My Time at WordCamp Sacramento

I have attended many tech conferences in the past years. Many of them I attend in order to gather information on new technology, learn new skills, as well as network. This past weekend, I attended WordCamp Sacramento and had one of the best conference experiences I have had in a long time.

I was super pumped to be attending the conference as I had always wanted to see what other WordCamps were like! I flew into Sacramento from Northwest Arkansas, used Uber for the first time, and ended up having my spirits crushed when my driver made a comment about how my hotel was in a bad part of town — he was right. The area was scattered with prostitution, the group next to my room played loud music until 2:00am, my room smelled awful, and I opted to sleep on top of one of the bath towels rather than use the sheets. Obviously, I did what homework I could, but the internet reviews and photos failed me. Thankfully, I was tired enough to sleep through my discomfort.

The next morning, I ubered to the WordCamp venue at California State University in Sacramento. I was immediately greeted by friendly WordCamp volunteers and all of my fears of being a loner for the weekend were immediately dissolved.

This past weekend, I attended WordCamp Sacramento and had one of the best conference experiences I have had in a long time.

The first few sessions were great, and I was feeling highly motivated. For my talk, I decided to start the first few moments with my thoughts on this motivation and how the WordPress community is such a huge inspiration for people who are passionate about doing what they love. What I thought was a simple rant turned out to have a deep impact on the people there. Afterwards, people were coming to me offering much encouragement and thankfulness — I felt humbled alongside a boost of my ego :-)

After a first day of great sessions, the dessert party was a blast! I had a chance to talk with many people and learn about their careers, their passions, and their lives — everyone was kind and cheerful. I loved this part of the evening as it seemed I could just sit down with anybody and feel as if we had been good friends for years.

Earlier that afternoon, I tweeted asking if anyone had a couch I could surf on so I could avoid the shady hotel.

That night, me and a few others, who also came from out of town, went out for dinner and drinks — it was great conversation! Jeff, one of the guys at dinner, had a spare couch and was kind enough to let me crash.

This level of charitable kindness is not often found, especially at tech conferences where everyone is usually concerned about networking and ego boosting. At WordCamps, though, the “spirit of open source” means much more than open source code contribution, sharing of skills, or the sharing of knowledge — it also encompasses the sharing of kindness, friendship, and heartfelt support. Just ask any person who has been to a WordCamp or a WordPress meetup and you will know!

I was immediately greeted by friendly WordCamp volunteers and all of my fears of being a loner for the weekend were immediately dissolved.

The people from this weekend were some of the kindest people I had ever met. When I prepared to uber back to the airport, Jennifer, one of the organizers of WordCamp Sacramento gave me a big hug along with a kind “Thank you”. If the music had been just right, I might have teared up because the kindness was really pulling on my heart strings — I had kind of expected to be a sort of out-of-town loner for most of the weekend.

Needless to say, thank you to all you guys from WordCamp Sacramento! You are all great people and only I hope I can attend next year, but saying hello via Twitter will have to suffice until then.

At WordCamps, though, the “spirit of open source” means much more than open source code contribution, sharing of skills, or the sharing of knowledge — it also encompasses the sharing of kindness, friendship, and heartfelt support.

Your friend,
Tate