Panel Discussion: Composing continuously

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019
Time: 11:00 - 11:45 am (PDT) (UTC-07:00)
Location: Room 2: Stamm East
Format: Panel Discussion

Session description

When you have a handful of sites, updating plugins and core from the Web GUI, and managing your theme in GIT works.  But what happens when you have dozens if not hundreds of sites? How do you manage changes in an efficient, standard fashion, that minimizes downtime?

Enter Composer, a package manager for PHP that allows you to manage a project’s dependencies and requirements.

Thinking of your site as a project with dependencies versus just a bunch of code opens up a whole new level of possibilities. Unfortunately, WordPress does not support composer out-of-the-box and takes some effort to get working properly. Join a panel of Higher Ed developers and architects as they discuss why they chose a composer-based management workflow, how they’ve implemented this workflow on their campuses, and lessons-learned.


Paul Gilzow

Headshot of Paul Gilzow
Programmer/Analyst-Principal, University of Missouri

Programmer/Analyst-Principal at the University of Missouri. Web application security and accessibility evangelist. Software instructor. Conference lecturer and presenter. Runs on passion and coffee.


  • Panel Discussion: Composing continuously

Charles Fulton

Headshot of Charles Fulton
Senior Web Applications Developer, Lafayette College

Charles Fulton is a web developer at Lafayette College and frequent train rider. He has worked in higher education web development for over a decade. At Lafayette he helps manage the web infrastructure, broadly defined. He architected Lafayette’s continuous integration and delivery environment, based on GitLab and Docker. Charles maintains over a dozen WordPress and Moodle plugins. He has previously served on the Steering Committee for the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) and helps maintain CLAMP's Liberal Arts Edition distribution. In his spare time he builds model railroads and reviews B-movies.


  • Panel Discussion: Composing continuously

Lauren Kelly

Headshot of Lauren Kelly
Sr. Engagement Manager, Pantheon

I fell into web development when I was a TA in grad school. I needed a way to share information and readings with my section and a website seemed to make the most sense. That was over 15 years ago and since then, while I have worked for software shops, web development shops, and of course Pantheon, the vast majority of my time has been spent working to help solve Higher Education needs.

I am the Migrations Lead at Pantheon, which means I get to talk to a lot of people about a lot of websites.  I try to lean what their pain points are and get to find better and better ways to help them.

I'm excited to be at Word campus to not only share my experience, but also to learn from everyone else!


  • Panel Discussion: Composing continuously

Adam Berkowitz

Headshot of Adam Berkowitz
Web Developer, University of Connecticut

Adam Berkowitz is a web developer for the University of Connecticut’s office of University Communications. In his position there, Adam has taken an active role in the area of web accessibility. Other technical interests of Adam’s include: javascript application development, learning about Docker and containerization, and blogging. A  self-taught developer, Adam switched careers from music performance and education to web development in 2016. Outside of work, Adam enjoys spending time with his family.


  • Panel Discussion: Composing continuously

Robin Smail

Headshot of Robin Smail
User Experience Designer, Penn State University

As a user experience designer and as a speaker, Robin Smail’s mission is to connect people. Whether advocating for accessibility and universal design, helping to shape conferences and communities of practice, or designing applications, Robin’s goal is to collaborate, motivate, and transform. Recent work includes designing an open educational question bank application for instructors at Big 10 universities, Penn State’s Digital Badging Platform, an open education resource bank that offers students resources based on individual learning preferences, and the administrative usability of an intelligent collaboration research application. Robin holds a B.S. in Information Sciences & Technology from Penn State, and is an award-winning speaker and passionate user advocate. She can be found online everywhere misbehaving as Robin2go.


Session video

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