Insights from Our Crew on WordCamp Paris 2017

Oana Filip

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.

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.

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.

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.