Geeking out at Wordcamp Nagpur – 2017

I was recently at the first WordCamp Nagpur – 2017 as a speaker, speaking on “Securing your WordPress Sites”. While Nagpur has had little tech events and community meet ups, this was one of the biggest tech events to happen in Nagpur’s tech scene for a while.

Spread across 2 days, 24th and 25th June – the WordCamp had lots of technical sessions as well as user focussed sessions. I am documenting a few ideas that I learnt at WCNagpur. Since I was more interested in the technical sessions, I spent most of the time at the developer tracks.

On 24th, I started with attending

Do it Yourself – Search Engine Optimisation by Ankit Jaiswal

This was a beginner’s level track setup for users new to WordPress on Search Engine Optimisation. Ankit explained the concept and history of Search Engines well and explained why SEO needs to be done.

He explained a few tips on SEO, and a few don’ts to the newcomer audience. From tackling clients who ask for Search results on the top, to using better names for images – Ankit’s session handled it in an easy way.

Rapid Application Development by Anirudha Prabhune.

This was a talk / workshop that focussed on how wpoets team handles complex applications using WordPress. It was a low-down on their plugin – Awesome Studio

Unit Testing Your Plugins – Manoj Khande

This was an interesting talk by Manoj Khande from Sanisoft. He ran us through PHPUnit test cases. While I have worked with unit testing before, Manoj shared a few tips after his talk, that focussed solely on doing better Test Driven Development. In his talk, he explained the WP Plugin Test Framework and unit tested the plugin. Unfortunately, I could not follow the instructions, despite Manoj’s preparedness – as PHPUnit refused to work on my machine.

Getting started with WP-CLI – Ajit Bohra

Ajit is one of the most prolific and entertaining speaker I have ever come across. He left the entire room in splits with almost every slide of his, and after a tiring day of workshops – that is what the audience needed. He explained WP-CLI and some use cases in how WP-CLI can be better used.

One tip that I picked up from him in this talk was when he used VVV, he uses the actual WordPress domain names to access the sites. This is such a nifty feature, and saves so much time – especially when migrating site from local to production environment. I have used Vagrant for quite a while now, so I was fairly surprised when I came across this, and wondered why it never struck me 🙂

Post the workshops, we had plugin pratyogita (contest) where 4 contestants shared their plugins and working prototypes with the entire team. We had Tarique Sani and Rahul Bansal judging the plugins and grilling the developers on their plugin.

That ended the first day of workshops at WordCamp – 2017. The stage was all set for the main event the next day.

On the 2nd day, we started a bit late due to some technical issues.

Using Vue.js with Rest API – Tushar Joshi

The first talk for the day was Using Vue.js with RestAPI. I have attended a couple of sessions on JS by Tushar Joshi before, and yet every time he manages to inspire me with the depth of knowledge he has about programming. He explained the REST API in detail, followed by a template Vue.js application. He went to great detail to make it welcoming and easy to understand for a developer who hasn’t experienced Vue.js before.

 

Alternative Development Techniques with WordPress – Amit Singh

Amit Singh from WPoets talked about Alternative Development Techniques with WordPress. His core point was that as a developer, your job has to solve problems and not write code. He shared an example application, and asked the developer crowd – how they would build it. And after receiving the answer, he explained how he would build it using existing plugins. The Q&A session evoked some debate on plugin bloat – where someone complained that it is better to write some code rather than have a plugin with many features that they may not use.

Managing WordPress Site as a Composer Project – Rahul Bansal

Rahul Bansal of rtCamp, explained his team’s composer and git strategy when it comes to delivering WordPress sites. This was one of the few sessions where code was demoed. He explained a few plugins, that make his development easy.

One of the tip that I learnt here was to have a different set of plugins for Dev as well as Production, which is something Composer lets us do.

Using WordPress for IOT – Vikram Kulkarni

Vikram Kulkarni’s talk revolved around the IoT product that he had built for agricultural soil analysis. His product is a classic case of not over engineering anything and building a prototype soon and fast. He explained that since he was quite comfortable with WordPress, instead of learning a new language to build backend for his product – he used WordPress to build the entire service.

He ended the talk with calls for contribution to WordPress that would benefit the IOT Community so more adopters can use WordPress.

Atomic Design in WordPress – Jayman Pandya

Jayman’s talk was the only design talk scheduled and it was quite an insightful one. He explained the concept of Atomic design, and lamented the fact that for us, when it comes to modularity or responsive – we often tend to go with a custom framework like Bootstrap or Foundation. He urged the audience to go with a new inventory of design items, and talked about how one can go about building a new design language. He gave a few tips on maintaining it as well.

Jayman’s talk also set up a few conversations in the Q & A session where some attendees talked about the feasibility of this not working out with clients who are not high on budget. Someone also pointed out that custom stylesheets on bootstrap can also be used to customise bootstrap according to your needs.

Securing your WordPress Sites – Karthik Ragubathy

Post Jayman’s talk was my talk on Securing WordPress sites. I talk about this in detail in my other post here.

Are you really a WordPress Developer? – Swapnil Patil

After my talk, it was Swapnil’s talk on “Are you really a WordPress Developer?” . Swapnil’s talk revolved around the term – “developer” and definitions around it. It was quite a controversial talk, and suffice to say, many people passionately brought their own angle to the talk, including yours truly.

Post this, I had to give a miss to two excellent talks on “Headless CMS – WordPress” and “Making themes and plugins ready for translation” as I had to head out. I am waiting for these talks to be up and running on WordPress.tv.

Making Money with WordPress Sites

I came back just in time for the final user panel on “Making Money with WordPress Sites” where Kaustubh Katdare, Rohit Langde and Omkar Bhagat talked about how they earn money via blogging. It was a free wheeling discussion and it was quite popular with the crowd.

After the panel, it was a general feedback session + time to end the event. Abhishek Deshpande thanked all the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and attendees and gave a good maxim on how to carry forward the community efforts.

Overall for a first event, the WordCamp was really well organised. Everything from the attendees kit to the food – was taken care of. Although there were quite a few glitches here and there, for a first time – the team did a great job. And I hope the community goes strong from here and plays an important role in introducing people to programming as well as WordPress.

As the folks at #wcnagpur would say, Jai WordPress.

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