This past weekend Joy and I had the opportunity to attend our fourth WordCamp Orlando at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando, FL. As in years past, it proved to be one of my favorite small WordCamps.
Strangely, perhaps, I didn’t get to as many sessions as I would have liked. Before the camp I had promised myself that I would try to hit a session in nearly every slot but, for lots of great reasons, that didn’t happen. Instead I started Saturday morning reviewing slides for my early afternoon talk and participating in the ethics on the web panel where I was able to spend an hour discussing privacy, consent and related legal issues with a host of great panelists. As the size of the WordPress community grows, panels like this have, in my opinion, become incredibly more important for a multitude of reasons. As such, getting to participate in the panel was, one of the highlights of my weekend.
After lunch with friends, I had the opportunity to present my own session on automating WordPress development to a near capacity crowd. This was the 2nd time I’ve given the talk and, although I thought maybe I had done something wrong as there were nearly no questions, it turned out to be one of the most well-received sessions I’ve done in a while. After the session I didn’t have another opportunity to sit down again in any further sessions. Instead, I spent the rest of the day discussing various automation scenarios one-on-one with folks who had attended the session itself. It turned out that rather than no questions, which is never a good sign, the session had inspired some deep ideas, for a number of folks, on how they could improve their workflows in their own jobs. As a result, for almost the last 4 hours of the day I was able to talk testing, hosting and more with some people who really know their stuff. It was great!
While we skipped the after party, the evening wasn’t wasted either. Instead we got to catch up with my old boss from my days when I worked at 10up. She’s still a good friend and one of the best project managers I’ve ever worked with. We hadn’t seen each other so it was great to catch up at a local Mexican restaurant.
Sunday I was finally able to attend a few talks. First, a great talk by Laura Byrne-Christiano and a great security talk by Michele Butcher-Jones. I hadn’t seen Michele speak in a few years and she’s come so far with what she does. The talk was a delight!
Two talks might not sound like much but there were only four talk sessions on Sunday. We followed the day up with even more good times hanging out with WordCamp friends for dinner and Disney, something that has become a bit of a tradition with the camp. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.