EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Milan Đorđević from WordCamp Niš 2019


WordCamp Niš 2019 in Serbia was started by two WordPress developers, colleagues at the Serbian web company Shindiri Studio, Milan Đorđević and Aleksandar Predić. We had a pleasure to talk with Milan about their work on WordCamp, about this year program and event, but also about the local WordPress community, Gutenberg, etc. Enjoy!

Please, introduce us with WordCamp Niš…

Aleksandar was the one that had the idea of starting our own WordPress community in our city. It began as an attempt to spread out the WordPress community from Belgrade to other cities.

We have successfully organized our first WP Meetup in July 2016, and since then we never looked back. The community in Serbia started to grow since 2016, and we had a small part in that.

After volunteering at different camps and being in the organization of last years WordCamp Europe in Belgrade, we wanted to organize our own WordCamp in our city. The community was ready, the idea was there so we took a leap of faith and sent an application to the WP Central.

Here we are now, 6 months from that moment only a couple of days away to having the first WordCamp ever to be held in Niš, so we are pretty excited.

How many visitors do you expect this year!?

We expect around 300 visitors to come to our WordCamp. As this will be the only WordCamp in Serbia this year, Belgrade is taking a pause since WC Europe, we hope that a lot of people from not only Nis but the whole country will attend.

How many people are in your team? Do you cooperate with other WordCamps!?

We are 11 people team, with a 12th member who helped us develop a QR Code scan application for our sponsors. We are a diverse bunch of people, with a common love to contribute to the community and WordPress.

We have designers, copy-writers, developed, project managers, evangelists, business owners and CTOs in our midst, together we are a machine which brought this conference to life.

We are in constant communication with other WordCamps, sometimes only with people who had or will be organizing their WordCamp again. We took their advice and tried to be as much as transparent about our goals with everybody. I feel I need to thank every person who took their time from his or her busy schedule at helped organize this event. Kudos.

Agencies and companies from Serbia are supporting the local WordPress community!? Do you have local sponsors of WordCamp Niš 2019!?

Yes. We are very happy to have a lot of companies support us, not only from Serbia but also from our neighbors Bulgaria, also Germany and the USA. I would like to mention every one of our sponsors without them we could not have organized this event.

So thank you for our Goldens sponsors: Better Collective and Shindiri Studio; Silver sponsors: mCloud, Superhosting.rs and Maksimer;  Bronze sponsors: Meks, DevriX, Plesk, PeepSo, Sajtic and Sticker Mule; and last but not least to our venue sponsors, the Electronic Faculty and College off Applied Science where our Contribution day will be held.  Shutout to our global sponsors as well: WooCommerce, Jetpack, Bluehost, and GoDaddy. Thank you!

It seems that content and publishing as subjects are very popular on WordCamps. Tell us more about the program of WordCamp Niš 2019?

Actualy we are very glad that we have a very diverse talk group. A lot of different people from Serbia and abroad applied to be the speakers on our WordCamp, sadly we needed to choose only 20 of them.

The idea of the WordCamp is to be accessible to everybody and a fact is that a lot of people still use WordPress for non-development purposes, and they like to attend the camps. So actually there is stuff for everybody, business talks, server side, successful stories, good practices, the list goes on.

We tried to balance the Serbian to English talks 70:30, and we think we managed that. For the first time in Serbia, we will have a dual speak, where two speakers will actually do talk about AWS servers, so we look forward to it.

Please, how do you see the impact of Gutenberg on the WordPress ecosystem? Is it going to lead us to a differently structured, bigger and better WordPress community!?

Gutenberg will be a game changer, but we think its still a long road ahead. It took WordPress 15 years to get where its now. Who can say what will happen in the next 15en.

The community is still differentiated about the usage of Gutenberg, that’s why we still have the Classic Editor around. We will see start 2021, where the project Gutenberg will be, as this is the year where the announced were made that the support for the Classic Editor will be finished.

In the end, what would be your message (or advice) to the organizers of WordCamps all over the world?

Surround yourself with people who you can depend on. Be prepared to spend a lot of time organizing this beautiful event. The satisfaction will be there when everything is finished as planned.
Keep a cool head and most importantly, enjoy it as much as possible.

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