Our takeaways from WordCamp Europe 2016

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The team enjoying a beautiful sunset in Vienna during WordCamp Europe 2016.

Last week over half the team headed to Vienna for the largest WordCamp to date – WordCamp Europe 2016.

It was hot (seriously hot!!) in the beautiful, historical city of Vienna. The conference was held at the MuseumsQuartier and was packed full of interesting talks covering development, design, business and information on running a WordPress agency.

Our Founder & Director David Lockie was speaking at WordCamp Europe about the way we tackle project planning. His talk The Discovery & Definition Approach to Project Planning was on at 3pm in Track 2 – Halle G on Saturday 25th June 2016. It was a proud moment for the team to see David on stage talking to hundreds of WordCamp attendees about our project planning processes that help deliver successful web builds in WordPress.

Laura, Amy and Ian counting the sweets in the jar at our sponsorship stand.
Laura, Amy and Ian counting the sweets in the jar at our sponsorship stand.

We were super happy to be sponsoring WordCamp Europe as well and had a stand where we were running a competition to guess how many WordPress rock sweets there were in a jar. The response we got was amazing and we received some incredibly creative guesses. The answer was 385, and the winner was only 10 away from the correct answer! It was really interesting to hear from the attendees how they got to their answers, as a lot of thought and calculation went into them.

Here’s what the team had to say about WordCamp Europe 2016:

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Angelo Giovino

WCEU2016 was the most impressive WordCamp I’ve seen so far. The sheer number of attendees was staggering and the venue amazing! The highlight of my visit was meeting Matt Mullenweg at the Sponsors and Speakers dinner.

Angelo with Matt
Angelo with Matt Mullenweg – co-founder of WordPress

Laura Nelson

This was my first ever WordCamp event, and what a way to be introduced to the WordPress community! I was totally overwhelmed and amazed at the sheer size of the event, and how passionate about WordPress everyone was.
My favourite talk was the Q&A with ‘Mr. WordPress’ himself, Matt Mullenweg; it was great to hear his thoughts on how much WordPress has grown.
It was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow WordPress enthusiasts from all over the world, and to spend quality time with the Pragmatic team. Bring on WordCamp Europe 2017!

Ryan, Laura and Lauren with Wapuu
Ryan, Laura and Lauren with Wapuu

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Tom Chute

WordCamp Europe displayed an epic show of togetherness, collaboration and sharing with our European neighbours. The biggest WordCamp ever lived up to its epic billing, and was hosted in the truly beautiful Museum Quarter of Vienna. I was blown away by the scale and impressiveness of the event, and the warm welcome we received.

The Early Years of WordPress talk from Mike Little showed just how astonishing the rise and growth of the platform had been. It was the first time I had fully understood that a side project of a few developers has led to the platform that so many people make a living from. After this apt intro, I tended to focus on the business track, and was impressed with the amount of information shared by the speakers, not just self-promoting snapshots, but genuine insight into their businesses. The importance of happy teams in business is one of my favourite topics, so I was looking forward to hearing the experiences of other agencies in the panel. I was reassured by their experiences, and pleased that we are implementing similar processes to keep everyone smiling here at Pragmatic!

Day two offered a great Managing Remote Teams talk, something of particular interest to me as we’re growing our remote team regularly. I took away some tips on recruiting team members, who are more likely to be suited to remote working (not everyone is!), and some process additions that address specific remote working issues: 9-5 Vs flexible working hours for example.

As well as spending a weekend with the lovely (and rapidly growing) Pragmatic team, I’ve once again been inspired by another incredible WordCamp Europe. Bring on WordCamp Brighton!

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Sean, Michael, Tom C, Tom B and Amy on the metro on their way to the conference.

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Sean Blakeley

My first WordCamp Europe was a wonderful weekend to remember. It was great to share a space with people from all over the world who share our love and passion for all things WordPress.

There was a clear feeling that WordPress is about to face some big, exciting changes – driven by the API and the release procedure. It was great to mingle with some of the people who drive our community forward.

For me, the two standout talks of the weekend were News Corp Australia & Joe Hoyle’s Rest API talk. News Corp gave a detailed, practical breakdown of how they migrated 20+ websites to WordPress, including migrating 16 million posts! They demonstrated the easy scalability of WordPress into the enterprise space. Joe Hoyle, one of the project leads on the WordPress API gave us a fascinating insight into the recent history of the API, including develops up to a few days before the conference. It is inspiring how hard the key developers are working to drive the API project forward – but a request was made to help them continue the development. At Pragmatic, we’re looking forward to answering that call and contributing to this exciting project.

David Godleman

As a Wordcamp first-timer I was inspired by the enthusiastic spirit of the WordPress community to share and exchange ideas and experience.

I have never had a chance to delve too deeply into automated testing so when Ivelina Dimova started to share her preferred tools I took notes. I learnt about Codeception for WordPress and unit, functional and acceptance testing and WP Browser which is a specific Codeception extension for wordpress. Potentially game changing stuff!

The team on a walk around Wien before the team meal.
The team on a walk around Wien before the team meal.

Lauren Drinkwater

This was my first WordCamp event so I was really unsure of what to expect. I was blown away by the beautiful vibe. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. Interestingly enough there were people from all parts of the business, like myself being the Office & HR Manager. It was nice to know that not everyone at the event knew how to build a website! I really enjoyed the talk about cultivating happy teams, for better business as it is right down my street, however, my favourite talk was of course The Discovery & Definition Approach to Project Planning by our very own David Lockie. It was a very proud moment for Pragmatic – David always holds himself so well – it’s so fantastic to know that he is the person leading us. It makes me feel safe, supported and loved! I am eager to find out what other business talks based on HR & Management will be available for next year. Vous voir à WordCampers Paris!

Ian Pugh

It was great to meet so many people we work with in person such as plugin developers and hosting partners. It really is a supportive and happy community and I’m proud to be a part of it. Many thanks to those who came over to give us tips on how best to setup our first ever WCEU stand! Especially the folks from ManageWP. Whatever changes the world may be going through, these events bring us all closer together.

Ryan Golds

This year’s WordCamp Europe was my first official WordCamp event and what a way to start!

It was really great to spend 4 days with the rest of the Pragmatic team, eating great food, trying a few of the local drinks and enjoying the great weather.

WCEU itself was an inspiring event that opened my eyes even more to the community spirit that has laid the great foundations to many WordPress companies and development projects. I was also surprised and proud at how many attendees had heard of Pragmatic!

I was particularly interested in the REST API talks, flexbox, remote working, and the Q&A with Matt Mullenweg.

Roll on Brighton WordCamp!

We’re currently on the lookout for new talent to join our team! Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

What were your highlights from WordCamp Europe?

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