WordCamp. The name in itself says a lot. No, it is not an actual camp, nor are there fires anywhere close to the actual event. You will however learn a lot of new and interesting things about WordPress from some pretty amazing people who know the Content Management System very well. Almost too well. I think the CMS has a few restraining orders currently out. I’ll Check. Nope, We’re good.
WordCamp is an amazing gathering of very knowledgeable individuals that are willing to show anyone the insides of WordPress, all around the world. “WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 25 million sites on the web.” I have attended a few WordCamp Conferences over the years and I plan on attending many more. Let me tell you why.
The event itself usually consists of one day dedicated to speakers who talk about the subject of their choice. The next day is held at the same location, or inside of a co-working space, where you can site down with any number of people and discuss projects or ask for advice. Most of the speeches are tied to a specific part of WordPress. Multisite Introductions, Themes, and Plugins are the usual suspect on point for a speakers sessions. There usually is a few that are related to WordPress, but the focus can be applied to many different area’s of web design, social media skills, and the latest and greatest trending topics.
The events I have attended usually have 2 rooms. One room is dedicated to the New / Beginner users of WordPress while the other room is filled with “The Geeks” who understand the subject at hand during the presentation. This room is called the Developer Room, Developer Track, or Developer. Each room has it’s pros and cons. If you are still new to WordPress, but you can navigate through the WordPress Dashboard easily, The New / Beginner Room can almost be thought of as a Refresher Course. You can still learn a lot of handy tips and tricks from some highly skilled individuals on many subjects. I usually spend most of my time in this room because most of my own talks take place in these rooms. I am far from a “Noob”, but I pay attention to the way the speakers present their subjects and take notes on how I can improve my own speakings.
The Developer Room is a great place to learn how to “Hack Up” WordPress itself, or modify your theme or plugins that you are using. This room is more focused on current design trends, updating your theme to the latest WordPress coding standards, or presentations from some of the top WordPress Developers showing you how they wrote some code that does some really amazing stuff. If there is a developer that I have been following on Twitter, or their own blog, I will usually go check out their talk, ask a few questions and then say my thank you’s and head back to the New / Beginner room.
All in all, you can have to decide for yourself what skill level you are and hang out with some pretty interesting people.
The people that attend WordCamp’s are pretty eclectic when it comes to WordPress. Many of the people in the New / Beginner room have a blog or a company website running on the latest version of WP, and want to learn more about how they can take control. What I find more and more as I attend WordCamp’s across the country is that 65 – 90% of the attendees have been to a WordCamp before, usually the year before. They had so much fun learning all that they can and they are back for more. I have a pretty amazing group of Developer friends at each WordCamp, so I am usually hanging out with them. They are super famous in the World Of WordPress, so I am always trying to Photo-Bomb them, or be seen with them in some way.
When I am out on the Las Vegas Strip, or attending a Nascar race, I tend to think about how many people currently around me have a WordPress blog and would benefit from attending a WordCamp. Last week I met a man who blogs about blogs. He has a fantastic website and he considers himself a rookie. We started talking and it happens to be that he attended my first talk I gave last year at WordCamp Las Vegas 2012. He is a client of my WordPress Support Service and we send emails back and forth all of the time.
Have you met John Hawkins? John Hawkins is the guy you meet at a WordCamp who can point you in the right direction. He has attended so many WordCamp’s, that he should have his own WordCamp Website on WordCamp Central. Seriously. When I first met this guy, I offered him a beer and he accepted it. Then we had a short pow wow discussing everything WordPress and invited me to his Meet Up Group. I learned a lot from this guy and still do to this day. I dont think I could ever “< ?php
echo “I am very lucky to learn from this guy”; ? >” (see what I did there Developers?) how lucky I am to learn from him.
If you attend a WordCamp, there are a few certainties. You will meet some awesome people who live and breath WordPress, Have similar interests or websites as you do, or just have nothing else to do on a Saturday / Sunday. Either way, you are going to learn some pretty awesome WordPress stuff, get hooked up with some WORDPRESS MERCH, or get a few free subscriptions to some pretty popular WordPress Tools like Geek Street WP, WP-Engine and Securi Security. I was lucky to get all three of those and let me be the one to tell you, If you are looking to boost your skills as a web developer, Author of Blog Posts or Just learn what is is WordPress does in a nutshell, You will be amazed.
Now, Here is a picture of Mitch, My Yorkie Terrier .