WordCamp London 2016 Recap

So, WordCamp London 2016 finished yesterday and it was a blast – like WordCamps usually are. An amazing organizing team and volunteers, valuable sponsors and finally – inspired audience, for three days of talks and contributing. Every talk I went was really good and I’m sorry I missed couple of them that were overlapping or I simply couldn’t make it.

Talking at my first WordCamp

This is the first WordCamp I actually gave a talk at. Being extremely active in the Croatian WordPress community as co-organizer of WordPress Meetup in Zagreb (with my brother Lucijan) and lead organizer of the first WordCamp Croatia – this was a natural next step for me. Stepping out from my comfort zone was an important task as well. I gave a lot of talks on Croatian web/tech conferences (including some very prominent ones) about design, information architecture and WordPress, but this was completely new territory for me.

Luka is part of every talk I give – this one was no different. Thanks to Kari Leigh Marucchi for capturing the moment (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
Luka is part of every talk I give – this one was no different. Thank you Kari Leigh Marucchi for capturing the moment (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

I was planning to give talk at some of Europes WordCamp for some time now (maybe even as long as 2 years) but was troubled with some (personal and financial) problems I couldn’t step out from. Now, 2 years later things are coming to a good pace again. At WordCamp London I talked about our project for the city of Rijeka asking a question if WordPress can change the political transparency of an entire country?

I really believe in making our world a better place for our kids and being a father myself – this is one priority that I’m not willing to negotiate on.

Love the comments after my talk – people were happy to share their thoughts and I want to thank all of them. These first comments count a lot. Slides from my talk are here and if you were at the talk I would really appreciate some feedback.

WordCamp London organization

I wish to thank all the organizers and volunteers. My deepest respect goes to Franz Vitulli for helping me out with some points on my talk day before the conference. You probably think you didn’t do such an important job, but man – you did. Thank you.

Also, organizing team did an amazing job and volunteers were always there to help. Cudos to Jenny, Ana, Diane and Gary (hope I didn’t miss someone out).

Special mention goes to Barbara Marcantonio for her work on creating this stunning visual identity and Wapu for WordCamp London. Outstanding work Barbara.

5 favorite talks

What should I say about talks. Inspirational, motivating, eye-opening. I was on couple of them and some of them were really important to listen.

Leena Haque — The Myth of a Normal Brain: Rewiring conventional thinking and the benefits of embracing Neurodiversity

Full room for the Leena Haque talk about Neurodiversity (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
Full room for the Leena Haque talk about Neurodiversity (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

This is (for me at least) the best talk of the conference. Leena is a super woman, really a super woman. She talked about her fighting autism and her story was a super important and inspiring one. With so many different disabilities out there, from autism spectrum conditions (ASC), AD(H)D, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Tourette’s and Learning Disabilities – we have to take better care of how we approach this kind of people. Leena, you rock!

Francesca Marano — The Rebirth of the Italian Community

Another great presentation has come from Francesca about the Italian WordPress community. Italians like to talk and gesticulate (I know, been there so many times) and they love to eat (I know since we have similar cuisine in Istria too).

Francesca talked about the Italian WordPress community and this sums it all – show, don't tell! (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
Francesca talked about the Italian WordPress community and this sums it all – show, don’t tell! (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

And now they organized WordCamp Torino after they were dormant for a couple of years. Passion and inspiration to build other communities are the greatest benefits you could get take with you after this talk.

Graham Armfield – Accessible Accordions for Your WordPress Theme

Grahams’ talk was about accessibility. Those of you who don’t know, Graham is also a member of Make WordPress Accessbile Team which takes care, well, of WordPress. Graham talked about how to make accessible accordions.

Graham Armfield talked about accessible accordions – something we usually take for granted (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
Graham Armfield talked about accessible accordions – something we usually take for granted (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

What I learned not only on this talk but generally, is that we don’t realize what are the problems people with disabilities face every day when using websites. Grahams’ talk was excellent, on point and informative. I was also at Accessibility Q&A panel that talked about accessibility issues and was very interesting

Petya Raykovska — We need to talk about the REST API – a guide for non-developers

The only talk about REST API that I understand – Petya talked about the importance of it and how will change the WordPress world (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
The only talk about REST API that I understand – Petya talked about the importance of it and how will change the WordPress world (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

I joked about Petya’s talk that it’s the first talk about REST API that I actually understand. Jokes aside, Petya gave an interesting and inspiring talk about the REST API as the future of WordPress. With a lot of side notes and explanations she showed us that we shouldn’t be afraid of the REST API since the themes won’t disappear and this will boost WordPress into direction where it wasn’t before like building custom applications. Also, there was this awesome Wapu of the day :).

Adrian Restantia, Ilona Filipi — Building An Innovative WordPress Agency: Mooves’ 5 Year Journey

Adrian and Ilonas’ talk about the Mooves’ agency 5 year journey was the first on the WordCamp repertoire and was an interesting one. Adrian gave us recap of their first 5 years and Ilona gave us tips about how to repeat their success.

Few honorable mentions

Tammy Lister did a good talk about design patterns and Ben Furfie talked about his mistakes from freelancing career. Mark Wilkinson talked about how to publish your plugin at WordPress.org and Dmitry Mayorov talked about “7 Tips On Getting Your Theme Approved The First Time”.

Memorable slide from Ben Furfie talk about freelancing (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)
Memorable slide from Ben Furfie talk about freelancing (Photo by: Kari Leigh Marucchi)

See you next year

WordCamp London was a blast and I can wait to be here again next year if my obligations will permit. WordCamps are opportunities for you to get to know new and interesting people that are heavily involved in WordPress and the community energy is simply amazing both at WordCamp days and on Contributor day. If you want to learn new things WordPress and want to get involved in the local communities then feel free to choose to which WordCamp you want to go next ;).

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