Potential Talk – What can we learn from sport in WordPress?

For a while I’ve wanted to give a talk comparing sport to my work life. There are a lot of similarities between the two. This is my pitch (Yes, intended, I like a pun). Would anyone be interested in such a talk or is it just me?

Comparing Anfield to WordCamp Europe
Comparing Anfield to WordCamp Europe

How playing and watching sport can help build a better team

I play football twice a week, and watch more than my fair share on TV.  The main reason for this is that it’s fun, and reasonably healthy.  How does my sporting experience help in the work place?  What are the transferrable skills?

One of the things I love about the WordPress community is the warmth. So many people greet each other with a big hug, even if they work for rival companies. With this in mind, I introduce Exhibit A. This is Jurgen Klopp as the final whistle signals their victory in the Champions League. Note that the first person he hugs is his opposite number, Mauricio Pochettino.

Football teams have fans, both at the stadium and on TV.  Software, including WordPress, has users (and fans).  Everyone should listen to, engage with, and provide the best experience possible, for fans and users.   

Whether it’s kicking a ball or building software, success is more likely with good teamwork and understanding.   There are key attributes that good sports teams have that can, and should, be mirrored in the workplace:

  • Work ethic
  • Technical skills
  • Communication
  • Desire
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Intelligence
  • Selflessness
  • Encouragement
  • Tactics & Strategy

This isn’t a standard WordPress talk.  It’s a little left-field (still intended).  Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and consider a fresh perspective.  Hopefully it will help people to look at things differently, but at the same time understand that something they know well can aid their everyday lives. 

One final thought. WordCamps have after parties, a lot of them involve karaoke. #wpkaraoke is a thing. After WordCamp Boston I went to Fenway Park to see Liverpool play Sevilla in a pre-season friendly. Watch the clip here, probably the largest #wpkaraoke ever!

You’ll Never Walk Alone at Fenway Park, July 2019

Let’s do the maths: 37K crowd, call it 36K to keep it simple. I’m guessing half have a website (18K), a third of which use WordPress, so 6,000 WordPressers singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, 30 mins after closing remarks at #wcbos. That must be a #wpkaraoke record!

Categories: Blog

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