WCLDN 2017 preview: Tim Nash and Crispin Read

This weekend sees WordCamp London 2017  take place at London Metropolitan University. Prior to the event we’ve been talking to some of the WordCamp speakers, this time we chat with Crispin Read and our very own WordPress Platform Lead, Tim Nash.

Tim Nash


1) Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Tim, I’m the WordPress Platform Lead and Developer Advocate here at 34SP.com.

My day job is managing our WordPress platform, developing new features and supporting the WordPress team here at 34SP.com.

Before working at 34SP.com I ran a small development company.

I’m a regular speaker at WordCamps, meetups and other events and I hope to deliver entertaining as well as informative talks. I have spoken on a range of subjects, from REST API to robbing a bank! I’m normally happiest when talking about security. I blog at timnash.co.uk as well as the 34SP.com blog when they let me.

I’m probably best known for being the grumpy security guy telling terrifying tales of destruction and convincing the world two-factor auth is a good idea.


2) Can you give us a sneak peak into your talk, and what attendees should be able to take away from it?

“Who’s afraid of the big bad host?” is the title, but it’s not a rant about hosting, sorry folks. I used to regularly rant and do lightning talks about hosting and hosting companies, especially shared hosting and the dangers of it for business use.

Indeed the last time I did such a talk, there were quite a few blue shirted 34SP.com staff in the audience and shortly after they offered me a job! Maybe it was to silence me….

Anyway the talk is instead about what hosting is and what might be suitable for your usage. It will hopefully answer some questions people have such as how does serverless work (hint – with lots of servers) or what exactly is cloud computing?

I’ll also be addressing more useful and practical things, such as choosing the architecture and stack you might need for your next project.

Whilst it’s broad in scope there should be something there for everyone, and all are welcome to come along. I’m sure a few reps from hosting companies will be along to heckle!


3) As a speaker at WordCamp I imagine WordPress features in your life in at least some small way. What’s your WordPress journey, where has WordPress taken you?

WordPress has been a huge part of my life on and off for the last 10 years.

I have been using WordPress the entire time, have been a developer of plugins, including one of the first commercial plugins available. I’m a member of the WordPress.org support team and a volunteer moderator on the wordpress.org forums. I just wish I had more time to actually do the support queries.

Ultimately as a WordPress Platform Lead it led me to this fantastic opportunity to provide a great hosting platform, and to ensure thousands of 34SP.com clients have the opportunity to make the most of WordPress without headaches.

In doing so it’s also added more then a few grey hairs to my head.


Crispin Read


1) Tell us a little about yourself

I make websites work better for the people that use them and the people that own them. I started my career as a Web Developer in the olden days before Google even existed and people still said doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou DOT as the prefix for a web address. From very early on I was fascinated by usability and the human interaction with what was being built – which lead me to where I am now, a consultant in UX.

I also help run a national apprenticeship scheme for web development. We recruit young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups, and coach them through a year-long work placement ending with a level 4 qualification in the new Government apprentice standards http://mwda.uk.

2) Can you give us a sneak peak into your talk, and what attendees should be able to take away from it?

The bulk of UX discovery is often done near the start of a new build project. Coming as I do from a development background, I have the added advantage of understanding and considering the development process that is to follow. I have a simple exercise to share that I often use to build a framework to describe the build in terms that can be easily understood and discussed by designers, developers, account managers and clients alike. I’ll also be talking about what I think UX is and isn’t and maybe venting some unresolved issues from my professional history.

3) As a speaker at WordCamp I imagine WordPress features in your life in at least some small way. What’s your WordPress journey, where has WordPress taken you?

It started for me with a short contract to research and compare available options for content management. The remit was basically to choose between two or three proprietary systems but I included Open Source options and the advantages were clear. I have been using and investing in Open Source projects for over a decade now – WordPress, Drupal and CiviCRM in particular. Outside the opportunity these products offer to charities and nonprofits, it’s the community aspect that I find most appealing and most admirable. The fact that so many of us get to use these products for free because a small percentage of those people are willing to invest time and money for us all. The real-life meetups are also really important to me, I recently moved from London to Leeds and was able to meet up with people in this new city straight away – some of whom I already knew through working with WordPress.

Also just to mention the apprenticeship scheme again – that is only possible because of the network we have throughout the community. The scheme is completely reliant on companies working with each other to train and fund their apprentices much in the same way we do when contributing to open source software.