WordCamp Sydney was held over two days recently, and I was lucky enough to fly north for the weekend to attend. Over 215 people made the trip to Sydney, which made for a great weekend. Attendees ranged from theme developers, plugin developers, web hosts, bloggers all the way through to people who simply use WordPress to power their site.
In fact, typically there are more end users than developers that attend, but at WordCamp Sydney I think we managed to turn that around as there seemed to be lots more developers this year.
The talks were split into two tracks. A ‘high-tech’ track that was more suited to developers and a ‘low-tech’ track for the more user oriented. You can find a complete list of everyone who presented on the weekend, over on the WordCamp Sydney website and their slides can be found on Slideshare.
Welcome to WordCamp!
The first day kicked off with Dee Teal (@TheWebPrincess) doing the formal welcome and providing some general information about the weekend. After that, we had what was probably the best talk of the weekend. Brent Sheperd’s (@ThenBrent) Keynote Address, Word To The Future. Brent talked about the history behind WordPress and what we can expect in the future. His overall presentation was fantastic, as were his slides.
One of the other highlights of the first day, for myself personally, was Jordan Gillman’s (@jordesign) presentation, Responsive WordPress. Jordan talked about how the mobile web has really taken off over the past couple of years and what we can do to to make our websites display substantially better on these smaller devices.
As well as listening to all the other great speakers over the weekend, I was also lucky enough to make a presentation myself. My session, Getting to Grips with Firebug, was to show people how they can perform some basic site debugging and styling using this awesome browser add-on.
The first day wrapped up with an After Party at a nearby hotel. This is always a great time to catch up with everyone over a few drinks. Especially with the guys & gals from other States, who I don’t get to see on a regular basis.
Day 2 started a little later than the first day, thankfully. In the morning there was an awesome Q and A session where people could ask anything WordPress related. The answers were provided by some of Australia’s WordPress elite, including the likes of Dion Hulse, Gary Pendergast, Ryan McCue, Bronson Quick, Japh Thomson, Anthony Cole and a number of others. These guys really know their shit and there was some really interesting information to come out of this session. If you were at #wcsyd but didn’t get to this session, I highly recommend watching the video when it comes online!
Another really interesting talk on Sunday was by Lachlan MacPherson (@lachlanj), There is More than One Way to Skin a Theme. Lachlan is the co-founder of Sennza, a company he started with Bronson Quick. He presented some fantastic examples of some of the more challenging and interesting projects that Sennza have worked on and how they used WordPress to implement these sites for their clients. I always find it amazing seeing how other developers tackle some of the more intricate and challenging sites like the ones presented here.
Day 2 wrapped up with a Farewell from Dee and the other organisers along with a few special prizes and giveaways.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Overall, WordCamp Sydney was a huge success! It’s fantastic when such an awesome community of people like this get together. A huge thanks also needs to go out to the awesome organisers, Dee Teal, Tracey Kemp, Alison Van Hees and Peter Bui. They did a truly awesome job putting everything together leading up to the event and also with keeping it running smoothly over the two days. Two thumbs up, guys! Well done!
This has been my third WordCamp so far, the first being up on the Gold Coast late last year and then another over at WordCamp NZ earlier in the year. I can’t wait for the next one to come along!