This weekend I attended WordCamp in Mumbai. It was my first time attending a WordCamp and I was excited. Having spent over a year discussing, reading, and blogging about WordPress, it was great to meet fellow WordPress enthusiasts.
Before I begin talking about the event, let me tell you how I got started with WordPress. WordPress was introduced to me by a friend of mine. She had a food blog on WordPress.com and had signed me up as an author. It was the first time I was exposed to the WordPress dashboard. I quite easily got the hang of it, and posted my first post.
Back then, I didn’t know I’d end up blogging for WisdmLabs- a WordPress focused web development company.
WisdmLabs introduced me to development on WordPress. I gained insight into the capabilities WordPress had to offer. I learnt a lot within a few months. Although I do not work at WisdmLabs as a developer, I’ve learnt about building plugins, testing them, I’ve dabbled in some CSS, and I’ve grown to love WordPress.
When I heard about WordCamp happening in Mumbai this year, I wanted to attend it. I was curious. I wanted to know what WordCamps were all about.
Why I attended WordCamp
I had never been to a WordCamp before. I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to go there and soak in the experience the community had to offer.
There were attendees and speakers from Automattic, WooThemes, 10up, rtCamp along with several others. I wanted to meet the people I’d only heard and read about. I wanted to be aware of the latest trends, products, and ideas being explored in the WordPress community.
What I Learnt by simply Listening
The speakers ranged from WordPress developers, business owners, to WordPress bloggers. I learnt about the speakers experiences, their journey with WordPress and their vision.
Most sessions discussed everyday issues, like debugging tips, coding practices, and so on. They were quite informative for developers just starting out with WordPress.
Some sessions spoke about trends like using WordPress to build mobile apps or making wp-admin obsolete. As a WordPress services company, these sessions were important to us. 1) We gained insight on the direction WordPress applications were heading towards, and 2) We were assured of being on the right track 🙂
A session which created an impact on the way I approach product design was “The Settings Experience – Why It Sucks” by Bryce Adams. Bryce spoke about creating a better experience for users, by making decisions, cutting down on options and using artificial intelligence.
“Decisions not Options”
The mantra was “Decisions not Options”. He said that as plugin developers we needed to make intelligent decisions for our users, and not overwhelm them with an abundance of options. He also spoke about artificial intelligence, wherein the plugin itself would be coded to make a decision best suited for the user. This would be based on data received by the plugin, or the way users interacted with it.
It was just an idea but it made me think. And THAT is what I had to gain. New ideas and fresh perspectives.
Why You need to Attend WordCamp
Above all else, the reason why I enjoyed going to WordCamp, was because it made me feel like I was a part of a community- the WordPress community. Hugh Lashbrooke has put all of this very well in his article The True Value of a WordCamp.
Being around, meeting and talking to new people can teach you a lot. It helps you position yourself in the community.
If you’re in anyway involved with WordPress, but have never been to a WordCamp, I’d highly encourage you to attend one. It’s bound to be a great experience.
And yes, a shout-out to all the organizers for doing a really great job!