The capital of the United Kingdom hosted its first WordCamp on November 23rd with an extra day for contribution on 24th. Given the vivid WordPress community and the large number of contributors across the Kingdom it was not surprising that more than 300 people visited the event to collaborate and brainstorm together over the state of WordPress.
The project that powers more than 20% of the Web had three of its lead developers in London over the weekend, together with Mike Little, a co-founder of the platform. Two parallel tracks with sessions and an extra workshop room were provided to users, business owners and WordPress specialists on Saturday. The variety of quality speakers and the large number of active members at the event got more than 40 sponsors on board, with SiteGround and Human Made leading the top Park Lane package.
Mike Little was the keynote speaker for the day with "10 Years of WordPress: a Founder's View". Mike shared his own experience with WordPress, the motivation for co-founding it and a summary of his journey and contributions over the years. Andrew Nacin and Mark Jaquith revealed their experience leading the platform, and various technical and business decisions based on real stories while working on the past few versions.
Inspiration in the air
On top of the great inspirational stories by some of the main people behind WordPress, there were many other aspects of the WordPress ecosystem covered during the sessions.
- Media Manager coding talk by John Blackbourn, an active contributor;
- technical and business talk on shipping code by Lee Willis, another experienced developer, who codes Drupal at work and WordPress at night;
- some BuddyPress Myth Busting by one of the most active BuddyPress contributors Tammie Lister (who had just announced her BuddyPress Theme Development book);
- accessibility overview by Graham Armfield;
- lightning talks were presented in two consecutive panels where speakers had to inspire the audience with 5-minute talks on various subjects;
- SiteGround's very own Hristo Pandjarov shared his performance experience during his "Need for Speed" talk, covering all the important aspects of benchmarks, prioritizing problems, taking care of different performance vectors related to the static resources and traffic, CDNs and caching;
- Sessions were capped by an inspirational closing talk called "On Learning" by Nikolay Bachiyski, a Babelfish Engineer
The inspiration from the sessions was carried on to the after-party. As it started early all the excited WordPress fellows naturally kept on chatting over a beer (or a few beers) for all the interesting topics that were brought up during the day.
Give back to WordPress!
The Contributor Day was at Mozilla Spaces on Sunday, a great venue hosting enthusiastic WordPress supporters. Several people got their first patches in the WordPress core, architecture and BuddyPress teams were working in the meantime, together with the polyglots and the accessibility teams. The Theme Leads of the Twenty* themes had their workshop on Saturday and did quite some testing on Sunday to ensure that the new theme works everywhere, including on Kindles.
WordCamp London was a time well spent in sharing knowledge and inspiration, contributing back to WordPress, meeting friends and learning new things. I can't wait to attend the next awesome WordPress event.