WordCamp Us is one of the biggest WordPress events (this year there were close to 2000 attendees). It is a conference about WordPress, the WordPress community and WordPress users. It is organized by volunteers and supported by the WordPress foundation.
The atmosphere is very welcoming and inclusive, the ticket price is very low because the foundation supports most of the cost. For $50 this year you could attend 2 days of conferences (including amazing talks from Simon Willison and Ken Liu), coffee + lunch included, visit the sponsor hall and talk to some of the main players in the WordPress field, get cool swag and meet tons of interesting people in the hallways, all ending with an amazing social event at the Natural History Museum in DC. If this is not enough, there is an extra day, contributor day, where you can learn how to contribute to the software that powers 43% of the internet.
I got to meet in person Jessica who has a web agency in Toronto. We met at an online WordPress programming bootcamp 6 years ago. We were part of a study group that survived the test of time and kept on meeting almost every Saturday since then. After all these years, it was great to see each other.
During contributor day I went to the “Training table”. They are in charge of all the learning materials for WordPress. Carla, a colleague from Automattic, told me how very few training materials are translated into Spanish and we both wanted to help. The onboarding is so good that you can learn about the process, get your first contribution done and go back home with all the tools and knowledge you need to continue doing it. I helped translating one tutorial into Spanish.
I couldn’t attend all the talks because I was a volunteer helping at the registration desk. From the ones that I watched, these were my favorites (all links in the notes):
- Simon Willison’s talk “Making Large Language Models work for you”. What a fun, educational and practical talk. I was reading Simon’s blog before but never really got into it until this talk. Now I can read the articles and for some reason it is so much easy to feel engaged.
- Ken Liu’s talk “Tell the Story You Want To Tell”. The dreaded writer’s block and how he overcame. It is a beautiful and inspirational talk. I almost cried when he talked about his grandmother because I was very close to mine. I loved and laughed when he told how he started telling stories. No spoilers, watch the talk.
- Sumner Davenport’s talk “Web Accessibility is an Inside Job”. Great presentation that was accessible in itself. She would explain the pictures in the slides, which not only made them accessible to visually impaired persons but made you notice them more. Jess and I talked to her after the talk and she was so nice and knowledgeable. She has a course on making accessible presentations that she does for free sometimes at her online meetup group and she told me she would let me know when the next one would be. How cool is that?
- Helen Hou Sandi and Andrew Nacin’s talk on All The President’s Websites. Very cool to see the evolution of all the White House websites.
- Antonio Sejas on WordPress Playground. WordPress on your browser, just visit a link and you can play with it. So many possibilities. For instance. kids can know learn WordPress in the school laptops without bumping into software installation restrictions.
And here are some pictures I took. They are not that good but good enough for me.
- WordCamp US 2023 Website
- I love WordCamps by Matt Mullenweb
- Simon Willison’s talk on Making Large Language Models work for you
- Ken Liu’s talk on Tell the Story You Want to Tell
- Sumner Davenport accessible talk on Web Accessibility is an Inside Job
- Antonio Seja’s talk on WordPress Playground, Present and Future Applications
- The WordPress training team
- National Museum of Natural History
- Jess’ web agency Jess, please!