WP Briefing: Episode 82: WCEU Hallway Track

Big events create big moments, and WordCamp Europe 2024 was no exception. Join host Josepha Haden Chomphosy on this episode of the WordPress Briefing as she shares her top insights and favorite highlights from the event. Discover what the WordPress community focused on during this exciting three-day gathering.

Credits

Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Transcript

[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: My friends, another WordCamp Europe is in the books. We had the second-highest number of tickets sold in the history of our event series, with the first being WordCamp Europe in Berlin. But even with that number of tickets sold, that number of people gathering together to talk about WordPress and related things, there were still a lot of people who didn’t get to join us.

[00:01:01] Josepha: For some, that came with experiencing FOMO, but some of you embraced the JOMO of it all. Either way, at this point, there are a good collection of wrap-ups and round-ups going around, so I’m here to tell you a bit about what was buzzing in the hallway track. 

Firstly, everyone was so excited to see old friends and make new ones. Everywhere I turned, I saw WordPressers in clusters catching up, most included new to the crew faces. So we know that we were using the Pac-Man rule that we love so much. But even while they were catching up on the last two, three, four years, they were also talking to each other about how to get more folks to things like this.

Since we all generally agree that your first time meeting other WordPressers can be a truly pivotal moment in your WordPress journey, it was a delight to hear so much brainstorming focused on that. From mentorship to community introduction and the future of our events, the question of how to keep our ecosystem healthy and thriving was a big topic. Does any one of us have all the answers to this? No, but fortunately, we’ve got a global set of thinkers working on this global question. So, together, I’m sure we can come up with some good guesses to try out.

[00:02:21] Josepha: Secondly, I saw a ton of talks and discussions about career development, not only about how to learn more but also how to be a champion for open source in your company, how to advocate for contribution as a best business practice. And what other communities can teach us about how they commit to their user’s continuing education, for lack of a friendlier term.

And boy, do I love a good conversation about how to make working in open source easier, make it more meaningful, and more impactful. I’m in favor of anything that helps to dignify our profession. The front-facing, easy-to-use experience of WordPress, in particular, has been misunderstood to mean that we are a simple piece of software for simple tasks. And that is the way with our mission really. If we succeed at democratizing publishing or learning or commerce for that matter, we are taking the arcane and making it mundane. But simple to use doesn’t mean simple to create. And I want all of our future employers and clients to see that.

[00:03:24] Josepha: And then the final thing that I saw lighting up the hallway track was the idea of bringing life and excitement back to the web. WordPress has been fighting against closed systems for a long time, but as Matt alluded to in his keynote, merely having an open web is still not quite as fun as having an active and dynamic one. And we saw that both in general desire to bring fun back to being online, but also in the fresh variety of demos and workshops that we saw in the fun that was brought to the event. There were new and shocking implementations of Playground, I must say. Which, as far as I can tell, will basically be able to run everything one day.

[00:04:03] Josepha: But at WordCamp Europe, it ran; it powered our second massive hybrid translation event, where we translated something like 50,000 strings. We also had an amazing speed-building duel with an accepted future challenge between Jessica Lyschik and Matt Mullenweg. And not for nothing; the way we designed; the way the event area was put together included ways to stop and just have fun.

There was a little grassy area with yard games and smaller pods of chairs for those quick hallway catch-ups that you just don’t get anywhere else. And for me, it was simply lovely to see everyone embracing the fun that was there, but also hearing about how much they wanted to help the web embrace the fun that could be.

[00:04:48] (Music interlude) 

[00:04:55] Josepha: Thanks for listening to my hallway track recap. Hopefully, it caused JOMO, not FOMO. And now, let’s turn our attention to the small list of big things.

[00:05:05] Josepha: First thing on my list is WordPress 6.6 update. So we are reaching the release candidate phase tomorrow. WordPress 6.6 RC1 will be released, so download and join the community helping us to get this release out the door. It is scheduled for July 16th. If you have plugins or themes or any sort of business that uses WordPress, now is the time to get in and test it on a test site. I don’t recommend putting it in production at any point, but come and test it. Help us break it so that we can make sure that it doesn’t break for other people, for the, you know, 43% of the web that uses it when we get it out the door on the 16th. 

The second thing on the list is that we have a WordPress Project Contributor Handbook V2 out there. It aims to be the quintessential resource for everyone in our community. And it will provide a bird’s eye view of where to find key information and different aspects of our community. How it all kind of connects together. And, just like a release, we really need some feedback from you. There is the repo on GitHub where you can go and kind of make inline comments, join the discussion about it. It can be a go-to resource if we look at it together and make sure that it has as much information as clearly stated as you wished you had when you were learning your way around WordPress for the first time. 

[00:06:27] Josepha: The third thing on the list is actually another handbook. So, the Sustainability Team has put together a handbook specifically for events. It’s their first version, and over the past few months, members of that team have been sharing their ideas and experiences on how WordPress community events can be held more sustainably. All this input created a first draft, which eventually became this first version. And so we’ll put a link in the show notes, wander over there, take a look at it, see what some best practices for sustainable events are in the WordPress ecosystem. 

[00:07:02] Josepha: And then the final thing on my list is about WordCamp US. I realize this is a podcast about WordCamp Europe right now. And so it’s odd to think that I’m moving right along into WordCamp US. However, there is a deadline coming up. July 1st is the last day to sign up to be a volunteer at this event. It’s taking place this year in Portland, Oregon, on the west side of the US. And it should be a really fun time. It’s middle of September. Come on out there. Learn about WordPress. Learn about contribution. Maybe get some voodoo donuts. You know, the important things. 

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at WPBriefing@WordPress.org. I am your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:08:06] (Music outro) 


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