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.

WordCamp Russia 2015 Recap

We did it.

WordCamp Russia 2015

WordCamp Russia 2015 was held last weekend in the amazing Digital October Center in Moscow. Attendance didn’t change much from last year — we saw about 200 people in person, but a lot of them (~ 60%) were folks who never attended a WordCamp before.

The attendees survey showed great results, pretty much in line with last year and with what we expected overall. The pizza was good, the lounge music was praised, the presentations were terrific.

One thing that stood out was a gentleman, who for some reason decided that it was okay to jump up on stage during a presentation, and point out some (supposedly) mistakes that the speaker had made in their code. Awkward. I guess we’re going to have to hire a bouncer next year.

Here are some other things we learned this year:

  • Some communities don’t care about Wapuu and friends, they’d rather have a t-shirt with a W logo instead
  • If you’re playing music in the hallway during breaks and lunch, make sure you normalize all the tracks
  • Lights, shooting video and a projector don’t go well together, luckily inverting some slides helps
  • With two tracks available perhaps it’s a better idea to split presentations by popularity, rather than just user/dev
  • Launching a screen recording on the presenter’s laptop during their talk is a great idea, video production goes much faster

Big thanks to the organizing team, all the volunteers, speakers and sponsors who made WordCamp Russia a success!

Stay Tuned for WordCamp Russia 2014

Last year we had a blast and this year we’re planning to have an even bigger one. WordCamp Russia 2014 will be held on August 9th in Moscow.

WordCamp Russia 2014

We have a line up of 14 speakers ready to deliver some WordPress awesomeness in two simultaneous tracks, at the popular Digital October conference center in Moscow.

Tickets are available at $20, which includes a full day of learning and networking, food, coffee breaks, after-party and of course swag. See you in Moscow!

WordCamp Russia is in less than a week!

WordCamp Russia 2013

I first thought of making a WordCamp in Russia a little over three years ago, when I was running a web development shop in Moscow. I had filled out my application form and was a single click away from applying. I don’t quite remember what stopped me back then, but whatever it was, thank god!

I had no idea what it is like to organize a WordCamp, in fact, I haven’t been to a single WordCamp back then, except for a live stream or two. A lot of things have changed in the past three years: I attended, spoke and volunteered at quite a few WordCamps, I ran a monthly WordPress meetup for over a year, I made friends with many pro WordCamp organizers across the planet, and today I’m happy to announce that…

WordCamp Russia 2013 is this Saturday! If I had to express my excitement in exclamation marks, the MySQL server would try to return a result set which is too large and fail with a timeout error.

Everything is going fairly smoothly and we’re slowly approaching that OMGWTFBBQ planning phase. Watch out for recap posts in the coming weeks and don’t hesitate to visit us if you’re in Moscow this weekend.

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!

More on Robotics: AR-600 Moscow (March 2009)

Y’all know Russian, don’t you? Kidding.. The guys in the video talk about the development of robotics in Russia, why people are afraid of robots and why they shouldn’t be (the three laws of robotics by Asimov). This “thug” (AR-600) can now make some steps back and forth then side to side (though they don’t show them on this exhibition, cause it requires a special surface). He can also recognize people’s faces and greet them individually. Oh, and almost forgot, he can read numbers from papers and add or subtract them! Smart ass! ;)

P.S. Available in HQ (click the play button, then HQ next to the full-screen button)