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Our hearts are full. Notes from 3rd WordPress Zagreb meetup

We started out as a small team in Trnje district garage (we clicked stereotype checkbox on that one). So when we talked with Denis & Goran about hosting a 3rd WordPress Zagreb meetup, we knew we had to do it in our root neighborhood.

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That’s when Travel HUB Gacka 16 came into the picture. We work with these folks on several projects and their space is uniquely situated in the heart of Trnje, just west of iconic National Library.

Bruno, our chief of content production has a vast festival experience, dating back to when our hair was still black. He started to plan cameras, rigs and angles to video this event, but then Tamina came into the picture and we realized that live streaming will not be the biggest challenge here. She’s a place host and an avid event planner. We immediately started to talk about utilizing rooftop for open grilling, BBQ and snacks, along with managing tight “three speakers” schedule and an after-party, possibly covered with summer showers.

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Organizing crew launched posts, social and mailing blasts around WordPress community and we got around a hundred confirmed guests for this meetup. This was a nice surprise for me as the end of July is usually reserved for BBQ & beers yes, but at the seaside. The actual turn-up was also a nice surprise… around 60 WP enthusiasts, partners, coworkers and friends joined in and listened to diverse speakers, covering most of WordPress production topics.

Emanuele, our chief of design was first to start. Born in Italy, but living and breathing in Zagreb, he chose to present in Croatian language (Italians have a sense of drama). Mr. Lizzi spoke about the design process in Neuralab, how we tackle big projects and even bigger clients with our 5-person design team. I’ll pick two of his important “gotchas”:

  • always ask WHY when designing interactions as a lot of time is spent on functions that are not thought through or envisioned untill the end.
  • Account management is not a necessary layer when producing web applications. This statement dates back to Frederick Brooks and his Mythical man month. Try out this approach in your own production flow (did wonders for us).

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Ivan Kocijan from Infinum presented his journey from starting a blog to publishing online content. He walked us through the process of setting up a fresh instance of WordPress, tweaking the system and writing your first online words. His personal blog is about constructing a house (a nice synonym to the presentation) and one of the most impressive moments was the fact that 87% of his visitors come from Google organic search. I noticed that the audience closely listened to two of his recommendations:

  • First thing you should set up right after web launch is HTTPS i.e. SSL certificate for encrypted and secure browsing.
  • Don’t use free or cheap hosting as this will affect your Google SEO ranking due to their usage of limited server resources. This is what your grandma would also probably tell you about free stuff. We also always recommend premium hosting servers.

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The third and important topic was communication between designers and developers. An everlasting water-cooler theme, presented by men in black aka Tin Jurković (Async Labs) and Kristijan Korman (Cinnamon). Gentlemen lead us through this journey back-to-back, explaining how, when and what to communicate (and to what extent). Angle your ears towards these two points that we remembered:

  • the cost of fixing, tweaking and changing things later in the project rises exponentially so keep in mind to communicate problems and ideas early and often
  • empathy is the key to communicate your ideas. Checking other views and concepts is also a wise engineering concept as more heads will probably solve issues with higher quality results.

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Our little WordPress community rose up to the rooftops after those three lectures and enjoyed open grilling and Zmajsko beer. We had no curfew so the crew stayed up all night, drinking and chatting about the universe, life and (probably) next WordPress meetup, announced for September.

Whole lectures are (video) available on our Transmeet.Tv account and you can freely leave your comments here or there. Presentations are also available on WP GitHub page, courtesy of speakers, Denis & Goran. Last, but not least – we have an opening in WordPress team and we’re actively looking for WP Developers. Join in if these sorts of events (or general development) suits you. We’ll be happy to talk with you. Safe travels and see the full photo gallery below…

Krešimir Končić
Krešimir Končić Owner at Neuralab

Ex QBASIC developer that ventured into a web world in 2007. Leading a team of like-minded Open Source aficionados that love design, code and a pinch of BBQ. Currently writing a book that explains why ‘coding is the easier part’ of our field.

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