WordCamp Portland 2010: speakers, beer kegs and whiffies pies

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WordCamp Portland 2010 had some big shoes to fill. Last year, between the Town Hall with Matt Mullenweg, fabulous speakers, the beer kegs, the whiffies pies and fabulous ice cream, expectations were pretty darn high. But this time, WordCamp Portland knocked it out of the park!

WordCamp Portland 2010 gallery (courtesy of Aaron Hockley)

The event featured presentations from not one, but THREE Automatticians – Matt Mullenweg, Jane Wells and Sheri Bigelow. Matt’s reprise of last year’s Town Hall was a big hit, of course. This time however, we managed to keep the questions a bit less embarrassing – we asked about the new beard. “Portland has great facial hair”, he said in response.

To round out the presentations from Automattic:

  • Jane Wells cleared up a bunch of confusion about .org and .com and the difference between them, as well as clarifying the decision making structure of both
  • Sheri Bigelow, one of Automattic’s “Happiness Engineers”, talked about keeping your clients happy

We also did a swan dive into the best WordPress possible with Mark Jaquith, who told us that if we were paying less for hosting than we would pay for a shrimp dinner, we should re-evaluate our provider. Pete Mall also discussed everything awesome about the new 3.0 Multisite features.

But that was just the beginning! We had a truly amazing array of speakers, talking about everything from accessibility, taxonomies, using your skills as a blogger to get hired, source control using Git, web analytics, child themes, custom post types…a truly mind-boggling list of awesome talks.

They were split into two tracks – developer track for the real techy types, and a non-developer track for those attendees whose eyes glaze over when you start saying things like “function”, “recursion”, or “abstraction”. Perhaps they are “-ion” averse?

Even our sponsors stepped up to give us some great information: Scott Porad, the CTO of Cheezburger Network, introduced us to CheezCap, the Cheezburger Custom Administration Panel, which is a simple library for creating custom WordPress admin panels (wp-admin) really, really easily.

And of course, in true Portland style, there were beer kegs and whiffies pies again. Plus, the not-after-after-party was a hit! I’m convinced now that you can’t have a WordCamp without a party.

If this trend continues – and I hope it does – WordCamp Portland 2011 will be… just… I just can’t even tell you. It will be WordCamp nirvana, for sure.

Morgan Senkal (@morganpdx) is a code monkey and WordPress lover living in Portland, Oregon. She loves nature, animals and music and occasionally waxes poetic on http://www.morganpdx.com. She was the lead organizer of WordCamp Portland 2010.

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