Maine, Summer 2016

I think we picked the perfect timing for visiting my husband’s family this summer, avoiding the heat wave in Tokyo while getting only a couple of cloudy/rainy days.

Two of my favorite Instagram captures: at Sebago Lake and Popham Beach.

夜明け

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#beach

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Our daughter loves playing in water – not just pools but lake and ocean too. She also had fun playing the piano, sitting in a car seat (for most of the time!), pretending to drive a fire truck at Portland Children’s Museum 🙂

WordCamp Europe 2016 Slides & Photos

Last Friday, I presented a talk about the Japanese WordPress community at WordCamp Europe 2016 in Vienna.

The video will be published on WordPress.tv at some point. Meanwhile, here are some points for those who had missed it:

  • Japanese is the most widely used non-English WP locale (12.3% of non-English locales)
  • WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in Japan today (78.5% share – higher number compared to 59.5% for English sites)
  • Meetups are held almost every weekend somewhere in Japan. We make it easy to see events across Japan through the WordBench website and the event calendar. Many of the chapters create unique banners for each event.
  • The online community is also active, with many contributors on translation, documentation, support, bug fix & report, and Wapuu too!
  • Show others how to get involved, recognize their hard work, and help out.
  • Your own contribution can be multiplied if you help others to contribute. It’s necessary to grow the community for WordPress to succeed.

It was a pleasure to have had an opportunity to share what I’ve seen in the local community for the past 13 years. As I said in the talk, my goal is to help others contribute to WordPress so the “small steps” of more people can build up to form a long stride. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Day 0 (WCEU Picnic) Photos

Francesca and I hosted a picnic at Burggarten near the venue on Thursday.

#wceupicnic #wceu #wceu2016

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Day 1 Photos

Day 2 Photos

The childcare support at WCEU this year was really great.

Thanks #wceu organizing team for arranging a visit to the children's museum. It was fun! 💕

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Photos: Contributor Day

Having discussion face-to-face was the best part of the Contributor Day.

Taking a Sabbatical

For the next three month, I’m taking the first sabbatical in my life.

When I first heard that I can take a fully paid sabbatical every five years at Automattic, it was about a half year after coming back from my 3-month maternity leave. My sixth year started a couple month before then, but I didn’t feel like going away for an extended time again – even though the fact is that the company encourages us to take one.

Even when I seriously started thinking about the time off for this summer, I wasn’t 100% sure if this is going to be a good idea for me. 

I like my work, and there are so many things I want to get done!

One of my teammates who shared some of the tasks with me is no longer around, maybe I should wait.

Won’t this create too much extra work for others in my team?

But now that I have passed over my work to Andrew who will be backing me up, I feel both relieved and ready. 

From today, I’m taking a 10-day trip with my husband and daughter to Vienna. I will be speaking & volunteering at WCEU (that may sound like work but I’m doing that as just someone involved in the WordPress community 🙂 )

I plan on taking some more trips, reading books, organizing WordCamp Tokyo, and working on some other projects I have in mind.

WordPress Meetup Tokyo #29: Theme Workshop

At the WordPress Meetup Tokyo yesterday, we held a 2-hour WordPress theme building workshop.

Based on the feedback, sounds like the attendees liked how it went! Thanks to my co-organizers and attendees who helped out each other, everyone was able to learn something new.

I also enjoyed the meetup because it gave me a chance to understand the key elements in learning how to build an original WordPress theme for the first time.

I think these are some of very important (but often overlooked) points:

If this list looks like a no-brainer to you, then you are on the right track.

But if you think WordPress theme building is like a black magic, I highly recommend reading through the Theme Handbook before you head to any other tutorial videos or articles online.

The theme files and instruction text I prepared for the workshop are available here if anyone is interested.

Next WordPress Meetup Tokyo will be on June 12th!

WordPress Meetup Tokyo #30 – June 2016: Plugin Workshop

Sunday, Jun 12, 2016, 3:00 PM

Coworking space kayabacho, co-edo tokyo
Shinkawa 1-3-4, Chuo-ku Tokyo, JP

4 WordPress Users & Developers Attending

In this meetup, we will introduce some basic information on creating WordPress Plugins.If you want to understand how to build your own plugin, come and learn with the meetup group!We highly recommend bringing a laptop with a local development environment.FYI: There will be another WordPress meetup in the afternoon (held in Japanese) at Co-Edo: h…

Check out this Meetup →

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Slides and Photos

Over the weekend, I had the privilege to visit India for the first time to attend WordCamp Mumbai. I had a great time and had yet another realization that going to a WordCamp is a great way to visit a new place.

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

I talked about how WordPress became popular in Japan over the years and shared some tips to grow community or business.

My talk was right before lunch on the second day, so I had an opportunity to chat with several people who were interested in translation and meetups. I felt that it was well worth the trip when I could talk to Hindi, Marathi, and Tibetan translators who wanted to get involved more.

…and I got to introduce Wappu to more WordPress users in a different part of the world. We may soon see Mumbai dabbawala wapuu stickers and shirts?

I also helped staff Automattic’s sponsor table (Jetpack + WooCommerce) along with my 5 of my coworkers. It sounded like WooCommerce is super popular and lots of people were asking Sam technical questions on Jetpack.

Some of the things I noticed that were different from Japanese WordCamps:

  • I saw a huge interest in business and marketing side of things around WordPress.
  • Many of the attendees were super friendly and weren’t shy about coming to say hi.
  • Code/programming-focused sessions outnumbered design/theme dev sessions.
  • Curry and sweets for lunch, and chai for tea break 🍛

Thank you everyone for having me a part of this wonderful event. I can now say for sure that the WordPress community in Mumbai is really strong! Big shout out to the organizing team’s Alex, Aditya, Vachan, Thomson, Ajay, Sahil, Ratnesh, Meher, Amit, Niket, Raj, and Vishal!

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

Gemma’s No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake

One of our recent favorite cooking (YouTube) shows is Bigger Bolder Baking by Gemma Stafford. Today I made her latest recipe, No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day ❤️

Tiramisu with banana on top 🍫🍌 #valentine #tiramisu

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I skipped the Ladyfingers and whipped cream but added slices of bananas instead. I couldn’t find digestives or graham crackers so I used Japanese cookies called Marie. Marie cookies worked great for layering in between the cheese mix too. A packet of Starbucks VIA seems perfect for the whole recipe (which calls for 5-6 tsp of instant coffee granules).

The recipe on her blog: No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day

Team Global Meetup 2016: Tokyo Edition

This week, my team at Automattic had a meetup in… Tokyo! 🗼🎌 I was so waiting for this to happen, and finally… my five teammates and the CFO all made it here.

(Last time was in Copenhagen, Denmark – March 2015)

One thing that didn’t go as planned was that I got a cold during the week 😓 But luckily I was able to join back with the team after seeing my doctor.

On Wednesday, we took a stroll around Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. It was a beautiful sunny day. We could see Mt. Fuji from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory.

We also got to see some plum and early-blossoming cherry flowers in Shinjuku Gyoen Park.

カンザクラ

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The last day was a combination of a productive morning clearing out a good number of todos & unresolved issues, 1-on-1 meeting with Alex, then a tasty dinner.

Even though it doesn’t feel like I only meet them (at most) twice a year because we work together every day online, it’s always nice to meet in person and say “Kanpai!” 🍻

Jenia’s series of meetup diary is on her blog.