Last Wednesday, I noticed the following tweet from local Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Glen Gordon:
After I installed WordPress on my local Windows 7 machine (which went fine, except for a weird bug with Skype), I received a complimentary pass to attend the WordCamp.
While I tend to lean towards Microsoft technologies, my blog is in fact running WordPress, so I was glad to have the opportunity to attend a conference to bring me up to speed on the publishing platform. My hope was to learn about building themes, writing plug-ins, and maybe even pick up a little PHP.
The first thing I noticed about the conference was how different the demographic was from the Microsoft users groups I had attended. The average age of the attendees was quite young and there were lots of women. The feeling of community was palpable throughout the event.
Overall, I was glad I went, even though the actual sessions seemed somewhat weak in demonstrating how to actually do stuff in WordPress. The presenters of the sessions I attended were good, but they were heavy with PowerPoint slides and I would have appreciated some actual walk-throughs, and maybe even a peek at some actual code. Perhaps that’s the developer bias within me that likes to see things demonstrated.
I met some wonderful people throughout the day and this was by far this biggest reward on my time.
- Chef Darin Sehnert – I know Darin from a cooking class that he taught while my wife and I were on our honeymoon. His cooking classes are worth a trip to Savannah.
- Pam Leinmiller – I had lunch with Pam and learned about her background in computer science and her plans to start a blog about positive health living.
- Glen Gordon – I enjoyed meeting Glenn and discussing Microsoft at a Word Press conference :-). I really appreciated his sharing about the Microsoft WebsiteSpark program.
- Moses Ngone – I met Moses at the “Genius Bar” and he was incredibly helpful in teaching me about a lot of the “developer” stuff that goes into WordPress. He actually sat down with me and showed me some code, helping to build my confidence about diving into HTML, CSS, and PHP.
- Nathan Ketsdever – After I arrived at TAP for the after party (thanks sponsors!), I noticed that Nathan was ordering the same beer I was intending to order, the Left Hand Milk Stout (though I think we actually ended up drinking the Red Brick Ale 15th Anniversary Edition. Waiter, thanks for the mistake; it was amazing).
- Mitch Canter – I talked to Mitch briefly as he was headed out the door. His session was my favorite because he got out of PowerPoint and talked about how he develops themes. I really appreciated hearing about his approach to web design.
- Matt Thomas – I met Matt towards the end of the evening. He’s the designer behind WordPress.com. I especially enjoyed geeking out with him about typography and fonts!
- Suggested Plug-ins (most suggested by Mitch Canter)
- Suggested Software (from Moses Ngone)
- Parent/Child Themes (Ryan Imel)
I had a really wonderful time at the WordCamp and can’t wait to get started hacking away at my blog. Thanks to everyone for all of their hard word and inspiration!