jQuery Russia 2013

Last week I attended jQuery Russia 2013 which was held at Digital October (my favorite venue) in Moscow. The conference was organized by a local HR company called ITmozg and they’ve done a fairly good job.

jQuery Russia 2013

Dave Methvin, President of the jQuery Foundation, gave the opening keynote and a session on javascript and jQuery performance, which was really good. He called out Facebook for a pretty bad infinite scroll pattern, one that causes a forced layout on every scroll event.

He also mentioned that people often refer to jQuery being slow, and most of the time it’s not even jQuery’s fault:

This is not jQuery being slow, it’s that bad jQuery plugin.

Which sounds very familiar in the world of WordPress, themes and plugins. Dave also did a quick javascript profiling 101 using IE11 (which looks pretty amazing) and Chrome’s developer tools.

The other noteworthy session was Eric Mann’s about web sockets, and a pretty interesting Menehune library for jQuery.

Overall, the event was okay. Not great! But okay. I guess I was expecting more out of a $400 conference, stuffed with sponsors (including the stage), or maybe I’m just used to WordCamps :) Anyway, I met a bunch of folks, a few old friends. I didn’t stay for the after-party, but I’m pretty sure it was good.

Will I attend next year? Probably not.

WordPress Kitchen Ukraine 2013

Last week I attended WordPress Kitchen in Kiev, Ukraine – a little informal conference about all things WordPress. One whole day with around 70 attendees, 9 sessions and a great deal of fun.

WordPress Kitchen Ukraine 2013

I learned about WordPress Kitchen a few weeks before the event and immediately reached out to the organizing team to see what they were up to. The event was mostly organized by Pingbull, a web development agency scattered between Oslo, Stockholm and Kiev. They were all super friendly and nice.

The event was held in an anti-cafe called Besedniza. Nine sessions total, one in English, one in Ukrainian and the rest in Russian. The speakers were mostly developers, quite a few of them from Pingbull. They covered some interesting topics, most of which were directly related to WordPress, including a session about why one should not pick WordPress.

The after-party was at a bar nearby, with some food, lots of drinks, jokes, laughter and a boxing match between Klitschko and Povetkin — Klitschko obviously won.

This was my first time in Kiev and my first time in Ukraine. I stayed there for three days in quite a nice hotel called Alfavito. Walking around the streets felt a lot like Russia, especially Magnitogorsk – the city I lived in right before I moved to Moscow.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in making WordPress Kitchen happen. I hope to come back to Ukraine very soon for another WordPress event or two, hopefully leading up to the first WordCamp Ukraine in 2014.

WordCamp San Francisco 2013 Recap

This was my second WordCamp San Francisco, and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t attended too much of the sessions, most notably: Mark Jaquith on deploying, code UX by Nikolay Bachiyski, funny theme stories by Ian Stewart, introduction of the O2 theme by Beau Lebens, roles and caps by Andrew Nacin and obviously State of the Word, by Matt Mullenweg, speaking of which, I was named “recent rockstar” for the 3.6 release cycle (along with quite a few other awesome folks), which I’m so proud of.

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WordPress Community Summit 2012 Photos

I’m not very good with cameras, but here are some photos taken during the WordPress Community Summit, held in Tybee Island, GA earlier this month.

WordPress Community Summit Wrap-up

The summit is over and the feeling is amazing. I’m staying in Tybee for a few more days, to have some fun and make my long travel worth the effort, not that the summit was not worth it :)

WordPress Community Summit

The event took place in the Tybee Wedding Chapel, which is 99% awesome and 1% creepy. Around a hundred people attended the summit, though some couldn’t make it because of Hurricane Sandy, that hit some airport areas and caused flights to be cancelled. In any case, most seemed to have followed the summit online and notes and summaries have been (and are still being) posted to the event site.

It was the first time I’ve been to an unconference event and I really loved it. There were many discussions varying from core enhancements, themes and plugins, updates and i18n, to documentation improvements and women in WordPress. Quite a few action points were written down and hopefully will be followed up in the coming weeks. The ones I’m most excited about contributing to Core and making WordCamp.org more open, and a better place for WordCamp organizers and attendees.

I met a great deal of folks who I only knew by Gravatars and their WordPress.org handles, hand a fun time hanging around with them before, during and after the event, chit chatting about WordPress, travel and life. I’ll be back in Moscow on Friday, hopefully Sandy will be out of the way by then.

There’s a summary of the morning discussions and the afternoon discussions with action points published by Mark Jaquith. Other and more in-depth summaries will be posted on the summit blog in the coming days. There’s also a new “make site” on WordPress.org called meta which will help improve the WordPress.org network itself.