Wordpress Meetups and Groups in London
WordPress is becoming one of the most promising technologies available on the web today. Originally designed as a blogging application for running personal websites, it has been rapidly and widely adapted to a number of different applications. From weblogs to announcement pages and even to viable enterprise level front pages, WordPress has found a niche almost everywhere due to the simplicity of its installation and easy administration, as well as its massive collection of extensions and plug-ins that expand its functionality.
Because of this, knowing how to use and modify WordPress, as well as creating applications and plug-ins for it has become a significant driving force in web design and development and much like any other PHP or web design endeavor you can benefit from learning the newest techniques and technologies being leveraged by this powerful platform.
Unfortunately, there are not nearly the traditional resources available for WordPress that there are for other web development technologies such as PHP. Very few universities or colleges are offering classes in WordPress plug-in development, however industry experts still need to know how these technologies work and where they are going.
In the absence of traditional learning institutions, one of the best ways to improve your knowledge of WordPress and WordPress development is to attend meetings and conferences related to WordPress. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn from the leaders in the field, you have an opportunity to spend time with them, perform some professional networking, and advance your career while putting yourself one step ahead of the competition.
The largest WordPress conference is WordCamp, which has a UK branch known as "WordCamp UK", which focuses on organizing WordPress publishers, developers, and designers from the United Kingdom. More information can be found on their website http://www.wpuk.org. Currently they organize a two day WordCamp conference annually, located in various cities around the UK.
WordPress UK also helps organize local group meetings for WordPress developers, designers, and publishers, a list of which can be found at http://wiki.wpuk.org/WordPress_UK_locals. These meetings are significantly less formal than a traditional conference, but have the advantage of being held in a more comfortable atmosphere where it is easier to spend time networking with professionals in the field, and are also significantly cheaper, in most cases there is no fee to participate. These meetings also take place more frequently, some as often as weekly.
These smaller meetings also give you significantly more leverage, if there is some change you wish to see integrated into WordPress, or you have some insight into the design process that you would like to be considered, these smaller meetings are the idea situation to present your ideas and have them heard and considered by the people who are driving WordPress development.
In general, WordPress conferences tend to be more geographically spread out than other conferences, and the local conferences and meetings tend to be smaller. This is primarily due to the fact that WordPress development itself is spread around the globe, and not concentrated in any particular geographical location. This can make it slightly harder to locate WordPress meetings and Conferences in your area, and you will want to check directories of conferences, or lists of related conferences such as Drupal and Joomla, to find them. One such directory can be found at http://lanyrd.com/topics/wordpress/ which contains a list of several WordPress conferences and their locations, including ones in nearby cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Birmingham.
Participating in these conferences provides a unique opportunity to interact with the extensive WordPress community in ways that are not always available in larger conferences, while still providing you with a firsthand look at emerging new technologies and design methodologies that you may not get a chance to experience in your day to day activities. By spending a bit of time looking into these conferences and meetings you will be exposed to new ideas that you can then bring back to your company to give you the competitive edge that is so critical in the extremely competitive field of WordPress design. A single good idea from one of these conferences and meetings could be the difference between landing a lucrative new contract, or watching that contract go to one of your competitors.
There is a strong WordPress business community in the UK with lots of firms specialising in WordPress services. CatN are a prime example of this offering WordPress hosting services as well as sponsoring WordPress events and contributing plugins back to the community.
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