Podcast: Chatting about WordCamp Helsinki

I was a guest on the 7th episode of the only Finnish-language WordPress podcast around, Se Alkuperäinen WordPress Podcast . We chatted about attending WordCamps, organizing WordCamps and the upcoming WordCamp Helsinki in particular. This year I’m not on the organising team but I’ll be giving a lightning talk on the WordPress Customizer.

Jakso 7: WordCamp Finland

Good For The EU, But

Some very sad conclusions regarding Brexit by analysts working for Algebris Investments on the World Economic Forum website.

Brexit is a symptom of Britain’s deeply rooted economic imbalances: a growth model too concentrated on finance and services and dependent on foreign goods, human and financial capital; record-high social and wealth inequality; a lack of investment in infrastructure and education; and monetary and fiscal policies that have helped create a property bubble and excess household debt.

In their attempt to create a fairer and more equal country, Britons sought to sever ties from what they saw as a weakened partner. The reality is that Brexit will likely make Britain weaker and, ironically, is making the EU stronger.

I recommend reading the full article here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/brexit-european-union-negotiations/

10up’s NodeifyWP Marries WordPress and Node.js

Looks like 10up just released something I was waiting for but didn’t know it: NodeifyWP.

With NodeifyWP, we can serve a true isomorphic application from within PHP: we get the benefits of WordPress and the benefits of isomorphic Node.js technologies. No separate Node.js/Express server is necessary.

Sounds crazy. Can’t wait to try it out! Read more from Taylor Lovett’s blogpost.

Introducing Twenty Sixteen React and NodeifyWP

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen, 1934–2016

Jeremy Keith nails it again, on progressive web apps

There seems to be an inherent assumption that native is intrinsically “better” than the web, and that the only way that the web can “win” is to match native apps note for note. But that misses out on all the things that only the web can do—instant distribution, low-friction sharing, and the ability to link to any other resource on the web (and be linked to in turn). Turning our beautifully-networked nodes into standalone silos just because that’s the way that native apps have to work feels like the cure that kills the patient.

Full post: https://adactio.com/journal/11130

My Takeaways from WordCamp Europe 2016 (so far)

The fourth WordCamp Europe was organized this year in Vienna, Austria. It’s the biggest WordCamp in the world to date, with over 2200 attendees. Along with most of my colleagues, I’ve been to all of them. One of the biggest things that has kept me using and building with WordPress for over 11 years is the amazing community, which is welcoming and friendly to both beginners and experts, users and developers. 

There were many excellent talks, but these are some of the things/themes that stuck with me so far (the event is not over yet!):


Both John Blackbourne (lead developer) and Rian Rietveld (accessibility consultant) highlighted in their talks the fact that all new code included in WordPress core must conform to WCAG 2.0 level AA. This is a big thing. The EU recently passed a directive that all public sector sites should have at least level AA accessibility. In her “State of the Accessibility” talk however, Rian pointed out that there are still many improvements in core to be made, such as the Media library.

Code is Poetry – a musician’s tale (Helen Hou-Sandi)

Perhaps the most memorable talk of the event was Helen Hou-Sandi’s talk “A musician’s tale”. Helen is one of the five lead developers of WordPress, but she is also a classical pianist. At the beginning of her talk, she treated us to an amazing recital on a grand piano, something you do not usually see at a tech conference. Her talk after that focused on the similarities between reading and performing music and writing code to build websites or applications, and also touched on the still prevalent issue of narrow stereotypes of both what a musician and a developer are supposed to be or look like.

Dealing with your insecurities

Another talk that touched me deeply was Sonja Leix’s talk on managing “impostor syndrome”, i.e. that little nagging voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough for this job, this project, this team etc. When Sonja asked who has felt like this sometimes, almost everyone in the room raised their hands. I certainly feel like I struggle with this every day at work, that I don’t know JavaScript well enough, or accessibility, or PHP, or whatever the topic of the day happens to be. Sonja’s three tips to help combat impostor syndrome were (paraphrased):

  1. Find a friendly community where you can help and get help from other people and share knowledge. For Sonja this was the WordPress community.
  2. Speaking at events helps build self-confidence.
  3. Start contributing to Open Source projects, e.g. WordPress. Be selfish when selecting an area to contribute to: what would you like to learn?

The trouble with communicating online

Siobhan McKeown gave an excellent talk on the pitfalls of communicating with pure text. Two points: 

  1. Face to face communication is important!
  2. Liking on Facebook is not a political act, because your opinions will just bounce around in an echo chamber of like-minded people.

Next year

WordCamp Europe 2017 will be in Paris, France!

Sad to see you go

Almost all the votes are in at it’s clear the UK has voted to leave the EU. I feel sad, mainly because the reasons given for Brexit were almost all about fear and lies. I sincerely hope though that the UK and EU together can figure out a deal that makes sense for both parties, and that ordinary people won’t suffer too much because of the times ahead.