WordCamp Sacramento 2018 Recap

September 26, 2018

Two weeks ago was WordCamp Sacramento 2018.  I’ve spoken there before but haven’t been able to attend in the last couple of years due to scheduling conflicts.   I was actually scheduled to teach an HTML/CSS workshop in San Francisco on the same weekend this year but the client had a conflict of their own and had to cancel, so off to WordCamp I went!

Last time I’d attended WordCamp, the conference was held at the Art Institute; now it’s outgrown that space and has moved to the Sacramento Convention Center, downtown.  Being that the conference is held over a weekend this works out perfectly!  There’s barely any commuter traffic and plenty of space in the nearby parking garages.

WordCamp, Nolan? Are you building WordPress sites now? Honestly, once in a while yes a client calls with a PHP / WordPress project and we help them out. Really I try to be objective and pick the right tool for the right job.  And I try to be objective about conferences as well.

Like MuraCon 2018, the “WordCamp” name was almost misleading. In two full days of sessions, I attended maybe two talks that were specific to WordPress.  The rest covered general development concepts like linting, SEO optimization, Gatsby.js, publishing online courses, and other content that’s great regardless of the technology stack. 

Did I mention tickets were forty bucks? Forty. Four, zero.

The conference also included a “Speed Networking” event — kind of like “speed dating” but for making professional contacts.  I was a little ambivalent  but I’m glad I went.  Pretty much everyone at the event was really nice, and I’m already having some great follow-up conversations with attendees as a result.  

Lunch could have been handled better, IMHO. On Saturday the conference lunch option was any one of three food trucks.  We’ve got some amazing food trucks in Sacramento, but making all the attendees walk a few blocks outside in that Sacramento heat was a bit of a drain on energy.  And each food truck was only able to handle a single line, so there was a pretty big wait before many people got lunch.

For some reason Sunday’s schedule didn’t include a lunch break at all.  The day’s events didn’t start until 10:45 which was nice, but it only included a short break at 2:10 for snacks.  Fortunately (for me) the talk I’d attended around lunch time ended early, giving me a chance to go grab a quick sandwich, but anyone attending from out of town (or just not familiar with downtown and how many of the food options are only open during the work week) may have had a harder time grabbing food.

There’s been a trend lately of conferences having a ton of content that’s accessible to everyone, not just those using their namesake product. Here’s hoping for more of that from WordCamp 2019 and other conferences too.  I’ll get my notes form the sessions posted shortly.