WCEU 2019: My First WordCamp Experience

WordCamp Europe 2019 was held from 20 till 22 June in Berlin, Germany. It’s hard to believe that it has already been two months, yet some memories I made make me feel like it only happened last week. Boy, did the Berlin edition get our team excited about attending WordCamp Europe 2020!

This was my first WordCamp ever, so I was very excited. I had no idea what to expect. Our colleague AytaƧ attended the WordCamp Europe 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. He told us about his experiences from the year before on the way to the airport.

Contributor Day

We all registered to give something back to the community: #WCEU Contributor Day. Contributor Day is one day at WordCamp where volunteers contribute to WordPress. You can learn how to contribute to the WordPress core. We listed two topics in advance what we thought would give something back to the community or what we wanted to know more about.

I registered for WP-CLI, which was a bit of a disappointment. I did not prepare very well and the internet connection was not that great. I wasn’t able to download everything fast enough during the session.

In the afternoon, I joined Kevin at the Design table, where a lot of interaction happened. The speaker of the table asked that everyone discusses at least one topic. I found a nice topic about the design of Gutenberg which was about switching between the code and the visual editor. So I talked to my colleague, Kevin and we put our heads together and made a mockup for the particular ticket. We contributed: what a feeling and what a teamwork!

WordCamp #WCEU

This is when WordCamp Europe actually starts. You can attend workshops, go and listen to talks by topics of interest. There was a WP Cafe where all kinds of topics were discussed. A sponsor area where you could meet & greet all WordCamp Europe sponsors, with little booths to meet the people behind a plugin or theme or even hosting companies.

Food everywhere! From a nice breakfast to late afternoon cookies. The food was diverse and delicious. Thumbs up for the organisers!

So what kind of talks did I listen to or which workshops did I attend at WordCamp? I mostly wanted to do the REST API workshop. I remember from our work Christmas party that we needed to think of one topic that we would like to learn more about in the upcoming year. I chose REST API, so this was a nice opportunity for me to learn about this at WordCamp EU. Actually, this would have been my first workshop at my first WordCamp, but we can’t always have everything we want. The REST API workshop was fully booked when I tried to register. Bummer! Lesson learnt: sign up in time!

The second topic I was interested in was a talk about Special characters and where to find them. This was a fascinating talk about all the different kind of languages and their special characters. Why was I so interested? We came across this problem at work when we tried to fix a request for a client, so it is always handy to learn some tips and tricks. Belgium has 3 official languages, one of them has special characters as well.

One workshop I was able to attend was called Creating a Gutenberg block, not surprisingly it was about how to make a Gutenberg block. We overviewed the ins and outs of creating this block in a more visual way. The block showed a skill-bar, 5 different ones to be more accurate. I enjoyed being in a small room, and brainstorm together: it made me feel like I was back in school. The Github repo is still available if you want to know more about this Gutenberg block.

To be honest, I could write a crazy long blog post because I have learnt so much and have seen so much, but instead of that I just wanted to share my favourite moments in a nutshell. Maybe I can influence someone to attend this event and join the community because believe me, it is awesome. I had an amazing time with my colleagues and met a lot of cool and interesting people, so it is no question for me, I’ll be in Porto next year: #WordCamp2020. From 4 til 6 June, Wordcamp Europe 2020 will take place in Portugal!

Will we see you there?