WordCamp Ottawa 2014 Recap – The #BnBroadtrip

248f75b2d2c111e3bba20002c9dced60_8If you follow us here on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram then you already know that we brought half the team (Leila, Drew, Harris, Vivien, Laura, and Justine) up to Ottawa this past weekend for WordCamp Ottawa 2014.

This year I (we) had the opportunity to speak at WCOttawa and get to know our capital city a bit better, plus it was a great team bonding experience. Last year I did a talk at WordCamp Montreal entitled “Build a Responsive WordPress Theme with 
ZURBs Foundation 4 Framework“. A year later we still get emails in regards to this presentation, questions on Facebook and twitter, and it currently has over 10,000 views on slideshare (it’s been promoted to the front page of slideshare twice).

Considering how important the responsive web is to us and everything we do for our clients we decided to update the presentation to F5, look at some new sats, and dig a little deeper into media queries, SASS, and child themes. And, it was a great excuse to take a road trip and meet the Ottawa WordPress community 🙂

If you’re familiar with or attended my talk last year you will find a few re-purposed slides, but there’s plenty of new stuff – enjoy! 

Highlights from the event

B&B road trip - on the roadIt was a great team bonding experience! We rented a car, a condo, and hit the road. We learned a lot about each other and our company. Check out our Fun Friday Post “B&B Road Trip to WordCamp Ottawa” to see what we learned and check out the hashtag #BnBroadtrip for the inside scoop.


10296776_1388858268066609_210255563_nWe learned about our nation’s capital! Surprisingly this was almost everybody’s first time to Ottawa, we realized very quickly how little we knew about our own country and its history so we decided to take a walk up to Parliament Hill with Drew, who’s from the area, as our chaperone and toured the grounds.


8d841daad2cd11e382be0002c954ec04_8We love meeting new WordPress communities! I’ve been doing the WordPress thang since version 2.1 and as an ex WordCamp organizer and active community member online and offline I always appreciate the opportunity to meet new WordPress communities, connect with old friends, and give back – this year was no exception! The Ottawa WordPress community is passionate, motivated, friendly, and they put on a great WordCamp, can’t wait for next year!

Bouncers in Ottawa are not friendly or smart! This may not be the most appropriate venue for this topic, but, I’ve unfortunately had my fair share of run-ins with bouncers over the years – I like to party, what can I say – and Friday night at Hooley’s took me back to my college years with a rather unintended face to face with some 19-yr-old hot shot. I’ll say no more…

10296932_698375530225308_1193030932_nB&B’ers love karaoke! Who doesn’t love karaoke? The night before my opening talk at WordCamp we decided to paint the town Quebecois and hit up one of Ottawa’s popular karaoke joints – see above highlight – and we ROCKED it our with our rendition of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” sung by yours truly and Laura. This became the official #BnBroadtrip theme song.


Here’s a snippet of what you missed…


Leila makes a great alarm clock! Without Leila I’m not sure if any of us would’ve made it out of the condo in time for WordCamp Saturday morning. She managed to get 7 very groggy people dressed, packed, cleaning the condo, and in the car in less than an hour – bravo!

The beard is always epic! Where ever I go my beard eventually makes its way in to conversation and this week was no exception.


What’s next? I plan on taking this topic even further at WordCamp Montreal this year, if they’ll have me 🙂 . After speaking with Troy Chaplin and Michael Corkum, two talented WordPress developers and active WPOttawa community members, we’re hoping to run a WordPress on SASS workshop before or during WCMTL this summer.

The Brendan & Brendan team is excited to continue working with the WordPress community at large and we’ll be representing in full force at WordCamp Montreal this year.

On a final note, thank you Ottawa for your support and feedback! Thank you for having us and we hope to see some of you in Montreal and next year at WCOttawa.

10 thoughts on “WordCamp Ottawa 2014 Recap – The #BnBroadtrip

  1. reinierk

    It was nice hearing you speak Brendan! Sorry I couldn’t find the time to hook up later (as promised).

    I mentioned that there’s a nice way to deal with “all those pesky Android resolutions” in responsive design and that boils down to letting the content decide the breakpoints and not using fixed ones (like “min-width: 640px”).

    If the content gets too wide/cramped, then it’s a good point to insert a media query.

    Granted: this means a lot of “manual” development, which we usually seek to avoid, but I do think it’s beneficial to the overall design of the website and it’s resolution agnostic.

    Regardless; fixed media queries are handy for chunks of content, like grids, so using them certainly is justified in my experience.

    Also another neat thing is to define media queries in ’em’ instead of pixels, which will play super nice if someone decides to zoom in their browser, or change the base font size (either the dev or the user).

    Thanks again for the talk and I hope you enjoyed our lovely city 😉

    1. The Poet Post author


      Was great “meeting” you as well. Thanks for the feedback. I totally agree and we’re beginning to use less media queries and do more manual work, it is what it is, but as stated it’s what’s best for the overall design at the end of the day.

      In term of pixels vs. em also agree and we don;t really use pixels anymore.

      Loved Ottawa, but very happy to be a Montreal’er 🙂 Hope to see you WCMTL/

      1. reinierk


        Is there a date yet for WC Montreal?

        After my first visit to WC Ottawa I feel I might be able to bring something to the table as a front-end developer who works with WordPress on a daily basis. Would love to speak sometime, plus my wife would love visiting Montreal as well.


  2. Macaron Baking Co. (@MacaronBakingCo)

    It was great meeting you and your team this weekend. Glad you enjoyed our city (minus a certain bouncer). Hope you see you again soon!

    Regarding Foundation 5, I saw someone voice a concern (I think it was on Twitter) during your talk about poor/no support for older browsers? Has this been a problem for you at all?

    1. The Poet Post author

      Thanks for the feedback, great meeting you as well.

      No, foundation does not support older browsers, but older browsers are just that. The web only evolves if agencies and their clients push it to. However, when clients specifically asks for support on let’s say iE8, there are always fallbacks.

  3. Shawn Hooper (@ShawnHooper)

    It was great meeting you and your team this weekend. Glad you enjoyed our city (minus a certain bouncer). Hope you see you again soon!

    Regarding Foundation 5, I saw someone voice a concern (I think it was on Twitter) during your talk about poor/no support for older browsers? Has this been a problem for you at all?


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