WordCamp Sofia Recap

The last weekend of October was important for the WordPress community in Bulgaria. Not only did it have its fourth WordCamp, but Sunday gathered people together to give back to WordPress during the first Contributor Day in Sofia.

More than 260 people attended on Saturday. There were two parallel tracks with talks: the General track covering common WordPress, business, and design-related talks, and the Developers track focusing on more in-depth topics. 16 different sessions were available to the audience, and a Q&A panel was the logical end to the formal part of the event.

There were local representatives in both the development and general tracks, and seven international speakers joined us to share their experience and feel the team spirit of the warm Bulgarian community. We tried to cover the essentials for beginners, set an (almost) full track of English talks in one of the rooms at any time, arrange a sequence of sessions revealing the beauty of WordPress – frontend and backend – and how easy and flexible it is, ending with a review of WordPress as an application framework (which many consider to be the future of the platform). Surprisingly, despite the eight technical talks in the Dev panel, people asked for even more (both in terms of number and details) code-oriented talks, which is something to be considered next year.

We spent quite some time (about seven months) planning and executing the original agenda (based on how WordCamps work across the world). Being able to get the venue for free as a donation by our local training academy was a huge win, given its convenient location and full equipment for a conference. Starbucks served coffee all day; we tried a new vendor for  lunch and chilled out for a few hours after the conference (or rather, had a great time at the after party). We were incredibly lucky with the weather as well – the first days of October were cold and rainy, but the second half of the month was warm and sunny, setting the tone for having a great community time.

Despite the long night for many of us, more than 40 people attended the Contributor Day on Sunday. We were lucky to have Kim and Eric from the Docs team prepare some tasks in the handbooks and inline docs, and Konstantin Kovshenin led the local docs contributors (with great results at the end). In addition to that, we formed teams for support, translations and theme reviews, and dedicated dozens of man-hours into WordPress-related activities, both for the local community and for the big family around the world.

Not to mention that we took part in several activities before and after the weekend — that’s how addictive the WordPress community is :)

The WordCamp Sofia organizing team is thrilled with all the positive feedback we got from the attendee survey sent after the WordCamp. WordCamp Sofia wouldn’t have been possible without the group effort from the team, our partners and sponsors, the volunteers, the speakers and – naturally – all the excited WordPress fans who joined us over the weekend!

// Photo credits: Margarit Ralev

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