WordCamp Nederland 2023 – My 50th WordCamp

Two weeks ago, I’ve attended my first Dutch WordCamp. It was not the first WordCamp in the Netherlands, this was the first WordCamp Europe 2013. But this was my first “true” Dutch WordCamp, being organized by the local community.

It took place in Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, just as last year. I was joining the event as a volunteer, which I also haven’t done for quite a while – if you don’t count organizing WordCamps as volunteering 😉 There was a tour through the Zoo, which I missed, unfortunately. But I joined the “speakers dinner” on Thursday evening.

Friday: The first conference day

The WordCamp was a two-day event, with talks and workshops. There was no Contributor Day. My first volunteering shift on Friday was registrations. Fortunately, we were many volunteers for this task, as I sometimes had hard times to understand the names of attendees, since it’s not always easy to get the spelling from the pronunciation of Dutch names for a German speaker 😀

Performance Awareness and Optimization

After the first rush of attendees arriving, I had some time to see the talk from my colleague Thorsten Frommen. He gave some very deep level insights on code performance. This was clearly a talk targeting a more experienced audience, and I personally also learned some new things:

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This was also the only talk I saw on the first day. I spent a good amount of time talking to people I already knew, as well as other volunteers and some of the sponsors.

At the evening, there was a small event in downtown Arnhem, organized by a sponsor.

Saturday: The second conference day

On the second day, there was only the bigger room for presentations, as well as the two smaller “lodges” used for talks and workshops from the first day. I had a volunteers shift at the registration again, but since most attendees already arrived at the first day, there was not too much to do.

Your Code Can Be Poetry Too

This gave me the chance to attend the talk from Juliette Reinders Folmer. She talked about the WordPress Coding Standards in general, but also highlighted the huge task of releasing the new version 3 of the WordPressCS tool. She also explained why open source projects like this need more and better funding, to be sustainable:

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After this talk, I had to go back to the registration counter, so I missed the talk “Bytes and Minds: Navigating Mental Health in the Tech World” by Ryan Hellyer, a community member from Berlin. I’ve heard so much positive feedback and also had the chance to talk to Ryan after the WordCamp, that I will definitely watch it, as soon as the talk is available on wordpress.tv – hopefully soon!

After lunch, I joined the unofficial session “Zoo Time”, where some attendees took some 2h to explore the zoo – as the WordCamp was inside the zoo, entrance to the zoo was included in the ticket as well.

In the evening, we met some other attendees in the city center for some food and drinks.


The WordCamp was really amazing! It was my “first true Dutch WordCamp”. But as I also wrote in the title, this was also my 50th in-person WordCamp. I will write a dedicated blog posts about all the WordCamps I have visited, including some nice stats.

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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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