I came to know about WordPress back in 2010 when a friend of mine and I decided to start a tech-review website but back then we didn’t know programming and making changes to the code to suit our needs was very much scary as it looked, so we quit without a thought. After getting into Computer Engineering and understanding the programming constructs and paradigms, I went back to explore WordPress and that is when I learnt the languages that powered WP. Starting with building themes, I decided to create a website that’ll provide a repository of basic fundamentals of programming and programs for students that’ll help them in the formative years of their engineering. This was the time I came up with my website called CyberFosters. Since then, I’ve been building themes for WP based Websites and thought this is what I’ll do for a living.
I took a job that I wanted to do and I started working for Alexander. Three months into theme building, I was already enjoying my job. Alex shared a lot of insights related to the front/back end and the people involved in WordPress.org and how this platform is built to give something back to the society. It was Alex who introduced me properly to WordCamp. He told me almost everything that was to be known about WC and the people involved in it. When he told me about Mahangu Weerasinghe and Rahul Bansal, it immediately struck my mind the things they’re doing is exactly what I wanted to do, Mahangu being a teacher and Rahul writing tutorials for NginX.
I made up my mind and registered for WC Pune just to hear them speak and learn from them. I told my friends about this conference and their interest grew, so they decided to join me. They registered at the last moment due to some issues but they finally received their tickets and we reached a day before so that we don’t miss any part of the event. So made a few arrangements for a night’s stay and the next morning we headed for Modern College by 8:15 am. Reached just 5 minutes earlier, the crowd was moderately good, but grew in numbers very soon. Now Alex already showed me profiles of well-known people in the WordPress community so I was able to recognize them by their faces. Their I was showing-off before my friends “That guy there, he is Topher DeRosia and that guy over there in Rahul Bansal, founder of rtCamp”. Now the only thing we were waiting for was the commencement of the conference, except for my friend Shreyas, he desperately wanted the Bluehost sipper that was being distributed. Suddenly Saurabh Shukla appeared and announced that the event will commence in 10 minutes, he distributed badge-stickers and asked the volunteers to show us the way to the auditorium. We rushed our way in, got seated in the 3rd row and I was ready with the camera. In the list of speakers, apart from Mahangu and Rahul, there were others from BuddyBoss and the Automattic support team. Alex introduced me to few people he knew and it was great for me to meet new people. Everyone at WC were so active in discussions, answering queries online and offline and the best thing there was that, there were no rules. It was very open. You could go up to anybody and just start talking OR leave the conference with no hard feelings, no dress code, nothing. This is something I saw for the first time. It was lunch break now, we were too hungry, got out of the auditorium, grabbed our plates and to our shock we saw the founder of rtCamp serving us sandwiches. Now this is something you don’t see everyday! You have volunteers for that. At one moment we see him on stage in panel discussions and the very next thing we see him serving food! After the break, we headed for the lectures that we found interesting since it was not possible every lecture. Choosing which one to attend was difficult but somehow we came up with a list. The sight was really good, seeing people so humble and down to earth wanting to grow the community and improve various aspects of both WordPress and WordCamp.
The only thing I wished after the conference ended was that the lectures shouldn’t have been parallel. I wanted to sit for 2 lectures but they were in progression at the same time. Nevertheless, the overall experience was really good and I’m really looking forward for the next WordCamp.