WordCamp Moscow 2016 Recap

WordCamp Moscow 2016

WordCamp Moscow 2016 was held this weekend in the amazing Digital October Center. Fourteen speakers from Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania, two tracks with great content on design, programming, blogging, business and of course SEO. Huge props to Dmitry Mayorov for taking on the lead organizer role and making the best out of it.

We had a little over 200 attendees this year, and the event was quite a success. 92% of the survey respondents said that the event was “great” or “good,” and only 8% said it was “okay” or “could be better.” Nobody said it was awful, so that’s a win.

A fair amount of new speakers applied this year, in fact, five of them never spoke at a WordCamp before. The overall survey results (speakers and their talks) were good. Not amazing, but good. We decided to divide up the two tracks by “anticipated popularity” this year, rather than by content, which I think worked out really well, although some attendees complained in the survey.

A small number of attendees didn’t like some of the talks because they were “too basic” or “too vague.” Well yeah, that happens.

The breaks were long, as usual, pizza for lunch, better-than-last-year coffee, fruits and snacks. We even had a lovely press wall this year, with the conference and sponsor logos, which attendees (and photographers) really enjoyed. The sponsors area was much more active this year, with all four of our platinum sponsors having their own table or booth.

The after-party was in a cafe/restaurant in the same building, where luckily this year we were able to negotiate a cheaper selection of beers, juices, waters and wines for our pre-order to fit our budget, so we didn’t run out as quickly as we did last year.

The Talk

Besides being on the WordCamp Moscow organizing team, I was also a speaker. My talk was about memory management in WordPress and why increasing the PHP memory limit is a bad idea. It was targeted at advanced users and developers, though beginner users were also happy to hear they shouldn’t get a more expensive server if their memory consumption averages around 90%.

The slides are available on SlideShare, the video will be up on WordPress.tv around September.

Again, thanks to Dmitry Mayorov, the WordCamp Moscow 2016 organizing team, all the speakers and volunteers, for making such a great event. I really hope that attendees from other cities and countries were inspired enough to create their own WordPress meetup group, and start working towards a WordCamp in their area.

WordPress Moscow Meetup #5

Our fifth WordPress Meetup in Moscow was quite a success, with 16 attendees and four short sessions, covering: P2, working with GlotPress, Lime Stripe and Pedigree Maker themes presentations and an overview of caching in WordPress.

During the meetup we also launched our new Meetup P2 where we’ll be publishing all the photos, slides and everything else from the events. Take a hike, Facebook! :)

WordPress 3.0, Social Media in Russia, Hiring & Coffee

So, there’s quite some interesting stuff going on around here and let’s of course begin with WordPress. Yes, WordPress 3.0 has been released, some blog posts of mine got even more visibility and I’ve been interviewed on the WordCast Conversations show – thank you so much @kymhuynh and @lorelleonwp.

I don’t know when the show will air, but Kym promised to let me know the scheduled date as soon as they set one, so stay tuned for an update – I’ll write a separate post for that one.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is in the US, visiting Apple, Twitter & others from the Silicon Valley. He finally got his Twitter accounts: @KremlinRussia and @KremlinRussia_E (for the English speaking ones). Both accounts are verified and following @BarackObama ;) He gained over 30k followers within two days and is now using his own URL trimming service – krln.ru! He also has some quite cool photos of the Twitter office, the Apple office and Steve Jobs ;)

Speaking about photos, a few days ago I came across a real New York City Taxi here in Moscow. It was parked in Lyublino (South-East), had no number plates, and disappeared after a couple of days. I guess it was some Russian oligarch living in NYC who got drunk on Friday and decided to visit his relatives in Moscow during the weekend :D Oh well ..

NYC Cab in Moscow

My apologies, this was shot from my iPhone, not the best size and quality. View the full photo here. So, as promised by the title, a short list of facts I found interesting this week, mainly about hiring:

  • MoiKrug (Russian Linked in clone) is not that bad.
  • HeadHunter.ru & SuperJob.ru ARE that bad.
  • Luxoft know who I am and have my contact details.
  • It’s a good idea to speak to candidates over the phone for 15-20 minutes before inviting them over for a job interview. 60% are usually dropped out.
  • SugarCRM is boring, BaseCamp too. Microsoft Project rocks.
  • Russian Assist.ru e-payment system does not work.
  • Russian 1C is not the only ERP platform used in Russia. Some prefer Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly called Navision).
  • MVC and Zend Framework should be mastered immediately.
  • There are problems accessing Gmail from certain regions in Turkey.
  • Coffee without milk is okay, until you start drinking it everyday.

That’s about it for this week and yes, we’re still looking for young and talented PHP developers and web designers willing to work in Moscow startup. Feel free to contact me for more information about the job offers. Cheers, and have a great weekend!

AR-600 in Moscow

Okay, these are kind of old from an exhibition in Moscow in like December 2008. Previously hosted by Flickr, and today I decided to have duplicates here, ’cause Flickr will not display more than 200 photos from my photostream, so here’s probably a safer place (unless my hosting provider messes up). This is an android robot, similar to Honda ASIMO. It’s called i-Van and the model name’s AR-600. It’s still being developed by Android Robotics Corp. in Russia, so I’ll get back to you with the improvements in a couple of months.

Sorry for the quality, I hadn’t had a camera back then so I caught those on my Nokia cellphone. It was fun though, our Russian president Dmitry Medvedev shook hands with the android, and then the newspapers here posted out some good photos of them both, stating that Dmitry’s standing on the right, in case somebody got confused LOL. BTW that’s me in the orange shirt. It was almost midnight and we had a bunch of technical problems, that’s why I looked so sad.

P.S. I’m on 12seconds.tv, follow me!

Back to Moscow

Woah, that was one wonderful trip. The only thing that sucked about it is that there’s no Internet in Magnitogorsk (1500 km away from Moscow). They only say that there’s 3G mobile Internet, ADSL and 2 Mbps broadband. My cellphone’s 50 kbps GPRS was faster that that broadband! I tweeted out a message or two – that’s the only thing I managed to do next to some ICQ and other old’skool stuff. I did have a great time though, renewed my passport, seen my old friends and drank some alcohol ;)

Anyways, today I arrived back to Moscow and tweeting live again. Check out the hot Magnitogorsk nightclub stuff at my Flickr photostream. There’s me in those photos somewhere by the way. Oh, and I got a brand new Casio photocam too, so I guess I’ll need a Pro account on Flickr ;)

Anyways, back to work.