This year has seemingly been a tumultuous one in the WordPress community. Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0’s release cycle have caused tensions to run high. Opinions fly with reckless abandon – my own included. As many of us gathered in Nashville for the annual national conference, there was some worry that these tensions would hang over WordCamp US like a dark cloud. I’m happy to say that in my experience, that wasn’t an issue. And further, this year’s WordCamp US has been the best one yet. Here’s why.
A Family Reunion
I always have fun at WordCamp US – I look forward to it because it feels like a family reunion to me. I show up and I know a large number of folks, many of whom I haven’t seen in months. It lets me catch up with those people in real life, not behind a screen, and talk.
As an extrovert, this fuels me.
I Met a Lot a Great People
I also got to meet a lot of people this year, which is always fun. This is the second year of self-employment for me, and it feels right. I’m not quite sure how to word it, but frequently over those several days, people came up to me and told me how impactful my work has been for them. This is the exact reason I do this work, and getting that validation means so, so much.
It Made Me Excited for 2019
When I go to a conference, I set out several goals – people I want to talk to, potential partnerships, licensing, and connections I’d like to make. This year, I feel like I made a lot of fantastic connections that in turn will help both me, and the people I spoke to, have a better 2019. I’m really excited to get the ball rolling on these projects.
WordCamp US Reminded Me of Why I Love the WordPress Community
The biggest takeaway from WordCamp US 2018 was a strong reminder of why I love the WordPress community so much. I’ve been a bit negative on Twitter lately and it’s not a great color on me. Being at WordCamp US helped me realize that.
Over the last few weeks it became easy for me to forget that this really is an open community, and that we all want the same thing – great software. It’s easy to fall into an echo chamber and lose perspective. And it’s easy to hide behind a screen and be kind of a jerk. Even if you think you don’t do it.
So I want to thank everyone in the community for reminding me of what’s important. For reminding me to take a step back, and realizing we’re all in this together. I’m especially appreciative of Brian and Katie Richards and Brian Krosgard, for helping me look at things more objectively., Everyone needs people like this in their life. Thanks to Andrea Middleton for letting me know that my general positivity and optimism is recognized and appreciated. And thanks to Matt Mullenweg for speaking to me not once, but twice, to talk though some of my criticisms and understand where we are both coming from. That’s a trait that I constantly try to work on in myself.
Thanks to the WordCamp US 2018 Organizing Team
Helping organize some bigger events myself, I know that pulling off this huge conference is no joke. Thank you to all the organizers that made WordCamp US 2018 happen. I really do think it’s been the best one yet.