I made it through WordCamp SF 2014 (my second WordCamp to date!) and my mind is still processing all of the awesome that has occurred. Here’s a look at some of my takeaways from this incredibly memorable and highly anticipated annual weekend experience.
WordCamp SF 2014 was an explosion of information, energy, swag, and engagement with other WordPress enthusiasts. This annual conference has outgrown its space at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, which was bittersweet news. However, it is with confidence that we look forward to its next iteration — wherever it may be!
As a visual designer I took away a plethora of tips for the continual refinement of our design process here at Razorfrog. Additionally, I’ve developed a more concise understanding of how contributing to WordPress is less intimidating than previously imagined, and how the next massive steps for WordPress are the release of the JSON REST API and internationalization.
Jennifer Bourn’s talk Champion Purpose Driven Design in Client Work was a great reminder that design is inherently problem solving at heart. This fact was solidified in her exceptional quote, “design without intention is just decoration.” And who could forget Sara Cannon’s quote “web design is 95% typography”? Let that one sink in for a second and totally blow your mind like it did ours.
Liza Danger Gardner provided a convincing lecture about the mobile web, and how designing for the web has often been a convoluted process. She professed that as web designers and developers we are growing weary. Her point: pixel perfect control on the web is an illusion, and control is often out of our hands. We need to do less to make things better for ourselves, continue to emphasize fluidity, and remember that <p>this is responsive.</p>
In his talk, Be a Volunteer, not a Martyr – a Practical Guide to Contributing, Boone Gorge reminded everyone in the WordPress community that it is possible and prudent to contribute to WordPress. Boone said, “If we want WordPress to be better for what freelancers do, then more freelancers need to be involved.” Contributing makes strong business sense as benefits the self, future growth and the community at large. For those interested, make.wordpress.org is a great hub for determining how you can best contribute your talents.
It was announced during Sam Hotchkiss’ presentation that the JSON REST API is coming to WordPress in the early half of 2015. The API will continue to push forward WordPress as an app framework platform and will help developers build on top of WordPress without needing to utilize PHP. This may very well change the WordPress plugin repository forever.
Andrew Nacin announced that 66% of WordPress sites are in English. However, only 10% of the world speaks English, and for just 5% of the world English is their first language. Automattic is pushing aggressively to remove language as a barrier for publishing online, as seen in the upcoming release of WordPress 4.1. International users can immediately use GlotPress to translate all WordPress.com themes to any language. More about this topic is on the way for late 2014 to early 2015.
Last but not least, Matt Mullenweg confirmed in his renowned State of The Word presentation that WordPress now powers 23% of the world wide web. WordPress generates over a billion dollars in economic activity for the 7,359 people who responded to the 2014 WordPress survey that are making their living from using it. Slack will be replacing IRC, and there are now currently more mobile phones in the world than people. My mind is officially blown, and I’m guessing yours is too!