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Reviewing WordCamp Bristol 2019

Words by Ben HamiltonMay 28, 2019

The logo for WordCamp Bristol

The weekend of 17–19 May 2019 marked the second WordCamp to take place in our home city and the Atomic Smash team had a fantastic time getting involved in all aspects of the conference. This post summarises some of our personal highlights from the event.

Design

This year’s WordCamp was not only a great experience for us as attendees, but also saw the culmination of many months’ work as part of the core organising team. We were proud to be involved in our capacity as Design Lead. The visual identity for the event, along with all the collateral we created received loads of great feedback over the weekend which was very rewarding. You can read Ben’s blog post about his work on the organisation of the event here.

Contributor Day

Many WordCamps feature a Contributor Day as part of their line up. This is a day of activity separate to the main conference talks which encourages members of the WordPress community to volunteer their time to put something back into WordPress. This could be anything from providing input on design & themes through to answering community questions in the support forums. You can find out more about Bristol’s contributor day here.

Our team member Anthony generously gave up a day of his time to get involved and was tasked with subtitling recorded talks from other WordCamps. He had a great day working alongside other contributors from the community and enjoyed contributing something that will allow people from anywhere in the world to get inspired and educated from the videos subsequently uploaded to WordPress.tv

Saturday

Saturday morning kicked off the conference-proper at the University of Bristol School of Chemistry, a fantastic venue to house the 200+ attendees and speakers.

Starting the proceedings on track 1 was our very own David Darke, talking about how Atomic Smash adapted as a studio to the release of Gutenberg – the biggest change to hit WordPress in over a decade. Dave naturally smashed it and received a great response from the audience. David’s Slide deck can be read here:

Various members of our team then dipped in and out of the two tracks of talks depending on their individual interests: be they technical, psychological or design-based. Particular highlights for us included an introduction to Tailwind CSS by Oliver Davies, an inspirational overview of the mental health charity WP&UP founded by Dan Maby, and an insightful and often hilarious look at problem solving by Ben Everard.

The WordCamp Bristol audience in track 2

Photo: Aleks

Social

By the close of day 1 we were definitely up for a well-earned break and retired to the WordCamp social at Watershed. This was a brilliant evening of meeting old friends from the community and making plenty of new ones. A big hello to all the great people with whom we shared a round of Dobble and a pint or two 👋 😀

WordCamp Bristol evening social

Photo: Lorena Perez

Sunday

What better way to prepare for day two than with a hearty breakfast? We met up bright and early in a local favourite café to fill up on food and coffee, and chat about which talks we were looking forward to seeing.

Moving on to the conference with full bellies, we settled in for another day of learning. Sunday’s highlights included a sobering look at how damaging the internet can be to our environment, through its massive generation of CO2 from data centres. Delivered by the team at Wholegrain Digital, the talk gave some amazing practical examples for how we, as web designers and developers, can be at the forefront in improving the situation. Another favourite with our team was Graham Armfield’s ‘So what have the new HTML5 elements ever done for accessibility?’ which gave a balanced look at HTML5’s impact – in both positive and negative ways – for users who rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers or voice recognition.

The day wound to a close with a well-attended round-up, along with some prize giving from the event’s sponsors. You could tell, looking around the bustling auditorium, that everyone from the organisers to volunteers, speakers and attendees had had a fantastic weekend, us included. We can’t wait for the next one…

Thanks to Lorena and Alex for photos from the event 🙂

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Ben Hamilton

As the designer at Atomic Smash, Ben stays up-to-date with the latest trends and keeps a close eye on the visual details of a project.

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