My First WordCamp

This post is a little late, considering I attended WordCamp Ann Arbor on October 24, 2015. But I feel I have now had ample time to reflect on my experience and the impact it has had on me. Also, sorry the title sounds like a title of a children’s book.

WCA2 2015 Collage

My WordCamp experience started with deciding at 10:00PM on October 23rd that I should get a hotel room for that night. (I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination… Why did I think I wanted to get up at 3:45AM-ish and drive 2 hrs and 45 mins from Cuyahoga Falls to Ann Arbor to get there by 7:30AM?) So I set out late that evening and had an awesome drive, because I love driving at night and I was super excited to be going in general.

Unfortunately, it was POURING rain when I got there and I only wore tennis shoes. I also didn’t consider the long walk from the parking garage… I picked the cheapest one and it was 2.1 miles from campus.

Needless to say, I was wildly unprepared, but a wise woman once said, “Great people do things before they’re ready.”

I attended all of the developer sessions, and I can honestly say I liked them all. Some topics were way over my head (WordPress in RAM, parts of Getting Started with VVV), but I took notes anyway. What was most interesting to me was seeing how others use WordPress. It was neat to learn about templating and WP-CLI, whether I start using those tools or not. I got exposure to the technologies, which to me is half the battle. I need to know what is out there in order to assess if it’s something I should invest time in learning.

Aside from the sessions, I really enjoyed being immersed in the WordPress community. Chatting with developers and users at lunch was rejuvenating. At one point, a WordPress user introduced herself as “just a user,” and one of the developers at the table interrupted to tell her how important her role in the community is. I think that’s my favorite thing that happened during the whole event. That interaction is a perfect example of why I love the WordPress community.

I will be attending WordCamp Northeast Ohio this year. I’m planning on visiting the Happiness Bar, because I didn’t exactly know what it was at WCA2. I’m interested to see what questions get asked and generally how it works. I’ll also make sure to pack my umbrella and rain boots this time, just in case!