This year seems to be moving along at such a rapid pace that I can hardly believe WordCamp London has happened already. Hats off to all of the organizers and volunteers who made the event happen as it was enjoyable and filled with great bits of knowledge. We were lucky enough to have the same venue where the event was held the last couple of years – London Metropolitan University. For those of you who have attended prior WordCamp London events, you’ll recall that the academic environment provided by the university is well suited for WordCamp. I attended many sessions throughout the 2-day event and I can say that there was a great lineup full of intriguing talks by dynamic speakers.
Trends and Topics
With any conference, it’s impossible to be at all sessions throughout the event. For those of us who missed an interesting talk, it’s good to know that all talks are recorded and posted on WordCamp TV. for viewing after the event. This year’s sessions were broken up into a few different categories: Community, Business, Design, Development and Hot Topics. The most relevant sessions for my interests were Development related but the Hot Topics also caught my attention.
Notable Speaking Sessions
One of the most dynamic sessions that I attended was Toyin Agunbiade’s GDPR workshop. GDPR is an acronym for Global Data Protection Regulation and it is Europe’s new framework for Data Protection and privacy. With GDPR becoming active on May 25th, 2018, there is a peak of interest and questions about what businesses will need to do in order to meet GDPR compliance. Toyin was great at discussing the basics in a conversational and open forum. I really liked that this was an interactive session with questions throughout. Toyin has clear expertise around GDPR and is actively working with businesses to ensure they are compliant.
I attended one exceptional business talk at WordCamp London this year. Leveraging a Secondary CMS presented by Manifesto’s Jim Bowes and WP Engine’s own Jon Bird. It was a thought-provoking reflection on how WordPress is being used in enterprise space alongside other Content Management Systems. The talk was based on research which surveyed decision-makers at 300 companies who use WordPress in the Enterprise space, all earning an average of $3.2 billion of annual revenue. There were some great stats throughout the session and I was particularly fascinated to learn that almost as many companies used WordPress as a primary CMS (36%) compared to those who use it as a secondary system (37%) alongside another CMS.
As a blogger, it has been a challenge to decide which sessions to write about because they are all top quality and involve a great amount of prep and planning. One notable mention was Alain Schlesser‘s talk on Uncommon Ab(uses) of Composer which outlined different ways that Composer can be used with WordPress and PHP. I was also enlightened and somewhat scared to learn about [Content Security Policies] from Matt Brunt. Matt outlined why Content Security Policies are important and discussed the risks and methods used for cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
I have been to several WordCamp contributor days and I’ve always taken away an overwhelming amount of learnings. I’ve learned how to set up a local environment, troubleshoot WordPress Core’s Good First Bugs, and collaborate on code while meeting new people from London and beyond. This year was different. I wanted to set a goal and make something happen. I wanted to walk away from Contributor day with an accomplishment and this year I was able to do just that. I finished the day by submitting a pull request to WP-CLI which will be merged into the latest version at some point soon. I chose an extremely simple bug to work on because it was important that I fully understood the process of committing. The main takeaways for me were learning about Functional Testing with Behat and understanding how Travis CI testing comes into play when the code is pushed to the WP-CLI repository on github. Now that I have insight into the full process of committing code to WordPress, I’ll definitely be set up for success in my next Contributor Day session, or perhaps even on my own at some point. If you have ever thought about contributing to WordPress, attending a contributor day is an interactive way to learn from the people who actively contribute.
I really enjoyed myself at this year’s WordCamp London. As with prior years, WordCamp London is a great opportunity to see friends, colleagues and make business connections with open-minded individuals. The WordPress community is extremely welcoming too new members which is not always true of open source communities.
It’s a pleasure to meet happy WP Engine customers and tell them about all of the new features that we are working on at WP Engine in order to continue evolving the platform. There are some big changes happening this year and I’m happy to be able to spread the word at WordCamp and be a part of the community. I’m proud to have reached my goal of contributing to WP-CLI and look forward to more commits at future WordCamps.
You may know that WP Engine is looking for technical people who are good at working with customers face-to-face. If you have an interest in building technical solutions to drive customer success please take a look at our job opening for Solutions Engineer in the London office.
Want to learn more about what Sales Engineers do? Check out my post on the WP Engine Blog.