Finding My Place in the WordPress Community at My First WordCamp

Finding community is important when you’re seeking to collaborate, socialize, and befriend people with the same interests as you.

Last week from August 23rd-25th I had the chance to experience the warm, inviting WordPress community at WordCamp Minneapolis. Getting to spend time with fellow sponsors, attendees, organizers, volunteers, and speakers from the community helped me understand the depth of WordPress’s global impact on people.

I stepped into the McNamara Alumni Center excited and ready to start my morning greeting new friends from the WordPress community. My first WordCamp interactions began with smiling faces at the registration table where I was given my name tag and some cool swag.

In the afternoon, I spent time learning about functional components in hands-on workshops instructed by industry leaders. In “Building Your First Plugin,” with developer Scott DeLuzio, he covered the best practices for building a custom plugin, tips for naming conventions, and the importance of shortcodes. While I didn’t have any previous coding experience, this talk introduced me to plugins and how they are created for WordPress.

I also had a chance to attend, “Intro To WooCommerce,” presented by Patrick Rauland, who walked attendees through building their own customizable eCommerce store. I loved hearing questions from attendees who were looking to expand their knowledge of the functionalities WooCommerce has to offer a small business owner.

After the workshops, I was able to meet my teammates as we prepared for the first full day of camp. During set-up, I also met fellow sponsors and learned about the different services and brands that support WordPress communities at camps around the world. I was also surprised to learn about the various backgrounds that were present in the sponsor booths, there were people who were developers, marketers, designers, and even executives.

Once camp began on Friday, I spent time volunteering with local organizers and interacted with fellow attendees. Later, I enjoyed talks led by Erik Debelak, Laura Byrne-Cristano, and Joe Casabona. Erik shared the features of Gutenberg’s custom blocks, Laura provided tips for choosing the best image for a website, and Joe discussed what he’s learned from organizing his podcast.

The variety of topics presented during WordCamp are helpful for any user looking to improve their understanding of its functionality. Participating at camp helped me to see the different facets of the community, not only by listening to the speakers, but by witnessing how attendees showed their support through Q&A’s and feedback. I enjoyed chatting with Bluehost customers and booth visitors, who shared their personal connection to WordPress with me. After camp, social events were held around Minneapolis that provided a relaxed and fun atmosphere for attendees to spend time together. Meeting so many wonderful people and having the ability to learn and engage with them both in and outside of WordCamp made my first trip so memorable.

WordCamps provide a unifying climate for WordPress users that truly reflects the unique and authentic voice of millions of people online. I look forward to creating more friendships and learning about the community as WordPress continues to expand.
Looking to connect with likeminded people in your area? Step out from behind the screen, pack a bag, and check out where the next WordCamp will be hosted near you.

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