Round Up WordCamp US 2016

Wow! Hard to believe it’s been little over a month since WORDCAMP US’16  wrapped up in Philadelphia. Our General Manager Fahad Shakeel was among the attendees of the 3 day event, held at the Philadelphia Convention Centre. Fahad has more than a decade of experience in Software Development, Technology Transformation and Marketing. He took this opportunity to network with top leaders in WordPress and also spent time catching up with our WP buddies at BlueHost, WP101, Shifter, CalderaWP and WPElevation.

Highlights from the weekend included jam packed talks from Chris Lema on Content Creation for Bloggers, Founder Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word and the announcement of the release of WordPress version 4.7 ‘Vaughan’.

Day 1 Welcome WordCampers

Day 1 kicked off with attendee registration and many WordCampers commended the high level of organization and swiftness of the WCUS team.

Registration opens on Day 1 of WCUS '16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Registration opens on Day 1 of WCUS ’16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Sara Canon kick started the weekend talks with ‘Open Source and Creativity’. Her focus was centered on two things; she stressed that creativity isn’t an art but also she predicted that REST API in collaboration with WP4.7 will bring the best creativity through any software development platform. She was a real wordsmith.

Lunch was a quirky affair with cafeteria style dining and campers reconnecting left, right and center. The cherry on the cake? A live band to keep the ambience buzzing.

Next up was ‘HeroPress: The People of WordPress’ with Topher DeRosia. It would be a generalization to say that Topher is tough. He thinks beyond the borders. His presentation was emotional and highlighted the success stories of 3rd world WP users, living under the poverty line, who achieved their dreams survived through the power of WordPress.

By far the most enjoyable presentation of Day 1 had to be The Back End Is Dead: A New Paradigm for Assessing Talent & Creating Great Applications by Courtney Wilburn. Viewers simply could not tear their eyes away from the screen and stage; animated eye catching gifs on the screen and Courtney’s narrative booming through the hall. Wilburn’s topic was more generic; instead of focusing only on WP she spoke on a productive new paradigm used to get the best production from available talent.

But the most popular take away from the first day of WCUS was Chris Lema’s ‘Finding your voice through Blogging’. The most motivational and encouraging aspect of Lema’s presentation was his own style of speaking. His sincerity is a key ingredient to his success and preaches the same lessons to aspiring bloggers and writers. After the talk Fahad was able to snap a quick picture with Lema with a little help from Shawn of WP101. The three then shared a selfie and quick chat.

The rest of the night was taken away by Shifter at their launch party.

Day 2 The State of the Word

Bright and early on day 2 and Nancy Thanki, film maker and motivational speaker, shared her two cents on digital content and imagery. She was followed by Ines van Essen talk who hosted a very different and unique angle on traditional training. Ines’ vision was all about planning post launch activities before introducing products to the market. Her presentation gave a holistic view on how one can communicate with one’s users after a launch

Later, on Day 2, the line for Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word started grow and attendees were lined up for meters outside the hall. The good folks at WooCommerce hosted a live screening at their booth for wordcampers who couldn’t get a seat.

Matt covered a variety of important topics, including the state of user experience in WordPress today, goals for future interface improvements, a WordPress growth council, internationalization gains, the further proliferation of secure websites, and important changes to the WordPress development process.

The highlight of Day 2 of course was the release of WordPress version 4.7 ‘Vaughan’ named after famed jazz singer Sarah Vaughan. Essentially this release is much like a ‘Jazz’ version of WP – as REST APIs are an integral part of its development. Fun Fact: there were more than 475 contributors to WordPress 4.7 ‘Vaughan’!

Dinner was on BlueHost that evening as they invited friends and partners to join them before the big afterparty.

The second day of WCUS wrapped up with a prodigious after party the Museum of Natural Sciences. Everything from the pre-historic exhibit to wildlife and the butterfly house were open to guests. Attendees also showed down at WORDCAMP Karaoke.

Day 3 Contributor Day

The third and final day or WCUS was all about coming together to contribute to the WP community. This year two halls were jam packed with developers, creators and engineers from all over.

Contributor Day at WordCampUS 2016
Contributor Day at WordCampUS 2016

Fahad Shakeel of PressTigers had the opportunity to work with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg himself. They spent hours developing a social proof for WordPress. The agenda was to improve WP marketing through a landing page.

The same day Fahad also had the chance to discuss Lahore WordPress Meet Ups with Andrea Middleton, WP Global community lead. They touched on topics such as speaker selection processes and inviting experienced speakers from Automattic for Wordcamp Lahore 2017. Andrea also gave a general overview on managing a successful Wordcamp.

Our GM Fahad discusses the best way to hold WordPress meetups in Lahore, with WordCamp Global Lead Andrea.
Our GM Fahad discusses the best way to hold WordPress meetups in Lahore, with WordCamp Global Lead Andrea.

It goes without saying that WordCamp US 2016 was a massive success. It also gave PressTigers the opportunity to strengthen our growing partnerships and friendships across the Atlantic. Special thanks go out to Mehr Hussain for her live coverage of the event from overseas and connecting PressTigers to the key players at WCUS2016.

User Comments

2 thoughts on “Round Up WordCamp US 2016

    Shawn Hesketh says:

    Great write-up of WordCamp US 2016. Really enjoyed getting to meet and visit with Fahad! Wishing you guys all kinds of success in 2017, and hope to see you again soon!

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