Last night I attended my first Portland WordPress Meetup. I joined the Seattle WordPress Meetup in 2010 and then later, the UW WordPress User Group. Over the years, both of these groups have helped me learn the best practices for designing and developing WordPress sites. These groups are welcoming to users, designers and developers of all levels of experience. I’ve made a lot of good friends through these groups, collaborated on projects and problem-solving site issues with other members.
I’m looking forward to becoming more involved with the Portland WordPress group and am volunteering to help plan the upcoming Portland WordCamp.
Today I attended Amazon’s WebDevCon. The focus of this conference is “bringing together the community to discuss the latest trends and topics in our industry”. Amazon has held this conference for the last 7 years and this year the conference was open to everyone.
The highlights of the conference for me included:
Responsive Color by Clarissa Peterson
Clarissa’s talk explored how people perceive color differently and how various devices and environments (dark or light) affect colors. She also talked about various ways of identifying colors, testing contrast and handling colors by using Sass. This is an interesting topic that goes beyond making colors “web accessible”. See the slides from this presentation and learn more about Clarissa Peterson.
Last weekend’s Wordcamp was amazing and inspiring! This WordCamp was a bit different from the other ones held in the past. The intended audience for this particular WordCamp was the “Experienced” WordPress community — those who have been using WordPress for many years as professional developers, designers or publishers.
The highlights of this year’s presentations included:
Saturday’s keynote speaker John James Jacoby who started off the event sharing his insights into how WordPress has impacted his life as a developer.
Mark Root-Wiley’s “Coding for Accessible WordPress websites” emphasized the importance of creating accessible sites and included some preliminary steps that developers should be taking to make sites more accessible. Creating websites that are accessible to ALL users is something I find very interesting and important. Mark is a local web designer/developer who specializes in creating user-friendly WordPress sites for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations. Mark’s blog is definitely worth following and he has posted slides and videos from his talk there.
Amanda Blum spoke about “Long Term Relationships: Creating Sustainability in WP Client Handoff” which focused on project management and client relationships. This was my first time hearing Amanda talk and I enjoyed hearing her about experiences, insights, and knowledge that she shared with us. Amanda is a project manager with Howling Zoe Productions.
Another of my favorite speakers was Morten Rand-Hendrickson who presented “Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores (_s)”. Underscores is a starter theme which is the base that many premium themes are built off of. While I’ve never used Underscores, it’s definitely worth considering for my next project. I’ve heard Morton speak before and the way he presents topics in an informative, yet humorous manner makes him one of my favorite speakers. Morton posted slides from his talk on his blog at Mor10.com – another blog worth following.
While this covers only a few of the talks from this year’s WordCamp, you can learn more at the Seattle WordCamp 2015 website. In addition, Matt Eppelsheimer has written great summaries of many of the sessions on 2015 WordCamp Seattle Live Notes.