Zach Stepek is a speaker at WordCamp Chicago talking about eCommerce Speed Demon: The Pursuit of 800ms. Get to know him below!
Zach specializes in eCommerce consulting and WooCommerce development, helping companies navigate the complexities of building and running their eCommerce marketplaces. He’s been building dynamic, data-driven websites since 1999 and has worked as a designer, developer and user experience architect. When he isn’t building websites, he’s a professional concert photographer and well-rounded geek.
WordCamp Chicago Mini-Interview
- I came to WordPress through WooCommerce. I was helping a friend run his record label and he wanted to set up an online store for the label’s artists, selling digital downloads of music and physical copies of albums. We built that site using the Whitelight theme right after it came out. This was before WooCommerce had really blown up the way it has now. I had dabbled in the WordPress world, but this project got me more interested, since I saw the potential for WordPress to become a platform, not just a CMS or blogging tool.
- I love community and networking, and speaking is one of my favorite things to do, so this was a natural move for me! Once you get to know me, you learn that it’s hard to get me to shut up. It’s probably a side effect of spending years teaching web development everywhere from IBM to MTV. Imparting the things I’ve learned to others is just part of the appeal, though. I learn just as much standing up and interacting with people during a session as they do from me. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the WordPress community is amazing! Strong communities build strong technologies, and I’ve loved seeing the WordPress community grow from the sidelines, but it was time to get off the bench and get involved.
- This question takes me back to talking about WordPress as a Platform. We are on the cusp of this transformative period for WordPress and WooCommerce. WordPress has started to shed its blogging platform skin in the public eye, businesses are taking it seriously, and it’s powering some of the largest websites on the web. But we haven’t even begun to realize the potential of new developments like the REST API. WooCommerce has a REST API, too. Calypso is merely the town crier sounding the bell that WordPress as a Platform has arrived. Think about the implications of having WordPress’ structured data models and post and taxonomy relationships available when building a mobile application. Or a SaaS application. Or communicating with the Internet of Things. WordPress is the only open source, eCommerce-enabled content management system that I’m aware of with the combination of flexibility, low learning curve and powerful features that I feel are needed to power the next tectonic shift in the Internet economy. One in every four websites is just the beginning.