My first WordCamp Brighton

About 20 years ago, I first visited the UK, when I’ve spent 3 weeks at the coast in Sussex. There was a day trip to Brighton, but I was invited to a weeding by my host family. But after missing the WordCamp last year, I finally made it to Brighton. And it’s been really a nice one.

Thursday: Arriving in Brighton and warm up

Just like last year, there have been a couple of German attendees at WordCamp Brighton. I flew in from Berlin pretty early at 6:30 in the morning. At Stansted airpot, I met two other German attendees, Thomas Brühl and Matthias Kurz from the Cologne Meetup group. We had a nice breakfast in London and took a train to Brighton, in the afternoon. There we met with my very good friend Maja Benke from Berlin. We took a nice walk at the beach and enjoyed the nice, but pretty windy weather.

Later that day, there was a little speakers dinner and I was a backup speaker for WordCamp Brighton, I enjoyed a nice evening with some new members from the WordCamp community. One of them came all the way from the US to Brighton.

Friday: Workshop Day

WordCamp Brighton was a three day event. It started on Friday, with a schedule that not only had regular session, but also some „workshops“ in which attendees were asked to do some „tasks“. With only one track, I had the chance to see every session on the two days. So I want to highlight a few from the schedule.

Things you didn’t know you need to know about databases and WordPress

The first talk I attended was a session about database optimizationGabor Javorszky explained in detail, how indexes are working. That was really a very interresting talk, as some of the details of compound keys were new to me. I hope, that with this new knowledge, I can write even faster queries in upcoming projects.

Workshop 2 – The A to Z of WordPress Multisite

John Blackbourn gave a brief intoduction into Multisite in the second workshop of the day. It was not really a workshop were atteeds had tasks to do, but I think that many of them learned, which benefits a Multisite can have and which things are working differently to a single site installation.

Easing the anxious mind: dealing with anxiety in the workplace

I really like talks like these. We often forget about those topics in our daily jobs, but anxiety is not something that is rare. And having someone talking about this on a WordCamp is really important. Laura Nelson had a wonderful job in her talk about anxiety in the workplace.

Accessible design

The last lightnight talk of the Workshop Day was from Maja Benke. She gave a brief overview on the most important things you have to take into account, when making sure that your website is accessible. She focused on design aspects, rather than technical details, which are usually coverd in accessibility talks.

Saturday: Conference Day

The second day of the WordCamp was a traditional conference day with sessions and lightning talks.

Beyond responsiveness: creating truly fluid themes

The second talk of the day was from Michael Burridge and he was giving an interresting talk on responsive design. After he gave a small introduction into responsive design in general, he showed a different approach as the usual design with fixed breakpoints. Instead, he used the CSS sizes vw to produce a truly fluid theme, were all elements resized just like in a PDF file.

Pursuing your creative passion: turn your side hustle into a full-time gig

Katie Elenberger gave an inspirational talk on her way to become a successful freelancer. She encouraged the audience to take a little risk and follow their passions. A really great talk!

REST APIs for absolute beginners

Right after this talk, Tom J Nowell gave a beginner talk on the REST API. He explained the fundamentals of the API and how it can be used. He then explained how you can write custom endpoints to use the REST API with you own custom post types.

Web accessibility, where to start?

The last talk of WordCamp Brighton was from Rian Rietveld. She talked about the basics of accessibility, not only from a coder point of view but also on how to involve designers and projects managers into the process. It was a perfect match to Maja’s talk from the day before.

After party

At the end of the Conference, we had a little after party with dinner and drinks. The attendees could also put songs on a public playlist, which resulted in a very interresting choice of music from on that evening.

Sunday: Contributor Day

WordCamp Brighton had it’s Contributor Day on Sunday after the two days with the sessions. Around 35 members attended the Contributor Day. I helped out in the Accessibility Team, where I worked on the new WordCamp Theme and wrote some patches to the plugin/theme repository and the make handbook.

Conclusion

This was my first WordCamp in the UK outside of London and I really enjoyed it. Not only was it nice to see some other people from the British community, but I finally had the chance to visit Brighton. Now I only hope, that the weather will be a bit better tomorrow, so I can take the change to go swimming a bit 🙂

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Bernhard is a full time web developer who likes to write WordPress plugins in his free time and is an active member of the WP Meetups in Berlin and Potsdam.

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