When you start working with WordPress websites, you naturally become part of a community. Within that community, people from across the world are eager to share their knowledge and experience of WordPress to help others use the platform with ease and enjoyment. It’s one of the many reasons why I love being a WordPress designer.
This last weekend, a dedicated group of WordPress developers, designers, and users, gathered in Seattle, Washington for a WordCamp experience. WordCamps are “casual, locally-organized, non-profit conferences covering everything related to WordPress.” I didn’t get a chance to attend this year, but we at Mozak Design were able to talk with some of the speakers and attendees to get an idea of what the 2015 Seattle conference was all about.
The live-tweeting aspect of the event this year was one of Jeff Brock’s favorite components; it was on Twitter where we, in fact, read his Tweets and reached out to him. “I loved live-tweeting the sessions,” Jeff says. “Figuring out the nuggets to highlight amid all the incredible information” was a lot of fun. As a speaker at this year’s event with a session called, Bootstrap Your WordPress Workflow, he reflected on his biggest takeaway: “The flexibility of WordPress, combined with the strength of the community, makes it a platform for continued growth. We all made the right choice in WordPress.”
Jeff’s most memorable session was that of Amanda Blum of Howling Zoe Productions. In Amanda’s words, she “spoke about the 15 steps you can take to ensure better relationships between clients and WordPRess contractors.” It was a new talk for her and was pleased with the positive feedback she received. Overall, Amanda reflected, “I think as a community, WordPress development is growing immensely and the skillsets of our developers are growing with it. However, the community is struggling with client relationships, which is really just attributable to the youngness of the community (WP is only 11 years old).” She was able to help attendees navigate potential conversations and provide answers that would better equip them when interacting with their clients using WordPress.
The attendees definitely felt inspired to move forward in their business goals for 2015. Bianca J. Smith, founder of Tap Dancing Spiders, felt that attending WordCamp helped her realize the goals she has are possible. “I have a huge site redesign coming up that has been stressful,” she says, “and just little tidbits from the speakers meant that it won’t be as stressful as I was expecting.” Anthony Dean, a blogger who attended this year, felt that “there can be a lot of varying tips and advice on WordPress, even for advanced users, but hearing different solutions offered is part of what makes WordCamp enjoyable.”
Bianca also loved the people she met and support she found. “I knew a couple of bloggers from Twitter chats and Facebook groups and it was great to actually meet in-person and become friends.” Others felt the same way. Bob Dunn, a WordPress trainer, coach, and WordCamp veteran, says these WordCamp events “always reminds me of the cool people I know in this community and how I always pick up new nuggets of WordPress knowledge from so many of them.”
So, when we asked our new WordCamp Seattle friends to describe their overall WordCamp experience this year in 7 words or less, what were their responses?
“Geeking out with gregarious guys and gals.”—Jeff Brock
“Enjoyable. I’ll likely go again next year.”—Anthony Dean
“Never disappointed.”—Bob Dunn
“Community, stories, sharing, technology – I always get something out of WordCamp.”—Bianca Smith
We want to hear from you!
Have you attended a WordCamp before? What was your experience like?