WordCamp Round Up

Notes and shout outs from an awesome WordCamp STL 2015

WordCamp STL is one of dozens of WordCamps around the world and the local version of the global WordCamp. I had the pleasure of presenting this year but it’s a conference I try not to miss if I can.  For only 25 bucks,  you get a t-shirt, great swag, and an unparalleled learning environment where you can find anyone who is interested in what you can bring to the WordPress community.  In other words, it’s Web Geek Christmas.

This year’s event was 2 days of programming starting with a keynote recording of Cain and Obenland in the Morning.  Then, 4 blocks of 4 presentations each of 30 minutes.  From Lucas Lima I learned a ton more about project management, which is always valuable. From Heather Acton, I got valuable insight into financial planning for my company.

Then I spoke.  My partner Justin Chick, my mother, and my wife came for my talk, which helped calm me down.  I still had a ton to cover and probably talked too fast for a good chunk of it, but at least I started off at a reasonable pace.  The feedback I got was overwhelmingly positive,  which is great!  If anyone didn’t like it, they didn’t let me know.

We broke for lunch and then the break neck pace continued.  In the afternoon I learned about the amazing work Cam Barnett is doing moving school systems over to WordPress, saving taxpayers boat loads of money, providing a better solution to their real problems,  and ultimately,  making schools better at their core job – teaching and cultivating kids into great adults.

Then I learned about how to fundamentally alter how to use WordPress with a great talk on the REST api, which is hopefully coming to WP core soon.  I wasn’t able to make the after party at the City Museum or much of the Community Day, which held a kids workshop and helped build a site for HandsUp United, but I learned a ton and met so many wonderful people.

I’m more sad about the great presentations I couldn’t make, like Sara Cannon’s UX Talk, Drew Bell’s talk on the rat hole of CSS Specificity, Christoph Trappe’s on authentic storytelling, Joe McGill’s on Atomic Design principles in WordPress, and Megan Harris’ on content marketing.

Far and away, the people in the WordPress community are what make it so easy for me to do what I do and make better sites for my clients.  Thank you so much to everyone who attended, volunteered, presented, sponsored or otherwise make things like WordCamp possible!

I’m looking forward to next year already, but my experience at WordCampSTL has encouraged me to begin submitting my presentation to more WordCamps.  I’m a little leery of it – the best part of WordCamps are that most of the presenters are local – but I feel like the reaction I got means that I have something to share.


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