WordCamp US 2023: Recap & Highlights
September 15, 2023
The WordCamp US 2023 was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride of knowledge, creativity, and community spirit. From the moment we stepped into the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, there was an electric buzz in the air that lasted from August 24 to 26.
The event was a true celebration of diversity, bringing together a colourful tapestry of people – from seasoned industry veterans to enthusiastic newcomers, all sharing a common thread – a deep-seated passion for WordPress.
“It was inspiring to see such a wide array of individuals with unique perspectives and experiences coming together as one collective WordPress community.”
— Vanessa Viana, Social Media Manager and First-time WordCamper
WordPress VIP for Government
Kicking off WordCamp US this year was an exclusive look into WordPress success stories in government, such as the state of California moving its website platforms to WordPress. We were thrilled to see WordPress being adopted into more government departments, leveraging the flexibility of the platform and the content editing capabilities to support constituents while providing the security that government institutions demand.
#WCUS 2023: Contributor Day
The conference kicked off with a bang, gathering many WordPress enthusiasts for the much-anticipated Contributor Day. In a display of true community spirit, contributors could participate, either in person or remotely, choosing the teams that aligned most closely with their skills and interests: Core, Design, Mobile, Accessibility, Polyglots, Support, Documentation, and many more.
The Accessibility Team, consisting of 24 contributors, embarked on various projects ranging from testing the new Twenty Twenty-Four theme to discussions on implementing an accessibility statement for WordPress.org. Among these dedicated contributors was our very own Matthew Farlymn, Tech Lead at Trew Knowledge. Matthew played a pivotal role in the Bug Scrub squad, actively working on resolving existing accessibility tickets, exemplifying not only his expertise but also his commitment to making WordPress more accessible to all users.
#WCUS 2023: Tips, Highlights and Key Happenings
A line-up of influential speakers from around the world shared their knowledge and insights on various topics. Some of the key speakers included Abby Bowman and J.J. Toothman from NASA, who shared their insights into the challenges and triumphs of modernizing NASA’s web platforms using WordPress, and the award-winning writer Ken Liu, who recounted his journey through a pandemic-induced crisis of faith in storytelling and detailed his path to rekindling the magic of narratives.
Participants also had the opportunity to deep dive into various tools and techniques in a series of interactive workshops. These sessions provided practical knowledge and skills that attendees could immediately apply to their own projects.
Keeping with our long-standing tradition, the Trew Knowledge team was actively engaged in WordCamp US, sharing session highlights via Twitter. Below, we have curated some of the most memorable moments from the two-day event, along with links to the recorded talks for your convenience.
#WCUS 2023: Keynotes
As the second day of the conference ended, the audience eagerly anticipated the keynote speech from Josepha Haden Chomposy, WordPress Executive Director. Following her address, Matt Mullenweg, WordPress Co-founder and Automattic CEO, took the stage to share his insights.
Josepha Haden painted a vivid picture of the future of WordPress and underscored the imperative to not only enhance the software’s efficiency but also to empower new users to learn to code. Moreover, she prompted the audience to ponder:
– What is the story you want to be able to tell about yourself?
– What is the story you want to tell about your time in WP?
– What is the story you want WordPress to tell?
Matt Mullenweg opened his keynote with a reference to a past comment from WordPress Co-founder Mike Little and then discussed the latest features of WordPress 6.3. He announced the upcoming release of WordPress 6.4, which will have a new default theme, integrated font management, and Image block options.
Peering into the future, Mullenweg highlighted Phase 3 of the Gutenberg project, centred on workflows and collaboration, “transforming WordPress from a solo to a collaborative tool.” In line with this collaborative approach, a new #LMS working group will unite WordPress learning management systems to enhance web standards for courses and educational content.
He concluded the event by urging the community to contemplate how WordPress could continue transforming the internet landscape for the next century and beyond.
WordCamp US 2023 provided plenty of opportunities for attendees to network and connect with like-minded individuals. Attendees found themselves in the company of fellow enthusiasts during coffee breaks, in the Sponsors Hall, at the after-party, and even in the hallways. These interactions fostered a rich exchange of experiences, ideas and the formation of valuable connections.
The grand finale of the event was the ‘After Party’ or WCUS Social, hosted at the awe-inspiring Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Attendees were treated to a private viewing of five fascinating exhibits, allowing them to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world after a day of enriching interactions and learning experiences.
Looking forward to WordCamp US 2024!
As we wrap up and reflect on the event, one thing is clear – the WordPress community is stronger than ever. The spirit of collaboration, the exchange of ideas, and the sense of belonging that was palpable during WordCamp US 2023 will undoubtedly fuel our passion and drive for the coming year.
To keep up with WordCamp events happening globally, you can get the latest updates by visiting the WordCamp Central website.