Speaker Spotlight: Kathryn Presner

Kathryn Presner thrives on helping people get the most out of WordPress. After a career designing and building websites for clients, she joined Automattic as a Happiness Engineer in 2012. She’s currently Theme Whisperer on the Theme Team, where she helps folks with customization, configuration, and troubleshooting. She enjoys spreading her passion for WordPress and encouraging new public speakers at WordCamps, Girl Geeks, Ladies Learning Code, and other grassroots events. Non-WordPress obsessions include vintage Pyrex mixing bowls and growing garlic.

Kathryn will be giving a talk titled “Imposter Syndrome and the Techie Continuum“.


What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

I’m going to cheat a bit on this one and call out the Headstart feature we brought to WordPress.com. Headstart automatically sets up a site to look like the theme’s demo, and users love it because it reduces frustration and helps them get started much faster. It’s something I really hope we can offer to self-hosted sites at some point.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

No way I could miss my hometown WordCamp! I think it’ll be my seventh consecutive time speaking at WordCamp Montreal – wow.

What is your talk going to be about?

I’m going to do a short talk about my experience battling imposter syndrome and then facilitate a group discussion in which I hope others will share their stories.

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

I hope people come away with strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome and a realization that everyone has something to contribute to the WordPress community, no matter how much you feel like you don’t know.

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

Tracy Levesque (@LilJimmi), David Bisset (@dimensionmedia), Shannon Smith (@cafenoirdesign)

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

As I mentioned above, I’d like to see Headstart – or something like it – come to self-hosted sites, so all WordPress users have an easier time setting up their sites.