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Cheat Code, Combo, or Power-Up? Why We Use Someone Else’s Code

Session scheduled at 9:30-10:20 in Room 3 (Ski-U-Mah)

It may seem like a person setting up their first website has very little in common with a seasoned developer who’s built custom sites, WordPress themes, complex data architecture or even committed to an open source project. However, we are all here because we agree there is value in using a tool we have not written ourselvesSadly, we forget about this common ground once we start talking about code.

You rarely see more passionate opinions than why people use (or don’t use) a particular codebase. But as I’ve progressed from WordPress User, to Designer, to Implementor, to Front-End Developer, I realized it’s never just about the code!

Much like playing an open world game, each of us approaches a new challenge with different skill levels, knowledge, and philosophies. We’ll discuss how we, as players of this game, choose from the tools available based on their strengths (value) and weaknesses (risk) relative to our skills. We’ll explore how these decisions change as players level up, or face different challenges. By discussing skill, value, and risk instead of code, we can gain empathy and understanding for the decisions of our fellow players.

I want people to walk away better equipped to select third-party code based on their unique skill level, project needs, and other circumstances. I also want them to have more empathy for other people making the same decisions with possibly different results, and enable us to have more open conversations about the code we use.

Attendee Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and all levels in between: the talk is more about decision-making and empathy than code, aka “why do people make the decisions they make, and how can we support and understand that while empowering each other to make good choices that fit their our unique skill levels?”

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Presented By

Michelle Schulp

Michelle Schulp

Michelle is an independent graphic designer and front-end developer in Minneapolis. Before beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. Together, this resulted in a love of How To Solve Problems. Lately she has been specializing in WordPress theme development and high-end presentation design for her clients. She loves the open source community and speaks/volunteers/organizes at WordCamps and other events and conferences around the country.

Follow @marktimemedia on Twitter