Jamie Oastler reviews the first WordPress Pub Night

Last night the WordPress Developers Group of Ottawa (WDGO) held it’s first informal event and by all accounts it was a tremendous success. The initial conversations focused on the CMS platform that powers over 6 million sites on the web today: Attendees’ development experiences with WordPress, how it favourable compares with other open source platforms (better admin UI, smaller database, extensible architecture) and projects they are working on or interested in contributing towards in the future.

As is always the case when geeks get together, the discussion branched out into areas that any startupottawa.com folks would have found interesting. Some examples were the challenges one faces in selling to a market that has a pre-established notion of the cost / value of site development and the general struggles of Ottawa-based communities to get continued active involvement from their participants.

The evening concluded with a plentiful brainstorm of the types of events which attendees would either be interested in attending or organizing for future WDGO events. You could consider this a draft list of things to look forward to from WDGO in the near future:

-Introduction / overview of theme design and plugin development
(hooks, filters, functions, Codex, etc)

-Best practice demonstrations on how to solve particular content challenges with WordPress


Custom Data Entry / Presentation via More Fields – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/more-fields/

Idealien Category Enhancements – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/idealien-category-enhancements/

-Newbie Nights – Developers helping users solve particular challenges with their own installations of WP.

-Web Weekend(s) – Collaborative development events to solve particular problems or incubate potential business ideas.

Everyone there agreed they wanted to see the WordPress Developer Group of Ottawa grow. The tentative plan is to schedule another event in early August that has a “social” focus and build upon that into the fall with a series of events focused more on the education and evangalism of WordPress. There is a good chance that next social event would be a Poker Night / BBQ with a side of WordPress on August 8, 2009.

Thanks to everyone who attended, I felt like Ray Kinsella by the end of the night…You know, "If you build it, they will come" :P As before – keep an eye on http://ottawadevelopers.wordpress.com or @wdgo on Twitter to stay informed as plans progress.

By Scott Lake