Insights from Our Crew on WordCamp Paris 2017

Oana Filip
WordCamp

As a multidisciplinary team, we experienced WordCamp Paris in quite different ways. The conference shaped our understanding regarding WordPress in general and what we do at Pixelgrade in particular. Join this journey filled with our thoughts to see how each of us relates to this WordPress gathering.


Vlad on the Challenges That Expect Us

This WordCamp was a real eye‐opener for me. I believe it was for the first time that I deeply understood the power and momentum behind the WordPress project. Forget about WP drama, backward compatibility, to be or not to be GPL, ancient code, or any other thing some are complaining about. WordPress is much more than this.

What I found in Paris is the true strength of this project: its resilience and optimism. When I saw the huge, diverse community come together and embrace the real challenges of making the web (and the world) a better, more inclusive place, I knew I was part of the right place.

There are many, difficult challenges ahead, some seemingly impossible to overcome, but after this experience, I am confident that people all over the world will come together and surprise us all. They always do.


Andrei on Why You Need to Be Connected

I was very excited to attend this year WordCamp Europe, and the expectations were already high after the previous experience in Vienna. On top of that, the line‐up looked quite impressive, so no wonder why I was so eager to be there.

It was a stunning conference, and I learned a lot from the people on the stage or the ones that I met on various occasions. In a certain way, I felt like it was the right timing to blog about it and share the news with everyone out there.

I can’t even pick a favorite moment from WordCamp Paris. Instead, what I can do is to say out loud that I enjoyed the workshops, the folks, the valuable information from every single speech. One thing is clear: the WordPress community is challenging, and good things will happen. Stay tuned!


The evolution is no longer a technology problem itself, it is a matter of bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds, eager to embrace the technology.
— GEORGE


Oana on the Strength of Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness. That’s the word that continues to pop‐up after WordCamp Paris. I’m deeply connected with its core essence. This amazing conference showed me that differences of all kinds could be a strong liaison and a common path to empower people for the long game. It what shapes the world and makes it a better place (or at least a challenging one), both digital and non‐digital.

It implies empathy, tolerance, patience and care, assets that I consider quite mandatory in the journey of generating a positive impact.

For me, an equal of this word would be availability. Because only when you know how to make room for people to show up in your life, they will come. The bet with myself is that I will strive to be inclusive and to embrace what I do inside‐out Pixelgrade genuinely. To always remember that we’re not so opposite in the end. In fact, dear guys and gals — the real beauty lies in diversity, so we’re all in this together.


George on What’s next for WordPress

This year WordCamp helped me grasp where WordPress it’s heading in the long run. On the Contributor Day, I’ve got the chance to stay close to one of the greatest folks in tech industry — John Maeda — and I was inspired by his vision and spread of energy.

I have further strengthened my beliefs that we’re leaning towards an important shift in the development strategy of the WordPress ecosystem. The change would be to start making a transition from a developer‐focused WordPress, to a process that starts with people and addresses their needs first — similar to how human‐centered design system does.

There seems to be a genuine interest for designers that could bring a holistic approach to WordPress’ innovation. The evolution is no longer a technology problem itself, it is a matter of bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds, with different perspectives, eager to embrace the technology and make a change.


The bet with myself is that I will strive to be inclusive and to embrace what I do inside‐out Pixelgrade genuinely.
— OANA


Alin on Finding People with Similar Struggles

It was the first time for me when I attended an international WordCamp and I’m grateful for the entire experience. I met amazing people, I learned new things about WordPress — both the product and the community around it.

My everyday activity is centered on users and the relationship with them so I was keen to learn as much as possible on the topic. One of the talks I deeply related to was  “3 Gifts My Users Gave Me” by Alexandra Draghici. I felt inspired by the story behind the scenes because I understood how users can literally improve your product and the way you work.

To be honest, I went there with a simple desire of talking with someone who has the same concerns as mine to learn from each other but actually, I came richer than that. I’m looking forward to WordCamp 2018 in Belgrade.


Radu on the Importance of Networking

WordCamp Paris was the second conference I attended with my teammates, after the one in Vienna. However, there’s a huge difference between these two events.
This year I met a lot of lovely people with a bunch of great ideas about how to make WordPress the best community of all times. I know that this is a difficult goal to achieve, but I think there’s a real chance if we all invest time and energy on a daily basis.

The workshops were the best part (at least, for me) because I had the opportunity to meet and talk with plenty of friendly people that I only knew from the digital world. On top of that, all the talks were a huge occasion to see and understand what’s going on with WordPress and how is it going to change. I believe that things are going to be bigger and better from now on, and we all have the chance to be an active part of this. That’s awesome!


There are many, difficult challenges ahead, some seemingly impossible to overcome, but I am confident that people all over the world will surprise us.
— VLAD


Eugen on Learning from the Best Folks

I didn’t go to WordCamp Paris with any expectations. Honestly, being relatively new to the WordPress ecosystem — I didn’t know what to expect, besides from it being an international conference with lots of speakers.

Then the first day came along (Contributors Day) where I signed up for the JavaScript panels. I can say that while there was nothing groundbreaking discussed, at the end of the day, I felt like two simple reasons enriched me: I got in contact with the WordPress community and learned a lot about its history.

I attended mostly technical talks — and I can, without a doubt, say I learned a lot (and I cannot emphasize this enough) of stuff regarding the technical aspects of WordPress — like what the entire flow of requests looks like, or how we can optimize our servers better and even how to be as secure as possible in this day and age. I left home with a notebook full of interesting topics to deepen later as well people to follow like John Maeda, Boone B. Gorges, and Otto Kekäläinen among others.


Robert on Why Adapting Is Essential

WordCamp Paris had some really awesome talks. The one that stuck with me was Morten’s talk about “CSS Grid Changes Everything”. It was mainly because of how he presented certain things and what impact they have in the present. I couldn’t help myself to notice the reaction of the public to this particular slide.

We all laughed. We laughed because everyone knew that this is a concrete example of which technology can be such a hard pill to swallow. People are developing new things every day, but there are situations like this when the current technology limits you. I learned that we need to continuously build new things and adapt ourselves to specific requirements to succeed.

CSS Grid is a huge thing in terms of frontend tech so I’m going to leave you with a great article written by Morten about building production‐ready CSS grid layouts today.


In the end, these perks (tangible and non‐tangible as well) can only be fully understood and appreciated if you’re going to attend the next edition of WordCamp. On top of that, you might get some cool fidget spinners that will keep you away from getting bored or will protect you in the days where there’s just too much on the table. Stay awesome, WordPress!

Oana Filip
Oana Filip

Digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.