Speaker Spotlight: Michal Bluma!


Michal Bluma wrote his first lines of HTML in the late 90s, is guilty of having used tables for layout a long time ago, loves tech and geeking out.

He left the office world at the end of 2012, after being told to do so by everyone except his own conscience. He’s currently using his skills to pay the bills full-time as a WordPress integrator and kicking butt in Front-end ChopUp-Fu (jCrane style). He greatly misses the days of Shift magazine.

Follow @isotrope on Twitter.

Michal will be giving a talk titled Comment changer la couleur d’un bouton sans anéantir l’univers?.

What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

What I’ve loved the most in the past year is the http://underscores.me/ starter theme. It makes for a great starting point when working on a custom site.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

For years, I’ve been crowd-sourcing my learning, debugging and inspiration. I thought it was time to try to give back to the community in my own way in person. Over the years, I’ve met many of the WPMTL folks, and admired their talks. It’s my turn to try to contribute to the collective knowledge, on a local scale.

I’ve always enjoyed helping others, teaching them. I get a great amount of satisfaction when I can help someone reach that “Aha!” moment.

I’m also guilty of loving to throw out metaphors. If this conference talk isn’t a success, I can always try becoming a deadpan stand-up nerd.

What is your talk going to be about?

Saving the universe, one child theme at a time. Like most, in the past, I’ve been guilty of hacking away at a theme, directly modifying its code. WordPress’ accessibility makes it almost too easy to take on bad habits.

My talk is here to show you how easy it is to alter a theme, build on top of it, in a safe manner. We’ll go over how to create a child theme. We’ll learn how to add a bit of custom CSS. We’ll be adding some custom JavaScript (and covering a few basic pitfalls that we can come across). We’ll also take a quick look at how to create a Custom Post Type template.

What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

Mess with a theme’s code directly, and it will bite you in the butt. Seriously, though, there’s no way we can do a “MasterClass” in 35 minutes. My goal is to cover the topics and give the attendees tools and leads to dive into the subject matter in more depth.

Who in the WordPress community inspires you? Who do you follow?

I’m most inspired by the people I meet in our WPMTL group. We have an awesome Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/199180685044/) that is always full of great questions, comments and insight. Nothing beats discussing new features, or solving problems face to face, with a pint in one’s hand.

If I had to choose folks to mention, I’d have to go with c.bavota (@bavotasan), my partner in crime; and Sonia Gaballa (@NudgeDesign), a newer partner in crime. But I’ve learned from and been inspired by great folks like Carl Alexander (@twigpress), Kirk Wight (@kwightca), the one-and-only Jeremy Clarke (@jeremyclarke ), and countless others.

Long live the local, Montreal WordPress community.

What new feature would you like to see in the future?

I’d really like an internal Custom Post Type interface to add to the CMS aspect of WordPress.

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