Speaker Spotlight: Sarah Semark!

Sarah Semark

Sarah has been making beautiful things for as long as she can remember. More recently, She shifted her focus to WordPress design and development. Armed with a lightweight laptop and a surprisingly lightweight suitcase, she takes her work around the world. She can usually be found tapping away anywhere there’s a power outlet—from ramshackle Soviet sleeper trains to a shack in the Amazon.

She loves building beautiful, usable websites, and hates staying in one place.

Follow @sarahsemark on Twitter.

Sarah will be giving a talk titled Build a Website on the Moon: WordPress Development from Anywhere.

What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

Definitely the revamped media uploader. The old one was clunky and awkward. Part of WordPress’ appeal is that I can basically hand off a site to a client with very minimal instruction or documentation, and they can manage it themselves. The old media uploader was something of an anomaly in this respect. The redesign makes uploading images as intuitive as other tasks in WordPress. They did a fantastic job with it.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

Working on my own all day, I’m often in a bit of a vacuum. I’m excited to share stories of my frustrations (and the occasional success!) with others who feel as passionately about it as I do.

What is your talk going to be about?

I’m talking about setting up WordPress for easy local development with a simple deployment system. We’ll talk about using version control, syncing database changes, and all sorts of little snags and gotchas you might encounter en-route.

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

I’d like non-technical people to walk away feeling like setting up a system for better development is accessible to them. I’m a designer first and a developer out of necessity, and I got a system working for me that ultimately makes my work far more efficient. I’d like to give other people tools to help streamline their own development processes.

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

Great plugin developers make my life infinitely easier and me much happier. It’s incredible the variety of high-quality extensions that are available, completely free, and the dedication people have to maintaining them.

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

Better search and post filtering in the admin panel would be amazing. I have clients with 5000+ post sites and it’s a real challenge to find particular posts. Better search would help with that.

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