So, WordCamp Philly! (Part 1)

Last night, thinking about my previous post, I wondered if there was some sort of consolidated calendar or website listing all the conferences, conventions, concerts, tweetups, meetups, and other random events and gatherings which draw the geeky masses, and for lack of a better search term, googled “nerdy events” (true story).

I haven’t found such a listing yet (let me know if you know of one), at least as I had imagined it (maybe I’ll make one myself?), but in the clicking around, I discovered that WordCamp Philly was:

a) a thing that exists!

      (a conference about WordPress!)

b) tomorrow! (by which I mean today, since I made the discovery of it happening “tomorrow” yesterday — it happened today. Though technically, now it’s tomorrow so it really was yesterday… (ow.))

My job is largely working in WordPress, and this blog is WordPress, so a conference all about WordPress is clearly relevant for me both professionally and for fun. I suspected, and soon confirmed, that this was something Jason, of Stranger Studios, (who built the WordPress-powered websites I live in at work) would be involved in, too. Since by some crazy random happenstance I happened to discover WordCamp Philly’s existence just in time, I decided to go check it out…

And boy am I glad I did! I accidentally overslept this morning and wasn’t sure if it would be worth going clear across the city for an event I’d miss the first two hours of, but the lovely chica manning the twitter account assured me I’d still be able to register whenever I got there, and it would be worth showing up, even late, and it only cost $20, so I figured, what the heck?, and went!

I missed the opening remarks and the first two sessions, but that still left me with five to attend (with four good options in each time slot!) chock full of great, useful, and often immediately applicable info and instruction! The presenters in the sessions I attended (and sounds like the rest of them, too) not only really knew their shit, but were pretty much hilarious — a delightful blend of snarky and silly and professional — and some of them were in Halloween costumes!

I learned how to create basic WordPress themes from scratch — in rhyme from The Cat In The Hat. Day = made.

(That session was also “penguinbombed”…) 😀

The attendees were a pretty top-notch crowd, too! I had expected it would be mostly Philly-area folks — you know, being “WordCamp Philly” and all, and since there are apparently WordCamps all over the country and in a bunch of others too — but there were tons of out-of-state-ers, including guys from California and a surprising contingent of folks who live or have lived in Hawaii, and even Amber from Amsterdam!

There was even after party, which I wasn’t really planning on going to… and then was planning on just checking out briefly… and then was planning on leaving at a reasonably early hour… but it surprised me with how enjoyable it was (being as I’m really not a crowded party person), both due to being my kind of crowd (I like these people! Even en masse!), and excellent planning (rented out the sizable upper room of a pretty nice bar, with darts and shuffleboard and pool to play, and provided plenty of tasty food and a couple drink tickets). Kudos to the organizers, on the afterparty and the whole event! (Yes, even my reaction to parties is nerdy!) I will definitely be back next year!

Now, sleep.

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