The WordPress community in Norway is growing fast. Just three years ago, WordPress did not have much representation in the country at all. The success of the first Oslo WordPress meetup in May 6th, 2011, sparked more gatherings, including the first WordCamp Norway. There are now three official WordPress meetups happening regularly in different parts of the country.
This past weekend, Oslo hosted its 3rd WordCamp at the Radisson Blu Hotel and 150 attendees were greeted with snow. Most of the activities at this particular event were centered around the hotel and the nearby Metronet offices where the contributor day was held.
I had the chance to chat with Aloisia Gabat, a WordPress developer and first time attendee who traveled from her home outside of Paris to join the event. Gabat attended WordCamp Paris the previous weekend. “The two events were quite different,” she said, “But still represented all that I love about WordPress.”
I asked her what she found to be unique in the Norwegian WordPress community. She found the diversity of people, countries, and disciplines to be remarkable:
But what strikes me is its openness, the diversity of disciplines, and how international it is. The part of the community I met comprises several nationalities, and attendees included designers, developers, business owners, bloggers, etc. Based on the attendance here, I would expect the larger Norwegian WordPress community to further reflect those characteristics.
Almost 100% of the presentations were given in English, due to the international mix of attendees. Two tracks ran simultaneously and Gabat particularly enjoyed Ryan Hellyer‘s “My Experiences Learning WordPress Security” and Barry Kooij‘s talk on Plugin Development. “I can find most of the information presented scattered on the internet and offline in various forms,” she said, “But Barry covered the different aspects of developing a plugin, from tools to WordPress core functions and hooks to coding standards to security, in one succinct presentation.”
Winter Fun on Contributor Day
During Contributor Day, participants engaged in a variety of tasks, including tickets, translations and BuddyPress support.
Marko Heijnen, who has attended every WordCamp held in Norway, said that the community is always very welcoming to international attendees. “I guess they must be,” he said. “Since it’s always really cold in the winter.” WordCamp Norway offered many opportunities for sitting around the fire and getting to know new friends. Attendees remarked on how nicely the venue’s lobby lent itself to group discussions during the after party.
After the contributor day a large group went to a restaurant on the Korketrekkeren hill. Since it was closed due to a private party, they decided on an impromptu sledding adventure down the hill instead of taking the metro.
Overall, the third annual WordCamp Norway seems to have been a smashing success. While this winter event tends to be quite cold, the community is warm and welcoming. If sledding and fireside chats sound like the perfect WordCamp experience for you, consider adding this one to your calendar next year. For more photos and tweets from the event, check out the WordCamp Norway WP Armchair website.