So last year I blogged about my list of resolutions for the new year. As with most resolutions it was a long list of the things I want to do differently in the new year, with very little grounding in reality. Reading that post now I can’t help wonder how I thought I was going to manufacture all that extra time!
Two days ago I sat staring at all the Make Slack channels I had joined in the course of the year and the realisation dawned that I was trying to keep too many fingers in too many pies when it comes to contributing to WordPress. It struck me that I had to choose one (or maybe two) avenues within which I want to contribute back to WordPress this year and focus my spare time on those.
What I didn’t realise then, but I do now, was that I had already made the decision of what to focus on this year, merely by my actions last year, things that had already been set in motion during 2016. Once I realised that, it was very easy to leave all the other channels and look ahead to my journey with WordPress in 2017 with renewed purpose. That purpose, building the community.
Which leads me to the real point of this article, an announcement I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks now and one that I’m happy now share with the world. I’ve applied (and been accepted) as the organiser for WordCamp Cape Town this year. It is a role I didn’t expect to take on until 2018 but circumstances have sent this my way and I’m happy to take on the challenge.
I’ll be blogging about my experiences here, mostly to record the journey from my own perspective but hopefully to educate and inspire others to either join, start or become a part of their own WordCamp’s around the world.
So here’s looking forward to WordCamp Cape Town 2017. Hopefully I’ll meet you there and we can share a WordPress story, or even just a coffee.
Last year at WordCamp I decided I would speak at the next one, this year I did just that. So when I heard that there would be 3 new WordCamps happening in Africa this year (one in Johannesburg, one in Nairobi and one in Harare) I decided on the spot I want to attend all three.
In deciding to do this I realised that, with my attendance of WordCamp Cape Town in September, I’d effectively be able to attend a total of 4 WordCamps in 4 months (Johannesburg in November and Nairobi and Harare in December). The downside (as always), finding the money to do it.
As a self employed developer finding $2000 – $3000 to cover flights, accommodation and general expenses for the three extra trips is not easy. As such I am reaching out to the greater community, in Africa and internationally, to assist me in my plan.
Over at Elegant Marketplace I developed a really small plugin (that was released for free) which simply adds a ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ link at the end of every blog post. For the month of November I’ve changed the pricing model to a ‘choose your own price’ option, with a minimum of $2 and a suggested price of $5. Elegant Marketplace has kindly offered to give me the full proceeds of the sale of this plugin for the month of November, waiving the usual management fees I pay for my other products.
If I can get 600 people to buy this plugin I’ll be able to cover the costs of my trips. Even if you never use the plugin, or you could really write one your own, I’d appreciate your support in making this trip possible.
You can read more about the trip and how it came about in my Elegant Marketplace blog post or you can just go ahead and buy the plugin here.
It’s Sunday morning 11 September and I am still coming off of the high that is WordCamp.
However, one thing makes me sad. Due to constraints the day 1 workshops were not filmed. While I do understand the logistics of this and why it was not possible, I gets me thinking that it would be amazing if there was some way to still capture this information for those who attended, or better yet, those who could not make it.
And then it hit me. We live in a digital age. There is nothing stopping each and every workshop speaker from taking an hour of our their day, recording their own session and uploading it to YouTube.
So, if you were a workshop speaker on day 1 of WordCamp, I challenge you to redo your workshop in the comfort of your home or office, record it and share it with the world. If your workshop was fairly seamless ( we’re looking at you Konstantin 😉 ) then it will be really easy. If, like me, there were things you could improve to help fit it into 1 hour, then make those changes and record your session.
I’m letting Steve and Danielle off the hook, I’m not sure they could record their talk and recreate the magic without an actual audience. 😉
I also already know Chris Muller is off the hook, as his team filmed his talk for him. So Chris, you are first up, upload the video, share it and inspire the rest of the community to record theirs.
You can expect mine by the end of the week!
UPDATE 2 : Here is the recording of my talk from the day
UPDATE 1: Just for fun I’ve uploaded a preparation recording of my talk, recorded in my car during the drive to day 2 of WordCamp. There are some minor errors in the recording as well as some background noises. Also some parts of the talk changed on the day, but the general gist is the same.
Listen on SoundCloud.
Slides from my Day 2 lightning talk at WordCamp Cape Town 2016
So day one of Word Camp Cape Town is over. It was quite a whirlwind of a day, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
My WordCamp experience actually started on Wednesday night, at the VIP dinner. Here I got to meet and chat with a bunch of folk from the local WordPress community who I had only ever ‘met’ online. It’s quite a thing to already have a relationship with someone and then only meet them in person for the first time (I wonder if this is how new Automattic employees feel at their first company meetup?) The vibe was great and I had some amazing discussions with some awesome people.
Today kicked off (after the obligatory 1 hour 20 minute drive from the outskirts of town) with my ‘Extending WordPress’ workshop. It went pretty well, there are some things I could have done better and some things that I nailed, but all in all I had good feedback. It’s always great hearing that people finally understood a specific concept because of your talk and one or two people mentioned that to me, which was amazing.
After that I sat in on Seagyn’s advanced talk on Continuous Integration, Unit Testing and Integration testing. I got to play with Travis-CI and I am excited to start implementing this knowledge into my development work flow
After lunch I decided to stay on the advanced developer track and thoroughly enjoyed Konstantin Obenland’s Settings API workshop. Being able to watch an expert at work is an amazing thing, and Konstantin ‘live coded’ his Settings API example with only one bug (which he fixed in record time) causing him a few moments of quiet contemplation. And I do really mean moments, in the time that it would have taken me to figure out the problem, he’d already figured out the problem and the solution. Amazing stuff.
The day ended with a really fun and interesting talk from Steve and Danielle. I really enjoyed the way that made the entire workshop interactive and interesting. I would have easily listened to a workshop on how to increase your site speed, but they presented it in such a way that they actually made me excited to just go and learn how to do it myself. Well done guys.
Other things that stood our where how many of the local Divi community were present, where ever we ran into each other the obvious topic of conversation was Divi 3.0. I even had the chance to speak to some non Divi users and discuss the theme and its merits with them. I am definitely looking forward to meeting all the Divi Users that are at WordCamp tomorrow at our unofficial Divi Meetup.
All in all day one was pretty special. What inspired me the most was how full the three different tracks were, I’m looking forward to seeing and interacting with everyone in the single regular sessions track tomorrow
Slides and plugin GitHub repo for my WordCamp Cape Town Workshop
Download the plugin from GitHub