WordCamp Europe 2016

Published on by lizro

In the WordPress world, last weekend was dedicated to the biggest WordCamp ever: WordCamp Europe 2016, which took place in Vienna, Austria. With over 2,000 people registered, more than 1,000 people watching a live stream of the event, and countless volunteers and world-class speakers, it was incredible experience for everyone – three days of learning, inspiration and community contribution.

This year, the team orchestrating WordCamp Europe was challenged not only to organize the biggest WordCamp ever, but also to make it as professional and as comfortable as possible for everyone attending. With the help of generous WordCamp sponsors, day care was arranged for attendees with children, so more parents could go to the event. For the first time ever, the talks were live captioned—an incredibly hard job to do, and we are grateful to the people who worked on all three presentation tracks. The halls were spacious and comfortable, situated at the MuseumsQuartier, where many cultural events are held.

Photo credit by Giustino Borzacchiello

In addition to T-shirts, stickers, badges and pins, sponsors generously provided a slew of other goodies, from coloring books to SiteGround socks to Sucuri camera covers to Yoast cookie forms, all of which were very original and useful. Sponsors also arranged game prizes, giving attendees the chance to win a drone, a playstation, and an iPad.

Three tracks of talks were offered at the event, covering a range of topics for nearly every interest, such as business, development, community, design, running WordPress agency, running a local WordPress community, and even development for beginners.

Day One highlights included Mike Little’s “WordPress: the early years. A co-founder’s view,” during which we heard about how WordPress started, and the path to the success the company enjoys today.

Mike Schroder also gave a great talk, sharing how decisions in the WordPress core are made at his talk “Decision-making in WordPress core development.” As with any large open-source project, WordPress has a lot of contributors and issues are solved following set guidelines. More can be learned at Mike’s blog post, here.

Related to this subject was a talk by Daniel Bachhuber about managing open-source projects. “My condolences, you’re now the maintainer of a popular open source project,” relayed his experience with community discussions and decisions. More information and his slides can be found at his blog post, here.

Another popular talk was “Caring is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do: Thoughts on WordPress Plugin UI” by Caspar Hübinger. This talk presented an overview of the plugin UI options provided by WordPress plugin developers, and explores how working to improve user experience, with care, truly benefits the whole ecosystem. A detailed post can be found here.

Day Two of WordCamp Europe started with the amazing piano performance by Helen Hou-Sandi, followed by an inspiring talk about the parallels between music and code. The record is available on WordPress TV and can be found here.

Photo credit by Florian Ziegler
Photo credit by Florian Ziegler

For those interested in learning about REST API, there was an hour-long session on the subject presented by K. Adam White. In “Using the REST API and JavaScript to create better WordPress interfaces” he announced WordPress REST API client for JavaScript, a Node.js application used to request data from WordPress. A full-length recording of the talk is available here, a must-listen for anyone planning to use REST API as base for js interfaces.

Photo credit by Dimension Media

Just before lunch, I gave my own talk, in which I discussed automation tools that can accelerate WordPress development and produce clean, consistent and reliable code. Slides from my talk, “The Swiss Knife of a WordPress Developer” can be found here. (I provide a high-level overview of tools for checking code for errors, local installs automation, acceptance testing and deployment, which I’ll describe in a longer, more detailed blog post.)

Photo credit by WordCamp Europe 2016
Photo credit by WordCamp Europe

Our CEO, Karim Marucchi, also gave a great talk on working with international clients. In his talk, he shared his experience and gave specific examples of how to manage clients from different cultures. Watch his presentation here.

The day closed with a group photo of attendees at MuseumsQuartier square, where it was announced that next year’s WordCamp Europe which will take place June 16th-18th in Paris, France. Registration is already open, and tickets will sell fast! Get yours here.

Photo credit by Florian Ziegler