Speaker Spotlight: Linn Øyen Farley

Linn Øyen Farley is a Canadian/Norwegian cat enthusiast. She runs a one-person web design & development studio in Toronto, where she works primarily with WordPress. On the side she teaches beginner classes in WordPress, HTML & CSS with Camp Tech.

Linn will be giving a talk titled “Don’t Fear the Custom Theme: How to build a custom WordPress theme with only four files“.


What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

If I have to pick just one: responsive image support. It’s also been great to see the little tweaks to the content editing experience as WordPress continues getting easier to use.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

I love your city! Plus I met lots of Montréal WordPress people at last year’s WordCamp in Toronto and everyone was so lovely, it was a good excuse to make the trip.

What is your talk going to be about?

The bare minimum of PHP functions you need to create a custom WordPress theme. Child themes totally have their place in the ecosystem; this is just an alternate way to get into making your own themes without having to rely on commercial ones.

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

The confidence to try writing some PHP! Or if you’re already doing that, some inspiration to approaching theme building from a more lean, stripped-down perspective.

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

Other than WordCamps I don’t participate in the community as much as I’d like to, so this is going to be a short list – the two people that come to mind immediately are Billy Gregory, for giving people a kick in the pants to take accessibility seriously, and Zoe Rooney, for sharing everything from business admin strategies to WordPress functions (sadly she’s no longer in the industry, but I still use things I learned from her all the time).

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

I use Advanced Custom Fields on most of my projects, but sometimes I don’t need the full power of that plugin, so I’d love a better UI for basic custom fields in core. I wouldn’t simply want ACF integrated though since Elliott Condon already does such a great job of supporting and improving the plugin as a separate product.