Planning for WordCamp US 2015

By Melanie Chongolola-Nestor

November 23, 2015

Hello, Melanie here. If you’ve been keeping up with YIKES’ weekly blog posts, then you should know that I am a neophyte when it comes to Web Development and Design. Thus far I have attended WordCamp Philadelphia in June 2015, and a Girl Develop It Class (Intro to Web Concepts) in September. I feel like they both have been getting me ready for WordCamp US – the biggest WordPress conference in the World, which will be hosted in YIKES’ home town and the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia.

Hopefully you already have your tickets, and are eagerly awaiting for the fourth of December to roll around. I recommend taking a look at the schedule before you show up for registration because there are a lot of classes and lecture offerings. You could just wing it and pop in and out of sessions, but with so many experts and professionals on-hand to answer your questions, you should maximize this opportunity.

The first thing one should note is that the schedule is broken up into tracks and lightening talks. Tracks A and B are full-length talks, and Track C, 10-minute Lightening Talks. You should attend the classes that speak most to the direction you want your learning to take, not which one will allow you to sit next to a friend.

As a novice, these are the courses I am looking forward to taking:

Friday, December 4th

11:05am –  Communities and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense

Because everyone should know how to shut down internet trolls without losing their cool

11:50am – Themes are for Users

Learn how to choose the right theme to increase the user experience for the visitors to your site

3:25pm – Get It Right The First Time: WordPress Launching Checklist

Self-explanatory, amirite?

5:05pm – Designing For Those Who Matter – Your Users

Another talk about user experience

5:50pm – Publish in 10 Minutes Per Day

Keep your creative juices flowing and your ideas moving forward

6:00pm – What I Learned When My Blog Post Went Viral

Be prepared for big things, even if your site is one of obscure nature.

Saturday, December 5th

9:00am – You can learn a lot from WordPress: Learning by building the Web

Turning your WordPress practice into learning experiences

9:45am – 10 Tips for Clean Code

Clean code is easier to de-bug. Start off right and save time on future fixes.

11:00am – Things you always wanted to know about WordPress (but were afraid to ask)

Self-explanatory, amirite?

2:45pm – Take Care of Each Other: How to Contribute to WordPress Without Writing Code

As a code novice I don’t know the best way to contribute to WordPress, this will tell me how

4:15pm – Explaining Hard Things to Humans: The Principles of Effective Technical Communication

I’m attending this to learn how to best translate tech terms to layman’s terms

The best thing about this schedule is that I will still have time to explore the other offerings of WordCamp US 2015. Opportunity maximized.

2015 NGLCC Conference

By Jodie Riccelli

August 10, 2015

About a year ago, YIKES attended an IBA event, where through networking, we learned more about becoming a NGLCC certified LGBTBE business. Since we had just completed our renewal of our WBENC certification, the process seemed similar yet more straight forward. A few weeks later we received our certificate officially declaring us a certified Gay and Lesbian owned business enterprise. It was a good day at YIKES.

NGLCC-Cert-YIKESNext week Mia, Tracy, and I are heading to the annual NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference. This year it is being held in Fort Lauderdale. I’m not thrilled about the heat in Florida but I couldn’t be more excited about meeting with so many other like minded business who support diversity. This year’s annual conference boasts numerous sessions to engage and empower businesses.

The highlight however may be the key note speaker. When they revealed that Suze Orman was going to grace us with her presence at the conference, Tracy literally screamed from the back of our office. To be honest, I was super happy, too. There are two people that can tell me to do just about anything, Suze Orman and Coach Taylor. They just have that way about them. I expect to come back feeling inspired with great financial investments on deck.

Tracy is going to be on one of the panels at this years conference. The panel will take place on Wednesday, August 12 at 3:30pm and is called “Optimize Your Opportunities: Doing Business with Fellow LGBTBEs“.

Some of the other sessions we plan on attending:

  • Breakfast
  • B2B Boot Camp for Certified and Registered LGBT-Owned Businesses
  • Big Time Marketing on a Lean Budget
  • Global Focus: Equality Across Borders and Economic Development
  • and of course the Walk and Talks!

We want to thank the Independence Business Alliance, Greg DeShields from PHL Diversity, and all the folks at the NGLCC for championing diversity. We can’t wait to network in Florida!

WordCamp Philly 2015

By Mia Levesque

June 13, 2015

volunteering WordCamp Philly 2015After a busy month of organizing this year’s WordCamp Philly (and building the website), the whole YIKES team is enjoying the sold-out conference this weekend. We are volunteering, teaching and learning.

If you are attending, share your experience on Twitter using #wcphilly
@WordCampPhily and @yikesinc.

ColdFusion Summit 2014

By Pearson Barlow

November 12, 2014

Going to Las Vegas for the ColdFusion Summit always gets me giddy.  Why?  It’s the circus-like environment that surrounds the very essence of application programming.  Whether you are a seasoned ColdFusion developer or just diving into the language for the first time, this summit has something for everyone, and this year Adobe certainly didn’t hold back.  Spring boarding into the sessions on Day 1, Adobe brought in Mark Sanborn straight out of his idea studio to give us a Keynote speech to remember.  How to reach true potential?  Check. Strategy for team building? Check.  Defining what true craftsmanship is, check and check.  You didn’t have to be a programmer to walk away with an “ah-ha” moment listening to Mark, which set the tempo for the days to come.

I tend to lean towards the security discussions.  You simply cannot have enough knowledge in terms of what is attacking your site, and how and why.  Constructing ways to defend such attacks is priority in these sessions.

  • Security 101: Safeguard and steer off cyber attacks at the application scope before anything else.  CF11 has some pretty neat features built in to assist. Thanks Adobe.
  • ColdFusion variables need to live outside of CSS and HTML tags, otherwise get your encode on!
  • What are the top 5 things are that hinder scalability. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
  • WebSockets are snazzy; yeah, I said it.
  • Legacy code exists and it haunts the dreams of most programmers.  Bring it into this century and at the same time how not to invest huge man hours and money in doing so.

All in all, the ColdFusion Summit gave tremendous knowledge and motivation to take back home, perfect ingredients for better coding.

YIKES’s Adventure at WordCamp San Francisco

By Tracy Levesque

November 11, 2014

This past October YIKES was fortunate to have team members attend, sponsor and speak at WordCamp San Francisco, the biggest WordPress conference in the World.

Tracy, Carlos and Evan report back on their experience:


Tracy Speaking

Last year when I attended WCSF13 I was by myself and I barely knew anyone. After more than a year of seriously contributing to WordPress, going to WCSF14 was like going to a week-long camp with all my friends. I loved having Carlos and Evan with me representing YIKES and Philly.

I was honored to be selected to speak at WCSF for the second year in a row. This time it was a 5-minute lightening talk. This proved to be much more challenging than I imagined, but I had a great time doing it.

I was also fortunate to be able to attend the Community Summit following WordCamp. I co-lead the Training Project, and we were able to get a lot of work done. It was great to see old friends and meet new folks as well. I’m already looking forward to next year.



It was quite eye opening how cooperative and welcoming the WordPress community is. I found people using WordPress in creative and unique ways. Some of these applications of WordPress, I look forward to duplicating in our own projects.

The widespread use of WordPress in different countries and using different languages is an important issue. The Polyglot team, comprised of volunteers (as well as other volunteer translators in other open-source communities), is an integral part of democratizing publishing using tools like WordPress. I look forward to investing time in the Polyglot team as a translator as a way to contribute to the community.


Evan and Matt

I gained valuable insight into the WordPress community and the direction the entire platform is headed moving forward. I was quite surprised to hear that this was the first year non-English installations surpassed English installations.

WordCamp San Francisco re-ignited my excitement for the REST API coming to 4.1, and I’m really looking forward to utilizing that in some of our future client projects and plugins.

Sticking to plugin development, I was extremely excited to hear all about the future plans for language packs in WordPress core (including plugins!). And, of course, networking with people from all around the world who use WordPress in so many different ways was a huge bonus.