Last week I went to Paris for my first WordCamp Europe. It was one of the biggest so far, with 3000 attendees, and it was great.

After being a part of the organising team of local Portuguese WordCamps it was nice to see some familiar faces and to experience a WordPress event of this size.

WordCamps are about learning, connecting to people and contributing to WordPress, and in this event there was place for all of that.

Eiffel tower
Paris was a great location for the conference!

Contributor day

The event started with “Contributor Day”, a smaller side event that aims solely to contribute to WordPress in its various areas, from marketing, design, documentation to core development. I started by attending a couple of workshops about localization, a very important (but sometimes forgotten) topic, as this is the feature that allows WordPress to talk in your language.

The conference begins

The next day was the first official conference day, and it was time for me to to meet Robin in person for the first time. Robin is another Performance Foundry WordPress developer, he’s an awesome guy who came from Poland for the event.

The highlight of that day was the talk from Otto about using Xdebug and PHP profiling for improving WordPress performance. It’s always good to get to know other approaches to profiling and some alternative tools from the ones we use everyday to improve and maintain our clients’ websites blazing fast.

WordCamps are a chance to bring like-minded people together.
WordCamps are a chance to bring like-minded people together.

The final day

Then Saturday arrived, too quickly to be honest! This was the highlights day and it started with Nacin’s talk right at 9am, where he shared with us the importance of talking to clients and understanding their real needs for the projects we’re working on with them. This was accompanied by some interesting real-life examples of things that happened while he was working at the US Digital Service.

The last talk I saw was the interview with Matt Mullenweg, WordPress co-founder and Automattic founder — always an important voice in defining WordPress’s future.

The biggest highlight of the talk was “Project Gutenberg”, the future WordPress editor, which is already available to test as a plugin. (But don’t run this on a production site!)

It’s looking very good and it’s exciting to see that finally we’ll have a great-looking and feature-filled editor in WordPress! Psst, we’re already working on how to take advantage of it in our future website projects and plugins.

As usual I left WordCamp with the feeling that WordPress is here to stay, to get bigger and to conquer the internet even further. And everyone should and can contribute to that in their own way.