Organising a WordCamp is a wild ride – if you’ve ever done it before you’ll know just how much work goes into it and you will no doubt have some great personal experience with last minute changes, unreliable suppliers and the stress that goes along with that. At this point I’d probably say something like “this year’s WordCamp Cape Town was no different”, but in reality WordCamp Cape Town 2014 went incredibly smoothly with very few real issues popping up.
We have a great community down here in Cape Town who are so loyal and passionate about WordPress that they make it an absolute pleasure to organise a WordCamp for. Looking back at the social stream of the event shows just how passionate everyone is and just how much they engaged with the speakers and each other.
This year’s WordCamp was particularly special because it was the first time that we hosted our own Contributor Day. In fact, it was the first contributor day to be hosted anywhere in Africa. I am personally very excited about this as I strongly believe in contributing back to WordPress and the community. I thoroughly enjoyed showing people how they can contribute and then seeing our community work on patches, support tickets and even Afrikaans translations was something special.
We will be hosting more Contributor Days throughout the year as those who attended last week thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Speakers & Sessions
With speakers from both South Africa and all over Europe, we were treated to a fascinating set of talks that left everyone inspired and motivated. We had sessions on communication, remote working, charitable coding initiatives and ecommerce, as well as workshops on caching, security, plugin building and task runners. Every single one of them was thoroughly enjoyed and our community benefitted greatly from the local and international speakers alike.
The workshops were a new addition for WordCamp Cape Town and they were so successful (we had plenty of people who were very disappointed that they couldn’t fit into a workshop) that we will definitely be bringing those back next year and making them more of a focus for the day.
WordCamp Cape Town was definitely a great success, so what’s next? I’ve headed up the organising team for two local WordCamps now and we’re keen to take things further. I’m very excited about the fact that a WordPress meetup is starting in Johannesburg and, after being in touch with the organiser there, we’re going to look at hosting WordCamp South Africa next year. WordCamp Cape Town will still happen, albeit on a smaller scale, but the national event will take on the role that this year’s event served.
This next chapter in the South African WordPress community is very exciting and it’s great to be working at a company that is so heavily invested in local communities like this.