So when one speaker at WordCamp said, at the beginning of her talk, that she’d heard the night before about someone who had worked on the same intranet for 20 years, I was too busy being shocked to hear the rest of what she said, but it turns out that what she said was, “I’m glad that’s not me.”
I’ve never been to a tech conference with compost bins before. I’ve never been to a tech conference party before, either. That has all changed.
I went to WordCamp U.S. 2016 and it was a very dense experience.
I wasn’t the only developer who was disappointed in the lack of technical content, but I think I got more out of this WordCamp than I have out of much more expensive and ostensibly more technical conferences that were just reheated versions of the previous years’ conferences. Yes – that is years, plural. WordCamp wins for originality of content, hands down, every time.
I tend to keep a very low social profile during conferences. I realize this is a shame but past experiences at the aforementioned expensive tech conferences have not really yielded any interesting conversations, much less viable professional friendships. The crush of people is also overwhelming.
WordCamp is different. The people are far more fascinating. However, in the era of Twitter (which was not really a thing like it is now back when I was a regular conference-goer), going to a conference populated with people that I follow on Twitter but don’t actually know in any real way is very surreal. I tend to follow people because I think they might have some good technical insights that they’ll toss out on Twitter from time to time, but mostly Twitter is just a big hangout between people I don’t know. And then WordCamp is the same thing but in person. I think I need to re-think my Twitter life. I wish people would blog more.
With that said I did have a few great conversations with random people and I probably need to find a way to be more open at WordCamps. I can work on that.