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Last weekend a group of excited Pragmaticians made their way 10 minutes down the road to attend our local (and favourite!) WordCamp – WordCamp Brighton! Despite only being in its second year, the conference ran like clockwork, and there were an incredibly high standard and variety of speakers in attendance.

We’ve put together some of our highlights from the weekend.

Our takeaways from WordCamp Brighton 2017

Tom Reed's takeaways from WordCamp Brighton 2017Tom Reed – Support Developer
“Being my first WordCamp, I was excited at the prospect of attending a two day conference dedicated to WordPress, with a wide range of talks that also included design, communities, marketing, working in an office (and working remotely!), and web accessibility.

Each talk was great and I learnt a lot, but my personal favourites were ‘Coding Your Career’ by Phil Ward, ‘Remote design: the Async advantage’ by Davide Casali, and ‘Beyond responsiveness: creating truly fluid themes’ by Michael Burridge, which were all of particular interest to me.

A big thanks to all the speakers and organisers of WordCamp Brighton, I can’t wait to test out some of the things I’ve learned and really look forward to next year!”

Lauren Drinkwater's takeaways from WordCamp Brighton 2017Lauren Drinkwater – Office & HR Manager
“WordCamp Brighton was full of all the right vibes this year, with a beautiful venue and beautiful people all around! My highlight this year could only be 1 (or 2) things. The main one being my work bff Laura’s talk on having Anxiety and how to manage it; she spoke about her experience with anxiety, ways of coping with anxiety, and some things to try if you or someone you know suffers from anxiety. Laura held the crowd so well, at one point I looked around the room and everyone looked so engaged and inspired by what Laura was telling them. Hats off (a million times over) to Laura for getting up on that stage and absolutely smashing it!

The other highlight was the food! As a fellow vegan gal with GF & various other allergies, it’s always pretty stressful for me to eat at any event I go to – this year’s menu was all about the fresh veg, fresh salads and hearty pies…which I could actually eat!! Whether you’re working at WordCamp, or there to attend every talk and network your little butt off, you need fuel to keep your energy levels up, and the food at WordCamp did exactly that. I will be looking forward to seeing what’s on the menu (not just the food) for next year!”

Jasper Cheyney's WordCamp Brighton 2017 takeawaysJasper Cheyney – Web Designer
“WordCamp Brighton was brilliant this year, I had such a great time representing Pragmatic, but also learning from the huge number of talented speakers. As a designer I was surprised to see just how many design related talks there were this year; from Davide Casali’s talk on the Pros & Cons of Remote Working to Maja Benke’s on Accessibility Design; there was a great variation for all audiences. I’m already looking forward to next year!”

Nic Fusciardi's WordCamp Brighton takeawaysNic Fusciardi – WordPress Developer
“Meeting new people and networking is probably one of my favourite parts of WordCamp. Everybody who attends really gets involved with the community aspect of WordPress. All the talks I attended were engaging and diverse in both subject matter and presenter. The WordCamp team really put in a lot of effort to ensure everything ran smoothly and it really showed!”

Emma Quinlan's WordCamp Brighton takeawaysEmma Quinlan – Office Assistant
“WordCamp Brighton was the second WordCamp I’ve ever been to, and the first I’ve volunteered to help with. The first thing that struck me is how welcoming and friendly everyone is. Despite not having any involvement in the WordPress community before, I was made to feel very much part of the group.

The second thing that really stood out, was how varied the talks were. As a non-technical member of the Pragmatic team, I was still able to take loads from the event. In particular, I really enjoyed Teodora Lazarova’s talk on using WordPress in China – I just wish it had been longer, as it was so interesting. I also found my colleague Laura’s talk on anxiety really interesting, and seeing the impact it had on so many people after was pretty amazing!”

Sean Blakeley's WordCamp Brighton takeawaysSean Blakeley – Producer
“It was an absolute pleasure to be able to be part of WordCamp Brighton this year – welcoming the local Brighton WordPress community and those further afield. It was great to see the diversity of attendees and subjects this year.

For the first time, I contributed directly by being on stage and talking about the WordPress API. A couple of years ago, Joe Hoyle introduced a lot of the community to the API, then last year there were lots of how-to talks across different WordCamps about the API. Now, I wanted to look at some real world examples of where we’ve used the API and the problems we’ve managed to solve with it.

I was made to feel incredibly welcome and supported by the organisers and was delighted to share some of my experiences and views on WordPress. A big thank you to everyone!”

Laura Nelson's WordCamp Brighton takeawaysLaura Nelson – Marketing Manager
“It was a full-on WordCamp Brighton for me this year, as I was both an organiser and a speaker! But it was worth all the hard work, as I had an absolutely amazing time at the event, and it was great seeing how much other people were enjoying it too.

As marketing lead for the event, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in every single talk and workshop. The variety and quality of the speakers were incredible, but there were a couple of talks that really stood out for me.

– Davide Casali’s ‘Remote design: the Async advantage’ was a really insightful talk on the advantages and disadvantages of remote working as a designer. Even though I neither work remotely or am a designer, I still picked up loads of really useful information.
– Teodora Lazarova’s ‘WordPress behind the Great Firewall of China’ was absolutely fascinating. I honestly could’ve listened to her talk about her amazing experience of using WordPress in China for hours!

Finally, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to those who were so supportive and encouraging of my talk. It was the first time I’ve ever spoken at a conference, and I was terrified. But the support of my fellow organisers, speakers and colleagues made it so much better!”

Phil Ward's WordCamp Brighton 2017 takeawaysPhil Ward – Senior WordPress Developer

“It was my first time speaking at a WordCamp and I had a blast telling my story. Better than telling my story though, was getting to hear loads of other people’s stories and some of the cool stuff they’re doing with WordPress. I really thought that the more intimate style compared to WordCamp Europe made for a much better experience – I also didn’t have to choose between two talks I wanted to see!

Being someone who loves learning I ended up finding most of the talks I was at interesting, but especially enjoyed Polite Product Marketing by Izzy and the accessibility talk by Maja. I also thought Laura and Sean’s talks were both very well put together. In my time at Pragmatic, I’ve seen a lot of hard work go into making sure the local WordPress community does well, and not just the business itself. So I was very pleased to see the company so well represented at the event, not just the speakers, but all the event volunteers and the people who gave up some of their time to be on the stand and talk about the company.”

the audience at WordCamp BTN 2017

Pragmatic's sponsorship stand at WordCamp Brighton 2017

Phil Ward's talk at WordCamp Brighton 2017

Laura Nelson's talk at WordCamp Brighton 2017

Sean Blakeley's talk at WordCamp Brighton 2017

David Lockie's WordCamp Brighton 2017 workshop

Pragmatic's sponsorship stand at WordCamp Brighton 2017