WordCamp US 2015, Day 1

The Setting

From the beginning, this WordCamp US felt a little different than the WordCamps I’ve attended previously.  Many people I’d seen as speakers previously were attendees.  Many popular WordPress twitter folks and bloggers were there, just walking around.  The topics of the talks seem higher level, more for developers and there was a lot of ‘I wish I could be at 3 talks at once’.

The attendees were friendly and every person I spoke to had something interesting to say about their work with WordPress.  All the organizers were kept solving problems, especially when the WIFI was overwhelmed in the first few hours of the conference.  Volunteers were everywhere and also helpful.

Philadelphia is a great city.  Easy access to downtown via Septa train from the airport, AirBnb rentals were plentiful if hotels aren’t your thing.  We stayed in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood just SE of downtown.  An easy walk to the conference.  My new favorite hangout in Philadelphia is Monk’s Cafe, an excellent Belgian Beer bar with great food too.  Heaven.  Downtown has some amazing architecture,  interesting sculptures,  great food and drink.   Even the restaurant staff were down-to-earth in the city, though you felt like you were in Manhattan.

The Talks

Curing a Critical Security Bug: This talk was about the MySQL vulnerability fixed earlier this year.  It feels good to know such experts are working on core.

A Bolt of Backbone: use it, learn it:  This talk confirmed everything about my goals to learn more JavaScript.  Adam Silverstein is a good speaker.

WordPress + The Internet of Things: Lots of opportunities for WordPress here, and RC Lations always give a great talk.  How does he stay so chill all the time?  Must be that clean Maine living.

The Future  Stack: Runnning WordPress with Tomorrow’s Technologies: This covered Http/2, php7, CSS4, Free SSL, JS2015.  Very fun presentation, and the talk made potentially dry material very interesting.  Short take is that  WordPress is ready for all the changes coming down the road.

React + WordPress: A motivating talk on using JavaScript.  Re-usable components sound pretty good and it looks like React removes a lot of the complexity of Single Page Application development.

Build a Theme with REST API: Rachel Baker comes out of the JSON REST API trenches to show us how to build a theme with JavaScript and the REST API.  Great cutting edge talk.

REST in Action: The Live Coverage Platform at the NYTimes: This talk was a bit of a disappointment since the title topic was only covered in the last 5 minutes of the talk, and no technical tips, no time for questions.  I think the speaker was busy making sure WordPress 4.4 would get out the door 3 days later as its lead developer, so it’s understandable.

A great first day, and I still need to see the talk by Nacin.  Always listen to Nacin.  Cheers, and off to Monk’s Cafe.