My WordCamp YVR Roundup

by | Aug 6, 2014 | News

Attending WordCamp is always such a blast for me and this year was no different! The organizers took a leap of faith and produced a Developer Edition of WordCamp Vancouver this year – what fun!

What is WordCamp?

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. – WordCamp Vancouver

And it certainly was. I had the opportunity to learn crazy amounts of new stuff (some that literally blew my mind), extend my skills, and meet some pretty spectacular people. If you’ve never attended a WordCamp before, I highly encourage you to! Even if you simply manage your own website, it’s such a great opportunity to meet folks who use WordPress and learn about the possibilities of where YOU can go with your WordPress website. Speaking of possibilities…

My WordCamp YVR Roundup

Here’s a list of my favourite workshops and lectures, with my biggest takeaways. I’ll link to each speaker’s presentation so that you can also benefit from the vast amounts of goodness that WordCamp Vancouver offered:

Getting Started With Unit Tests
Curtis McHale’s talk was all about writing code to test your code and the tools you can use to do it. Uuber geeky stuff that equally as uuber important when you do uuber geeky things that change the world. or at least make really awesome things happen on websites.

App-ifying WordPress
Mandi Wise gave a super insightful talk about the difference between websites and apps and the endless possibilities of app-ifying WordPress. If you are thinking of developing your own websites, apps, and/or themes, this talk is a valuable resource!!

Functions.php And How To Quit It
Tabby Chapman’s talk was super enlightening and hilarious (Tabby had cats. and lolz.)! But seriously, Tabby’s talk was super important because she talked about the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of the functions.php file. Too often we use the functions.php file to add actions that really should be plugins. Tabby encourages us to stop it.

Future Responsive Today – Embracing mobile-first with <picture> and FlexBox
Morten Rand-Hendrikesen blew everyone’s mind at WordCamp Vancouver with his talk about FlexBox and <picture>. The future is now and it’s going to relieve us all of hours and hours of hair pulling. LOVE THIS TALK!!

Magic with CSS Pseudo-Selectors
I met Morgan Kay in the lunch line and was SO.HAPPY.WE.MET. Morgan is a genuinely helpful and super knowledgeable human being and she made me feel comfortable right away. Even though she’s like, a million times smarter than me. Her talk on CSS pseudo-selectors was not only informative but easy to understand, inspiring, and really enjoyable!!

Accessibility with CSS: Making websites better for everyone
Stephanie Hobson inspired everyone at WordCamp Vancouver to make a better internet for every human. She did so by bringing the human element into all the intense things we build and reminding us that not all humans use the same modes of accessing the internet. Talk about humbling and impressive. Stephanie shared best practices and illustrated what it’s like to experience popular websites through screen readers, high contrast browser themes, voice recognition, and more. As if that wasn’t enough, Stephanie then introduced us all to ARIA, WCAG validation, and more. Thank you Stephanie, for working to make websites for EVERYONE. You rock.

Here’s a picture of me learning a lot (can anyone say bitchy thinking face?):

JamieLeigh at WordCamp Vancouver 2014

So that’s my WordCamp Vancouver wrap-up. I was totally inspired to join the local WordPress meetup and I think that I’ll try to make two WordCamps next year (Victoria? Seattle?). Have you ever been to a WordCamp before? Share your experience in the comments below!