First online WordCamp Europe conference for WordPress enthusiasts!
COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop WordPress enthusiasts from organizing the annual WordCamp Europe conference. After much deliberation, instead of taking place in Porto - as originally planned - the event was moved online. Obviously, Osom developers wouldn’t miss it for the world and now they want to share their opinion of the event’s course below.
Running such a large event as WordCamp Europe on Zoom was quite a challenge. 8,000 registered participants, three days filled to the brim with lectures, workshops and networking - the schedule has lost no value by moving the conference to the network. Some lectures were held simultaneously, so the participants were free to switch between the discussed topics. The event was moderated at all times, so one could really feel like during any previous WordCamp.
The only drawback was the discrepancy between the schedule and the actual start times of individual presentations. In the first track, the delay was over an hour, which could somewhat thwart the listener’s plans.
The most important element of the lecture was, of course, the Q&A session with experts. The participants were free to write their inquiries down in the chat and the moderators passed the questions along at the end of the lecture. Those especially hungry for knowledge could dive deeper into discussion after the presentation - they had two additional Zoom rooms at their disposal. Between the lectures and in addition to conversations with the lecturers, you could also indulge in some typical networking - meet other participants, exchange experiences or discuss industry-related topics. What’s interesting, Zoom rooms also hosted sponsors, where you could have a talk with representatives of companies such as Jetpack, Yoast and WPMU Dev.
While the lectures were open to all participants, the abovementioned rooms on Zoom were available to those who had "purchased" a ticket (the registration was free). The verification was carried out by e-mail and the participants received a special access code. People who registered also received a "gift pack", that WordCamp’s participants are customarily given, which was a very nice surprise. This time it was a pack of coupons and discount codes. Nothing major, but still a great gesture. (With nostalgia we remembered the socks from WordCamp Łódź - which Osom Studio was the sponsor of.
Zeev Suraski’s lecture stood out the most for our programmers. Zeev, of course, is the founder of Zend Technologiesand one of the PHP language creators, so it proves difficult to find a specialist who would know more about this particular subject. The lecture he gave was an analysis of features added through versions from compilation marked as PHP 3. Zeev described how big these optimization steps were for the team and also pinpointed some major changes that could be seen after switching to each subsequent version of PHP.
The lecture called "Secure your site by becoming a hacker!" that took place on the first day of WordCamp was also an interesting point of the program. The presenter - Chris Teitzel - interestingly and cheekily presented specific examples of the most popular types of hacker attacks. Teitzel also pointed out some bad practices and errors in writing code that may facilitate unauthorized access to the site. As you can see, the presentation was filled with practical knowledge one could immediately implement into your activities.
Pssttt, spoiler alert... There might be an article on how to effectively secure your website on our Osom blog very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
That's it! We consider WordCamp 2020, the Christmas of the European WordPress community, to be very successful. And even if we missed direct contact with other participants at times, the spirit of the community could be felt in an online world as well! If you were unable to attend the conference, you can see the recordings from the lectures on the official event website.
WordCamp Europe - see you next year! Let's hope it happens in real life this time. 🤓