WordCamp Orange County 2017 JavaScript, Vue, React, Redux, GraphQL & WordPress API Workshops

Wow #WCOC

I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend a number of WordCamps, so it is always exciting when I attend a new (to me) amazing WordCamp. WordCamp Orange County 2017 was one of those Camps.

Props to all of the organizers and attendees for representing so well the diverse and deep nature of the WordPress Community all coming together to help each other (and have fun). So many great talks, and I personally learned a ton from showing up and asking a lot of questions 🙂

WordCamp Orange County was also one of the Camps to reach out to me in response to my tweet asking if any WordCamps wanted a workshop on JavaScript and the WordPress REST API so I was excited to take part in their series of JavaScript and WordPress API Workshops.

Planning The Workshops

Jason Bahl, Jacob Arriola and myself  all did two hour workshops that spanned the following JavaScript and WordPress API topics:

  • Vanilla JavaScript
  • VueJS
  • React & Redux
  • GraphQL and
  • The WordPress REST API

I want to thank Jacob and Jason for the backdoor Slack discussions before the Camp figuring out how we can tie our three workshops together and best plan everything.

Two hours is also not a lot of time to lead a workshop because ideally a workshop has time for the following:

  1. Setting up the local development environment and getting the practice exercises and slides
  2. Time to both code along with the instructor and time to practice what they learned on their own or in groups
  3. Ability for attendees to receive assistance if they fall behind or have questions

If you’re looking to plan a WordCamp JavaScript talk or workshop track I recommend you encourage the presenters to discuss and organize their talks a bit during Camp planning stages for the best flow for attendees. This also happened with the WordCamp Miami Learn Deeply Tracks and that made a huge difference there as well.

I will say that even though we did feel we could have done more with more time, the workshops were a success in my opinion, and I think that other WordCamps should definitely follow the example of WordCamp Orange County and WordCamp Miami with planning JavaScripty talk or workshop tracks 🙂

 

Zac’s Workshop – Vanilla JavaScript and (a little WP API)

I went up first with a workshop on Vanilla JavaScript. After a quick JS 101 pop quiz,  the workshop focused on DOM and Event fundamentals that can often be tricky or frustrating without an understand how the DOM API really works under the hood with JavaScript.

I got some feedback from folks who use jQuery regularly that this gave them some ideas for how they could do a few more things with VanillaJS that they had previously just used jQuery for. I’m not anti jQuery, especially since it is already loaded in so many places in WordPress, but, I do think it’s powerful to know how things work under the hood with Vanilla JavaScript.

I’m excited to continue to improve this workshop as I continue my JavaScript Workshop Tour at more WordCamps this year.

Jacob Arriola’s VueJS Workshop

Jacob did a great job not only delivering his workshop, but completely theming the project to the WCOC 2017 Super Hero Theme. Way to go above and beyond mate 😉 Jacob has been using VueJS at work for Zeek Interactive and you can tell he likes it’s ease of use combined with incredible power. (Side note, Arron Holbrook, also listed below, was a huge help in refining the plugin and wp apis section of my upcoming Udemy course, tx mate!)

Attendees got a chance to build out a Vue app and learn about the essentials of the framework. I overheard a number of folks talk about how well Jacob explained things and how easy Vue is to use. I definitely think this will inspire a number of companies to spin up small Vue projects in the coming moons.

Jacob is an active member of the WordPress and JavaScript community in the WCOC area and I definitely recommend you say hi and start a conversation with him next time you see him.

 

Jason’s React, Redux & GraphQL Workshop

WordCamp Orange County was lucky to have Jason leading a workshop that got into all of this, especially GraphQL.  Like Jacob, Jason presented a really strong case for working with the React, Redux and GraphQL stack in decoupled environments with WordPress.

He did a ton of prep work for this talk, including writing out a series of blog posts walking through everything he covered. Jason has done a lot of work in the arena of bringing GraphQL to WordPress and his workshop was amazing.

Jason went over getting up and running with React and then introduced Redux in a really clear and structured way that showed how you can save on queries to the API. The app he everyone got to build was a Netflix style site and it really showed off the power of these tools in action.

The part that I was most interested in hearing about was GraphQL and I was not disappointed. First, Jason showed how much more performant GraphQL is compared to the internal REST API for decoupled projects (10 times?!!). Then he showed how we can leverage GraphQL for grabbing data into our app and plugging it into the React / Redux architecture.

I highly suggest you go check out this tutorial series and follow GraphQL on Twitter.

 

My Overall Thoughts on JavaScript Workshops and Tracks at WordCamps

I am very grateful to be involved with the WordPress Community during these days of more interest in and talks and workshops coming out on JavaScript and API Driven WordPress Development.

If you help organize or influence your local WordCamp, I encourage you to follow the example of WordCamp Orange County and WordCamp Miami in helping your community become more inspired and confident with JavaScript and WP REST API (or GraphQL ;))

Leverage your local community of experts (both within WordPress and outside of it) and feel free to reach out to me for ideas or involvement 🙂

Happy JavaScripting!

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