Yesterday, February 28, 2015, was the first time I have ever attended a Wordcamp. I’m lucky that this was right in my backyard. Easy trip to make down the highway.
So many emotions. So much to think about. So, I’ll start here:
Holy smart people, Batman!
I sure came across a heck of a lot of really bright people. Not just bright because of their ability to write code, but also very business savvy with emotional intelligence to boot.
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I consider myself to be a really bright guy, and wow, I was totally in the right room!
Open source and a culture of sharing
As I’m writing this, I just made a connection. Open source, at least in the case of WordPress, seems to promote a culture of sharing. Sharing code. Sharing resources. Creating resources based on what you learned, and then having other people be able to leverage your resources to create their own.
It keeps the cycle of sharing going.
I got a group of Genesis developers together. They were very generous with sharing web development as well as business advice.
I grew up in a culture of cutthroat competition and scarcity. In the face of this culture in college, in a cutthroat industry of being a turntable DJ, I still lived a life of sharing and abundance. I felt like there was enough business for all of us to eat.
Over a decade later, it seems that the rest of the world has caught up with the sharing and abundance mentality. It is certainly exemplified in the WordPress community.
Key takeaways and generally awesome learning
I’m very confident in my ability to code a website. However, I’m not sure my coding is at a high enough level to do something like contributing to WordPress Core.
The good news is, you don’t need to be a coder to contribute to WordPress.
All of those different CSS transitions, animations, and other things that include vendor prefixes always confused the hell out of me. No longer; Beth Soderberg did a great job of teaching the exciting parts of CSS.
Even solo freelancers should use version control. It’s not only for small teams. Liam Dempsey showed us how.
Personal difficulties as an introvert
I was actually more nervous and uncomfortable in a smaller room with less than 200 attendees than I was at a huge venue with hundreds of attendees.
Occasionally, I like to get lost so I can recharge my batteries. It’s much harder to get lost at a small venue with fewer people.
It was tiring. However, the longer I stick around in the community and the better I get to know them, the easier it will become (I hope).
My future as a businessman
It’s time for me to pursue freelance web development more aggressively. It’s something I’ve done for a long time in a half-assed fashion. Not my work, but my pursuit of clients certainly has been half-assed.
I never had the confidence to call myself a developer. Until now.
I always thought I wasn’t a typical geek. I had a vision in my head of a typical geek, and it’s one I can’t even explain. It’s just something I know in my head.
Everyone I had conversations with yesterday, who are all strong WordPress developers, didn’t fit my definition. They were actually a lot like me.
Plus, I’ve now been doing front-end web development in some form or fashion for six years. I’m good enough to go into business for myself. I was good enough to do so a long time ago.
I just believe that I can do it now.
I am a WordPress developer specializing in building websites with the Genesis framework.
There, I said it.
How about you? What do you call yourself? What can you not bring yourself to call yourself, even if it is actually true?