A few days ago, from 2 to 4 December, WordCamp Barcelona 2016 took place in our beautiful city. We love getting involved with the community, and so we decided we wanted to participate as much as possible in this WordCamp. And indeed, we did! We worked very hard, but we also had a great time ?
I’d like to share with you a little about our participation and impressions.
Organizing the WordCamp
Organizing a WordCamp, like any other event, involves a lot of work—finding a venue and a catering service, deciding the length of the WordCamp, creating the event website and the call for speakers, for volunteers and for sponsors, selecting and scheduling presentations, allocating sponsors in the venue, promoting the event, etc. Luckily, all these tasks are split among the different members of the organizing team. And this year we were part of that team!
Nelio managed all speakers and their presentations, taking into account that the WordCamp would be of two days length and each day with two session-tracks in parallel.
Although this task is only a small portion of what a WordCamp implies, any contribution to the organization is very welcome to ensure the success of the event.
Preparation as Speakers
Being a speaker in a WordCamp is a great opportunity for your services to gain visibility and for networking. If you’ve never done one, I strongly suggest you give it a try—submit your proposal in the next WordCamp and get involved!
This year not only did we help with the organization of the event, but we also participated as speakers—Toni, David, and I submitted our proposals and were given the chance to share our knowledge with the Spanish community. What topics did we cover? We talked about business, entrepreneurship, and coding tips and tricks, of course!
Toni had already participated as a speaker in several WordCamps here in Spain—WordCamp of Cantabria 2015, WordPress Day Euskadi 2015, and WordCamp Barcelona 2015, among others. All his talks had been from a developer perspective, so he decided he wanted to do something different this time. In his presentation “To Undertake from Spain. Based on Real Facts.“, he had the chance to cover all the complexities of starting a new business in Spain. Not only was it interesting, but also quite funny!
David, who also has some experience as a speaker (WordCamp Barcelona 2015 and WordCamp Europe 2015), he wanted to surprise the audience with an ironic presentation—he taught the audience how to How to do Evil Being a WordPress Developer. In this presentation, he showed all the bad practices that he encountered during his career and encourage everyone in the room to follow them too!
In my case, I wanted to share our experience of developing WordPress plugins and making a real business out of them. Of course, I decided to use a hook bite… “My First 100.000€ in WordPress“—what do you think about it?
The Event in CosmoCaixa
Barcelona is a wonderful, very appealing city. You do notice we’re from here, don’t you? ? And this year, the event was held at the CosmoCaixa Barcelona, a building with a very spectacular Science Museum.
In my opinion, one of the most interesting attractions available at CosmoCaixa is its forest. Yes! You read that right—CosmoCaixa has reproduced a small area of the Amazon Rainforest, with the animals and plants that live in the flooded forest, including a great variety of trees, plants, and animal species.
The only downside of the event was, in my opinion, the location of sponsors. They were “hidden” in small rooms, and it wasn’t obvious for the attendants where to find them during coffee breaks and meals. Sponsors contribute to this kind of events to get some exposure and meet new prospects, so easing the interaction between attendants and sponsors is very important. This is clearly something that we’ll have to improve next time but, hey!, it wasn’t that bad—the sponsors brought a lot of swag, and so a lot of us talked to them (to get some ?)
There was a great variety of presentations and a round table—some were great and some not-that-great (had I simply raised my expectations too much? Who knows!), but the overall experience was fantastic.
In addition to my partners’ presentations, I’d like to specially highlight the e-Commerce round table and Fernando‘s presentation. Round Table on e-Commerce platforms or plugins was moderated by Pancho Pérez and held by Armando Salvador, José Manuel Raya, Antoni Aloy, and José Conti, who discussed about Prestashop, Magento, WooCommerce, and SalesForce. We were promised some blood ?, but it was actually a very polite discussion.
I was particularly struck by the fact that José Conti mentioned that you should not confuse a WooCommerce with an ERP and that not everything is good for anything. When talking about really big companies, sometimes an ERP is the solution needed to meet their requirements. And all of the presenters agreed that it was not necessary to reinvent the wheel and customize everything. Before you implement something, make sure it does not already exist.
How to impart training on WordPress—Forging the new generation of WordPress professionals from Fernando Tellado. Fernando has a great experience in training and in presentations in public . He made clear that there is no official certification or diploma in WordPress, so do not be fooled! He also detailed the important points that any training in WordPress should have, including content management, themes, and plugins, as well as some advanced details such as security, custom post types, or WooCommerce, among others. Interested in his views? You’ll find his presentation in SlideShare.
As I said before, there were other presentation that I also liked a lot and others that I couldn’t attend because I don’t have the capacity of bilocation. But on the whole we were delighted with the experience.
One of the most interesting topics of a WordCamp, which perhaps does not have so much visualization a priori, is the opportunity to network. In the pauses and meals, we could talk and exchange ideas with other speakers and assistants. Something very enriching.
Additionally, we were able to go to the dinner prepared for all the speakers on Friday, which is another opportunity to share experiences. On Saturday night there was another batch of drinks and, of course, on Sunday there was Contributor Day. I couldn’t go, but those who went (David and Toni) told me it was great too!
I am pleased to have had the opportunity to chat with great references in WordPress Spain Joan Artés, Dario Balbotín, Rocio Valdivia, Fernando Tellado, Pancho Pérez, Jose Conti, Ibon Azkoitia and Luis Rull, among many others!
And I would like to finish this post, thanking the entire organization, sponsors, and volunteers for the great effort they have put behind the organization of this WordCamp. A luxury!
See you soon in the next one!