I just returned back from #WCUS 2019 in St. Louis, and this, by far, is my favorite city. Many seem to agree, since it’s already been decided to return for 2020!
Being one of the co-leads for WordPress 5.3, my agenda was quite different than in WordCamps past. I wanted to attend some talks, gather some swag, and, most importantly, meet my other “squad” members in person. I’ve spent the past few months Slacking with them on the daily, and I had yet to meet most face-to-face.
Having to tend to Halloween late into the evening Thursday night, I caught a 5:15 AM flight. I ended up arriving in St. Louis at about 8:20 AM local time. After a quick stop at my hotel to drop off luggage, it was a cold, 3-minute walk to America’s Center, where WCUS was being held.
First on the agenda, FIND Francesca Marano! She’s the Release Coordinator, and we’ve been communicating practically every day since March. For those of you who somehow don’t know her, she’s an Italian with an “adorable” accent and a true force of nature. Her favorite things are sleep and “being bossy”.
We sat in on Jeff Paul‘s talk about getting involved with .org, Alain Schlesser‘s talk about “The Cost of Contribution” to .org, and Tess Coughlan-Allen‘s talk about how “do_action” days can create such a large, sustained impact.
After visiting a few sponsor booths for a decent swag haul, Francesca and I talked about having an “office hours” at Contributor Day relating to the 5.3 release as well as possibly setting a release schedule for 2020.
The official after-hours party this year was at City Museum. I ran in to Matt. He’s shown a keen interest in my Christmas lights, especially the software, so we chatted a bit about that, flying, drones, and a bit more. I also ran into Mark Uraine who’s on the release squad with me, Tammie Lister, Andrew Nacin, and many, many others.
After hours of climbing things, sliding down things, and downing some beverages, I headed back to the hotel to call it a night.
I eagerly anticipated the session discussing auto-updates for older versions of WordPress.1If you haven’t heard, a proposal was put forth this summer to automatically update old versions of WordPress, and it generated a great deal of debate about consent and whether WordPress is upholding the Four Freedoms.
I stumbled upon the Yoast booth, and played their “sjoelen” competition. I played once, and somehow acheived the highest score (with some amazing coaching from Nacin)! I ended up taking home first prize which was a pair of dutch clog slippers!1I totally want to buy a sjoelen board now, so I can defend my title next year!
I sat with Francesca, and we watched the premier of Open, the short film about the WordPress community. She was interviewed for the film, and we were not expect it to be shown. Admittedly, we were both a bit surprised.
The “Word” itself was a typical look back, mainly focused on Gutenberg adoption and development milestones. The ultimate flex , however, came at the end when Matt revealed that the entire SotW presentation was created in Gutenberg. In fact, a plugin was released that contains all the functionality to give a presentation of your own using Gutenberg!
Francesca was even able to ask the last question during Matt’s Q&A, and she asked if setting a release schedule for 2020 was a good idea. He green lit the idea.
After a quick bite to eat with a new friend, I went to the official premier of Open. Mark Maunder went all-out to celebrate the premier by bringing us to the event in limos, having a small red carpet, live band, and free drinks!
Francesca was there, along with John Blackbourn, Andrew Norcross2Norcross and I went on for 30 minutes about growing up in rural Florida. Awesome dude., William Earnhardt,3Since I’m still a big NASCAR fan, we spoke at length about the sport and his relation to Sr./Jr., Rian Rietveld, Kathy Zant, and so many more.
Sunday (Contributor Day)
Contributor day started off with me sitting with Francesca at the #core table, hoping we’d get some feedback on the 5.3 release or someone interested in learning how to lead a release. William Earnhardt asked if I could help get new contributors onboarded with Core. I went through setting up the Docker environment, working in Trac, testing and creating patches. The usual. During all of this, I finally got a moment with Jake Spurlock, who’s been a great help during the 5.3 cycle.
It was a very long day, battling Node/NPM version issues, Windows frustrations, and general tiredness at this point in the weekend.
No more parties or gatherings. Everyone was either on their way or preparing to head home. For me, the highlight was ordering Jack-in-the-Box via Postmates and watching the first weekend of Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown To Christmas”.
After a late checkout from my hotel, I boarded a flight back home to Florida.
Given my much better experience this year over years past, I was talked into going to WordCamp EU in 2020. Francesca says that Contributor Day is much, much larger at WCEU, so I’d really like to lend a hand if possible. In the interim, it’s time to get my passport renewed!
Also, after chatting with a couple of the organizers of this WCUS, I’ve decided to put in an application to speak at next year’s gathering. I’m not sure what I’d like to talk about, but I’ve got some time between now and then. If you have any ideas for a talk, please let me know!
References [ + ]
|1.||If you haven't heard, a proposal was put forth this summer to automatically update old versions of WordPress, and it generated a great deal of debate about consent and whether WordPress is upholding the Four Freedoms.|
|2.||Norcross and I went on for 30 minutes about growing up in rural Florida. Awesome dude.|
|3.||Since I'm still a big NASCAR fan, we spoke at length about the sport and his relation to Sr./Jr.|