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WordCamp San Francisco 2013

Myself and Ben attended WordCamp San Francisco over the past weekend. If you’re not familiar with WordCamp, it’s a small conference / event for WordPress developers, bloggers, designers, and enthusiasts. WordCamp’s are organised by the WordPress community and are held all over the world. They’re a great place to meet fellow WordPress junkies and share ideas. This was personally my first time attending a WordCamp, and it only made sense for my first experience to take place in the city where WordCamp was started.

Over the two days, the schedule was packed with great speakers. In an effort to save you from reading a huge post, I’ll talk about a few of the highlights.

WordPress and the Ten Year Itch

To start off the day, Siobhan McKeown gave a good talk about the history of WordPress. It was a session you could appreciate if you use WordPress in any capacity. I’m into learning history, so it was great to hear how it all started. Siobhan is putting a book together about the history of WordPress, and the cool thing is it will be available on GitHub.

Confident Commits, Delightful Deploys

From a developer’s point-of-view, Mark Jaquith’s session: “Confident Commits, Delightful Deploys“, was a fun one. He talked about how important it is to not “wing it” when it comes to working on professional WordPress sites. This means not editing code straight to SFTP, FTP, or the template editor in WordPress. The ideal way is of course using version control with git, this way you’re testing the code locally and making sure everything is perfect before you deploy to the live site.

Automated WordPress Development

Eric Mann’s session: “Automated WordPress Development”, was probably the most useful and informative session for myself. He featured a great tool called Grunt. It’s a quick and efficient way of putting a blank WordPress template together. There’s plenty of free frameworks out there, but I’m not a huge fan of using them. With Grunt, I’m getting the core files needed for a template and building the template my way. Looking forward to playing around with it and improving my workflow.

The State of The Word 2013

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg took to the stage and gave a look into the future of WordPress. Right off the bat you get the feeling that Matt is very involved in WordPress’ development and future. It was refreshing to see his enthusiasm around WordPress and it’s future.

Matt played a video that gave us all a little insight into WordPress 3.6. There are some great new features on the way, for example –  Revision Control, where you simply use a slider and scroll through the revisions of a post / page. Post lock, where you can see who’s editing the post and the option to take over for them. This is a great feature for those sites where multiple people are making edits to posts. No more overwriting and losing content!

What I found interesting is how far ahead Matt and his team are looking. They’re already going to start on the development of WordPress 3.7 and 3.8. Features like auto-updates, similar to Google Chrome where you’re not even aware it’s making updates. My only fear is WordPress gets too feature heavy and less simple and basic. While the new features Matt spoke of seemed great, it can eventually get to a point of being too much.

My Thoughts

While not everything in WordCamp is necessarily for everyone, it proves to be quite a motivator and to be very inspirational. You’re meeting new people, having discussions, and sharing ideas. I see why WordCamp’s are so important, it really does motivate everyone to continue to make WordPress better. I’m looking forward to attending more WordCamp’s in the future.

Paul Tevis

Paul is an Agile Delivery Manager for major projects at The Code Company. He manages team sprints and works with the Agile methodology to deliver projects.