WordCamp Europe 2013 Recap

WordCamp Europe was held this past October 5th – 7th.  This was my fifth WordCamp of 2013 and by far the biggest one.  I’m late posting this partly because of something that happened the first day of the camp. Because it’s almost two months after the camp my memory is a bit foggy, but I still wanted to reflect on the awesome time I had at the event.

Leiden is a very cool city!

As I mentioned in my WooTrip highlights post the camp was held in Leiden, Netherlands. Leiden is a 30 minute train ride southwest of Amsterdam. The venue for the camp was Stadsgehoorzall Leiden which is an absolutely gorgeous concert hall. This is by far the classiest venue of a conference I’ve been to.

Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden
Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden
Inside the Main Hall
Inside the Main Hall

Talks I Attended

Unit Testing Like A PiratePtah Dunbar

‘Pirate’ Dunbar’s talk kicked off the camp and was an overview of PHP Unit.  This is something I definitely need to incorporate into my plugin workflow.

Better Site Stacks with ComposerAndrey “Rarst” Savchenko

Rarst talked about incorporating Composer into your build process for dependency management.  Prior to the talk I had heard of Composer in a cursory sense so didn’t know the bets place this fit in, but Rarst did a good job of introducing the tool and showing examples.

Is the Freemium Model Right for Your Plugin?Kim Gjerstad

Kim talked about how MailPoet (formerly Wysija) is using the freemium model to build a business.  He had some interesting opinions of newsletter delivery on the server vs. off the server.

Writing Secure WordPress CodeBrad Williams

Brad did a great job of overviewing the challenges that exist with plugin code and techniques for keeping plugins and data secure.

Q&AMatt Mullenweg

This was my first time seeing Matt speak in person.

Less is More: The Journey of happytables as a WordPress SaaSNoel Tock

Noel is a partner at Human Made who created happytables – a SaaS for restaurants to create and manage websites.

Real WordPress Security – Kill the Noise!Dre Armeda

Dre runs a company that specializes in WP Security and knows his stuff.

The Victory of the CommonsJoost de Valk

This was a fantastic way to end the camp.  Joost, or Yoast talked about the state of open source and how businesses making money with “free” software is possible and forms an equilibrium. More at this post.

Meeting other WooCommerce Developers

Meeting up with Beka and Max Rice from SkyVerge
Meeting up with Beka and Max Rice from SkyVerge

Another bonus of the camp was getting to meet up with other WooCommerce plugin developers.  I had dinner and spent time with Beka and Max Rice from SkyVerge.  They are two very cool folks that do great work.

Joel Bronkowsky and Brent Shepherd.  Twins???
Joel Bronkowsky and Brent Shepherd. Twins???

The WooNinjas were treated to a presentation about the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin by Brent Shepherd. I also got to meet Niklas Hogefjord who has developed several WooCommerce plugins.

I work with the WordPress partner developers in supporting WooThemes customers and to date had only ever communicated over email and IRC.  It was great to be able to share a beer and talk in person.

After Party

A fun time was had by all, and I will disavow any video or photos of me that surface 🙂

WordCamp Europe 2013 After Party from Daniel Espinoza on Vimeo.