Despite the cold weather in Oslo, there were warm and smiling faces who greeted us at Dekode office, the venue of WordCamp Norway 2016 speaker / sponsor dinner on 19 February.

Photo by Rarst

Food and drinks were served and it’s time to party!
We met a lot of interesting people and companies sponsoring the event such as the folks from Angry Creative who created a WordPress card game.

Jimmy goes, “this WordPress card game is still in beta version.”
They are still in the process of testing it and there’s no better way than to play it.

The main aim is to have a great fun experience and at the same time teach a little bit about WordPress and the importance of contribution to the community.

It was a fun game and we like the concept. Just like any other game, at the beginning the rules were unclear, but as you play it you understand more.
We are excited to be one of the first players and we’re hoping to play it once more when it launched publicly.

 

20 February was WordCamp Norway held at Gamle Museet Oslo from 9 – 5pm.
Gamle Museet is a spacious area that accommodated hundreds of WordCamp attendees. The ground floor was divided into two for tech talks and inspiration scene talks.


One of the 16 keynote talks was mine about Contributing to WordPress for Business, Profession & the Community.
The talk covered five for the future, make.wordpress.org and contributing to core and more such as:

Plugins
Contact Form 7 creator, Takayuki Miyoshi talked in WordCamp Tokyo 2015 about why we should choose free plugins.

“If good plugin developers don’t grow, the WordPress community will be weakened.”

According to him, free plugins are high quality and good for the community. Paid plugins have paywall and only paying customers can access them. Therefore, premium plugin authors can’t get as much feedback as free plugin authors.

Feedback has a huge role in developers’ growth and learning. “The more (good) codes are available, the better our developers become.”

Themes
My team member Kazue Igarashi who contributed to Underscores (WordPress started theme) led the development of IEMOTO, which Underscores-based grunt-init template for WordPress theme. Iemoto follows all the fixes and feature upgrades of Underscores where you can automate theme development process.

Contributing to theme creation allows you to gain experience and skills. It’s also an extension of your professional profile where you can showcase your talents in theme creation.
Working with themes also lets you meet all sorts of clients with different needs that helps you learn more about how you can adjust your time and design to make them happy.

WordPress Localization & Globalization
You can start contributing to WordPress translation by becoming a translator and joining the polyglot team of your choice.

When WordPress was translated into Japanese, Japanese speaking users were able to appreciate and understand WordPress even better. As a result, the number of users and developers in Japan increased.

Previously in our company, all our sites were exclusively in Japanese, then we started translating them into English. And the benefit was there were more foreign clients understanding our services and what we do. The number of English speaking clients start to grow.

When WordPress is in the language you understand, your relationship with it gets deeper.

Development & Cloud Environment
VCCW is a Vagrant-based WordPress development environment created by our teammate Takayuki Miyauchi.

99% of our projects and work are mainly WordPress, and we wanted a convenient and reliable cloud environment.
AMIMOTO is WordPress & WooCommerce dedicated Cloud Environment that is suitable for maximising the performance of (WordPress & WooCommerce) through a dedicated cloud environment.

Community
Japan WordPress groups are active in the community, with lots of variations like WordBench, WordCrab, WordOnsen and a lot more.

There are many ways to contribute to the community such as volunteering in WordCamps, taking photos, speaking and organizing.

You can also create WordPress-related events, like the one we went to in London, A Day of REST, a WordPress REST API event organized by our friends from Human Made.

By organizing WordCamps and local meetups, you help increase the number of WordPress users and developers in your area. Speaking on the other hand lets you inspire others with your knowledge & story.
By being around people, it helps develop your public relations and verbal communication skills.

To summarize, contributing to WordPress increases your awareness with the platform and helps increase your brand awareness. In addition, it lets you learn skills important to your career growth.
When we contribute, it let us learn about the most important value which is the value of sharing.

Contributing to WordPress for Business, Profession & The Community is the final talk at WordCamp Norway.


For dinner, some organizers and speakers headed to a nearby restaurant where we can try traditional Norwegian cuisine like bakt torsk and others like tartare de boeuf to more common ones like steak and pizza.

The afterparty started at 7 pm, at the same location as WordCamp Norway, where they transformed the ground floor from session hall to dance hall complete with DJs and drinks bar.

21 February. The original plan was a day of sledding, but due to lack of snow, the alternative activity for all WordCamp attendees was a guided tour at the Opera House, which is mainly about architecture and the history of the place.
The Opera House at the center of Oslo provides a great view of the whole city especially on a sunny day.
Reaching the top is breathtaking where one can see until the line that separates earth from sky.