Tag Archives: Speaking

WordCamp London Gutenberg Workshop

For years I have wanted to make it to WordCamp London.  Since doing my study abroad at Cambridge, I have felt a second home in the UK.

This year I got to finally be in England for WordCamp London 2018.

The week before the Camp I did an informal Gutenberg workshop with the wonderful team from Pragmatic, a leading WordPress agency in the UK.  You can read my write from my Gutenberg Jam Session with Pragmatic here.

The Gutenberg Workshop

Originally I had hoped for a solid 3 hrs to introduce Gutenberg from a development perspective and give time to coding some blocks.  Instead I had 40 minutes for the “workshop” and did my best to do both of these things, but rather than code together, I just pointed a repo of example blocks and walked through what I could 🙂

Overall I think it went really well.  You can see the slides below and hopefully the video will go up on WordPress.tv in not too long.

We didn’t get much time for questions, but one of the coolest pieces of feedback was someone sharing they built their first plugin while listening to the session.  So cool 🙂

Checkout WordCamp London Next Year!

If you happen upon the UK next year and overlap with WordCamp London I would highly suggest you check it out!  WordCamp Brighton and Manchester are also on my list 😉

Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for their work in putting on the event, and to the sponsors who made such a classy event possible for so little 🙂

Also, thanks to Bluehost (I have a special Bluehost discount page) for helping with some of my travel in getting to the event!

Learn More About Gutenberg

In 40 minutes, I only covered a bit of what my full Gutenberg Development Course covers so I would encourage you to check it out if you want to dig deeper into developing with Gutenberg.

Gutenberg Jam Session with Pragmatic

This week I had the opportunity to stop by Pragmatic, a leading WordPress UK agency to do an informal chat / workshop around Gutenberg.

What We Talked About

I didn’t want to take too much time going over things that I already covered in my Gutenberg Development Course.  But there were still some folks who hadn’t taken the course completely, so we did talk about a few things:

  • Core GB Architecture (where is the React abstraction, how is the Redux abstraction different than straight Redux)
  • How to access the globally available libraries within WordPress
  • What you need to do to get wp.element (React) on the frontend of the site
  • Approaches to creating blocks with rich frontend JavaScript
  • ACF vs Gutenberg && ACF to Gutenberg when appropraite
  • Using meta or API data in blocks
  • Migration possibilities for custom editing tools in the classic editor (or with ACF)
  • Tooling configurations and WordPress npm packages
  • Mmm, a bunch of other great things I can’t remember 😉

 

Sneak Peak of Theming with Gutenberg Course

I am currently working on a Gutenberg Theming course with my buddy Joe Casabona.  The course will likely be done at the end of the month and since Pragmatic does do a lot of custom WordPress themes I thought it would be good to talk through the various aspects of that course.

Love Me Some Pragmatic, Highly Recommend

I have gotten to know a number of Pragmatic employees over the last few years.  They are great folks and quite smart.  If you are looking to work at an enterprise level agency with great folks in lovely Brighton, UK, I highly suggest you check them out and keep a pulse on open job positions.

 

WordCamp Miami Gutenberg Workshop 2018

This year, WordCamp Miami continued it’s focus on providing resources around learning JavaScript for WordPress.  Not only did they have a dedicated JavaScript track like they have in the past, they also had a full day workshop on Gutenberg Development.

Brian Richards, Grzegorz (Greg) Ziółkowski, Josh Pollock and myself each did part of the workshop that broke down as follows:

  1. Future of WordPress Development – Grzegorz Ziółkowski
  2. Setup & Introduction to Gutenberg: Tooling And Terminology – Zac Gordon
  3. Creating Your Very First Gutenberg Block – Brian Richards
  4. Building Custom Gutenberg Blocks: From Static to Dynamic – Josh Pollock

You can still go back and watch the entire live stream here:

You can also find my slides to my portion of the workshop here:

 

You can also find the GitHub repo of example files for the workshop here.

Definitely Recommend the Next WordCamp Miami!!!

If you have a chance to make it to the next WordCamp Miami I highly suggest it!  It is always a great camp and they have a tendency to put a strong focus on teaching new and emerging technologies, like JavaScript and Gutenberg.

WordCamp New York 2017 JavaScript Workshop

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It’s been a good number of years since I last attended a WordCamp New York.  But it holds a warm place in my heart.  My first WordCamp was WordCamp New York 2008 🙂

This year, my good friend, David Parsons, took up the lead organizer role and put on a great WordCamp New York.

From the venue to the speakers, it all went very smooth and had a nice local camp feel.

Reflections From the JavaScript Workshop

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My workshop was an adaptation of a similar workshop I have been doing at a number of other camps this year.

However, I learned one important thing this time.

It is important to take the time at the beginning to address who needs to “Learn JavaScript Deeply” from a programmer’s perspective and who just needs to know what it is capable of doing.

I noticed that some people loved learning vanilla JavaScript fundamentals and how to integrate with the WordPress REST API.  However, some people hung around through several hours of the workshop with not really realizing they did not need to learn JavaScript deeply as a developer. Some of these people were just savy website owners.

This supports something I have been saying for a while:

Compared to HTML and CSS, which you can learn a little and do a lot, with JavaScript you have to learn a lot to do a little.

All that said, for folks who wanted to learn JavaScript more deeply (or even just for the first time) I think the workshop went great.

Changes I’m Making for Next Time

There are a few modifications I am going to make for next time though:

  • Add a note at the beginning about “Who Should Be Learning JavaScript Deeply” and who can just learn to “Speak JavaScript”
  • With the decoupled Vanilla JS and WP REST API practice project we will just use fetch instead of introducing Axios or jQuery.
  • Inside of WordPress, when we import our decoupled example into a WordPress theme I am just going to show how to use jQuery AJAX.
  • Rather than try to teach the Backbone client I am just going to mention it at the end.  After teaching it for a while, I think it is best to know some Backbone before trying to use this.

You can view the slides and example files from the workshop here.

Learn More JavaScript!

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Want to learn more JavaScript?

Head over the JavaScript for WordPress to learn about my Master Course to help you learn JavaScript more deeply.

Data Visualization Talk at WooConf

Wow!  What an honor to attend the 3rd annual WooConf!  Last year I did a workshop on WooCommerce Theme Development.  This year it was all JavaScript, API, and Data Visualization.

I was a little unsure going into the event how the talk would go.  Originally it was a workshop using the Woo API and Chart.js and D3.  However, shortly before the event started, the format was switched to a standard 50 minutes talk.

A Big Thanks!

Luckily, I think that everything went well.  I did a lot of research on Data Visualization as well as related JavaScript libraries.  A big thanks go out to all the folks at the conference who gave me insights into how they do data visualization with their work.  Also shoutout to K. Adam White’s talk at WCEU on data visualization.

Come Out Next Year!

If WooCommerce is how you make your living, you might look into attending WooConf next year.  They put on an amazing conference and I highly recommend it, not just for the talks, but for the networking as well.

Want to learn more about WooCommerce development?  Checkout my WooCommerce Theme Development Course.

WordCamp Ann Arbor 2017 JavaScript Workshop

My First WCA2

Zac Gordon teaching JavaScript at WordCamp Ann Arbor

When I put out the call at the beginning of 2017 that I would like to start doing more JavaScript workshops, my good friend Kyle Maurer, from WordCamp Ann Arbor, was one of the first to invite me to come do a workshop.

The Workshop

I have continued to refine the JavaScript for WordPress workshop I have been doing and I think it continues to evolve into a solid workshop covering JS and WP API fundamentals while also building something practical.

In the workshop we cover the following:

  1. JavaScript Language Basics (Programming 101 w JS)
  2. The Document Object Model
  3. Events with the DOM & JavaScript
  4. The WordPress REST API
  5. How to pull the API into JavaScript in a stand alone and theme environment

Of course there was still more I would have liked to include, but I think we did a really good job.

Slide Deck and Resources

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Super Fun Getting to Know Some Students Working in the Field!

You can check out the slide deck and resources for the workshop over here on my 2017 WordCamp Ann Arbor landing page.

A Reflection on WCA2 Social Activities

One of the nice things that WordCamp Ann Arbor did well and a little different was to have non WordPress related breakout sessions on the first day where folks could group up and go on a range of activities from a walk through the Arboretum to Pub Crawling.

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Hanging out with WordCampers at WCA2 2017

At first I was hesitant of these plans, but it turns out it was brilliant and the perfect chance to know some other attendees more deeply.  I had a great time and enjoyed getting to know folks better.

Overall, great job WCA2!  I had heard about your camp for a while and you did not disappoint.  There is rumored to be four Michigan camps in 2018 so I look forward to making it back!

Congrats and well done to all the organizers for WCA2 2017!!!

Zac Gordon Advanced JavaScript Topics Talk at WordCamp San José Costa Rica

Teaching JavaScript Deeply at WordCamp San José 2017

WordCamp San José

¡Pura Vida! Is the best way to start my review of attending WordCamp San José (formally WordCamp Costa Rica).

Organizers Roberto Remedios and Alfredo “El Puas” invited me to do a workshop at WordCamp San José 2017 earlier this year while we were all hanging out at WordCamp Miami (also a great camp to attend).

What started as a JavaScript workshop turned into a talk on advanced JavaScript and sitting in on a JavaScript panel with two other amazing speakers.

Un Poco Sobre WordCamp San José

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WordCamp San José 2017 took place at La Universidad Latina de San José, Costa Rica.  More than 350 people attended two days of talks with three tracks.

WordCamp San José Talk from Johana about Brand

Most of talks were in Spanish and topics covered everything from Marketing to Development (w plenty of JS) and everything in between.  Many of the talks also included sing language interpretation and a good group benefiting from it.

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The layout of the venue was great, with a big open area for the sponsors right in front of the three rooms for the talks.  The main sponsors had cool seating areas and the food included amazing breakfast, lunch and treats!

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Let’s not forget about the after party either.  The camp hosted everyone with music, food and great atmosphere at a nearby restaurant / club with a pool and hammocks (not pictured).

My JavaScript and WordPress REST API Workshop

Continuing with my 2017 JavaScript Workshop Tour, I ran a 3 hr workshop on the Friday day before the two day of talks. You can see the slides and example files for the workshop here.

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The workshop covered the following:

  1. JavaScript Language Basics
  2. The Document Object Model
  3. Events in JavaScript
  4. The WordPress REST API
  5. Using JavaScript and the API in WP Themes

Unfortunately, my Spanish was not quite good enough to give the workshop in Spanish so props to all the bi-lingual attendees for following the talk, along with questions, in English.

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I like the 3hr time span for a workshop.  It let’s you really cover fundamentals and give time for practice.  Big thanks to the organizers and attendees for inviting me down to do this workshop.

Next year I am going to try to do it en Español 🙂

My First “Advanced JavaScript Topics” WordCamp Talk

A few moons before the camp started, the organizers asked if I would like to do a talk in addition to the workshop.  I knew I would be recording my Advanced JavaScript Topics section of my Master Course so I submitted an open ended talk entitled “Interesting Things About JavaScript” that was actually a JavaScript homage to Andrew Nacin’s Advanced WordPress Topics talk.

Zac Gordon Advanced JavaScript Topics Talk at WordCamp San José Costa Rica

The talk included a number of different intermediate, advanced, new and, well, interesting things, about JavaScript that I am going into more depth on in my Master Course.

The slides might not be as helpful without the explanations but you may still gleam some things from flicking through the deck 🙂

5 + 1 Question JavaScript Panel

As an added bonus I got to sit in on a panel on JavaScript with Elio Rivero from Automattic and Gabo Esquivel who heads up the JavaScript community in San José.

Zac Gordon JavaScript Panel WordCamp San José w Elio and Gabo

The questions were basically something like this (but in Spanish except for my answers):

  • Panelist Intros
  • Advice for JavaScript beginners (I said CodeAcademy, Treehouse, Wes Bos and of course my free JavaScript videos)
  • Top 3 Good JavaScript Practices (I suggested Testing, Coding Standards and Keep on Learning)
  • Favorite JS Framework and why (Choose the best tool for the job, I like Vue for it’s architecture and ease and React for Gutenberg Blocks etc,  If I was building a huge app or plugin I would also consider Angular)
  • Most challenge JavaScript project (Teaching JavaScript Deeply!)
  • JavaScript for WordPress in 2018 (Gutenberg, JS Widgets, More w Customizer, Keep Learning JavaScript)

Overall a Great Camp with Lots of JavaScript

Muchas gracias a los organizadores y voluntarios de WordCamp San José 2017.  It won the 2017 WordCamp Award for food (rice, beans and real cooked food is soo good) in my opinion.

WordCamp San José 2017 Volunteers

It also had a ton of talks on JavaScript in addition to mine, like Cross Platform React, CSS in JS, Calypso, Angular, GraphQL and even a demo of Caldera Forms in action, which I am definitely checking out for my next WP project that needs JS driven forms.

I am going to start a rumor that in 2018 you may see more than one large WordCamp in Central America around the same time period.  I highly suggest you attend and get some of this Pura Vida WordCamp energía!