Back in December, I had the opportunity to attend WordCamp US, hosted in Philadelphia, and it was a great experience. There were tons of awesome people, held in a great venue, with a great lineup of speakers. There are amazing discussions being held all the time, but the talks that stood out to me the most were React + WordPressGodzilla CSS, and The Future Stack: Running WordPress with Tomorrow’s Technologies.

React + WordPress by Matías Ventura and Gregory Cornelius. They discussed their learning experience while working on Calypso. I really liked the idea of how they organized the files into components, including the CSS, making components very easy to reuse. It also makes it easier on contributors, updating a component, and auto-updating everywhere in the app.

Godzilla CSS, Michael Arestad talked about CSS and how to manage big CSS when it is scaled up. Typically, people say not to nest CSS selectors, but no one really explains why. Arestad showed how selectors in CSS read from right to left. As an example “.nav a span {}” would find all spans, then all the anchor tags in spans, then all the anchor tags in spans in .nav. So if your page has a ton of spans on it, that selector can be pretty heavy.

The Future Stack: Running WordPress with Tomorrow’s Technologies by Zack Tollman and Aaron Jorbin was a great talk on the benefits of newer technologies that will have huge performance boosts amongst other benefits. PHP7 was released December 3rd, 2015 and is said to have 2-3x faster performance than previous versions of PHP. They also talked about HTTP/2.0 and how the performance of HTTP requests gets better, by opening a single connecting between the server and the browser, and allowing bidirectional HTTP requests and responses on that connections.

After WordCamp, I left feeling really inspired and ready to get back to the office to share my new knowledge with the team.

Since then, I have adopted many of the ideas and practices into my own workflow. One of the biggest changes was creating a naming convention that our team was conformable with and sticking to it. Going forward, I would like to work more with React, especially, React working with APIs such as WordPress’ new REST API. Making WordPress into something more than just a content management system is something I’m definitely interested in. I’d also like to gain more experience working with CSS on an even bigger scale.

WordCamp US had some great sponsors and really fun parties each night of the event. With everything I learned and all the awesome people I met, I definitely want to go back to WordCamp US this year.