Friday was a change of pace from the usual office schedule. Instead of heading into work, I headed to Carnegie Library in Mt Vernon Square for my first-ever conference, WordCamp DC. The conference was packed with developers, users, professionals, and other people from all walks of life.
WordCamp, a conference about all-things WordPress, has been around for a while, but this was an inaugural DC event. The library itself was a beautiful space and all the talks and presentations I went to were interesting.
The first talk I went to covered personal and website security. The speaker, Adam Warner, covered offline security, digital security, and gave the audience simple steps to stay secure. Some of these tips included using strong passwords and not refusing passwords, backing up your hard drive on a regular basis, installing firewalls, removing inactive software, and not connecting to public wifi without a VPN.
The second talk described how Arlington County, VA converted their website to WordPress and why they did. It turned out to be much more cost-effective and user-friendly. The third presentation on internationalization and localization by Pascal Birchler addressed language translation issues on websites. He stressed the importance of culture, which is more than just translating, and the issue of flags not representing all languages in a particular country.
The final talk I went to focused on accessibility. Marissa Goldsmith described her professional journey and how she became an advocate for online accessibility. She discussed the prejudice against the disabled when companies refuse to make their sites 508 compliant and how accessibility is often sacrificed for good design.
It was a very interesting day, and although I may not have understood everything being said as a new user, I’m glad I got the chance to go and see how what I do in WordPress affects the real world.