On the Speaker Selection Process

It’s hard to believe, but WordCamp Finland 2016 is only 8 days from now. On Friday the 15th we have 12 excellent talks lined up for you (6 full length and 6 lightning talks), and we can’t wait to hear them ourselves! In this post I’ll go a little into the speaker selection process.

We were lucky to have 30 talk proposals from 24 different people. The overwhelming majority of those proposals were well thought out and we believe every one of them deserved to be heard. However, we knew we had room for only one track so choices had to be made. In addition to Finland, we got application from the USA, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Sweden. Because WordCamps are first and foremost for the local community, we had to set limits on the number of international talks.

So, how do you choose? We had a team of 4 people, made up of organisers, who read through your applications. 3 on the team had not been involved in the speaker application or selection process up to that point, which meant we could make an initial selection of talks anonymously, based purely on the proposed topic and description. Although I don’t believe it makes sense to completely disregard the person, this was a good way to ensure that to begin with, we had a varied and interesting selection of topics.

We aimed to have talks appealing to designers, site owners, intermediate and advanced developers alike. Some talk proposals were very similar to one another, and in those cases we chose the one we considered to appeal to the widest audience. In the end we quite naturally emerged with a talk schedule comprised of both experienced and first-time speakers, men and women, advanced and general interest topics. See the final schedule here: https://2016.finland.wordcamp.org/schedule/

If you applied to speak and didn’t get selected, do not despair! There are regular meetups in Helsinki, Tampere, Jyväskylä and Turku, all of which are looking for good talks and speakers. And of course, there’ll always be another WordCamp.

See you all on the 15th at Virgin Oil!

Speaker announcement: Natanael Sinisalo

Natanael Sinisalo has been working on WordPress for the past 7 years and for the past 4 years he has also been co-running a small digital/WordPress agency called MEOM where he currently work as a CTO. He also runs Jyväskylä WordPress Meetups. About half of his time is spent improving the work processes at MEOM. DevOps, process automation and modern PHP are close to his heart. At WordCamp Finland Natanael will share his thoughts on working with WordPress as a team.

This concludes our speaker introductions, be sure to check out the full list of speakers. The schedule for Friday will be up soon too, stay tuned.

Lightning talks: Liisa Benmergui, Antti Kuosmanen, Aki Björklund

Welcome our second group of Lightning Talkers!

Liisa Benmergui

liisabWith over a decade of experience working as a UX and concept designer, Liisa Benmergui has had the pleasure of working with all manner of persons in the industry to create many digital products and services. She has worked on a number of services built on the WordPress platform and has come to understand the platform’s possibilities, as well as shortcomings, and is pleasantly surprised by its versatility, especially when working with skilled developers. She is currently a designer at Frantic.com. Liisa’s talk will be about embracing the boundaries of templates.

Antti Kuosmanen

57B650A8-F91B-42ED-9FF2-0BDC652BF486@P-661HNU-DI-F1Antti Kuosmanen is an Open Source geek, WordPress evangelist at Seravo, founder of WP-palvelu.fi and author of many WordPress plugins. Antti’s talk will be about Open Source: the aspects of WordPress being GPL, and why it’s important for WordPress users, developers and businesses alike.

Aki Björklund

aki1Aki Björklund is a mostly self-taught web generalist. He has been developing websites since 2000. After 10 years of developing custom CMSs with Microsoft technologies for media companies, among other things, he had enough and switched to 100% WordPress. Aki is a founder and the CTO of H1, a Finnish WordPress agency. His talk will be about Practical REST API.

Speaker announcement: Thomas Hurd

A transplant from New Zealand, via a few countries along the way, Thomas came to Helsinki for love – of design. Thomas has translated his background in product, system and service design into developing integrated digital experiences with the team at booncon PIXELS. As a head of design and production, Thomas works with a team that creates considered user experiences, beautiful design and powerful technical implementations.

In his talk at WordCamp Finland, Thomas will present a case study of a multilingual WooCommerce site with 30 000 products and integration with older SAP systems. What went well, what didn’t go well, what was learnt and what would be done differently.

Speaker announcement: Jussi Kinnula

Please give a warm welcome to our next speaker, Jussi Kinnula. Jussi is a full Stack Developer from Helsinki. He is specialized in modern JavaScript frameworks (AngularJS, Angular 2, ImmutableJS), and on back end side, Perl 5/Catalyst, NodeJS, PHP. In Jussi’s talk he will give a crash course on how to develop WP multisite locally using Bedrock, and how to deploy it in Heroku. The talk will also explain the pros and cons of cloud deployment in general.

Speaker announcement: Nikolay Bachiyski

In 1984, a scientist attempted to clone a bear with brain tissue extracted from Albert Einstein’s rotting corpse. The result was a resounding success: Bulgarian superhero Nikolay Bachiyski was born. Now, many years later Nikolay works at Automattic and helps to improve developer knowledge throughout the world as a core contributor and Security Czar for the WordPress project.

Nikolay’s talk will be about React for WordPress developers.

Speaker announcement: Janne Ala-Äijälä

Janne Ala-Äijälä is a handyman of internet, working as a Senior Web Developer at Aucor. With a strong software development background and experience with other web platforms he’s eager to take the most out of WordPress to make the internet a better place. In Janne’s talk we will hear how to level up our multilingual sites.

Subscribe to updates from the sidebar or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with more speaker announcements!