WPTech 2015

Update: 27th Sept 2019 – I’ve moved this blog post from my old blog which I’m in the process of shutting down.

So an Irishman, an American, and a hell of a lot of french people walk into a bar … but wait … I’m getting ahead of myself here let’s start at the beginning.

(TL;DR? Un ou deux images de WPTech 2015)

Saturday saw WordPress Tech 2015 coming to town. For those of you not aware it’s an unofficial WordPress conference run here in Nantes. It’s a one day event and this is the second year it has been running. With the birth of my son last year I completely forgot it was on for 2014. This year I made sure to book in advance and I even booked myself in for the afters party.

The Registration Queue

As with a lot of these conferences it had an early 8am start at least for registration and getting your name badges. I arrived fashionably late ( in fairness at that hour of the morning I’ve no idea when I arrived but it wasn’t for 8AM. Thankfully it was a brisk morning and the promised fog didn’t make an appearance.

Roll up Roll up get your Badges

For me … big problems ensued … I didn’t recognise anyone!!! I’m also not fluent in French and small talk really doesn’t come easily to me. Though I suspect a lot of people were in the same boat.

Ou est Charlie?
Ou est Charlie?

Not wanting to look completely lost I proceeded to get a few nice snaps of the place and made use of the staircase to get a better vantage point all the while trying to wake up with multiple cups of coffee and pain au chocolate 🙂 and before too long it was time to head into the welcome note and first of the speakers.

The WPTech 2015 Conferences begin

and it all kicks off ...

I’m not going to go into the conferences that much, for any non French speakers they won’t be that interesting … though you’d probably follow the code / slides without so much effort.

Maxime Bernard Jacquet on discovering the REST API
Maxime Bernard Jacquet on discovering the REST API

The turn out was rather good I believe around 300 people from all over France.

A rather decent turnout for WPTech

Daniel Roch

The real time twitter stream projected to the side of the speakers was a nice addition with useful bits of information, pictures and a whole load of hashtag spam ( until that started getting nipped in the bud.)

The Real Time Twitter Wall

The first break of the morning brought the discovery of Jenny with a group of others and thank god for that. Finally someone I knew ( ish .. I’d started following Jenny on Twitter I believe shortly after or during WCEU 2013). Getting introduced to a few people is rather nice and on that note I would suggest for future events like this a speak dating style place. I first came across this a few years ago with an Anglophone group in Nantes that would hold a meeting where non native speakers would talk to a native speaker for 5 – 10 minutes before switching partner. I’d love to see a similar format at some of these events for those of us feeling a bit shy about introducing ourselves to random people we may just stalk on twitter ) 10 chairs … 10 people … a 5 minute chat and you switch chairs to the next person. You get to meet people introduce yourself and for those introverted people I think it’d be great not to mention for those who know people they could sit an meet a few people they wouldn’t normally meet. I’d also suggest to groups to Adopt a Mec! (guy or girl and bring them into your group if they are looking lost or not talking to anyone.)

More talks followed …

Julio Potier - Hooks Hooks The Magical Fruit
Julio Potier – Best practices when dealing with Hooks

…and it was becoming clear that “Hook(s)” was the word of the day …

Tony Archambeau on Website Migration to WordPress
Tony Archambeau on Website Migration to WordPress

A how to migrate your CMS to WordPress followed with Tony Archambeau (@TonyArchambeauSlides) which took a look at basic SQL commands and procedures for moving a site to WordPress. It avoided unfortunately talking about rewrite rules and plugins like redirection. It would probably still be interesting for those that don’t touch SQL that often. The general rule though is abuse the intern and get them copy and pasting ( joke but if the site is simple then copying and pasting the content might just be a simpler not to mention faster solution ) I believe the Import tool has become active again so it might have been interesting to hear about this as well and where it’s going.

It was then on to the plugin customiser with Remi Corson …

Remi Corson ...
Remi Corson on the API Customiser for plugins

Remi Corson ...

… and before you knew it, it was lunch time with subs so many subs!!!

Subs so many Subs

People even took the time to help out friends with code problems

Helping out with coding problems

Wandering … taking pictures … trying to look busy 🙂

Daniel / Olivier

Making use of the spiral stairs I got this one … not to mention getting given out to by security 🙂

The Red Shirts

After Lunch it was yet more conferences with a great talk from Jonathan Buttigieg on best practices with plugin development

Jonathan Buttigieg on Best practices for Plugin Development

Back to taking more photos for me though for some of the talks …

Shooting of video …

Shooting Of Video

The discovery of the ultra low tech job board …

The Job Board

Not to mention some interesting jobs …

Interesting Jobs

Video Interviews happened …

Video Interview Station

The WPTech 2015 Video Interviews

…and of course Jenny gave her talk on using WordPress to Generate PDFs which gave me flashbacks to 2002 when I was doing the same for the first time coming up against all sorts of limitations in relation to images / backgrounds and dealing with 13 different languages for print. It also gave me a lot of fuel for thought and I’ve left with some interesting ideas.

Jenny Beaumont talking about WordPress and PDFs

And then it was all over … the quiz took place .. laughs were had and the obligatory group team shot was taken

WPTech Team Shot

I found most of the WPTech 2015 talks rather interesting in particular those of:

It had been billed as an event for all and not just techies though I’m not too sure about that. Once you start mentioning code / hooks and programming API’s … I’m not so sure. I however did enjoy it a lot not to mention the after party.

Ah yes as I was saying … An Irishman, an American, and a hell of a lot of french people walk into a bar …

I’m still searching for a punch line for that one but in the mean time … yet a few more shots from the After party.

Quick detour on the way to the bar…

Thomas and the Elephant

The addition of alcohol to any event usually helps get people talking and this was no different …

So Many Glasses

Good conversations with Karine..


Thierry ( whose podcasts I’d followed from time to time adding my own bad french tweets from time to time )


Though the introduction was brief here’s one of Didier …

Didier Wolforg

Jenny and her husband Olivier

Jenny and Olivier



The white wine flowed … then the red wine … then we went back to the white wine and it flowed some more and it was good.

All in all a superb day and I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Jenny for making me feel so welcome, introducing me to so many people and the chats in English  on a day when my head was melted from all the French; and to Thomas as well for saying hey and hanging out, and last but not least a huge thank you to the organisers of WPTech 2015 for a great day and evening.

but hang on you’ve read down this far?


The Animated WPTech Tean

Problemes Techniques

Problemes Techniques



For those of you about to click we salute you

Who Snaps The Snappers

And that’s a wrap though I may tweak and edit things a little bit

One Comment

  • Salut James,
    I do my comment in french so you can revise it. And also I don’t think I will have been able to write it whole in English 😉

    Merci beaucoup pour cet article vraiment sympa qui me rappelle la chouette journée que j’ai passé, et en ta compagnie en plus. Je suis vraiment ravi d’avoir pu te rencontrer IRL.
    C’était mon premier événement WordPress et même Web. Je ne suis pas déçu, bien au contraire. Les conférences étaient vraiment intéressantes et nous avons pu rencontrer beaucoup de personnes du Slack WordPressfr.
    Timide un peu sur le début, tu cherches des têtes connues (merci les photos du Slack) puis tu te mêles à des conversations et en fait tout le monde est sympa. Tu peux discuter avec tous sans prise de tête et sur un sujet commun, en général, “WordPress”.
    J’ai encore plus apprécié la soirée qui s’est passée dans une ambiance encore plus cool et avec quelques verres d’alcool (en fait c’était open bar, certains en ont vraiment profité ;-P), on se lâche vraiment et on discute de tout.
    Bref, Daniel Roch avait l’air de dire que “peut-être” il y aurait un WP Tech 2016. Je l’espère vraiment.
    L’organisation était vraiment au top. Tout s’est enchainé sans temps mort (il n’y avait, souvent, même pas assez de temps). Un grand bravo à tout les bénévoles qui ont vraiment assurer le service.
    La ville de Nantes, de ce que j’ai vu (autrement dit pas grand chose), à l’air d’être une ville plutôt sympa.
    Pour finir, merci pour les photos (j’apparais quand même 3 fois dans l’article).


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