Have you been thinking of starting your own blog? Do you have a small business and want to learn how to create a website using Wordpress? Camp Tech’s Wordpress for Beginners workshop is for you! Camp Tech offers practical and professional tech skills training through fun and informative classes. And they are bringing their first workshop to Hamilton! From pages to posts, and widgets to plugins, you’ll have a chance to learn all about WordPress, the popular blog and website publishing software.
The Wordpress for Beginners Hamilton Edition is happening on Saturday May 24, from 10am - 4pm. It takes place at the Design Annex, at 118 James Street North.
I had a chance to chat with Camp Tech's founder, Avery Swartz about Wordpress, the tech world and what she does offline for fun. Check out what Avery had to say and see how you can win a ticket to the Wordpress for Beginners workshop in Hamilton.
What was your career path like? What did you study/where did you work before starting Camp Tech?
You could say I’ve had a “winding” career path - it definitely hasn’t been straightforward. I studied Technical Theatre Production in University, and worked in Toronto’s theatre industry for 10 years before switching to graphic design. I was a graphic and web designer for a few years, and then dropped the graphics part from my job, and focused solely on being a web designer (which I still am today).
What inspired you to start Camp Tech? What did you hope to achieve?
Before I started Camp Tech, I noticed that a number of my web design clients asked for some workshops to help them learn tech skills they could use in their businesses (beyond just website stuff - they were asking about social media, email marketing, and Photoshop). I thought that was a great idea, and looked for a place to send them for those kind of workshops. All I could find were University courses (which are long); corporate training (which can be prohibitively expensive); or online classes (which are great, but not everyone likes to learn online). So, like many entrepreneurs, I saw a need and started my business to answer that need. I wanted to give my clients (and others) a place where they could learn in an accessible way.
What kind of workshops do you offer and how often?
We launched in Toronto almost 2 years ago, and are now running 7-8 workshops a month in Toronto. We’re expanding to Ottawa, Hamilton and Waterloo in 2014, and plan to offer regular classes in each of those cities as well. Our workshop topics include: WordPress for Beginners; Intro to Google Analytics; Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for Beginners (and Intermediate); The Business of Blogging; Social Media Basics and Social Media Advanced; Online Marketing with Google AdWords; Writing Killer Web Content; HTML and CSS for Beginners; Intro to Email Marketing, and more.
Who will benefit from your workshops? What can attendees expect to walk away with?
There’s a lot about technology that can be daunting and confusing, and I want to change that with Camp Tech. I hope that business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and hobbyists will leave our classes feeling energized and inspired to try things on their own. It’s totally possible for a non-technical person to attend one of our workshops and walk away with the ability to confidently make their own website, run a successful social media campaign, build some graphics in Photoshop, do a poster layout in InDesign, or excel at email newsletter marketing.
How are Camp Tech's workshops different from others?
Camp Tech stands out from other tech training programs in a few ways. Our classes are short (usually 3-hours or one day) unlike longer University and College classes. We hire expert instructors who are leaders in their fields, which ensures that what’s being taught is the latest, most relevant information. And we focus on delivering practical knowledge that people can put into practice right away. We are also pretty friendly and try to have a lot of fun at our workshops -- this isn’t stuffy corporate-style training.
What prompted you to bring one of your workshops to Hamilton? Can we expect more in the future?
Hamilton is such an exciting, vibrant city, full of small business owners, crafters, bloggers, and people who are building an amazing community. We wanted to be a part of that energy! You can most definitely expect more from Camp Tech in the future.
Where do you find inspiration in the tech world?
The tech world moves so fast, and new “toys” and tools are being developed every day -- it’s so fun to see what’s coming next. I find inspiration in looking at what others are doing with new technology, and how they’re using tech to tell stories and share information.
You run a web design business and Camp Tech. Do you find it hard to unplug? How do you find work life balance?
Unplug? Ha! Why would I want to do that? All the fun happens online! All joking aside though, I do sometimes get information overload and want to distance myself from the web. I have a 3-year old daughter, and when she comes home from preschool every day, I put away my laptop and focus on her. That gives me a sense of balance.
Offline, what do you like to do for fun?
Spending time with my family and friends is really important to me. We love to get together over big meals and glasses of wine, and enjoy each other’s company. I also love art, theatre, and travel, and try to squeeze those in when I can!