“Making the event free and online was really important for me so we could have as few barriers to entry for folks wanting to learn,” Gordon said. “I have a feeling a lot of folks who can’t tune live will still appreciate having all the talks available on YouTube for free.”
So far, 15 speakers have been confirmed with more to be announced soon. The speakers include WordPress core developers, theme and plugin developers, agency owners, and educators. Some of the talks will be from designers allowing user experience and usability to be part of the conversation.
Gordon says he’s been wanting to an in-person event for a while but considering the challenges involved, a virtual conference was the next best thing.
“I used to run in-person workshops in the Washington DC area, which I miss, and have wanted to do an event for a while,” he said. “But doing in-person events is so difficult, so the online format seemed like the best option to go with. I got some good advice from Human Made and WP Campus, who both have experience doing online events, so hopefully everything will go smooth.”
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Gordon says the course is aimed at developers who want to update their themes, plugins, shortcodes, etc. to work with Gutenberg and take advantage of blocks.
"There is also some content I am adding geared towards theme developers, but honestly there is not much to that," Gordon said. "I think plugin developers will fill a lot of the needs of theme developers and help prevent them from having to build too many custom blocks.
"Also, in my opinion, blocks belong in plugins, so maybe some theme developers will migrate into plugin development through working with blocks."
Gordon learned quite a few things about Gutenberg while creating the course. "Specifically, I learned Gutenberg is really just React under the hood, and then the more traditional WordPress PHP under that," he said.
"Digging deeper into the source attributes system that Gutenberg has to keep track of dynamic data was interesting. Also, there are far more possibilities with server-side code hooking into blocks than I thought ahead of time. I also came to the opinion that I'm not sure why someone would build a block in anything other than React, so I'm interested to see what common practices evolve."
Creating the course has allowed Gordon to dive deep into Gutenberg. So does he think it's a suitable replacement for the editor?
"I think most users will feel Gutenberg is an improvement of the editing experience," he responded. "We are definitely moving in the right direction. Ironically perhaps, I still like site and page builder plugins when editing or creating content in WordPress."