For those that don’t know – a WordCamp is a conference all about WordPress, the worlds most popular Content Management System (CMS). At Wider we use this to build almost all of our websites – adapting and modifying this amazing platform with our own in-house tools to empower clients to publish and edit their websites.
Imran, Jonny and James from Wider
There are a number of WordCamps organised up and down the UK each year (and indeed, around the world) by groups of local community organisers and the support of the WordPress Foundation – but London is by far the largest in the UK. A WordCamp is a great opportunity to meet people working on this amazing platform and discover new perspectives and techniques.
2 days of getting deep-down with WordPress
One of the most awesome things about a WordCamp is the range of different presentations and workshops that you can attend (44 speakers across three tracks this time!) Because the conference attracts such a wide-range of different users, the organisers have quite a task to ensure that the breath of presentations and workshops cater to an audience ranging from marketeers, to designers and developers of every level! The speaker selection was excellent and with three tracks of presentations it was easy to find a talk that was of interest.
There were so many highlight talks it’s hard to pick stand-out ones – the Wider R&D list has substantially grown after WordCamp that’s for sure! Some stand-out talks over the weekend came from Crispin Read on ‘Object Orientated User Experience’ who broke down UX in a really interesting way. Modern ‘PHP Architecture Around A Legacy WordPress Site’ from Alain Schlesser gave a fascinating insight into coding efficiency and structure. John Blackburn gave us ‘A Deep Dive into the Roles and Capabilities API’ revealing some interesting tricks (and shortcomings!) around this and ‘Using Varying Vagrant Vagrants 2’ from Tom J Nowell kickstarted our interest back in this development server technology.
Getting involved - 'Building Bespoke Themes' discussion panel
Jonny, our Director of Digital has spoken at a number of WordCamps since 2008, along with being a lead organiser of both Birmingham WordCamp’s in 2008 and 2015. He had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion with 4 expert panelists on building bespoke themes. They all spoke from a different perspective, with Jonny brining out some very constructive discussions amongst the group in front of a packed main room.
Jonny heading up the bespoke theme discussion panel
What was interesting was that although each person came at their development in different ways, ultimately they agreed on some common themes – great theme development is based on coding efficiently and consistently and having a strong foundation knowledge in the underlying technologies before choosing frameworks. Even members of the panel had developed their own ‘tools’ to one extent or another – ranging from their own CSS layout engines right up to their own starter themes or frameworks – just as Jonny has done for Wider with Wonderflux.
It had to be said, the logistics of an event like this must have been overwhelming, but Jenny Wong and a huge team of volunteers pulled it off. The WordCamp London team went above and beyond to ensure that the whole event from start to finish went smoothly.
We’d go even as far to say that it was the most ‘organised’ WordCamp attended so far, so a big hat’s off to everyone involved! We were particularly intrigued by the incredible live captioning of speakers from Global RT Captioning using their crazy stenography keyboards (with no symbols on!) – it was actually useful for those without disabilities when you didn’t quite catch something!
Well, don’t forget to check-out the schedule of up-coming WordCamps around the world. The team at Wider attend (and present!) at a handful of these events every year, so catch you there and come and say hi!
Also, check out our Flickr photo gallery of the event – you are welcome to use these images – in the spirit of Open Source these are all Attribution-ShareAlike licensed 😉