Reflections on WordCamp US

Last month was the inaugural WordCamp US in Philadelphia, bringing together more than 1,800 WordPress users, designers and developers. GoDaddy announced the launch of its WordPress Plugin Partner Program at the event, providing a variety of benefits to plugin authors to help them create world class experiences for their plugins. Christopher Carfi, Product Evangelist for GoDaddy, attended WordCamp US and joined in on the conversation. We spoke with him about some of the event’s highlights and his primary takeaways from the two-day conference.

Q&A with Christopher Carfi, Product Evangelist at GoDaddy

Last month was the inaugural WordCamp US in Philadelphia, bringing together more than 1,800 WordPress users, designers and developers. GoDaddy announced the launch of its WordPress Plugin Partner Program at the event, providing a variety of benefits to plugin authors to help them create world class experiences for their plugins.

Christopher Carfi, Product Evangelist for GoDaddy, attended WordCamp US and joined in on the conversation. We spoke with him about some of the event’s highlights and his primary takeaways from the two-day conference.

Q: At WordCamp US, what topics did the speakers primarily cover? Did you notice any consistent themes across subject matter?

A: Quite a few speakers concentrated on the REST API and JavaScript, and how both are predicted to be much more prevalent in future iterations of WordPress. The “lightning talks” track was wonderfully diverse in its topics, covering everything from performance to design to training, in brisk speeches that cut right to the heart of the subject matter.

Q: Who did you most enjoy seeing speak at WordCamp US?

A: The “State of the Word” presentation on the final day was a great way to end the event. Matt Mullenweg did a great job. A key message to come out of his keynote was the recommendation that anyone involved in WordPress should “Learn JavaScript, Deeply.” He really hit hard on his vision for the future of the WordPress project– in fact, version 4.4 was just released on Tuesday following WordCamp. I highly recommend listening to his keynote, which you can find on the WordCamp US website.

Q: What was the coolest plugin or feature you saw at WordCamp US?

A: “WordPress: The Next Generation” was presented by Rami Abraham, the developer lead at WebDevStudios/Maintainn, and it was very cool. Rami explained that, from the first development of computers to the growth of the online world, to open-source, things are moving fast, and WordPress is moving with them.

His presentation predicted trends from 2020 all the way to 2065, and was quite well done He predicts that in the next five years, native applications will become much more common and that REST API-dependent theme development will be more common than traditional theme development, among other evolving aspects. Rami also predicted the coming time period where the primary language is JavaScript for plugins and themes. You can view the slides from the presentation, or watch one of the related videos.

Q: Tell us about your favorite interactions at WordCamp US.

A: It was a pleasure meeting Topher and Cate DeRosia and learning about the stories on HeroPress. HeroPress reaches out to people in the WordPress community who come from a background where they felt marginalized by culture, gender, language, etc., and have since overcome such barriers. I really believe that it’s these stories and people like the DeRosias that continue to motivate this intense commitment to the WordPress community. (Representative essay)

On a different note, I really enjoyed connecting with our plugin partners at dinner the night before WordCamp for the launch of our WordPress Plugin Partner Program. It again reassured me that our efforts continue to make a big impact and it was inspiring to hear firsthand how the program will positively influence their work.

Q: Did you have any stand-out conversations with freelancers?

A: Yes, absolutely! It was great to have a number of conversations throughout the conference with designers and developers who are part of the GoDaddy Pro program, and get further feedback on how they are using it, what they are doing, and how we’re doing as well.

Q: From what you heard, what are the biggest obstacles for plugins and themes in the WordPress community right now?

A: Exposure! There are over 40,000 plugins in the repository. It’s easy for a plugin developer to get lost in the noise.

Q: What is some advice you would give to plugin authors and pros as well?

A: It’s important for plugin authors and pros to keep customer needs in mind, and to focus on solving customer problems.

Q: How will GoDaddy continue to support the WordPress community in 2016?

A: GoDaddy will actively support plugin developers through the newly launched Plugin Partner Program and web designers and developers through the GoDaddy Pro program. We will also continue to help very small businesses launch, grow and run their businesses using WordPress by providing connections to resources and information that will help them to be successful in their ventures.

Alyona Galea
Alyona Galea
Alyona is a WordPress enthusiast, focused on sharing interesting things she comes across during her work with this great CMS. She loves exploring new destinations and maintains a travel blog at www.alyonatravels.com

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