Back from WordCamp Berlin 2015

The Bucharest WordPress meetup has been around for almost a year now, and each time it has proven to be a useful lesson. It was here that we officially introduced ShortPixel to the world which—besides me being terrified of public speaking—turned out to be a great gig.

We wanted to engage even more with the WordPress community, so we started looking at the coming international WordCamp events. We’ve been thinking that a good way to do this would be to volunteer for the first WordCamp, and meet the most involved people with WordPress. Germany looked like a good fit.

WordCamp official badge

PRIOR ARRANGEMENTS

The day WordCamp Berlin was announced for the 14th of November, I sent a heads up email volunteering for the event. Since I got their confirmation a few days later, everything came together nicely.

As volunteers, we received all the info by email and on the official Slack and Twitter channels. The event’s official Wapuu mascot was selected from several designs submitted to represent WordCamp Berlin 2015. Now, a ‘Wapuu der BER’ sticker decorates the back of my phone.

Wapuu Der Ber

 

I found a good fare with AirBerlin that is doing a much better job that any low-cost carriers I’ve traveled with, plus they now have WiFi on board. My journey was even more pleasant staying at a friend who lives nearby Ernst-Reuter-Platz, just a 12-minute walk to the WordCamp venue.

The whole trip was on fast forward, with many things happening over one weekend in the beautiful city of Berlin. I can’t recommend this experience enough, and here’s why.

THE TALKS

WordCamp Berlin is one of the several official WordPress events in Germany. As a volunteer, I was in charge with the registration desk and had the pleasure to greet everyone rushing in from the windy day. I was sorry to miss the official opening and the morning tracks, but they’ll soon be available on WordPress TV. Here are some of the speakers and their presentation decks:

Sara Rosso – Fake it Like a Project Manager

Thomas Scholz – Multisite Compatible Code 

Thorsten Frommen – Brush Up Your Taxonomy Skills 

Thorsten Frommen – An Introduction to Software Testing 

Oliver Gutperl – Tips & Tricks For the Right Webserver Configuration

Dennis Ploetner – i18n/L10n for Themes & Plugins

Dennis Ploetner – Unit Testing for Plugin Developers 

Frank Staude – On Faceted Search

Stefan Kremer – WordPress Security for safe Plugins and Themes

Walter Ebert – Developing Themes with Twig

THE PEOPLE

There were around 200 participants altogether—speakers and organizers included—split between the three rooms where the WordPress tracks and seminars took place. The coffee and lunch breaks were a good time to get in touch with fellow WordPressers. Besides the Germans, who were an overwhelming majority, the Dutch were second to come to Berlin for this event. I was the only one from Romania, and I was shouted at for it:

The organizing team was on the spot with everything from taking care of the speakers and recording  their talks, to taking us out for a beer when the event was over. Congratulations Heiko, Hans, Bernhard and Esther for setting everything up and rocking #wcber ! 29015 WordCamp organizers

Some of the awesome speakers came from Inpsyde—one of the most prestigious WordPress companies in Germany. Inpsyde has been a supporter of the WordPress community for many years now, attracting the best developers out there. The Inpsyde team was present at the event and I had the pleasure to meet some exceptional people indeed.

I definitely recommend attending WordPress events, local or international. The people are very nice, supportive and open, and you never know who you’re gonna meet—your next business partner, a WP community leader who will vouch for you, or some new great friends. There are a few remaining tickets to WordCamp Europe, so you should definitely get one and come to Viena in June. Or, even better, sign up to be a volunteer, and join the awesome people who are making WordCamps happen.