WordCamp US 2018 – The Experience

WordCamp US was one of the biggest and the most highly anticipated events, this year, mainly due to the launch of WordPress 5.0. Our CEO, Rahul Bansal and CBDO, Vivek Jain attended the 3-day event, showing their continued love and support for the community.

On either side of the event, we spent our time meeting folks from the WordPress meetup group, in New York City and exploring the local areas of NYC and Nashville. The journey was a long one but the excitement of the event kicked out the fatigue and jet lag. The bright, warm sunshine that greeted us on arrival was something that helped ease off the exhaustion from the journey. πŸ›«

A bright, sunny day in New Jersey!

WordPress NYC Meetup 🀝

Wherever we go, we like to meet the local WordPress community and the trip to NYC was no different. We met a lot of friends & clients from the WordPress community and like any other meetup, this WordPress NYC Meetup was also filled with the usual catching up and fits of laughter.

The meetup was organized over two days i.e 4th & 5th December, but we could only attend day 1 as we had our flight, to catch the next day, for Nashville.

Tuesday (Dec. 4, 2018) at WordCamp New York City Help Desk, I met Vivek Jain (left photo;…

Posted by Stephen Parelli on Saturday, December 8, 2018

WCUS Nashville πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

On reaching Nashville, Vivek enrolled himself for a 3.25 mile run, organized by the members of WCUS, which helped him stay in touch with his regular gym schedule, although, in chilly conditions. πŸ˜„β„οΈπŸ’ͺ Some dedication, that!

There were two reasons because of which Rahul did not join Vivek on this run, one – there was no food involved and two – his only passion bigger than food, WordPress, had just received the biggest update in its history! Immediately after the release of WordPress 5.0, Rahul got busy with updating the rtCamp and EasyEngine websites to the latest WordPress version and tested the same, on a few other sites. He just couldn’t wait to try out the new release and as evident below, he was mighty impressed by the work that the WordPress core team had put into this new update. πŸ˜ŽπŸ™Œ

Finally, it was time for WordCamp US 2018 to kick off and what an insightful experience it turned out to be. Over the span of the next two days, more than forty speakers took the stage and shared their thoughts about a number of topics. As expected, several business leaders and entrepreneurs shared their thoughts about the new editing experience, with Gutenberg.

Jetpack t-shirt printing πŸ‘•

There was a t-shirt printing booth set up by Jetpack where anyone could get a t-shirt and get a customized Jetpack logo print on it. The Jetpack team manning the booth were printing customized Gutenberg logos, as a token of respect for Johannes Gutenberg – inventor of the printing press. People were given choices of getting any one of the three variants from the Jetpack logos – ‘Optimize’, ‘Grow’, and ‘Secure’. 

Printing at WordCamp US 2018 Nashville
Printing t-shirts

For the folks interested to know how the designs were imprinted onto the t-shirts, here’s a quick look!

Attending Talks 🎀

We attended a talk by Alexis Lloyd, Head of Design Innovation at Automattic. Alexis covered some interesting topics like the upcoming AI technologies and machine learning. Her presentation was about how the current publishing experience has evolved over the years. Rahul was really intrigued by her reference of the relationship between Machines & Humans.

State of the Word 2018 πŸ—£οΈ

Around 1500 attendees were present for Matt Mullenweg’s annual β€˜State of the Word 2018’ talk and we were among the lot. He knew that the attendees were waiting in anticipation of his thoughts about Gutenberg, so he took the center stage and gave a ringing endorsement of it. He described it as β€œthe new DNA of WordPress, from which users can create anything they can imagine.” The Q&A session from that talk can be viewed here.

The talk was quite informative as Matt explained the incremental changes that are planned for Gutenberg while stressing on the need for a new evolution of the editing experience.

Afterparty πŸ’ƒπŸŽ‰

The organizers and volunteers did a great job planning and executing the event, including the afterparty at the Adventure Science Centre. Interesting activities such as β€œMind Ball” and the β€œMoonwalk” were crowd pullers. There was also another entertaining event called  β€œEarth Explorers,” presented by National Geographic where participants could go on different artificial adventures around the globe. Apart from food, drinks and a photo booth, there were dozens of other fun exhibits and activities for everyone to enjoy, including shows in the Sudekum Planetarium, that can be seen below.

Automattic Design Awards πŸ†πŸ†

We also got a chance to witness the β€˜Automattic Design Awards’. Rahul was a part of the jury, for this award, which is a commemoration to honor and promote the growth of the fantastic design community within the WordPress ecosystem. These are the folks who make the open-source web look more elegant and beautiful. We congratulate all the finalists and winners!

Contributor Day ♻️

We were glad to meet and greet folks from various backgrounds on Contributor Day. It is always amazing to see so many people contribute to a common cause, just because of their love for WordPress! 

Rahul was present at the PWA Contributor table. Progressive Web App (PWA) is a W3 spec and the community is aiming to get the best out of PWA, through WordPress. At the table, an elite level of discussions for future concepts and planning was a general topic, that he was quite pleased to be a part of.

Our Journey Back Home πŸ›¬

After an eventful tour, we got a chance to unwind between our flights. Traveling by an electric train was a different experience altogether! 😝 You can view the train journey on Rahul’s Facebook profile here.

Vivek was excited about spotting Mohammed Salah on a flight magazine, right before Liverpool’s game. He considered it to be a good omen! πŸ˜„πŸ€

We were overwhelmed by the hospitality and warmth that we experienced during the course of our entire trip. We will see you all again, next year! πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

Links: WordCamp US 2018 | Gutenberg | Automattic Design Awards

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