work mostly focused on publishing workflows for media companies.

What will you be speaking about?

I will preaching the Test-Driven-Development gospel and showing off the new and improved test suite that unit tests WordPress core. An Automated Testing practice is one of the best ways to level up your dev skills and since TDD is pretty rare in the PHP community and even rarer in the WordPress community. Now that core is taking unit testing more seriously I think the larger WordPress developer community should too.

Who is your target audience?

Intermediate+ Developers with little to no experience with Unit and Integration testing. Automated Testing can be a bit of an advanced topic, but if you’re comfortable hacking plugins this topic is for you.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?

Once developers see the benefits of Automated Testing (which are numerous) they will leave with a burning desire to start practicing TDD in their own projects and releasing test suites with their plugins and themes. At a minimum I would like to see more conversation about automated testing in the WordPress community.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?

I’m a simple man, so my vote would be for Akismet. I pretty much only use a few “utility plugins” and write all the other functionality for a site myself as custom plugins. Less is more in my opinion and most plugins try to do too much for my taste. I like to keep things as lean as possible for performance reasons.

Do you have a WP hero?

@norcross @nacin @markjaquith @otto42 are my WP heroes.

Pizza is a food group unto itself in Chicago… Where is your favorite place to get pizza?

Cafe Luigi. It’s the only NY style pizza in the city and it’s freaking outrageously good. I take visitors to Lou Malnati’s if they want to try deep dish (personally I’m not a big fan of that style).

What is your favorite tourist attraction in Chicago?

The Water Taxi from downtown to chinatown.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!

The first WordCamp I spoke at was in Orlando in 2009. Matt Mullenweg keynoted the event, a rare honor. I was doing a talk about the forthcoming Custom Post Type and Custom Taxonomy APIs. During the Q&A, Matt asked me really great questions about how I would be using them in my work. That pretty much made my month.

Contact Info:

Eric Marden

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