Aug 04

Co-founder of Obox Themes. Designer. Racing driver when I have time. Crazy about cars. Love tech. WordPress is my bread and butter.

My Take on WordCamp NYC

Experiencing the WordPress community on the 'other side of the pond' has been awesome. Here is my brief take on a successful event which was insightful, inspiring and enjoyable.

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It’s been an awesome experience here in New York. Having arrived a week ago I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and I even got a tour of the Squarespace and Tumblr offices.

My final few days in the City coincided with WordCamp New York which promised to be the highlight of my trip. I finally got to meet people that Obox have known for close to 6 years including Carl Hancock from Gravity Forms and Mike Conaty who’s been a long time From The Couch fan.

There was a lot to take in at the conference with four concurrent talks running every 45 minutes on two separate days. So much content means it’s difficult to  take it all in. Being a designer I decided to stick to what I understood and made my best efforts to hop between each of those talks.

The main take-away from the conference was the focus around client work and client relationships. I was expecting to hear more opinions and advice on the theme & plugin industry but it wasn’t to be.

My favorite talk was by Jim Doran who spoke about how artists could do a better job of getting their work broadcast online, using WordPress. He was very knowledgeable in both art and WordPress and it was a pleasure to watch his talk.

All but one talk mentioned icon fonts and SVGs and though I am fully aware of their benefits I do feel that too much time was dedicated to this topic when there is so much opportunity to cover other important topics such as layouts, responsive challenges and the rise of eCommerce design in the industry.

In future I’d like to see more folks use data and experience to back up their opinions and advice. I made a point of asking every speaker if they’d done proper user testing and only one had done so which made me sad. WCNYC was a sold out event filled with designers who were just starting to learn the trade and yet no one could share the amazing experience of watching an end user put their designs to work in a controlled testing environment.

The Key Note speech by Boone Gorges was about the benefits of contributing to the WordPress core. His talk was professionally done and inspiring. It definitely made me stop and think about how Obox could do more to contribute to WordPress. Hopefully this will improve in the future.

Overall I think WCNYC was a success, it was packed with people who were passionate about WP and everyone there wanted to learn more and improve. For Obox the benefits of meeting everyone face to face was invaluable and we definitely hope to attend more USA WordCamps in the future. It was a pleasure to attend.

Till next time!

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