This year I returned to WordCamp US. A bit older, wiser and more dug into the ways of Magento thanks to my day job. I was and still am excited about my experience at WordCamp US 2016. I got to see friends, listen to amazing speakers, meet new people and got some sweat swag!

Return of the WordCamper

This year was my second year at WordCamp Us and it’s second year in Philadelphia, PA. This is also it’s last year in Philadelphia for now. As we say goodbye to Philadelphia, we say hello to Nashville, TN and all that it has to offer! Matt Mullenweg mentioned something about Hot Chicken, which sounds intriguing. So what is my take away from this amazing weekend filled with people that I know, love and care deeply for? It is that WordCamps themselves are highly worth the money. They cost around $20-$40 for any given camp. So the barrier to entry is small in the monetary scale. Though large in what you can gain from such a weekend!

Let me say the biggest reason I go to these WordCamps is to maintain relationships that can grow and while growing relationships with people I get to learn! Though I may not be working in WordPress everyday at my current position, I can still learn many things from the presenters at WordCamps. The talks maybe targeted to WordPress Users, Developers, etc., but their teachings can almost be applied to multiple situations in the technological world we live and breathe in!

About some talks

Round 1

Chris Lema gave one of my favorite talks this weekend! It was about finding your voice and doing so by the way of blogging and not caring what people are going to think all the time. We need to take inputs as grains of salt and if they have merit apply them and if they don’t move on with what we are doing. It’s about improving oneself while being helpful, was one of his main points. By being helpful you can improve not only yourself, but someone else as well!

Another speaker I loved hearing from was Andrew Nacin, he spoke on WordPress Reflections. You would have thought his talk was all about his time as a Team Lead or a Lead Developer on the WordPress Project, but it wasn’t. It was a story about how he learned he was actually putting his father who is a letter carrier out of a job. This expanded into what are we making in software development and are we pushing biases in our tech and where are we imbuing ethics in what we create?

Round 2

I also sat in on John Eckman‘s talk “WP Drama and the Four Agreements”. At first I wasn’t sure what this would even be about. Though as he got into his talk, it wasn’t so much about WP Drama. It’s focus was more about how not to create and foster drama in life, work and in everything you do! It was actually really amazing to hear him speak about this! Even though it was only a 15 minute lightening talk, I still got so much from it!

One of my other favorite speakers was Shayda Torabi. Disclaimer she’s also a fiend I made last year at WordCamp US 2015. She spoke on taking our friendships that we make online into the real world and expand them beyond or digital lives!

Final Take Away

Most of the talks I just cited have very little to do with WordPress itself. Though they can still apply to WordPress, it’s community and our lives. This is amazing! I will continue to go to WordCamps to make friends and nurture current friendships. I will continue to learn how to apply things I learn at them. Not only to my developer life, but also my life outside of it.

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