WordCamp Montréal is fast approaching, and I'm looking forward to what I'm sure will be a fantastic event.
I’ve attended only one other WordCamp before, not being fortunate enough to join in on the good fun in Ottawa and Hamilton; however it was a great experience which I’m sure will be replicated (or surpassed!) by Montréal.
The talks that have been lined-up for this event are looking good. An interesting trend is the move towards development talks that feature more and more heavily into performance, studying and optimising for it. Mo will be talking about caching, while Taylor Lovett will be talking about looking at WordPress from a Computer Science perspective — a new one for me!
I’m also going to be sitting in on some content strategy and writing talks. Given my move towards a more generalized approach when working with clients, the additional knowledge will be useful (plus, David Hamilton will be presenting on the subject and I’ve wanted the chance to hear one of his talks).
Finally, Matt Mullenweg will be holding an open floor question session to end the event, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.
The people who are attending WCMTL are looking to be a fine bunch, as is to be expected! There will be people of all types attending, some who I’ve met before, some who I’ve seen in the distance before, and some who I’ve only ever seen online. Of course, there will be many more I’ve never seen, and I hope to connect with them as well.
Going off my experience at WCTO, I know there will be great opportunities to connect with people through the event. I’m expecting to (though holding out hope that I won’t) be the youngest person at the event, which is always an interesting position to be in.
I also hope to connect with some of the people I’ve interacted with a little over Twitter in the last few months, and hopefully get a few minutes to chat with some of them.
WordPress and Education
Out of all the things I hope to take away from WCMTL, I really want to hear people’s thoughts on a subject which has been nagging at me lately: How can we better use WordPress as a platform to teach web development (or coding, or programming, or …) skills in schools?
I believe there is great potential for the WordPress project to fill a role where it provides clear ways for students to apply themselves in an educational setting and learn more about web development as an industry.
There is already WordPress being applied in an educational setting; but it acts more as a communications tool than a development teacher.
Speaking from experience, the current state of “web design/development” education in schools (at least what I’ve seen) is pitiful. Using Dreamweaver to create table-based layouts with garish colours is hardly what I’d deem to be employable skills (or even skills which inspire students to learn more).
There needs to be a movement away from this, and I think WordPress could be a part of that. Taking people and offering them real problems (in the context of WordPress) for them to solve could lead to some innovative solutions and some great future coders.
I’m not suggesting we create classes centred around contributing to core, because education goals could conflict with the goals of core and the workflow surrounding core contribution; but I think there needs to be some way for educators to have their students learn using WordPress, as opposed to dated technologies.
Looking Forward to the Weekend
I’m definitely looking forward to what will happen this weekend. I’m prepared (kind of, not packed at all) to see a great collection of talks and to meet the many people who will be attending.
Hopefully there will be an avenue by which to have some good discussion about education and WordPress, in addition to all of the above.
If you’ll be at WordCamp Montréal this weekend, send me a Tweet and I’ll make sure to meet up with you!