WordCamp Sofia 2013

A few days ago I attended and spoke at WordCamp Sofia 2013 which was a great deal of fun. Sofia is somewhat special for me, because that’s where it all began back in 2012 — that’s where I gave my first ever WordCamp talk, so this year’s event was like a little anniversary.

WordCamp Sofia 2013

My session this year was about Templating in WordPress: locate_template() and its derivatives, the template hierarchy and template-loader.php. I wasn’t too nervous about my talk this time, in fact I didn’t even have any notes, and I think it turned out pretty well (although fairly short):

So “страшен” here supposedly means “awesome” or “amazing”, which is what my Bulgarian friends told me, though maybe they’re just being too nice to me, because Google Translate says that’s “terrible.”

Quite a few sessions were in English this year, which was good for me, though not necessarily good for the Bulgarian community — I felt like most people were shy to ask questions in English. In any case, it was a pleasure to listen to: Ryan Markel, Joe Hoyle, Noel Tock, Marko Heijnen, and Brian Messenlehner.

The after party had some poker chips we could exchange for drinks, which is pretty smart. Beer, wine, whiskey and late-night WordPress chatter.

Contribute Day was new for Sofia this year. It was held at SiteGround’s office with pizza, drinks, ping pong and pool. Not too many people attended, but we did have small groups working on translations, docs and themes, which turned out to be fun, and a little exhausting too:

I stayed at the amazing Sense Hotel this time. They have cool light controllers in rooms, that let you pick one of several modes: TV, reading, relaxing, etc.; keycard activated elevators: you don’t have to pick a floor — they know; and a solid internet connection, which is always a huge win.

Overall, I had a really great time, so huge props to Mario Peshev for the well organized event and looking forward to WordCamp Sofia next year!

WordPress Speed and Performance Session from WordCamp Russia

I gave this talk in a couple of weeks ago at the very first WordCamp Russia 2013 which was a big success (will publish a recap separately).

It covers most of the basics: what is site speed and why it’s important, a little bit of object caching, transient caching, page caching, opcode caching, browser caching, image compression, etc. Before you hit “Play”, please note that the video is in Russian :)

If you have any questions, I’ll happily reply via comments or Twitter, both in English and Russian.

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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Speaking at WordCamp Norway 2013

In 2011 I spoke at zero WordCamps. In 2012 I spoke only at WordCamp Sofia. One of my goals for 2013 is to speak at five different WordCamps, and it all starts as early as January with WordCamp Norway.

WordCamp Norway is January 26th in Oslo, and I’m really excited since I’ve never been anywhere near Norway. Flight tickets ready and hotel booked, the only thing remaining is the presentation. I’ll have a 25 minute slot and will probably be talking about tips and tricks to make you a better WordPress theme developer. If you’re not attending, you’ll most likely be able to catch all the talks on WordPress.tv after the event.

I haven’t made any specific plans about the other four WordCamps, so if you’re organizing one in your area this year, and have a slot for an extra speaker, don’t hesitate to ping me. Make sure you do that at least a month prior to the event, since I’ll have to apply for a visa and all those boring things.

Are you speaking at any events this year?

Update: slides and notes for 7 Tips for Better WordPress Theme Development.