My Weekend @ WordCamp NYC

I wrote the first half of this on the train back from the city on Saturday night, so if tenses and time references are confusing, that’s why (though I tried to correct all). After a rough start (missing the 8:40a train by two minutes & having to wait for the 9:40, meaning I didn’t get to Baruch ’til 11:30, missing the morning panel I wanted to see), the first day turned out to be very nice. After lunch there was something I wanted to go to every timeslot, which to me makes the day a success.
So what panels did I go to, anyway?

Writing Secure Plugins, with Mark Jaquith; Unit Testing, with John Bintz; Your 1st Core Patch, with Matt Martz; Installing BuddyPress; and Advanced Development Techniques, with Beau Lebens. I’m happy to say I already knew a lot of what Mark J had to say, and what I didn’t know I definitely took notes on. Unit testing was good for me because I only had a vague idea of what that meant, especially in terms of WP development. It’s definitely something that will make my life a bit easier, though it will take a little work to get started. 1st Core Patch also had a lot of info out of the codex & help articles, but seeing someone talk about things in person was nice. And I got a walkthough of SVN, which was nice, since even though I already use it, I’ve only picked up what I’ve needed to know. It’s always nice to have confirmation you’re doing it right. Installing BuddyPress was what it says on the tin. Advanced developer techniques was possibly the most helpful, if only because it just had *so much* information. Everything from text editors to CSS resets to cross browser testing, there were definitely a lot of notes taken, and I hope his slides go up soon.

Fast forward to Sunday (no travel issues today, for the most part). Rather disappointed in the unconference sessions, ended up at PowerPress because I had no idea what that was. Turns out it’s a podcasting plugin, and actually looks interesting. If I had any use for it, it’d be great. I kind of wish I’d suggested a women in open source thing, since the planned session apparently disappeared off the schedule some point last week.

The afternoon was better – plugin/theme competition; rapid-fire presentations from Saturday sessions; 2.9 preview; and a Q&A with Matt Mullenweg (the co-creator of wordpress). I like seeing other people’s work, so the competition was interesting. The competitors can all be found here, since I’m not sure they’re released yet. The two themes tied, and the plugin that won was Conversation Starter. The rapid fire presentations were fun – in which presenters try to condense 45min panels into 5 minutes. Can’t forget the WordPress as a CMS song, as performed by Scott Kingsley Clark. Matt then had a Q&A session, with attendees asking everything from ‘how do I deal with trackbacks’ to ‘what is the future of wordpress’. For some reason I didn’t think he’d be a geek, but he was, and he was also a good (and funny) speaker. I couldn’t begin to summarize all that was said -I didn’t take notes because I got random inspiration for my class project website (so I was sketching that out) and my laptop had no battery. Knew I should’ve gotten the giant battery.

The day was over after that (though it was another three hours before I was home). Overall it was a good trip – a lot of information to process, saw a lot of people (didn’t actually talk to nearly enough of them), and had a nice weekend in NYC.

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