This was the first WordCamp that I spoke at and my first reaction is wow, talk about a great weekend. It was filled with excellent conversations, informative speeches, and the creation of more ideas than I know what to do with. Here is a quick rundown on some of the highlights for me.
The first highlight was Jane Wells speaking about creating Custom Menus. I loved the reaction that many people had the first time they saw some of the great features. Everyone who contributed to getting this great feature added to WordPress should give themselves a big pat on the back.
Scott Robbin gave a great presentation on making WordPress Faster. His tips are ones that every front end developer should memorize and commit to their workflow.
My Building Child Themes Presentation Seemed to get some good reactions. I hope that everyone in attendance found it useful. I have a post with some more information on Building Child Themes if you are interested.
Dan Milward, of Get Shopped, the WP e-commerce plugin Demonstrated the power and flexibility his plugin offers and how it integrates with buddypress. Very, Very cool stuff that I look forward to recommending to clients.
After the sessions were through for the day I got to hang out and chat with John Hawkins of 9 Seeds about some of the exciting things his company is working on, Ptah Dunbar about his framework WP Framework, some of the team from Studio Press, Eric Marden, Pete Mall and many others. This chance to relax and chat with some great minds was one of the biggest highlights of the entire conference.
Sunday got kicked off by one of the most informative and (for me) educational talks. Hal Stern gave an in-depth instruction in how WordPress converts a URL into an SQL query and then into a page to display. It’s always hard being the first speaker on the second day of a conference, but Hal was able to entertain, inform and keep everyone interested in his highly technical presentation.
Pete Mall presented a beginners introduction to plugin development. He kept it simple enough that even the biggest developer newb would be able to keep up.
Jake Goldman gave a great presentation on modifying the admin interface with a specific focus on making it easier for client to do what they need to do.
Those are just the highlights that stuck out to me. There wasn’t a single presentation that I didn’t enjoy and didn’t get at least a little informed by. I am incredibly happy that I had the opportunity to present. All of the organizers should give themselves a huge pat on the back for the amazing job that they did. WordCamp Chicago, you were great. I hope to make it back next year