First let me say: what a great experience this was. When we heard a WordCamp was coming, we decided to sign up almost immediately – it’s easy for things to get lost in our inbox and we knew if we didn’t put it on the calendar it would disappear. Given our desire to move towards a more independent work style, we knew WordPress would be a factor in that. After signing up, we didn’t really have any high expectations – or really any expectations at all. The good news? Even if we went in with high expectations they would have been exceeded. So the first thing I want to do is acknowledge how awesome our day was – at a $20 per person ticket price. And not to knock some ‘professional’ conferences but I really wish they were more like WordCamp PDX.
What you got for $20 was pretty impressive. Not only were many of the talks informative, but you were also given a huge & tasty BBQ lunch, two free beers, and plenty of swag. Oh yes! And Whiffies, which was our first food cart we tried after moving to Portland. (We will not discuss how many we have tried since then…) Matt Mullenweg also made an appearance, giving an hour talk. Pretty cool to hear him speak, even cooler to ‘win’ a WordPress Iphone cover from him. Some gentlemen in the audience asked Matt a question and was wearing a shirt that had only ’24601′ on it. Matt was curious as to what it meant, and asked if anyone in the audience knew – and, of course this theatre geek did! It’s Jean Val Jean’s prisoner number from Les Miserable and many a Monday I have started the week with “look down, look down…”
Keith and I split up what tracks we went to, and the only one we both attended was the security one. For me, most of the talks I attended didn’t produce any groundbreaking information – which was awesome. We both suffer from ‘we don’t know enough’ syndrome and often don’t start projects because we feel we need to know it all. That won’t get us anywhere and attending this conference was a boost we needed. Keith trended towards the more technical ones as he is thinking of getting back into coding. He enjoys what he does, but it’s hard to do remote and long term that just won’t work with the travel we want to do.
So, another props to the organizers of WordCamp PDX – I can’t wait to attend another. Interested in one? Visit Wordcamp Central to see where one might be occurring near you.