There’s a certain magic to WordCamps that is addicting (in a good way). WordCamps highlight the bond of the WordPress community, and I always walk away from one rejuvenated and inspired.
A WordCamp is a 1-2 day event (usually) that gathers WordPress fans together to learn more about WordPress, troubleshoot sites, network and work together to make the WordPress experience better for everyone. I have a perhaps better definition in a post I wrote almost five years ago.
I had never attended a WordCamp as an attendee until this Rochester WordCamp. I’ve been to WordCamps in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Brooklyn, Boston, Buffalo, Rochester, Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs before, but I was always a volunteer, speaker or volunteer organizer. This time wanted to focus of the trip to be on visiting Hudi and Mollie so I wanted flexibility in my hours — thereby not signing up for anything aside from our ticket purchases.
The plan worked well, and we slipped into a site security session in the late morning with no guilt. That’s how these WordCamps roll. Come when you can, leave when you must. Very casual and friendly.
After the session we headed over to lunch where we sat next to a woman who commented on the fact that a European-living relative of hers just got a job at a company called Automattic. She wondered if it sounded like a legitimate company.
Nicholas (my colleague who was also seated at the table), Chris and I looked at her in astonishment. What a coincidence! We obviously were able to assure her that it is, indeed, a legit company. And we love working there so much that here Chris and I were taking our weekend day to self-pay and attend the WordCamp.
After lunch we went to more sessions. I was thrilled to attend an Accessibility session taught by our friend, Trevor (who runs https://coachesoftech.com/). He attends a lot of the WordCamps I attend as well. I’m always speaking or volunteering during his talks so I never get to hear him.
It was worth waiting all the years. So much good information I can pass on to others who are setting up their site during our support sessions. For example, I had never thought about colors and contrast in regards to the fact that we all see colors differently, but there are sites that help us assess our site’s accessibility such as http://siteimprove.com.
Mollie joined us for a session then headed home for a quick change. We met again at the after-party, which is always a really great event. It’s a time to make new friends and reconnect with friends we already have. We relax and catch up on each other’s worlds and geek out on WordPress topics.
Look closely at our earrings. Chris made Michelle a pair like my favorite ones he made me.
Our Buffalo and Rochester WordPress friends meet Mollie.
Mollie and I appreciate the way this attendee grabbed some swag.
After a delightful day we headed back to Hudi and Mollie’s house. It was so wonderful seeing our friends. I look forward to seeing a lot of them again at WordCamp US.
Are any of you going to be there? Let me know, and I’ll try to find you so we can yak in real time 🙂
If you are interested in connecting with the WordPress community in general – check out the following:
- WordCamps – https://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/ – These are small conferences that occur around the world. For a small fee you get a day or two of classes, lunch, 1:1 help with your site at a Happiness Bar (at most conferences) and an after party 🙂 These tend to occur at locations annually.
- Local Meetups – This is a free option for meeting others in your area. Generally you learn something about WordPress then get a chance to ask questions about your site.
You can go to https://www.meetup.com/ for local meetups. These are generally free and meet monthly. You will have to sign up for meetup.com (not our site), but it’s free, and once you are in do a search for WordPress in your area.