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People of WordCamp Europe 2016

Helen playing the piano

WordCamp Europe 2016 in Vienna is over. I feel tired and sad. But in the most positive way you can imagine. It has been so much fun to meet new people, and hang out with our WordPress Finland community members.

In this post I’m not going summarize amazing talks we all witnessed. Talks will be in WordPress TV also. But instead I’ll try to share some of my memories about meeting people. You can’t have a community without people, right?

Welcome to my first ever diary chapter.

Wednesday 22.7. – arriving to Vienna

I had the same flight with Marco Martins early in the morning. He was our lead organizer in WordCamp Finland 2016. Our WordCamp Finland “sauna” wapuu was also coming with us!

When we arrived to Vienna it was almost as hot as in sauna. I’m not sure does Marco like sauna or not but we certainly have same kind of humour. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with him.

Football and Pizza

Later in the evening I went to see football match Austria against Island. From time to time atmosphere was getting high but I was a little disappointed. There could have been more singing and cheering. It didn’t help that Austria lost though…

After the match Niko and Marco joined me and we had delicious Italian pizza. In the same time hungarian football fans was singing and cheering in the streets. I guess they have qualified.

Thursday 23.7. – Themers Meetup

I waited Themers Meetup for months. Me and Ana Segota started to talk on Twitter should we meet and invite couple of more themers also. Well, it turned around that we had over 40 people in our warm up meetup. Totally crazy and unexpected!

Ana was the main organizer of themers meetup so we can thank her for such a lovely evening.

Naturally we want to thank everybody else for participating. Let’s do this again in Paris!

Sorry that I don’t remember all your names but it was nice to chat with Marko (Ana’s husband), Ulrich, Sakin, Themecloudio dudes, and everybody else.

Friday 24.7. – Midsummer party for Finnish WordPress Community

Our Finnish WordPress community is getting more and more active. We have local meetups in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, and Jyväskylä. Oulu is joining also.

Many companies are using WordPress as their main platform, and some are contributing back to community constantly. For some Five for the Future could be just one part of marketing but hey, even that is better than nothing.

Nevertheless it was great to celebrate Juhannus (Midsummer) together in Vienna! And it was really cool that Johan from Sweden also joined us with his family. Perhaps we start planning on Nordic WordCamp at some point, who knows…

We can thank Antti for organizing Midsummer meetup. Cheers for us!

Saturday 25.7. – After Party Ball

Edit: There is Finnish Community Ball picture in Flickr. Funny costumes.

One tweet sums the funniest part of after party pretty well.

With Brian we go way back to ThemeHybrid community and we finally met face to face. If you haven’t already joined Post Status hosted by Brian, now it’s time.

We all know Matt Mullenweg, a founding developer of WordPress. Perhaps some day we’ll get him to WordPress Finland. It was also nice to chat with Mike Little (co-founder of WordPress) during the day. I’ll get back to Helen Hou-Sandí later on.

Wait, I also met my “Nordic Brother”, Morten for the fist time. How cool and fun was that! And Topher & Chris from EDD team, and Brad from WP Migrate DB Pro, and my diary is getting really, really boring. Let’s move on.

Actually not yet. One more thing.

The other side of life

With Ana and Rolle we also talked more serious topics of life which isn’t always sun shine. Sad things can happen, we might have mental or physical problems, we might suffer burn out or impostor syndrome.

I don’t have answers how we should handle the dark sides of life. Other than we should talk with our friends, family, or professionals. Or write about it. It’s just so much easier to said than done.

We are all different but unique in the same time. Let your friend know why you think he or she is unique. It definitely doesn’t have to be WordPress related.

Accessibility experts

It was my pleasure to meet and talk with many accessibility experts in the WordCamp. Starting with Graham Armfield who gave excellent Assistive Technology Demo talk. He showed how Dragon (voice recognition software) and NVDA (a screen reader) is used and how they work.

Rian Rietveld talked about state of the accessibility. There are lot’s of things to be done but accessibility is getting better and better. Core team has also made clear decision about accessibility:

All new or updated code released into WordPress core and bundled themes must conform with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines at level AA

I was also very glad that Rian outlined that we should learn accessibility deeply, not just trendy Javascript.

I was also happy to chat with Joe Dolson, he has probably helped me most what comes to accessibility. He also reviews accessibility ready themes on WordPress.org.

Andrea Fercia is also big part of accessibility team but I only had change to say Hi to him. Let’s talk more next time.

What about other talks

If I’d have to pick the most inspirational talk for me, it would be Code is Poetry: A Musician’s Tale by Helen Hou-Sandí.

Helen playing the piano
Photo credit Florian Ziegler

The talk started with piano performance, and it was mind blowing. I could talk for hours how much impact music have had in my life, but now it’s not time for that talk.

I’ll link the WordCamp Europe 2016 reviews here when I see them, mostly from Finnish community.

Sunday 26.7. – Frisbeegolf and eating

I didn’t go to contributors day because we wanted to locate the only Frisbeegolf track in Vienna. It sure was fun to be outside and hang out with Natanael, Eelis, Anttoni, and Christian.

Last but not least, I went to eat with Ana, Marko, and Ivana.

This was a perfect ending for WordCamp Europe 2016. Let’s see you all again in next WordCamp in Paris!