First reflections on WordCamp Austin

Whew! The first day of WordCamp Austin is over!

It was a fantastic event. As one of the organizers, it will likely take me days to process everything that happened, but here are my first thoughts.

The most striking part of WordCamp Austin is probably also the least surprising: We managed to gather together an inspiring group of WordPress lovers: attendees, speakers, sponsors and – OMG! – our volunteers!

It was a joy to coordinate the eager posse of volunteers who jumped in to help out before WordCamp Austin and then busted their butts during the day to make the event run so smoothly and ensure everyone had a great time. Recycling locations appeared like magic. Trash disappeared just as quickly. And happiness flowed like beer on a hot day in Texas at our Happiness Bar.

Our sessions were equally impressive. I heard over and over again how much people learned from our presenters. Even our JQuery pinch-hitter got high marks (not bad for 10 minutes notice…thanks Clark!). People compared WordCamp Austin to SxSW Interactive… and said WordCamp was better!

Our venue, the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, was a beautiful location with a tree-lined courtyard. Dozens of networking conversations happened around the turtle pond in the center, and it was a great location for our BBQ lunch.

As a student herbalist, it was especially exciting for me that Mission Control and our Happiness Bar was located in the AOMA apothecary, and I was entranced by the rows and rows of various ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine. Best ingredient I discovered: Flying Squirrel Feces (no I didn’t try them!).

I enjoyed meeting many new members of our local WordPress community, as well as people from both coasts and everywhere in between. There really isn’t anything better than a day filled with people who share my passion for WordPress and want to get more involved in the community in one way or another.

I’m still technically in the thick of things, with Day 2 of WordCamp Austin (Dev Day) in full swing. So much code, so little time…

Thanks to everyone who showed up yesterday and showed their support for WordPress, WordCamp, and WordPress Austin. We look forward to seeing you at our regular meetups and of course, next year’s WordCamp Austin!