A short review of #wcparis if you missed it

And here we are again, another year has passed and its time to gather with the community to take a step back, look at what we have learned and where we are heading regarding what has become over the years our projects backbone CMS : WordPress.

Context first …

Friday, Day 1, back at Mas, it’s 8:30 a:m, a little too early for me but we do have a lot to cover. Just the time to grab a coffee, salute a few known heads, and off we go for nine hours of shop-talks. Two tracks and a first good point : choice is hard (a level/theme indicator would have been nice to select the proper talk for each person). The quality of speakers is good, the community experts present either on stage or in the room (Aurélien, Julio, Daniel, Rémi, Gregoire, Mathieu to name a few), the usual mix between early adopters, newcomers, freelancers, and agencies but also a few digital project managers from brands and medias.

After hours is set at a bar within central paris district was great, 50+ people joined (mostly active members in the community), the atmosphere was proper for quality talk that lead us to a talk shop for a few more hours around a few beers (not that frequent in conferences or meet-up). Back home just before midnight … , day 2 sounded epic.

Saturday, Day 2, rendez-vous was set at the same time at Palais Brongniart hosted by EEMI. The crowd is a little smaller as always, 2 tracks, time for some more technical workshops. The place made me felt back to school, and after a few years in an optimized work space environment, it’s hard not to have consideration for students who learn in such catastrophic conditions : chairs are uncomfortable as hell, air is not controlled properly (to hot and not renewed for a proper work environment), daylight quite insufficient. And with all the best concentration, i could not resist to loose focus … But still the talks quality made that second day worth the pain.

… and content

So where does wordpress stands on January 2015, I’am not going to make here a compilation of each presentation, but rather give you an overall feedback.

2013 and 2014 editions where mostly focused on plugins environment and new WP features such as Buddy-press, woo-commerce, YPML and the unconditional ACF, but also the little war between building themes from scratch from clients needs or building / selling / adapting them to clients needs.

2015 felt a lot more eclectic, a mix between best practice, plugins, multi-sites, internationalisation, CMS back-office (for web apps or native apps), user experience, adding frameworks around WP (Themosis, Node, Backbone & Angular) and other popular technologies such as elastic search, but also some proper WordPress technics regarding larger problems such as RWD images optimisation, marketing tools, page generators.

To be fair, ACF stills finds a way to make it at some point in most talks, that plugin is not growing away anytime soon (even if some key improvements are still necessary, such as a custom field id mapping, to make it usable in more inter-operational projects with all json api based technologies).

In brief, WordPress french community seems more mature, we can see that the wordpress core developers efforts (multisites, plugins-MU, Json API to name a few) are paying off in order to empower us with tools that allows us to combine the quality of this CMS with any other technology. And some french actors are in good shape to respond to Automatic call last year for some larger scale WP development firms in France (to join their VIP program), we will have some confirmation about that in the next years.

Finally, the community seems to be in a little shifting period, new conferences (WClyon), meetups (Worpresss-fr) and associations (WPnext) are coming. Until then, let’s get back to work to make a better word.