A Community Beyond the CMS

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Recently, we had the opportunity of participating in WordCamp Orlando 2015. With very little time in between client meetings and working on projects, spending three days immersed in the WordPress community was definitely going to be an interesting experience. What we didn’t expect was to be a part of a community that cared beyond the platform they all commonly used.

The Kickoff

Held at the historical Exchange building in downtown Orlando, which currently is home to an amazing coworking space called Canvs and another called the Iron Yard, a school for teaching individuals how to code by way of an intensive hands-on program.

sevenality-exchange-building-orlando

Venue aside, individuals from curious do it yourself types, to Fortune 200 companies gathered around to hear camp organizers David L and Lisa m deliver the opening remarks. Aside from the usual sponsor thank you statements there was even a moment where a few tears were shed.

With the stage set, we all went off to workshops and volunteer duties excited for the remainder of the conference.

The Heart of WordCamp Orlando

If there was one word that could sum up WordCamp, it would be sharing. Presenters from far and neared shared their expertise and experience with anyone willing to ask them a question. In many instances, mental health was a big topic between folks. Encouragement flowed from experts to novices, mentors were found and success stories were shared.

sevenality-wordcamp2015-orlando

At the very heart of the experience, if one listened closely, the heartbeat of a caring community could be heard. Even kids got involved in learning and being conscious citizens of a development community with their kids camp.

To be a part of such a community is truly humbling and inspiring.

Sharing our own experiences

To be a part of such a community isn’t enough. What good is a lifetime of experiences and overcome obstacles, if none of that is shared to inspire and help others?

During the conference, we had the opportunity of doing just that, from workshops on content creation and strategy for a brand, how we’ve used WordPress to help nonprofits and schools build better brands, to building better project process through project management techniques and improving user experience and usability within projects of all sizes.

This opened the door to conversations with attendees filled with gratitude and questions that helped us to better understand their struggles and how we can better help them.

Takeaways

WordCamp Orlando 2015 was not only fun but also enriching and inspiring. Although we weren’t able to attend many of the talks due to volunteering all over the, we were able to hear a lot of feedback from attendees about the various other presentations. The excitement in their voices from learning something new was touching.

It doesn’t take much to get involved in your local community, whether your field is technology related or not, opportunities are waiting for you to get engaged with.

Most importantly be genuine when seeking out opportunities to get involved. Do things for the wrong reason and you’ll be quickly pointed out and shunned.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, your community could use your help today.

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