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WCEU 2016: Talks Recommended by the Humans

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It’s been over a month since the biggest WordCamp to date was hosted in Vienna for three intense days of talks, tribe meetups, mingling, networking and much more. Between the 24th – 26th June, WordCamp Europe 2016 welcomed 2100 people from all over the world in the beautiful MuseumsQuartier Wien.

As usual, Human Made were there in force, with several members of our team contributing to the massive success of the event through organising, speaking and MC’ing. But we also had an (almost) full squad attending, and over the last few days we’ve been discussing our favourite talks and reminiscing over all the best parts of the event.

Thanks to the combined effort of the WordCamp Europe and WordPress.tv teams, all the WCEU 2016 videos are already online.

If you weren’t able to attend WordCamp Europe 2016 or missed them for any other reason, here are the favourite videos of the Human Made team. Enjoy!

Brexit – What will it mean for tech and your digital work (law, taxes)?

Heather Burns did a great job covering the hottest topic of the day: Brexit. And while the UK faced the aftermath of what can very well be a point of no return in the nation’s history, Heather provided the WCEU audience with an insightful talk about the possible implications of the result.

Jenny highlighted this as her favourite talk as it brilliantly covered how Brexit would affect the tech community, both now and in the future.

Heather also blogged about the subject here.

“Caring is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.”—Thoughts on WordPress Plugin UI

Caspar Hübingen gave us a fresh perspective on WordPress plugin UI and ways to improve it, with a closer look at human reactions and emotions related to plugins and their presence in the WP Admin. Ana found it really inspiring to explore Caspar’s human-first approach to plugin development, and his encouragement that as creators of WordPress we need to take greater responsibility for how users are interacting with plugins in the admin interface.

My friend the Imposter Syndrome

There are not many topics as popular as the Imposter Syndrome these days, particularly in tech communities. Sonja Leix did a great job at opening up and confronting an issue many of us silently suffer from. Both Tarei and Bronson enjoyed the open and honest way Sonja presented her talk.

The (rebirth of the) Italian community

Francesca Marano is a key figure in the very process she talked about at WCEU. The story of a community that rose up from the ashes and blossomed into a thriving ecosystem made by countless meetups and contributors across the Belpaese.

As Ana loves community talks, she enjoyed listening to how cultural differences affect the way the community behaves across different locations.

Keys to Growing and Developing your WordPress Meetup

Dee Teal, on the strength of her experience with Melbourne’s meetup group, talked about the primary areas to address in planning your meetup for growth and engagement. Sam loved all the practical tips and actionable advice Dee provided in her talk.

Using the REST API and JavaScript to create better WordPress interfaces

K. Adam White walked the WCEU attendees through the breadth of new WordPress interfaces enabled by leveraging the WordPress REST API, such as visualisations and new editor experiences. Tarei liked this ‘state of the WP API’ styled talk, which—as a plus—featured a few projects he’d not have otherwise seen.

Empathy and Acceptance in Design and Community

The purpose of Morten Rand-Hendriksen’s talk was pretty straightforward: exploring how empathy and acceptance can drive design so we can build great informational experiences for everyone. Peter highlighted how Morten focused his talk on a big issue that affects design, and John enjoyed Morten’s stage presence and the way he was able to engage with the audience.

Open source project management at scale, how 1300+ people improved Drupal 8’s multilingual features

Bridging and integrating different communities is something that we at Human Made strongly believe in, and Gábor Hojtsy’s talk was a perfect example of why this matters. Peter loved it because it allowed him to take a quick look into another open-source project, and explore the commonalities Drupal and WordPress share, as well as the differences.

Interview and Q&A with Matt Mullenweg

Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg isn’t new to public interviews and Q&A’s from the WCEU stage, but both Ant and Libby brought the attention to the awesome work that Brian Krogsgard did at interviewing such an important personality in our beloved ecosystem.

Code is Poetry – A Musician’s Tale

The twenty minutes that Helen Hou-Sandí gifted WCEU are not easy to forget. As she walked us through the skills she learned and honed as a classical pianist, she showed how they’ve translated directly to her success in becoming a leader in open source software development. It was a true celebration of all the alternative paths into WordPress.

As a musician myself, with some high-level experiences in my resumé, I could totally relate to Helen. She started the talk with an amazing performance that surprised the whole room: it was a solo piano arrangement written by Franz Liszt for Widmung, by Robert Schumann. The rest of her talk showcased the importance of cross-discipline knowledge and how both music and tech contributed to creating the person she is today. It was brilliant, insightful and thoughtful.

Connected WordPress

Gary Pendergast introduced the Connected WordPress initiative, to connect all WordPress sites together into an Open Platform, for social, sharing and security.

Japh found it a good thought experiment and potential vision for the future of WordPress, and a peer-to-peer model rather than a central hub model.

Talks by humans

Speaking at WordCamps is one of the many ways we try to give back to the community. WordCamp Europe had John, Peter, Siobhan and Joe on stage sharing knowledge and opinions and you should most definitely see those talks.

Watch Joe’s one hour-long “Ultimate REST API” talk where he does an intro to the WordPress REST API complete with a lot of great practical tips, examples and use cases.

John gave an intriguing talk about his vision for WordPress in the future and the challenges the project faces going into its 13th year of existence. Watch John make some excellent points about the future focus and leadership approach in the WordPress project in his talk “Moving on with a mature platform”.

Coming all the way from Melbourne, Pete took the stage in Vienna to share his insights on making a web seven times faster. Watch Pete’s talk “Seven Times Faster – A Study in Frontend Optimization”.

After years in the WordPress ecosystem, writing a book about the project and spending countless hours contributing to Docs and community, Siobhan has a lot of experience with online communication. Her talk “Rebuilding Babel – Communication in a Virtual World” touched on a lot of the problems we have while trying to make ourselves understood online, in a multilingual, multicultural environment. It also has some pretty great laughs!

Enjoy!