WordCamp Atlanta 2017 Beginner's Developer Day

by Aaron Reimann

February 28, 2017

WordCamps are normally a two-day event, but not in Atlanta.  Just like last year, we are doing beginner’s day.  The organizers of WordCamp, which I am a part of, feel like we need a day for nubees (spell check isn’t going to know what to do with that).  Friday, March 17th will be the day, the day before WordCamp Atlanta officially begins.

We’ll be having three tracks, Beginner (this person would have never really used WP before), Beginner’s Designer, Beginners Developer.  As you probably know, I know nothing about the first two, I’ll be co-leading the developer track.

What You Will Learn

The there are three prerequisites for dev day:

  • The person must have a computer that can run MAMP
  • The person should know basic HTML
  • The person should know basic CSS

We will be teaching these things in this order:

  • Template Hierarchy
  • Nav Menus
  • Sidebars
  • Custom Page Templates
  • Loop/Custom WP_Query
  • Pagination
  • Theme Customizer
  • Sanitization, Validation & Escaping
  • Template/Conditional Tags

We will be splitting the day up into two major parts, with lunch in the middle.  First session will be making sure everyone is up and running with MAMP (which could be up to two hours of set up for some), then we’ll be diving into creating a child theme and will be teaching how to correctly modify a theme where the child theme overrides the parent theme.

We look forward to seeing everyone!

What You Will Need

It would be extremely helpful to have the following already installed and running on your computer, but it is not required.  Remember, this is beginner day, so I’m sure some people won’t have these things installed so we will start the day off getting them up and running for local development.  Local development is important because it will save time in the long run, it will give you a way to what you are building without having to FTP (upload) the files to a remote web server.

First, install the server, we’ll be using a suite of servers called MAMP


Mamp contains everything we need to get a web server up and running on your local computer.  It will install Apache (the web server), MySQL (the database server) and PHP (the programming language WP is written in).  This is critical for getting up and running before the session starts, and it runs on Mac and Windows.  If you are running Linux, we’re assuming you can run these things locally.

Mac installation video:

Windows installation video:


Secondly, install a text editor.  We’ll be recommending Sublime.


This text editor will allow us to create or modify PHP files that are in a theme.

Honestly, any text editor will work but Sublime runs on Mac or Windows and is lightweight.  If you already have Atom, PhpStorm, Vim, Notepad++, etc, you will be fine.  On a Mac, there is an application called TextEdit, and that one will not work for what we are trying to do.

That’s it for required software!


related posts

Font Awesome icon

How to add a Font Awesome icon as a menu item

I’ve started recording a lot of videos, this being the first, for 48in48 (If you don’t…

A Page Builder Must Have Add-On

Page builders are more common in the WordPress community now than ever.  There has been…

Beaver Builder Visual Hook Guide How To

One of the guys (Bret) showed me this plugin that is on GitHub and I…