The rise of WordPress development communities

WordPress development communities are springing up everywhere, like bluebells in spring. Secretly we knew they existed, Mike Little’s famous Stockport group (he co-founded WordPress) and Keith Devon’s “WordPress London” monthly meetup. They’ve all been around for years along with a few hundred WordCamps – the larger, more coordinated gatherings of WordPress think-alikes in almost every country of the world.

The movement has largely existed on the fringe, but you cannot ignore its size or influence on the future direction of the web and computing as a whole.

It’s as if WordPress is entering its own springtime. It seems that you can now proudly associate with the aspiring platform without being shot-down by old-school web programmers who believe in hand cutting everything, and sweating for their craft.

Welcome, then, into the light. But tread lightly, what is seen cannot be unseen – when the masses really catch on (no later than 2015), there will be a headlong rush into this space. It will get crowded, competitive and boisterous – we may long for the quieter, more cerebral days before the storm of commercial embrace.

I expect all of this year’s WordCamps to be sold out and larger than previous years. I’ll attend a few this year, including Europe and the US so say hello if you’re going along.

2014 for me will be quite a watershed. We’ve been closely involved with WordPress, almost intertwined, since 2008 and this year will see the platform grow from being a petulant blogging platform into a mature commercial framework. Bring it on.

By Martin Dower, CEO