Kevin Pudlo

WCUS 2023 Thoughts

I had the privilege of attending WCUS 2023 this year in Washington, DC. It’s technically the second WordCamp I’ve been to, but the first one I’ve attended as someone who actually works with WordPress on a daily basis.

What I Did

Overall it was a really great time. My wife and I arrived on Thursday where we got to enjoy a very awesome aerial view of the Gaylord National and “hang-out” area of the venue.

gaylord national aerial
Aerial shot of the Gaylord National Hotel

I came into the meeting thinking that I would attend a lot of the seminars and learn a lot. On the first morning, that was exactly what I intended to do.

After listening to the opening seminar from NASA (which was awesome!), I met up with Joe Guilmette and spent the rest of the day with him and networking with a lot of people I’ve never met. I had intended to network while I was there, but without Joe, I’m not sure I would’ve met half the people that I did.

Me with Joe Guilmette, Katie Keith, James Giroux, and Vikas Singhal

The highlight of the day for WCUS was going to lunch with Joe and Akshat Choudhary, where I learned a lot about both of the fine gentlemen and what they do with WordPress over some amazing seafood.

I also attended the “All the President’s Websites” seminar before heading back to my wife for the night and visiting some of our friends in D.C.

The next day started out with connecting with Joe again and attending the “The Independent Theme Developer’s Field Guide to Modern WordPress” seminar.

I then spent a good portion of the rest of the day talking with sponsors in the sponsor hall and acquiring some fun merch before leaving around 3 PM to head back home.

gravity astronaut
Me with a Gravity helmet in an Astronaut Suit

What I thought

After all I experienced, here’s a brief summary of my thoughts:

The networking was awesome, and most of that was thanks to Joe and Elijah Mills. Had I not known somebody who was familiar with a lot of other people, I probably would’ve had a much different experience and felt more inclined to go to the seminars.

The seminars were what I needed at the time. Since I haven’t done a deep dive into Gutenberg, seeing what people were doing was really incredible. I went to three talks and watched a few others. The ones I saw in person I really liked, and the talk about LLM, which I watched virtually, was also really great. Some of the other ones I watched online were not as necessary for me.

The venue was amazing. The distance between the Sponsors Hall and the Seminar Area could have been shorter, but I didn’t mind the walk.

As a personal goal takeaway, I felt that I really needed to learn more about FSE and Gutenberg-block creation. I look forward to growing the connections I made and expanding my understanding of WordPress, and it’s community as a whole.

Lastly, my goal is to make at least one contribution to WordPress core before the next WordCamp I attend!

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