Summer is finally blossoming across Europe - and with it comes a favorite entry in the WordPress Team diary - WordCamp Europe. Every year, the very best agencies, business owners and technologists get together from across the continent to discuss all things WordPress.
This year, due to you-know-what, WordCamp will be a virtual conference. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again (although we can’t wait to be able to do it in person soon). So, in celebration of next week's WordCamp, we thought we’d reminisce with the team about their favourite memories from previous WordCamps and find out what they’re looking forward to most at WordCamp Europe 2021. We talked to some of WordPress experts at Americanagle.com including, Tom Reed, one of our WordPress Developers, our Technical Director - Sean Blakeley, our Italian Senior WordPress Developer - Carmine Colicino, and Jim Allen, our Senior Delivery Manager.
Which was your favorite WordCamp so far and why?
Tom Reed: WCEU 2019 - Berlin was my favourite WordCamp due to the vast range of talks featured, where Gutenberg featured very heavily. Gutenberg featured at WCEU 2018 too, but in Berlin the talks were more advanced as the WordPress community had been able to experiment with it for a little while longer. I came away from this WordCamp very excited for the future of WordPress!
Sean Blakeley: My favourite WordCamp was one of my very first - I remember London WordCamp 2016 as having a real buzz of excitement around it. The Rest API was destined to land in core - and there were discussions long into the night about what this would mean for WordPress and the community. That buzz of excitement has continued in recent years with the development of the new WordPress Editor - Gutenberg - and the exciting work around headless WordPress - but it all started back with the development of the Rest API.
Carmine Colicino: London 2017 - It was my first WordCamp ever and I liked the fact that all the talks were organised in 2 or 3 different "tracks", spacing from tech talks to sales/marketing talks, so it was easier to choose the one I was more interested in. And that was also the very first time when I started to appreciate what the WordPress Community really looks like.
Jim Allen: WordCamp Dublin 2017. Great to be involved in a talk sharing our real life experiences working on an agile development project with the UK's second largest tech company (Sage), and sharing that stage with the happy client.
What is your favorite memory of attending a WordCamp?
Tom Reed: My favourite memories of WordCamps are the moments where you come together with your team/group towards the end of the day, as you have all been busy watching different talks for different interests. These moments provide a chance to compare notes and discuss topics that you have learned about during the day.
Sean Blakeley: I love the opportunity to get to know people outside of the working day - there have been some crazy adventures at WordCamps - everyone is so friendly and kind. Attending WordCamps really is a unique experience.
Carmine Colicino: There's a lot of them, probably getting to know people from other companies/countries and share thoughts/experiences and meeting people that later became colleagues are among my favourite memories.
Jim Allen: Generally hanging out with other WP enthusiasts, sharing work experiences and good times.
What talk(s) had the most impact on you and the way you work with WordPress?
Tom Reed: WordPress for non-profits: Website best practices, collecting donations, increasing exposure online - Berlin 2019.
This talk was timed very well as I was working on the Martlets Hospice rebuild project, and it provided some insights for the GiveWP plugin which we used on the site for donations. It was also interesting to note what other charity websites do to achieve their success.
Other talks that have impacted the way I work include talks relating to Accessibility and Performance.
Carmine Colicino: Talks about REST API - especially Mr. Blakeley's one ;) - security and OOP really inspired me to improve the way I work with WordPress.
Jim Allen: Getting to know Gutenberg with Tammie Lister - there was a real sense in the room that something big was happening in the WP community.
What talks are you looking forward to most at WordCamp 2021?
Tom Reed: This WordCamp, I'm most looking forward to talks relating to Full Site Editing and Gutenberg blocks, and I will also be keeping an eye out for any talks relating to accessibility. These subjects are all keen interests of mine in terms of using WordPress day-to-day and building new sites for our clients.
I am also very interested in any talks relating to the future of WordPress; for example using WP in a headless way and the future of WordPress themes.
Sean Blakeley: Full Site Editing is a big change heading to WordPress - I'm looking forward to the discussion panel to better understand the opportunity for our clients.
Carmine Colicino: Accessing APIs using OAuth on the Federated (WordPress) Web, by Felix Arntz.
Jim Allen: How Agile WordPress project management helps in improving productivity with Kartik Shukla ... always looking for ways that agile can help in our builds and power up our team.
What would be your dream WordCamp talk and why?
Tom Reed: My dream WordCamp talk would be focused on Gutenberg block development, as I love creating new custom blocks, whether they are built to be used in many different ways or just serve a single functional purpose.
The talk at WCEU 2021 "Blazing fast block development" looks to be what I'm after!
Sean Blakeley: A walk through the tools and processes used by other top agencies within WordPress - I'm always interested in exchanging ideas and best practices.
Carmine Colicino: Headless WordPress, because it's the future!
Jim Allen: Why we chose WordPress as the tech platform for Mars colonization. I'm working on an astronomy site currently and slightly obsessed with space!
Many thanks to the whole WordPress Team. It is always great to remember all the fun and value of previous WordCamps - the Americaneagle.com team is looking forward to making WordCamp 2021 a memorable conference!