I (Zach) felt a mixture of excitement and nerves leading up to the first day of the Miami WordCamp 2015. This was going to be the first WordCamp I was attending, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I don’t know if it’s this way with every WordCamp, but my expectations were completely blown away.
Not having been to a WordCamp before, I wasn’t too sure how the networking would go. I haven’t been to any local meetups either (there aren’t any near me) and the previous conferences I went to I was with a group of people and primarily stuck with them. Since I was going to this one solo, I was nervous and unsure how it would work out.
As it turns out, everyone I met was nice and welcoming. I was able to sit down next to anybody (or a group) at pretty much any point, introduce myself, and get a conversation going. The time I spent worrying about whether or not I’d make any connections while there ended up being a complete waste of time as connections were made and they happened with little effort and felt very natural.
There were four days worth of sessions this year but I got tickets for the primary days of the conference: Saturday and Sunday. For those days, there were 3 different tracks: Developer, Content, and Business. Being a developer, I was primarily interested in the developer track. However, after seeing one of the business talks, I re-evaluated my plan for the weekend and went to a few more. I’ll probably choose to go to an even wider variety of them next year as the things I picked up from the business oriented talks were invaluable and can definitely be applied to my development life.
I’m really happy with my experience at WordCamp Miami. Somewhere between getting to know members of the WordPress community and attending some of the phenomenal talks, I became completely sold on WordCamps in general and motivated to be a part of many more. I also decided that I am going to try to speak at as many as I can. I want to help others feel the same way I felt while attending the different sessions and try to give back whatever I can to this amazing community.
I’ll see you at WordCamp Miami 2016!