Rocket Lift Hearts WordCamp Portland

WordCamp Portland was where I first fell in love with WordPress in 2012.

The positive energy of Portland’s thriving local node of this exciting global community was thrilling. The way it embodied the pay-it-forward ethic. The concrete opportunities it offered for people to get involved in numerous ways, putting their diverse skills to work, towards an incredible mission.

For WordCamp Portland 2013, I was honored to be a speaker, and was crazy enough to want to be the volunteer coordinator. I didn’t sleep much that week or weekend, but damn, did I have a great time.

Matthew Eppelsheimer speaking at WordCamp PDX 2013.

You shoulda seen it! My talk was thiiiiiis big.

The things I learned and the friendships I made that weekend have had an impact on me personally, and on Rocket Lift’s business, to this day.

In the two years since, I’ve attended four other WordCamps — one in Vancouver, British Columbia, two in Seattle Washington (one I live blogged — that was fun/exhausting), and WordCamp Europe this past June in Sevilla, Spain.

WordCamps have become one of my favorite vacations.

You get to visit great cities, catch up with good friends you share a bond of work and common purpose with, make new friends, hone your skills, help others, and contribute in various ways to free and open source software that benefits the entire world. They’re unbeatable.

#WCPDX, 2015 Edition

Two years later, WordCamp Portland is back, and coming up this Saturday!


I would say that I can hardly wait, except that I still have a lot of work to do! In the past two years I managed to forget my pledge to never speak and help organize again at the same WordCamp. So, I’m burning the candle from both ends this week again. But it’s going to be great!

And, I am thrilled that we are able to contribute more as a team this year than in years past.

I’m excited to share lessons-learned from our ongoing work with US Chess. And as a presenter I am joined by Alex Mansfield and Jeremy Felt, both good friends and regular part-time contract team members at Rocket Lift. They are among the most deep-thinking WordPress developers I know of, and both give great presentations.

Alex recently blew my own experimental ideas out of the water with his much more fully-baked vision for an elegant, developer-friendly WordPress theme framework. So I’m excited for his distilled lessons in his talk on using hooks and filters in themes.

Jeremy is not only a core committer (one of very few people trusted to approve code changes for software that powers a quarter of the world’s websites), but through his role as the senior WordPress engineer at Washington State University, he’s also in a unique position to share insights on how software empowers community (and vice versa).

And finally, Catherine Bridge, our newest developer and a Jill-of-all-trades, has stepped forward just this week to make Contributor Day happen on Sunday, virtually all on her own — identifying a fantastic donated venue, soliciting sponsorships, and organizing a catered lunch for dozens of people.

Last and not least, I am thrilled to announce that Rocket Lift is a financial sponsor to Contributor Day on Sunday. Join us for for an awesome day of volunteering, including free coffee and lunch! No need to be a developer — there are tons of ways to contribute!

Learn more about Contributor Day and sign up

I am re-inspired all over again by this year’s conference theme: How powering 25% of the web can impact 100% of us.
I’m proud we are doing what we can to support this wonderful community. Can’t wait to see you there!


  1. Robert Lilly

    You folks at Rocket Lift are rockin’ #wcpdx! It’s a pleasure to get to work with you.

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