This last weekend many of our brilliant team attended the annual WordCamp Minneapolis conference. team at WordCamp 2016

WordCamp Minneapolis

WordCamps are a series of local conferences focused on all things WordPress, organized for the community by the community. There is probably a WordCamp in the city near you. Attendees come from all different parts of the WordPress community — developers, content editors and casual users all share ideas and participate side by side. Since there are so many different backgrounds of the attendees the talks at a WordCamp event can range quite a bit on their subject matter. There’s something for everyone regardless of technical expertise.

This year WordCamp was held at the University of Minnesota in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs — this was the first year at the new venue and it was well attended. Over 400 people participated in some part of the three days.

For the first time, WordCamp Minneapolis began with Foundation Friday — a day dedicated to the WordPress novice. Foundation Friday included beginner-oriented classes for the complete novice, designers who weren’t familiar with WordPress and those interested in getting into development.

Saturday and Sunday offered a variety of fantastic sessions. Here are some of our takeaways from some of our favorites:

  • It goes without saying we’re proud our very own Justin Foell started things out with a roadmap of sorts for attendees looking for ideas on where to go next with WordPress.

justin foell WordCamp 2016

  • Aaron Holbrook’s talk on ElasticSearch was a real inspiration. There’s a definite need within WordPress for more robust search functionality.
  • Several of us attended Amy Gebhardt’s two talks ‘From Junior to Senior: Why We Teach’ & ‘Code Reviews: That’s A Great Idea!’. Lots of ideas and great lessons learned.
  • Solomon Scott brought to light the benefits of using various javascript design patterns and left us with some great resources to choose our own design pattern adventures.
  • Josh Broton’s talk on WordPress + React was not only informative, but also hilarious. There was a perfect ratio of informative talking points mixed in with animated gif silliness. Bravo!
  • Local designer Travis Totz may have ruffled some feathers by instructing designers to take a business-strategy first approach to design, but we like that as business is everything.

If you’d like to see these talks (and many more!), they will be posted on soon. Watching the talks online won’t recreate the experience of hanging out with a bunch of WordPress enthusiasts, but it might be enough to tide you over until you can come to a WordCamp in person.

One of the volunteer based activities at the conference was something called the Happiness Bar. It’s modeled after Apple’s Genius Bar, essentially anyone with questions regarding WordPress or maybe needs a little bit of help with an issue they’re having on their website could stop by and get some help free of charge. We’re proud to say we had at least one person working at the happiness bar during the full duration of the event. It’s our way of giving back to the WordPress community.

happiness bar 1 WordCamp 2016 happiness bar 2 WordCamp 2016 happiness bar 3 WordCamp 2016

Overall it was a very positive environment at WordCamp Minneapolis. Many thanks go out to the organizers, speakers, volunteers and attendees that helped make Wordcamp a great success this year!

Nick Ciske

Nick Ciske – CTO / CISO

Nick has a degree in Multimedia Design and over 20 years of experience working in web development and digital media. In his career he’s built or rebuilt just about every kind of website, including many content management systems (before WordPress), several custom e-commerce systems, and hundreds of websites.