Behind the scenes of WordCamp Jerusalem 2010

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WordCamp Jerusalem 2010 took place this past Sunday in at The Jerusalem College of Technology in Jerusalem. When I started organizing the conference (only a month in advance—craziness), Lorelle suggested I invite Matt Mullenweg to come. I would never have even thought of asking, since we’re not exactly around the corner for him, but I did. And he said maybe, and he’d let me know the week before the conference.

I organized the whole thing knowing that I might have to change everything to make room for Matt at the last second. And indeed, that is what happened when Matt told me a few days before the conference that he was coming. After whooping and dancing around the room, I took my lecture off the schedule, moved the last panel up and made Matt the final session.

WordCamp Jerusalem 2010 gallery:

The day consisted of three tracks of lectures, with the goal being that all types of WordPress users would find content that’s useful to them: Beginning developers, Advanced developers, and Publishers. The Publishers track was meant for people who run or manage a WordPress site, and want tips on how to use WordPress best, but are not interested in dipping their hands into too much code. Overall, that setup was appreciated by the participants, though I didn’t always foresee which lecture would be the most popular and need the biggest room, so sometimes we had to do some shuffling around.

Some of the advanced WordPress content included Barry Abrahamson, Automattic’s Systems Wrangler (he also flew in for the conference), who spoke about “High Performance WordPress,” i.e. how to make your WordPress site faster, including some tips and tricks from his experience running WordPress.com. We also had Jack Reichert, a local developer, write a plugin live in front of the audience.

Beginner content included how to make your WordPress site mobile-compatible, which included a five-minute introduction by Raanan Bar-Cohen, Automatticís VP, Media Services, who spoke about the state of the WordPress mobile apps, and where they are heading. We also had a session about the GPL license, and how it affects WordPress theme and plugin development, which is important for people to know about when getting into WordPress development.

The Publishers track featured some talks on the topic of web development in general. For example, we had a lecture on creating accessible websites, and another on UX good practices.

And finally, we had Matt. He was awesome. He’s a great speaker: cool, interesting, funny, responsive. And he knows his audience. For example, when he was describing how WordPress trac development worked in the early days and how conversation was combative, he knew enough to tell us that we (Israelis) would probably do fine with that. (Conversation among Israelis can seem loud and aggressive. That might be an understatement.) His talk really was a great way to end the day. Here’s a video of about 15 minutes of his talk (thanks to Felix Wasserstein for that!):

All in all the day had good energy and people seem to have mostly had a good time. So although organizing WordCamp is exhausting, it’s also fun and I look forward to doing it again next year 🙂

Miriam really likes WordPress and works with it everyday at illuminea. She recently organized WordCamp Jerusalem, and writes at WP Garage.

5 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of WordCamp Jerusalem 2010

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