WordPress Event: To Be or Not to Be?

Quick Post

Towards the end of last year, I was almost disillusioned about the state of web design in Kenya. But I can now say that for some reason there is a renewed energy, and I am more excited than ever!

Here’s the thing, despite the increase in the number of quick-fix web designers, and despite doomsday prophets heralding the “death of web design”, I am convinced that web design is not even close to being dead. Not in Africa, at least.

The reality is that internet penetration and computer literacy are simply not at an optimum over here yet, and even then, no matter how “easy” it becomes for people to launch their businesses online, there will always be a need for those who are experienced and well-versed in the ins-and-outs of cyberspace to help the rest find their way with efficiency and maximum ROI. I therefore assert that the role of “web designer” is not going anywhere anytime soon.

With that in mind, I think that those who’ve chosen to work with WordPress have actually found the sweet spot between the reusability of back-end code and the customizability of front-end interfaces. It therefore saddens me that, for example, the last WordCamp in Kenya happened in 2013!!! Can you believe that? I know the guy in charge of the event—I don’t know the reason why he let it die. Even when the events used to be held back then, 90% of the time was given to bloggers who knew almost nothing about WordPress itself as a technological tool and platform. WordCamp is supposed to be first and foremost for the developer community, in order to rally them to push the platform forward … not to be a retreat for fashion and political bloggers to debate about the ethics of blogging!

[UPDATE: I just learnt that there was actually a WordCamp Nairobi in 2016, but from the schedule, there wasn’t a single bit of it dedicated to developers. Hiyo ni nini sasa?]

So, before we can attempt a logistical feat like planning an annual WordCamp, the Martians and a few other legit web designers in Nairobi would like to hold a small, possibly quarterly event for WordPress Developers. The purpose of this blog is to find out whether there’s anyone out there who’s interested. Here are some of the topics we’re planning to cover during the first event, which will hopefully be in April, Lord willing:

  • Custom Post Types and how to get started (we’ll give you the boilerplate source code we Martians use)
  • How to use SASS with WordPress
  • General WordPress Tips & Tricks

If you’re a developer (or interested in being a WordPress developer) and you’d like to attend, please let us know in the comments below, and also mention whether you’d prefer a weekday evening or weekend afternoon.

Look, it’s a dog eat dog world out here … but we have an opportunity to look out for one another and push ourselves to master our skills and do better work with better results for clients. Please leave a comment and kindly share with anyone you know who would be interested.


[UPDATE: We’ve confirmed the venue, date and time of the first event! Check it out.]

  • Andrew

    Count me in! Where do I sign up?

  • I am in. Weekday evening.

  • Sam Szaba Shah

    I’m in where do i sign up as well!

    • Will let you know, Sam. Thanks for your interest.

      • Sam Szaba Shah


  • Eric Kangiri

    I am also in, Weekday is cool

  • moshthepitt

    :) this is interesting to me

  • I’m interested :)

  • Licio Lentimo

    I’m interested. Weekends in the afternoon is okay.

  • Andrew Njonjo Kiroga

    I am in!

  • Karanja Mutahi

    Very Interested

  • Daniel Ndung’u

    Tuko. And a weekend would be fantastic for me!

  • Oluchi Ibeneme

    I’m in, sounds awesome. , I’m good on weekends

  • john

    Interesting, …would like to be joining you and the weekends are good.

  • Stephen Okeno

    This good, I’m willing to join you on weekends

  • Kevin Ahere

    Hey guys
    I’m interested in WordPress development event . I’m available every day of the week.

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for expressing interest. Will let you know the plans.

  • Wanjúgú

    Very VERY interested!!! Weekend afternoon works better for me :D

  • Brian Barmao

    Weekend preferably Saturday afternoon

  • james.brian

    when and where and am in obviously

    • We’ll communicate the details. Thanks for your interest.

  • Desmond Juma

    Where n when. Saturday afternoon works best.

  • Anita kapten

    I’m interested. and Saturday afternoon works best

  • Interested. Saturday afternoon.

  • Kenadi Muhoho

    Interested. Weekend afternoon would be awesome

  • fannon benjamin

    I’m in..Weekend afternoon.

  • I like this, but personally I think your agenda for the meet is too basic, ‘google-able’ If you are really targeting the passionate worpress devs then lets have something like

    1. WordPress JSON API – What’s possible whats not
    2. WordPress + MPESA/ Payment gateways
    3. WordPress + AngularJS/React/*insert hip JS Framework here*

    Now thats something that cannot be replaced with these new themes on steroids

    Also see https://www.meetup.com/Nairobi-WordPress-Meetup-Group/ There’s also a facebook group for Kenyan WordPress developers, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1584037045152219/

    • Hi Nicholas,

      Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that these things are basic, but:

      1. We need to start with the basics. Our intention is to write about each event’s lessons as we go along so that someone who’s joining us at event #3 can back-track and bring themselves up to speed
      2. As google-able as they may seem, there is vastly more power in getting people started when they see something done in person, where they can ask questions over a drink, and even feel like they can follow up with someone via phone/email afterwards to help them along. It’s the reason lecture halls still exist.
      3. For all the supposed “WordPress gurus” out there, the silence is deafening. What epic stuff are people doing with the basics before we start talking about hard core development? I can’t seem to find any myself. I’d be glad if you pointed them out. Either way, even basic stuff that get’s overlooked can always be fine-tuned for better efficiency and ultimately, for a better user experience.
      4. There are limitations to WordPress’ intended capabilities. I would be glad if you could handle a session on Angular/React etc … but knowing the way WordPress stores data, I’m hard pressed to see why someone would build a full-blown one-page web app on WordPress as opposed to using a framework such as Laravel which is built to leverage API’s and database migrations out of the box.

      The good thing is that we can (and should) totally debate about this stuff. I’d be glad if you could attend. I’ll check out the links you shared as well.

  • Dennis Mugambi

    Glad to see this. Weekend afternoon is fine by me

    • Thanks, Dennis. We’ve decided we definitely wanna have this event, so we’re just sorting out the venue/logistics now.

  • Alex Otieno

    I’m interested. Saturday afternoon works fine by me

  • Ndagi Stanley

    Hi, there.
    Is this still happening :)?

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signed. martians.™