DICKSON CITY â€” At the Scranton areaâ€™s first WordCamp training session, bloggers, online publishers and developers honed their mastery of the software that powers nearly a quarter of the worldâ€™s top 10 million websites.
WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, 31, was at Johnson College Wednesday to speak with the 120 attendees who signed up to learn more about the open-source platform.
Open-source software designers make the language at the root of their product available for anyone to tweak. That leads to a community of ad-hoc developers that Mr. Mullenweg called a â€œdo-ocracy,â€ where those who do the most work have the most influence on its direction. WordPressâ€™s mission is to â€œdemocratize publishing,â€ he said.
â€œAny single person in this room can have an influence on a platform that 1 billion people can touch,â€ he said.
While WordCamps happen all over the world, several local developers worked together to put on Scrantonâ€™s first. Organizer Joseph Casabona said he knew of many WordPress developers in the area who had yet to come together.
â€œI hoped this would bring them out of the woodwork to meet each other,â€ he said.
Attendees could pick two tracks for the symposium, user or developer. The â€œuserâ€ track focused on WordPress basics, with some add-on features. The other track delved far deeper into the platform. They provided useful training for experienced WordPress users and newbies alike.
Wilkes-Barre resident, NEPA BlogCon co-founder and Web entrepreneur Karla Porter said she learned about a few new plugins, or software add-ons, during one session.
Michael Acharuya said he only started working with WordPress a couple of weeks ago. He wants to use it to develop a resume website to showcase his skills and experience in finance. He said his favorite session explored teaching WordPress to others.
â€œI would love to be able to have that power and use it for good,â€ he said.
He had high praise for the session, which cost $20 and offered free food and high-value training.
â€œItâ€™s pretty much free, you just have to get here,â€ he said. He drove from New Jersey to attend.
After the sessions, Mr. Mullenweg held a question-and-answer session where he discussed some of the intricacies and changes underway in the platform.
With a smile, he expressed his enthusiasm for the power his software can give to ordinary people.
â€œItâ€™s like your hidden talent,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s like you take your glasses off and youâ€™re a WordPress hero.â€
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