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WordCamp Philly 2015 is Nearly Here!

I know you didn’t think we’d miss announcing the next big event we know we’re stoked on! WordCamp Philly 2015 is THIS WEEKEND, June 13th-14th!

Although I find it hard to believe that any of our regular readers are unfamiliar with WordCamp (come on, now!), for those of you that are completely green: WordCamps are events held all over the world where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

This is a big one for us since Philly is where WebDevStudios HQ is located! This is the fifth WordCamp Philly, and not only will a bunch of WDS folk be there, but there are some other special events taking place that we hope those of you attending will participate in. Rami, Justin, and Brian will be speaking, and Brad, Corey, and Jaimie will all be attending as well, so make sure to grab them and say hello!

Here’s what you won’t want to miss:

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

8:15 AM – Yoga for Desk Jockeys – Erica Varlese

Those of us who spend forty hours (or more) a week at our desk tend to be pretty bad at getting up and getting moving. Even though we all know we’re supposed to take breaks to stand up and stretch, it often doesn’t happen. Erica will be going over stretches you can do at your desk to keep your neck and spine happy and healthy, and help you learn how to combat some of the health issues that folks who live at a desk often experience.

11:10 AM – WordPress in Education – Panel including Brian Messenlehner

WordPress is versatile, to say the least, and it is often used in the Education field. From large public school systems to universities, educational institutions are finding ways to use WordPress to accomplish not only their educational mission, but for administrative and organizational purposes as well. Our panelists will discuss the varied ways that WordPress implementations are accomplishing these goals in many educational settings.

We’re pleased to welcome the following speakers, each of whom brings their experience and insight to a challenging and exciting field:

  • Susan Walker, web developer and ‘unofficial “Department of WordPress”‘ for Rutgers University’s Camden Computing Services
  • William Earnhardt, Web Architect for ITS Digital Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Cameron Barrett, manager of 70+ WordPress sites at Newark Public Schools
  • Charlie Reisinger, IT Director at Penn Manor School District in beautiful Lancaster County Pennsylvania
  • Brian Messenlehner, Co-Founder of WebDevStudios, worked with the Newark Public Schools to migrate and consolidate the district’s websites into a single WordPress multisite network

11:50 AM – WP3D: Using WordPress to power 3D environments – Rami Abraham

As browser compatibility with WebGL grows in support, rich 3d interfaces are more in demand with each successive year. Moreover, even if a browser has no support for WebGL, we can degrade gracefully, and show the user an alternate site view with no more hassle than enqueueing modernizr.

This talk will initially showcase a few examples of using 3D environments in WordPress.

Rami will go over helpful tips about WebGL and the relevance to WordPress, and discuss frequently-used JavaScript libraries that make our lives easier, followed by how to use them properly within WordPress. He’ll also provide an example – along with links to more thorough guides – on how to pull in data from WordPress into JavaScript as globals, and make it available for use in your 3D application.

This will be followed by briskly picking apart a basic WebGL ‘Hello World,’ looking at each component:

  • The _s theme
  • A custom page template
  • The 3.js library
  • Custom js for the page template
  • WP ajax functionality

If all goes well, attendees will conclude the talk having a good understanding of the features and caveats of 3d application development in WordPress.

1:25 PM – Keynote: Why WordPress Works This Way – Aaron Jorbin

We’re pretty excited about this keynote–Aaron has spoken at every previous WC Philly except one, and it only makes sense that he’d be a keynote speaker too!

WordPress’ biggest strength is not the user experience, hundreds of contributors or widespread adoption; it is its philosophies. Successful projects share this common trait: A unified system for making decisions. Let’s look inside the philosophies of WordPress core and how those influence the decisions that it makes. This will help you understand the principles that guide WordPress. From there we’ll look at how defining philosophies in your own projects will make them better, too.

4:15 PM – Designeveloper – A Practical Designer’s Guide to Next-level Your Developexpertise – Justin Sternberg

Bridging the designer/developer gap is a challenge not often accepted. Designers who are comfortable in PHP and in the ‘back-end’ of WordPress are rare enough that we’ve coined the term ‘unicorn’ to describe them. Justin’s personal favorite is ‘designeveloper’ (yep, it’s even on his Twitter bio). Justin’s transition began from a house painter and part-time graphic designer to a web designer for WebDevStudios. Over the course of his four years at WebDevStudios, he made the transition from a web designer to a developer and now even, a developer lead. I aim to give some practical insights and resources to help make that designer/developer transition and learning curve a little less scary. Maybe…even a little exciting.

Session descriptions pulled from the WordCamp Philly website–with some minor adjustments for clarity.

The Novice Track

WordCamp Philly is also offering a novice track, which will provide a classroom-like setting for WordPress newbies, complete with teachers and TAs to answer all your burning WordPress questions and help you get started on your future with WordPress knowhow.



Make sure to follow WordCamp Philly on Twitter, and if you can’t join them in person, you can always join them in spirit by soaking up the info via the hashtag #WCPhilly.



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