WordCamp Changed My Life

I blame it on WordCamp Austin. I was doing fine until that weekend — chugging along at my work, building e-commerce and membership sites using WordPress, maintaining legacy custom themes and plugins. When I had a few minutes at home, I found ways to contribute to the larger WordPress community — creating plugins, writing patches for core, editing the Codex, contributing to the forums at WordPress.org and Stack Exchange. I’ve always been a bit of a generalist, and WordPress has a lot of different places to contribute, so I jumped in when and where I could. I got excited about being part of the community, and decided to attend my first WordCamp. That’s when it all started to fall apart.

If you’ve ever been to camp as a kid, you may recall the feeling of coming home after a week or two of a “mountain top experience” and being seriously disappointed to return to normal life. You feel different, but the people around you who didn’t have the same experience don’t understand how you feel, which can be easy to get frustrated with others. This is where I found myself after a weekend at WordCamp: energized and eager to dive deeper into WordPress, but back at the same place I was just days earlier and disenfranchised with the idea of implementing another site, when I really wanted to get back into creating and developing.

Before going to WordCamp, I had been encouraged to apply for a job with Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and several other WordPress-related projects. That didn’t work out, but the fire was lit. I started looking for other opportunities, finally landing an interview with 10up, one of the leading web development agencies with a love for WordPress. The visits went well, and it felt like a great fit, so I’m happy to say that I’ll be joining #team10up as a Web Engineer this week.