Speaker Spotlight: Mika Ariela Epstein

Mika Ariela Epstein is better known as Ipstenu, the Half-Elf Rogue. Working for DreamHost, specializing in WordPress hosting (aka ‘WordPress Guru’), Mika helps make WordPress and hosting better for everyone. When she isn’t reviewing plugins she’s helping in the support forums and speaking at WordCamps worldwide about code and open source technology. A self-taught guru on Multisite and .htaccess, she has a passion for writing and technology and blogs about them whenever possible.

Mika will be giving a talk titled “Behind the Curtain: Reviewing Plugins for WordPress.org“.


What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

I’m sneaking this in, but it’s my change to humanize the first comment! It’s so simple to just de-genderize WordPress and make it more for everyone 🙂

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

In 2011, this was the first WordCamp I ever attended. I was too terrified to talk. I wanted to come back, 5 years (OMG!) later and thank the community here.

What is your talk going to be about?

Reviewing Plugins for WordPress.org

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

A deeper understanding of how the review process works that, I hope, will help everyone submit better code. Understanding what we’re looking for, and why, should only help people.

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

So many people. I feel like it would be unfair to list one or two. In absolutely no order: Andrea Rennick, Chris Lema, Helen Hou-Sandí, Sam (Otto) Wood, Andrea Middleton, Pippin Williamson, Kari Leigh Marruchi, Tracy Levasque, Courtney Dawn… And yes, I follow all those people 🙂

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

I’d love to see the new user experience get more friendly. WordPress has a steep learning curve, after all, and anything we can do to help users out would be great. We’ll only get to 30% if we keep making it easier to use.