It was a great weekend at Wordcamp Chicago 2013.
I’ll start off by saying thank you to all the organizers and speakers. Everything went off without a hitch, well except of course for the congestion in the city due to Friday’s Chicago Black hawks Stanley Cup parade and Sunday’s Pride parade. But guess what? As a first time attendee in Chicago it actually added to the overall experience! I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. For the Conference itself, there is just way too much to cover. I will keep it as short as possible while trying to hit on all the Wordcamp highlights.
The Wordcamp speakers and the general experience
At any one time there were a total of 3 different speakers in different rooms covering different topics. Generally there would be a speaker covering topics oriented towards either development, design, or user experience/marketing. Being I am a developer I tended to gravitate toward the development topics but I did find myself in a few of the others and was pleasantly surprised. Even though I am by no means an expert in design or user experience, the talks about them I attended were oriented in towards all skill levels and actually really connected with me. They helped reinforce my appreciation for the design process as a whole and how important it is that the entire team work together throughout the entire process. The same can be said for the User Experience talks I attended. There were a few standouts from the sessions I attended and I’d like to give credit for exceptional performances where they are due.
Josh Broton: Rocking the Responsive Web
This talk was a packed house and for good reason. Josh opened up his session with high energy and a big smile. He knew that we were all there to listen to him preach the importance of how responsive design is the future of the web. He mixed up some great knowledge with some witty humor to captivate all in attendance in a rare experience that not everybody can deliver. He conveyed that responsive web design is the future. Do not ignore it. It is not going away. Embrace the progression that is giving usability to the mobile masses.
Reid Peifer: A Real World Design Process
What can I say. This guy knows how to connect with people. He keeps it real by challenging your views by letting you in on his own personal craziness while keeping an open mind as to constantly refine his own. Reid is a co-founder of Modern Tribe which is the team responsible for the wildly popular WordPress plugin Events Calendar Pro, which by the way is rumored to be updating very soon!
This was my first Wordcamp and I can’t say enough good things about the experience. Contrary to my initial belief, there are indeed quite a few people like myself that are excited to show off what they are doing and to learn what others are up to. I highly recommend to anybody in the wordpress (or even the general web) community to attend one of these conferences. The next US based Wordcamp is in San Francisco on July 26th-28th.