On December 9-10, 2011, in the School of Humanities and Journalism in Poznań, there took place the second Polish convention of WordPress fans, WordCamp. The first Polish convention was organized one year earlier in Łódź. Globally, WordCamp has a slightly longer history. It was founded in 2006 by Matt Mullenweg and since then the conference is organized cyclically in different places around the world. In the 5-year history of WordPress meetings, each year you can observe a growing number of conventions and participants.
The main idea of WordCamp is the non-commercial character, easy access to all who are interested and fascinating lectures. What’s most important for the participants, is that they can share knowledge and experience with WordPress. On WordCamp, you won’t see people with briefcases, wearing suits... Instead, you will come across nerds, geeks and other brainiacs, people for whom laptops are extensions of their arms and a well written line of code is a source of peculiar satisfaction.
Why so far there’s been only two WordCamps in Poland?
To find an answer to this question, I’ve dug into statistics. According to WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, 14.7% out of million most popular websites in the world and 22% of new domains set up in the United States are based on WordPress platform. When looking into a report prepared by Water & Stone, Open Source CMS Market Share (https://www.waterandstone.com/downloads/2011OSCMSMarketShareReport.pdf), you can see that this system crushes the competition in Open Source CMS solutions. The exact number of downloads can be checked on WordPress.org (wordpress.org/download/counter/).
I’m wondering, however, why it’s not that popular in Poland? Here it’s just beginning to develop, and the events such as WordCamp organized in Poznań are the response to the dynamic growth of popularity. One of the speakers of this year’s convention pointed out that the needs of Polish market associated with WordPress outgrow the production capabilities of people currently dealing with it. It turns out that there is a shortage of programmers with WordPress expertise. It’s also worth noticing that user (client) awareness of the functionality and usage of this platform is also growing. So it’s more and more often used for setting up internet portals and shops.
The first question I’ve asked myself after two days of participation in Poznań WordCamp was: Was it worth it? Over the two days there were 14 talks (2011.poznan.wordcamp.org/agenda/), which provided me with lots of knowledge, experience and caffeine. The topics were mostly of technical character, there were presented the most important issues associated with WordPress, such as panel modifications, creating plugins, optimization and security.
I especially recommend the talk by Paweł Pela, who approached WordPress in a strictly humane manner, lecture – “Making money out of WordPress, or how to become a freelancer”, in which he discussed all the aspects of relations with clients and work organization from legal perspective, so everything you should know when starting your business.
I encourage those who are interested in WordPress to visit WordPress.tv, where you can find numerous WordCamp talks from all over the world.