WordCamp Zagreb – My journey to the Croatian community

Another weekend, another WordCamp, another new city … well, actually another new country in Europe I visited. Only two weeks after my vitsit to WordCamp Brigthon, I traveled to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, to meet a new european community.

Thursday: Arriving in Zagreb and warm up

I took a flight from Berlin to Vienna, back to the city of WordCamp Europe 2016, and then another flight to the new Zagreb airport. The temperature was pretty high and I was very thankful to Lucijan and Emanuel for picking me up and driving me to the city. First I checked in to my special accomadation 🙂

In the evening the organizing team reserved some places in a nice restaurant in the city center, so I met the first other attendees and enjoyed a nice little inofficial warm up event.

Friday: Workshop Day

Having workshops on a WordCamp is becoming more popular lately. Not having signed up for any of the workshops before Friday, I just showed up and attended two English workshops. Most of the other workshops have been in Croatian. Only another one was in English, a workshop for children. I really liked that idea.

The Art of Public Speaking

The first workshop was held by Luca Sartoni a members from the Italian WordPress community, who is well-known for his great talks at WordCamps. In his workshop, he was giving some great tips on how to prepare better talks. He not only concentrated on the slides and the talk itself, but also all the research, preparation and steps you have to do before the actual event. After this workshop, I had some work to do on my talk for Saturday 🙂

The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling

My second workshop was not necessarily one, you would expect me as a developer in. But as I am also a regular blogger, the topic storytelling is not that uninteresting for me 😉 Nevena Tomović really made this a great workshop. After she gave an introduction into the topic, we had to form groups and work on any random story we wanted to tell about a place we wanted to convince people to visit. As I was the only one not from Croatia, the rest of our team came up with some ideas about a mountain near Zagreb. I was quite surprised, how creativ I was, when telling a story about the quick notes I have taken. This really was a great experience 🙂

Speakers dinner

At the end of workshop day, I attended the speakers dinner. I enjoyed a second day with some amazing Croation specialities and many interesting conversations with organizers, speakers, sponsors and volunteers.

Saturday: Conference Day

Following the workshop day, the „main event“ was taking place in the Museum of Contemporary Art. The WordCamp had two tracks.

The Human-Centered Brand

In the first slot, there was only one session. The keynote was held by Nela Dunato who has been voted best speaker of last years WordCamp in Croatia. She gave an inspiring talk on branding in a personal context.

Plugin development

I spent most of the day in track B, which was packed with talks for developers. The first three were focusing on plugins. First, Ante Šepić talked about his plugin developement setup. It was interesting to see, that he is not using the WordPress Coding Standards, but the PSR standards, used by many PHP frameworks. The second talk from Ratko Šolaja also focused on code quality and the In’s and out’s of plugin creation. The third talk regarding plugin development by Goran Jakovljević focused on bulding and selling premium plugins. Goran gave some great tips ony pricing models, service and support. I still have no plans to publish a premium plugins, but after this talk, I have some new insights on how to get started.

DeSign everything

Just after the third talk on plugin developement, Anastasios Manoloudis was giving an inspirational talk on „design„. But he not only focused on visual design, but also all the other things around design, like the language we use.

Why bother with code checking?

One thing I really liked at this WordCamp was the fact, that every talk on development mentioned the WordPress Coding standards. Denis Žoljom was no exception to that, but his focus was on code checking in general. He presrented multiple tools developers can use to check not only their PHP code, but also the CSS and JavaScript of your code.

Vue.js with WordPress

I am not really a JavaScript framework developer, so the talk on Vue.js from Marko Banušić was quite interesting for me. He showed some basic examples on how you can replace dynamic parts of your website with Vue.js templates.

WordCamps and why are they important

As a regular WordCamp attendees I had to leave track B for the session of Milan Ivanović about the importance of WordCamps. I could really identify with many of the stories, Milan was telling the audience.

Developing a new default WordCamp theme

Finally, at the seventh WordCamp this year, I had my vist talk. The lead organizer Lucijan Blagonić, who was members of the design team of WordCamp Europe, which I was also part of, asked me to talk about the process of developing the new WordCamp theme, so I did 🙂

Open Sources Of Inspiration

In the last slot, there was no talk in track B, so I attended the session from Dario Jazbec Hrvatin, which was really inspirational, not only in the title 😉

After party

Have I mentioned the great food in Croatia yet? 😉 At the small after party in the same venue, there was even more of it. On the three days of the event, I tried to get something from almost eveything they had and I really liked it.

Sunday: Contribtor Day

The WordCamp Zagreb had it’s Contributor Day on Sunday. Around 30 people attended and split into four groups: Core, Localization, Support and Community. While the community team discussed about different topic not only aroud the Croatian community, but also the one in Serbia and other countries in the area, I helped new Core contributors getting started, as the team lead for the Core team couldn’t be there.

Walking tour

My first WordCamp in Croatia ended with a 2h walking tour in the city center of Zagreb, were I learned a bit about the history of the city and the country.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed my first trip to Croatia and my first WordCamp Zagreb. Not only the food was amazing, also the quailty of the talks and the welcoming community. The fact, that all session were in English really helped to enjoy the event. For a local WordCamp, this was something I didn’t expected. I would really like to attend another WordCamp in Croatia, maybe in a new city 🙂

 

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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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