Kathryn thrives on helping people get the most out of WordPress. After a career designing and building websites for clients, she now supports WordPress.com users around the world as an Automattic Happiness Engineer. She enjoys spreading her passion for WordPress at WordCamps, Girl Geek Dinners, Podcamps, and other grassroots events. Non-WordPress hours are spent collecting vintage Pyrex mixing bowls, growing organic garlic, and cavorting with her three cats.
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Kathryn will be giving a talk titled Help Me Help You: The Art and Science of Getting Good WordPress Support.
What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?
The image-uploading and gallery-management enhancements have been invaluable, making the process much more efficient – and dare I say it, even pleasurable – for users. I also love the gorgeous tiled galleries that were introduced in Jetpack, an offshoot from their initial development for WordPress.com.
Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?
I’ve given talks at every WordCamp Montreal since its second edition in 2010. It’s my hometown, and I like giving back to the community that’s given me so much. There’s no way I wouldn’t be here.
What is your talk going to be about?
As a volunteer in the WordPress.org support forums, and now a Happiness Engineer for WordPress.com, I’ve watched a vast number of people ask for help in some pretty ineffective ways. Knowing how to get useful WordPress assistance is in itself a skill, so I’ve decided to share some tips on what to do – and what to avoid – when you’re stuck on a WordPress problem and ready to reach out.
What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
The recognition that they’re more likely to get help if they know how to ask for it properly.
Who in the WordPress community inspires you? Who do you follow?
Since I met her in 2012 at WordCamp New York City, I’ve enjoyed watching Siobhan McKeown’s transformation from entrepreneurial WordPress wordsmith to in-house Audrey Capital word ninja. After reading a fascinating sneak-peek chapter of her upcoming book chronicling the history of WordPress, I’m excited to see how the rest of it develops.
What new feature would you like to see in the future?
Something that will make me go, “Wow! This is so useful, how did we ever get by without it?”