WordCamp San Francisco recap

I went to WordCamp SF last weekend and it was pretty cool.

This was my first WCSF, and the first day featured a whole lot of meeting people in person for the first time after working with them online for (in some cases) years. Who knew all those avatars had actual bodies and voices attached?

I spoke about contributing to WordPress, talking in particular to new contributors and non-developers, who often find it especially hard or intimidating to get started in open source work. Slides are here: WordPress: It’s Made of People, and videos of all the talks will be posted at wordpress.tv. I got great responses from the audience, and even better, saw a bunch of the people who talked to me about the talk at the absolutely massive contributor day on Sunday.

Some highlights among the other talks:

  • Mark Jaquith on “Confident Commits, Delightful Deploys”, Eric Mann on automated development with Grunt, Alison Barrett on unit testing, and Mike “Shredder” Shroder on the WP-CLI library collectively gave me a great to-do list for building up my dev game.
  • Ian Stewart, Konstantin Kovshenin, and Shannon Smith had great talks on themes and theme development. And I heard amazing things about Josh Broton’s front-end dev magic, but I was in the other room!

I’m incredibly annoyed that I still haven’t figured out that whole space-time continuum, can’t be two places at once problem, because just about every session I went to had something I wanted to see almost as much going on in other room. I’m pretty sure I would’ve been just as excited about the conference if I’d gone to a whole list of things on collaboration, content strategy, communication…¬†

On contrib day, I spent most of my time upstairs working on training materials and videos for theme developers, including a great sit-down and mind-meld with Philip Arthur Moore from the Automattic theme team on the subject of standards & best practices for theme devs. Back downstairs, ALL THE CORE DEV ON EARTH was going on, plus translation work, people learning to do support, and so on. I grabbed a seat to talk with a friend about what she was working on, and found that the new contributor at the same table is an accessibility specialist — I was able to make a few introductions online and point him toward the accessibility team blog and meeting times.

And then on my last day in SF, I didn’t do anything particularly techy at all. I saw old friends, bummed around in bookstores, dipped my toes in the very cold¬†Pacific ocean, and sat and knitted with a very charming 6 (or maybe 7?) -year-old. Highly recommended!

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