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DevriX at WordCamp Bucharest 2018 – A Recap!

WordCamp Bucharest 2018

Last weekend two of our finest, Mario and Stanko, rolled away from the office, packed their bags, and headed to Bucharest to represent DevriX at WCBUC 2018.

The event took place over the course of two days (27-28 October), and we were part of over 300 attendees. We had a few good reasons why we wanted to be at WCBUC:

  • First, we always love to contribute to the community and attend WordCamps.

  • Second, we enjoy meeting up with familiar faces and making new friends.

  • And third, Mario had the honor of speaking and educating the community on building Enterprise WordPress projects.

The passionate Romanian WordPress community did an excellent job of securing the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania as a venue. It was a perfect size, with an excellent auditorium, and more than enough space to relax, sit back and have hallway convos.

The organization of the event was top notch thanks to the efforts of the Romanian WordPress community, its organizers, the top-level speakers, and its generous sponsors.

We started with the Speakers & Sponsors Dinner, where we got the chance to meet the local crew, as well as the other speakers.

WCBU Conference Day

You could tell that it was going to be an amazing conference day at WCBUC.

After the intro from Marius, it was time to roll with the talks!

What Is Your Story? – Ivana Cirkovic

We kicked things off with Ivana, a WordPress enthusiast, and an experienced Digital Marketing PR and Social Media consultant with a decade in the industry. For her, digital storytelling is all about inspiring people.

WordPress is the perfect platform for storytelling. It’s free. It’s open-source, and it has themes and plugins you can use. It’s also an SEO friendly platform.

Selling is not only about the product, but it’s also about the story. You need to know how to tell a story if you want to succeed online. Above all, it has to be simple, provocative, and honest. Storytelling tells the story of the customer, what they need and which solution can best answer their needs.

How to Find Peace and Change the World – Emanuel Blagonic

Emanuel, a web designer with over a decade of experience, knows what the meaning of life is – happiness. The world moves fast. In 15 years, we progressed from Internet Explorer to advanced browsers and the platform that makes more than 30% of the entire internet. His talk was deeply personal and inspirational and struck a chord with everyone present.

Discovering WordPress was his moment of inspiration. He realized that we only create borders in our heads. Give, give unconditionally, and most importantly, never give up! Namaste Emanuel 🙏

Automating WordPress Operations with Kubernetes – Calin Don

Calin is a perfectionist and a language-agnostic day-and-night code tinkerer that has been in love with WordPress since 2005. In his talk, he emphasized the inability to properly manage the lifecycle of multiple websites.

That’s why he introduced to us Kubernetes, an open-source solution and the brain behind Google’s infrastructure, and showed us how we can apply it to our WordPress systems. Through Kubernetes, we can enable and democratize automated DevOps and system admin operations.

The golden rule according to Calin is the following – backups are backups unless you can restore data from them. Security should be taken very seriously. You can’t scale without monitoring important items. Scaling means efficiency, and automation should always imply less technical problems.

Coffee Time ☕

Before and Beyond Gutenberg – Andrei Lupu

Andrei Lupu is a backend developer who loves to tackle the most challenging tasks and unsolvable puzzles. During his talk, he shared some examples of how we used to do things with shortcodes and widgets, and how those things will take shape in the Gutenberg WordPress Future.

He didn’t forget to emphasize the significant effect that Gutenberg will have on our work and on our relationships with our clients in the process.

AJAX-ing Your ( WooCommerce ) Website – Mitko Kochkovski

Mitko is a WordPress web developer that loves to create unusual websites, especially with WooCommerce. Fresh from organizing the first ever WCSKP, he came to talk about the numerous ways that we can use AJAX for our WordPress projects.

He explained to everyone how the wp_ajax functionality works along with tips and tricks.. His talk continued onto the WP API and JavaScript frameworks that can help us create AJAX-ed websites.

AMP: It’s Getting Faster! – Yannick Gaultier

Yannick is a former mechanical engineer that started working with CMS systems as a hobby, and today, he’s a CEO, a PHP developer, and an SEO specialist. According to Yannick, over the last 12 months, in Accelerated Mobile Pages, there was a strong focus on two main areas: speed and the ability to handle more and better content types.

In his presentation, he reviewed the pros and cons of using AMP and analyzed the major changes with AMP over the last 12 months, as well as the pitfalls that we need to avoid when we implement it.

Is GDPR Such a Boo-Hoo for Online Businesses? – Ana-Maria Udriste

Ana-Maria Udriste is a lawyer and an entrepreneur. As a founder of a case-law platform and a jurist, she’s the perfect person to tell us how much GDPR affects our online and offline businesses. Is GDPR just a ghost?

For her, legitimate interest in data requires special understanding. If your interest is bigger than individual’s interest, it may be fine to collect data. When you ask for data from the users, you need to be as transparent as possible about how their data is being used and maintained within your company.

Another important point is to allow users to give their own consent. Don’t tick the checkboxes for them, allow them to decide. Let individuals have control of their data.

Lunchtime 🙂

Agile Habits Not Frameworks – Aleksandar Savkovic

Aleks is an experienced WordPress web developer and a car nut that constantly re-frames, re-thinks, and reconsiders himself. His talk was focused on how to help teams stay aligned with company goals.

Employees often feel alone and pressured by deadlines. This is where Kanban steps up to help teams scale up. A daily huddle – what employees did yesterday, what’s blocking them, what they’ll do today? Scrum is vital for development teams and time-boxed sprints.

You should be able to trust your employees and always provide positive, feel-good feedback. Let the misunderstanding happen, it’s normal. Stay transparent, agile, and review results, not the person.

WordPress & SEO – At Long Last Love – Horia Neagu

Noria is a CEO and a Digital Marketing Consultant, and a passionate WordPress developer with over a decade of SEO experience. His presentation was focused on the relationship between WordPress and SEO, and how we can make it work.

He demonstrated how to craft the perfect theme that can actually help with SEO. Noria also stressed the common pitfalls that most developers make and the wrong plugins for the project. In essence, he outlined the process of turning WordPress sites into Google-dominating powerhouses.

Tips for Successful Enterprise WordPress Projects – Mario Peshev

Finally, it was time for Mario to rock the stage!

What can we say, he’s our CEO and founder, with over 15 years of coding experience (including 30 patches in the WordPress Core), one of the top writers on Quora, a podcaster, a university tech, and business teacher and a consultant at companies such as VMware, SAP, and Saudi Aramco. On top of that, Mario is a proud dad and a supporter of dog-friendly offices.

According to Mario, scaling a business requires tapping into an enterprise-grade market, one willing to pay a premium for high-quality services. Working with a smaller company is one thing, but conforming to enterprise processes is a whole different game.

It requires long sales cycles, proactive and ongoing management, SLA that stands out, a defined process, tailored offerings, and sticking to industry standards.

Discussing both the technical and the business end of enterprises, Mario accentuated the following:

  • Decide if enterprises are your forte. Enterprise work involves a lot of paperwork, negotiations, meetings, and complex sales process.

  • Define your enterprise audience and tackle it as a corporation. Study how enterprises operate and adapt to their process.
  • Sort out your legal and communication paperwork on time. This is paramount, it really is. Imagine landing a 6-figure deal only to find out that your small business/solopreneur account doesn’t allow for that.
  • Acquire all assets as early as possible. The number of decision that one makes on the enterprise front can slow the process down even further.
  • Bet on professional tooling that could scale. PM and support systems, legal/quoting tools, SaaS and marketing automation platforms, everything you can think of.
  • Deliver outstanding quality that follows the 3S. The “3S” is our DevriX framework for success which we follow for every project – Stability, Speed, Security.

You can find the slides from the presentation here. As always, Mario made sure to answer as many questions as possible.

A big thanks for the super-enthusiastic Romanian crowd, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all in Sofia on WCSOF.

WordPress Breaks Time (and How to Fix it) – Andrey Savchenko

Andrey is a WordPress contractor that believes in a web of content sites that are a delight to discover, read, and navigate. In his talk, Andrey educated the attendees about the Date/Time component of WordPress and why the work with dates and time zones is full of pitfalls. In essence, if you change time in general settings, you break time.

Coming from years of hassling with Date/Time component bugs, Andrey outlined us in details the process of resolving this problem: pointing out to the most common error, providing practical solutions and output practices, and covering the work being done in core on resolving the outstanding issues and direction towards better functionality. You can find the slides from Andrey’s presentation here.

Setting up the Ideal Webserver for WordPress: from Zero to Hero! – Georgios Gkouvousis

Georgios is a Full Stack Developer with more than a decade of experience with WordPress. He came to WCBUC to talk about the biggest pains of a Default WordPress installation. For him, the golden rule is the following: the faster the WordPress, the better.

Page speed matters not only for an improved UX but for the happiness of the user as well. He defined the exact process that makes a Virtual Private Server to a blazing fast WordPress LNMP stack, including side improvement steps such as updating MySQL versions, DOM improvements, as well as using the latest PHP version. You can relive his presentation here.

Progressive Web Apps: The future of Mobile Apps – Vineet Talwar

Vineet is a co-founder, WordPress web developer, photographer, podcaster, as well as technical and business consultant. His talk revolved around progressive web apps (PWA), how they revolutionize the mobile web and how everyone in the industry can become a part of it.

He also discussed CMS support, tools, and plugins that help in achieving an app-like experience, as well as making the WordPress solution installable like an app with enabled push notifications. The possibility alone to turn the solution into a PWA means a bigger target market, more customers, and at the end, more revenue. You can find his presentation deck here.

Why And How to Use Social Media to Create a Brand and Revenue! – Catalin Matei

Catalin is a CEO and a Digital Marketing expert. Social media is huge! With people spending 2h+/day surfing online, 80+ times/day opening their social media accounts, and with a digital marketing spend of $250B/year, it’s more crucial than ever to spread your brand on social media channels.

He made his presentation in the form of a case study, where he showcased some practical examples of marketing strategies that WordPress site owners can use to stand out on social media, as well as how to use Facebook & Instagram Ads properly and the pros and cons of every other platform. Most importantly, Catalin emphasized that providing value is the number one factor that can help you develop relationships on social media channels.

After a long day of quality talks at WCBU, it was time for the organizers to thank everyone, and go the After Party to cool down, which on that Saturday, lasted 1 hour longer 😛

Day 2: Contributor Day

Contributor Day at WCBU was focused on Gutenberg, and we got the chance to hang out at the workshop and together, to contribute to this open-source project. However, we had a 6-hour drive back to Sofia waiting for us, so we couldn’t stay longer.

To wrap up, we had a fantastic time at WordCamp Bucharest! The conference was a blast, the city was fantastic, the weather was perfect, and the venue was amazing. But again, what we enjoyed the most is how the entire experience was organized, the friendliness, and the enthusiasm of everyone involved.

Thank you, Romania and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again at WordCamp Sofia 2018 this month!