WordCamp San Francisco 2013 Inspires WDS

The entire WDS team visiting Alcatraz during WordCamp SF 2013The dust is starting to settle from WordCamp San Francisco, but the team here at WebDevStudios has been invigorated and can’t stop talking about our time in San Francisco. We were lucky enough to be able to have the entire WebDev team make the trip out to San Francisco and we took full advantage including a bunch of team activities along with one great WordCamp. Today, I asked everyone what was their favorite part of our time at WCSF and I thought I would share some of their responses with you:

Justin: Meeting all the WP minds and hearing some awesome presentations on Saturday.
Jayvie: Meeting the team and networking, as usual.
Greg: The lunch!
Brian R: Matt showcasing the DMA and Eric Mann’s talk about GruntJS- he got our entire team excited about automation.

One thing that really stood out to our team is awesome job the WordCamp San Francisco organizers did selecting speakers for the event. There were two huge days filled with so much great WordPress information that you might have thought your head would explode by the end of day two. Some of the more popular technical talks of the weekend (as voted by the WebDev team) are Andrew Nacin: Current User Can Watch This Talk; Eric Mann: Automated WordPress Development; Josh Bronton: Sticks, Spit & Duct Tape: Advanced RWD Layout Techniques & Mike Schroder: Magical WordPress Management using WP-CLI.

WordPress and the Ten Year Itch    Speaker DeckThere was also a very interesting and humorous presentation from Siobhan McKeown on WordPress And The Ten Year Itch which highlighted her work on the history of WordPress over the past 10 years and how it has grown thanks to the people who have had an itch to make websites better.

As always a major highlight of WordCamp San Francisco was Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2013. Matt discussed how there has been a shift in the way WordPress is used and how he believes the shift will continue, focusing on using WordPress as an application framework. He mentioned a project that we have been involved in building, BadgeOS and the DMA Friends relationship management system. He also mentioned the now released WordPress 3.6 and the rapidly progressing plans for WordPress 3.7 and 3.8.

After hearing Matt’s State of the Word everyone was really excited for the great things that are to come with future releases of WordPress. With a little nudging from Nacin to attend Sunday’s contributor day, the WebDevStudios team started working on a refresh of the widget UI for future inclusion in WordPress core. We plan on providing much more details on this soon, but you can see the current progress!

If you didn’t have a chance to attend WordCamp San Francisco in person or virtually be sure to check out the videos on WordPress TV. There are only a few presentations up there now, but I’m sure they will be adding more soon!


WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Brian

Brian MessenlehnerWordCamp San Francisco 2013! The biggest WordPress shin dig jamboree hootenanny of the year. I’m showing up about a day late so I’m kind of bummed about missing all of the great sessions lined up on Friday. I’m currently on vacation in Vermont at a beautiful place called Mile Point on Lake Champlain enjoying time with family and friends. I’ve spent almost a full week here being (mostly) disconnected from the internet and work which has been very relaxing and rejuvenating for my mind and body. I got to go fishing with my grandfather and my daughter, take all of the family kids out boating, tubing and rock jumping on the lake and witness my son taking his first steps. What better way to end a great vacation other than flying out to San Francisco to WordPress it up and spend the weekend with my other family, the WDS crew. I just hope someone saves me a bed at the house we’re renting and I don’t have to sleep in the bath tub or even worse share the bath tub with someone else  ;) It will be great to see everybody and spend some quality time together with the family!

I remember WDS being born, learning to crawl, learning to walk and starting to run. This year it feels like WDS is flying fighter jets. We have an awesome team of really great people with so much talent and we are building so many cool web applications with great clients. This is the 2nd year getting the WDS crew together at a WordCamp and I hope we will keep the tradition going like an annual family reunion. I’m so excited to see what’s in store for WDS in the years to come and what cool people we will work with and what cool projects we will work on.

O yeah #WCSF… The schedule looks great! I think I will be spending the majority of my time in the developers and designers track with the exception of Beyond the Blog with BuddyPress and bbPress and Teaming Up: From Freelance to WordPress Agency. I’m looking forward to Matt’s State of the Word, WordPress has come a very long way in the past few years, it’s an awesome framework to build web applications on top of and I’m excited to see what the future holds. I also look forward to wandering around the building talking WordPress with colleagues and potential clients, we met our first WordPress VIP hosted client at #WCSF a few years back. Out of all of the WordCamps I’ve attended I think the best after party dance offs have been in San Francisco. It must be something in the water or maybe it’s just the alcohol. What ever the reason, the parties Automattic throws are always awesome! Look forward to seeing all of you and may the WordPress be with you!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Brad

I love WordPress.  I love California.  Combine the two and what do you get?  WordCamp San Francisco!

979893_10152846827925352_117984235_oI am most looking forward to hanging out with the entire WDS team.  Being a 100% distributed company, we rarely get to see each other outside of our virtual office.  The past two years we’ve made it a point to have a company retreat around a WordCamp.  Last year our entire company attended WordCamp Philly.  This year will be WordCamp San Francisco!

I’m also looking forward to seeing all of my WordPress friends at the event.  I’ve met so many amazing people in the WordPress community over the years, and a good number of those people will be in attendance at WordCamp SF.  I also enjoy meeting new WordPress friends at every event I go to.  It may be someone I’ve only talked to over Twitter or someone I haven’t met at all.  Everyone at the event has a passion for WordPress so it’s always fun hearing their stories, learning about their projects, and just talking WordPress.

Lastly I’m very excited about the panel I’m participating in: Teaming Up: From Freelance to WordPress Agency.  On the panel will be myself, Jake Goldman of 10up, Alex King of Crowd Favorite, and Shane Pearlman of Modern Tribe with Matt Mullenweg as chief moderator.  The panel will discuss the challenges and experiences each business owner had when growing from 1-person to a large WordPress agency.  I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences when starting WebDevStudios and also learning more about the other companies.

I will also be roaming the hallways with my brother from another mother Dre Armeda doing Hallway Track interviews with attendees and speakers at the event.  If you want to be interviewed by DRAD make sure you track us down!

WordCamp San Francisco 2013 is going to be an amazing event.  If you are attending make sure you say hello!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Shayne

Shayne Sanderson Technical Project ManagerWordCamp San Francisco has always been the end all be all of WordCamps and with that it’s always one of my favorites. After being on the WordCamp circuit for so long, most all of my friends are in the WordPress community and strung out all over the country/world so obviously I don’t get to see them very often. San Francisco is always a great opportunity to reconnect with most all of my WordPress friends, so besides it being a great event it’s also like a family reunion for me and I love that!

I’m looking very forward to seeing everyone there and also with WDS being a distributed company I’ve never met some of the folks I work with now. The WDS crew is sharing a large house while in San Francisco so that will be great fun (and likely crazy times) and I’m looking very forward to hanging out with all of my coworkers.

As for the conference I think I’m most looking forward to catching Carrie Dils’ talk on Collaboration Not Competition. This is a great subject and with so many WordPress developers, plugin/theme authors, etc out there I think this talk will be very beneficial as we sometimes forget that there’s plenty of work to go around and finding good solid folks to work with (not against) is a great thing for all involved. She’s also a fellow Texan so there’s that piece too :)

I’m really excited to see all of my old friends and make some new ones at WordCamp San Francisco this year – make sure and some say hi if you see me!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Ryan

8177718926_959c9d6866_b2013 will be my third year attending WordCamp San Francisco and as usual I’m looking to extend the group of WordPress professionals I’ve met in real life. With WordCamp SF being one of the largest events worldwide, it ends up being like visiting Disney World. Too much to see and do in the short time you’re there. The sessions are great, and I always walk away inspired to learn new things, but the connections with people is equally important.

Each year I get to put more and more faces with names and build personal relationships with people I interact with online. This year is even more special, because the whole WebDevStudios team will be there so I’ll also get to meet the awesome group of folks I work with daily. I’m looking forward to a fun couple of days hanging out with the WDS crew and absorbing even more WordPress knowledge.

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Brian R.

me_brFor the last four years I have been saying to myself, “I need to go to WCSF.” I would quickly talk myself out of it, though, by saying, “No, no, it’s too expensive and I can’t get away for that long.” Then, as the event started to take shape and people began tweeting about it I would kick myself and say, “Next year, next year I have to go!” only to repeat the same cycle once again.

Well this year I’m finally going, and I’m bringing 12 of my awesome coworkers with me!

In spite of missing WCSF for the past 4 years I have been able to attend (and also help plan) several WordCamps now, and have met a number of great people along the way. For me, that is the absolute best part about WordCamp — meeting incredible people in real, 3D space. Many of the people on my list to meet for the first time at WCSF are my own co-workers, surprisingly enough, because we’re all so remote. If you’re attending, and we haven’t met, be sure to pull me aside and say hello!

Two other must-do’s for #WCSF are eating at In ‘n Out and getting a smoothie from Jamba Juice. I’ve been to San Francisco once before (for a wedding) and both of these institutions blew my mind. I cannot wait to go back.

If you’re reading this and are on the fence a out whether or not you should attend a WordCamp, do it! They happen all around the world all throughout the year, so inevitably there is one happening not too far from you. They are absolutely worth your investment!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Justin

WordCamp San Francisco is just a few short days away, almost the entire WebDevStudios crew will be in attendance, and I’m pretty pumped about it! We are a remote company, so these get-togethers are always a blast and give us the chance to bond outside of a chatbox. If you follow along with any of the #wdschat tweets, you know we won’t have any difficulty having a good time!

As if hanging out with my crew wasn’t enough reason to head to California, there also happens to be what is shaping up to be the biggest and best WordCamp event EVER. I’m really looking forward to hearing presentations by Mark Jaquith, Alison Barrett, Eric Mann, Andy Skelton, Helen Hou-Sandi, Andrew Nacin, and others, a panel discussion with Jake Goldman, Matt Mullenweg, Shane Pearlman, Brad Williams (my boss), Alex King, and of course, The State of The Word by Matt Mullenweg. It’s a literal who’s who of WordPress, and a rare (and awesome) opportunity to hear so many great names present at one event.

I’m also stoked to be meeting YOU! If you see me, please flag me down and say hi. Even better, ping me on Twitter first and we can figure out a presentation to check out together. We’re one big happy WordPress family and I want to know as many of you as I can!

It’s pretty unbelievable that visiting San Francisco/California/the West Coast is the least exciting thing I’m looking forward to, but I anticipate that being pretty awesome too.. especially considering we’ll be taking a WDS bay cruise and tour of Alcatraz (anyone know if there’s wifi out there?). Did I mention we have a good time?

Hope to see you there!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Lisa

This time, next week, I will be in San Francisco with the rest of the WebDevStudios team to attend WordCamp SF.  I have not attended the WordCamp in San Francisco since 2010 and I am looking forward to this year.  I attend WordCamps on a pretty regular basis (18 last year!!), but San Francisco’s camp is special because it is in the heart of where WordPress things happen and is the unofficial ‘official’ WordCamp because it is organized and thrown, primarily, by Automatticians (the company behind WordPress.com).

There are many reasons I am looking forward to making the trip.  My number one reason is because it is a team trip this year – almost our entire team at WebDevStudios will be in attendance, and we’ve rented a house in SF for all of us to stay in for the week.  I am really looking forward to spending time with our team.  Having just merged my company with WebDevStudios in January 2013, I have really grown to appreciate and LOVE working in a team environment.  This trip gives me the opportunity to meet those I have not yet met in person – and spend time with the talented bunch of nerds that I work with on a daily basis.  I learn from these people daily – learning to live with them for an entire week under the same roof should be interesting!

In terms of the conference itself, WordCamp San Francisco has so much to offer.  I’m really looking forward to the outcomes of the Hallway Track they have planned – that is a really unique idea that I have not seen done yet at any of the camps I’ve attended.  Some of the BEST conversations happen in the hallways at WordCamps, so the videos and recordings from the hallway is something I am really looking forward to.  For the sessions, there are so many great ones to choose from – but my top 5 that I plan on attending include:

  1. Writing Code as User Experience Design – Nikolay Bachiyski
  2. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Themes, Love, and Understanding – Ian Stewart
  3. Big in Japan: A Guide for Themes and Internationalization – Shannon Smith
  4. Automated WordPress Development – Eric Mann
  5. Teaming Up, From Freelance to WordPress Agency (Panel) – Jake Goldman, Matt Mullenweg, Shane Pearlman, Brad Williams, Alex King
  6. Current User Can Watch This Talk – Andrew Nacin

Ok – so that’s 6, not 5!  The session that I definitely will not miss is the State of the Word 2013 by Matt Mullenweg.  I have had the opportunity to watch and listen as Matt gives the State of the Word several times – it is a presentation that I would highly recommend for anyone attending WordCamp San Francisco.  The talk usually provides you with a nice summary of where WordPress has been and how it got there, what the current state of WordPress is today and a peek into the future of where WordPress is going.  It helps that Matt is an entertaining speaker and his presentations are generally very fun to watch and listen to.

On Sunday, the WebDevStudios team is planning on spending some time together on a team building day that starts with a tour of Alcatraz and ends with a dinner cruise in the Bay, providing they don’t lock us all up on the island!  If that happens – we plan to crowd fund a WDS Bail drive!

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Corey

WordCamp San Francisco is fast approaching and I’m excited about it for a few different reasons.

255035_639369781119_645118_nFor starters, this will be the first time I’ve ever visited the west coast. In fact, until this past April when I visited Austin, Texas, the farthest west I had ever been was Tampa, Florida. That’s sort of sad. I’ll finally be seeing more of this great land that we live in, which is a pretty good reason to be excited – plus, I hear they have killer burritos out there. Also, I just bought like 15 tank tops that I’ve been wearing non-stop despite the almost-daily rain in upstate New York. I’ve been trying to trick myself into thinking it’s summer, but maybe I won’t have to be tricking (illusioning?) myself much longer.

Of course, the main reason any of this is happening is because of WordPress. This will be just my second-ever WordCamp. I’m just a babe in the woods at this point, but I’m always eager to experience something different and to have the chance to meet new people.

My first WordCamp was in Philadelphia this past October and it really opened my eyes to the scope of the WordPress community. I’ve been working in WordPress since 2008 or 2009 (I think… the memory’s a bit fuzzy as I approach 30), but I never really got into the community aspect of it until I started working for WebDevStudios. Until that point, I was mostly just working on projects on my own or for friends. Now, though, I was working with other WordPress geeks who knew other WordPress geeks who knew even MORE WordPress geeks.

To me, this is another step into the community of WordPress. Another step to make new contacts and meet new friends. Another step in the process of learning new and exciting things about WordPress, which is a journey that never seems to stop.

To sum it up, I’m excited to learn.

And to eat burritos.

WDS@WCSF 2013: Interview with Michael

10-13-12It didn’t take me long for me to determine what I’m most excited for regarding the upcoming WordCamp San Franciso event. I have lived in South Dakota my whole life, and I can easily tell you that it’s not exactly a central hot bed for WordPress based activity. Couple that with not being able to afford traveling very often, and you could tell that one would feel a bit isolated from the rest of the large WordPress community. I’ve been participating in this community consistently since 2010 and have only been to one other WordCamp- last October’s WordCamp Philly 2012. I’ve publicly called WordCamp San Francisco the Super Bowl of WordCamps and believe that if you can only make one WordCamp for the year, WCSF would be the one to make.

That said, I am definitely excited to finally have a chance to meet and hang out with all of these people I’ve been interacting with on social media/forums/IRC for the past three years. It’s one thing to talk with them online, it’s a whole other thing to talk with them in person over a drink and food. You never know what ideas may hatch or life changing connections may be made by meeting with such an amazing community in the flesh. I can not wait to shake hands with everyone I can, while saying “Hi, I’m Michael, you may know me as @tw2113“.