Never Stop Learning – a non-developer at WordCamp US

Back in December, I was invited to attend the first ever WordCamp US, WordPress’ first national conference. I wrote about it for the Philadelphia HubSpot User Group. The full post is available on their blog. Snippets are included below.

What the Heck is WordCamp US?

It brought over two thousand web developers, writers, editors, and marketers to the city for workshops focused on WordPress, the Content Management System (CMS) that powers more than a quarter of all websites on the internet. Local tech news and even 6ABC covered the event as well.

With sessions ranging from the social “Communities and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense” to the more technical “React[.js] + WordPress” and “Advanced Topics in WordPress Development”, one could easily be overwhelmed with so many good choices.

Educational Websites Are Beasts

While those and other sessions were informative and entertaining, the session that was most inspiring (at my beginner level of coding ability), started with “WordPress In Higher Education” by Curtiss Grymala, Senior Web Technologist at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He discussed the various ways in which colleges and universities (in addition to schools at those universities and down to individual student web spaces) use WordPress.

The day ended with the annual “State of the Word”, presented by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress. He had a number of impressive product updates and announcements (including the proof that WordPress REST API can scale, given that StoryCorps uses it and it was linked to from the homepage of Google), but one of his key points was that while PHP isn’t going away, JavaScript would be increasingly important.