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WordCamp Europe 2014 (#wceu) Day 1 – Here’s What’s Going On

— Sep 26th —

This year’s WordCamp Europe started a bit earlier than expected. Even though the official green light was given this morning (Sep 27th), things actually started happening yesterday evening.

That being said, the agenda wasn’t particularly tense as the most popular hashtag apart from #wceu was … wait for it … #beer. People seemed to be reaching out to other like-minded WordPress enthusiasts in hope of having a quick meet-up and talk some WordPress things over a nice cold beverage.

Fast forward to today’s morning.

— Sep 27th 8am —

Just like planned, the registration started at 8am, and the table looked quite impressive with all the name badges (sorry about the pic quality):


After the opening remarks, it was time to make a decision what we actually wanted to attend.

Just to bring you up to speed. This year’s WordCamp offers two sessions happening at the same time – taking place in the upstairs and downstairs halls. So unfortunately, you can’t see everything.

That being said, the schedule is well-balanced. For example, if you’re a developer and you are interested in everything site-building related, yet you’re not particularly stoked about the business stuff or design, then you are pretty much all set to not miss out on anything.

Looking at the whole schedule, there’s only one instance where two development talks happen at the same time.

— Sep 27 9:30am —

The first two talks started strong as people were really excited to finally take part in the biggest WordPress event of the year (at least in Europe).

Noel Tock shared his wisdom in a presentation titled Beyond the Code (a practical guide on doing more with WordPress), and right after that, Luca Sartoni talked about growth tips for any WordPress site. This covered a lot of ground, focusing on things like growth engineering and applying the right growth strategies. Best of all, the advice applied to both, small personal blogs as well as bigger publishing sites.

Just to give you a quick summary of these talks, check out the awesome sketch notes by Studionetting:

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The two first sessions #wceu #sketchnotes

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— Sep 27 11:30am —

In the downstairs hall, Konstantin Dankov (@kdankov) had a talk on styling the WordPress admin – a topic close to our hearts, considering one of the latest articles on this blog. Quite interesting insights on building a completely new look for the wp-admin, along with some nice examples.

The talk that followed Dankov’s was about Underscores – one of the most popular starter themes for WordPress out there. Konstantin Obenland took us back to the theme’s origins and talked about its successes, most recent improvements and overall other things going on in the Underscores team.

By the way, it appears that _S has been downloaded more than 350,000 times. Congrats!

— Sep 27 1:00pm —

The lunch break wasn’t an ordinary one, to say the least. Anyone who’s comfortable around a musical instrument could try their strengths in a jam session. How’s that for a “tech conference?”

— Sep 27 2:30pm —

The afternoon session started with Julio Potier’s talk on colors. As a colorblind person, Julio shares his headaches with some uses of colors and contrasts on WordPress sites.

And again, Studionetting has some nice sketch notes taken during the talk:

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Even more sketchnotes #sketchnotes #wceu

A post shared by Studio Netting (@studionetting) on

Next up, Adrian Zumbrunnen’s (@azumbrunnen_) talk titled Rethinking Content Creation. The original excerpt indicated that this talk was going to be about rethinking the way web publishing works and creating experiences that allow people to express themselves in richer ways. What Adrian also did, however, was premiering FrontKit, a new project of his.

He also said a very true thing about the purpose of content on the web overall:

“The foundation of everything we do and love on the web is content”

— Sep 27 4:30pm —

After the quick coffee break, we were back to listen to Helen Hou-Sandi (@helenhousandi) talking about why developers should get curious about WordPress core. There was one thing (among many) Helen said that really struck a chord with us:

“If I’m not embarrassed by the code I’ve written a year ago, I’m not learning enough.”

This couldn’t be more true.

One of the two closing sessions of the day was Michael Schroder’s talk on contributing to WordPress core. Michael, being one of the release leads for WordPress 3.9, had a lot to share on the topic. He talked about his WordPress journey, mentioning some of the problems he encountered as a contributor and how he dealt with them.

— Tomorrow? —

That’s it for today!

Tomorrow we’re starting strong with Chris Lema. He already warned everybody not to party too much in the evening so I guess we don’t have any other choice.

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