You should never attend a WordCamp

Let’s be honest. We’ve all been tempted at times. A gathering of hundreds or thousands of people with the same interest, the same goals, the same vision. That sounds really promising, doesn’t it? Well no. It doesn’t. Let me show you why you should never attend a WordCamp.

WordCamps are full of people

As most people, you probably like to work in peace and quiet. Or maybe with your favorite music in the background. This is impossible during WordCamps. There are so many people, there’s a constant noise in the background and every time you put on your noise-cancelling headphones, someone is going to disturb you. Because they want to talk to you, for some reason.

And that’s not even the worst part. Have you ever tried making your way through a large crowd? There’s no way you can make it through without bumping into someone you know. And then you’re stuck and need to make conversation again. Sometimes even to people you didn’t know before. Complete strangers start talking to you, because they feel you have a common interest. Or because they use your plugin and want to thank you.

No, WordCamps might have been nice, if it wasn’t for all those people.

Photo of WordCamp US showing the large crowd in the sponsors area during a break.

WordCamps make you want to change your ways

You’re a master in your field. You’ve created hundreds of websites for satisfied customers and never felt the need to step away from MAMP. Those services running on your machine feel familiar. You’ve known them for all your career. And then someone drags you along to a WordCamp. To escape all the people in the hallway, you decide to visit a session. What harm can it do, right? Well, a lot!

Because you’re a development master, you’ve decided to visit a session on PHP development. It’s a safe choice, because you know it all and no-one can mess up your ways. Then, all of a sudden, you end up in a talk about Vagrant, the latest, hottest development tool everyone should use. It has scary virtual machines, can easily be destroyed and rebuilt and worst of all… VVV runs on it!

No, WordCamps might have been nice, if it wasn’t for the talks on tooling.

WordCamps make you learn new things

Over the years you’ve figured out what works for you. You’ve mastered PHP, dream CSS and breath HTML. And that’s how your life should be. And then someone drags you along to a WordCamp. To escape all the people in the hallway, you decide to visit a session. What harm can it do, right? Well, a lot!

Generally WordCamps offer a podium to people who think they know what they’re talking about, introducing all those new ideas and techniques. You have no idea how hard it is to ignore all of them. You already have a great skill set and that always worked out fine. And now there’s a grey dude on stage telling you to start learning JavaScript. And he has good arguments too. The horror!

No, WordCamps might have been nice, if it wasn’t for all those fresh ideas.

WordCamps make you go to parties

You’re as comfortable as you can be in the safety of your own home or office. And after work, you crash on the couch, watch a bit of Netflix or do some fun coding. You might even go out for groceries once in a while. And that’s what life should be like. And then someone drags you along to a WordCamp. Barely surviving the day, you really want to go back to your hotel. And you would have, hadn’t there been an after-party.

So instead of dragging yourself back to your hotel, you’re requested to join the after-party. Having to drink beer until early in the morning, surrounded by all those people with their social behavior. And sometimes they even make you drink those tasty cocktails that messes up your brain and makes you dance on the bar. I mean, dance, come on!

No, WordCamps might have been nice, if it wasn’t for the parties.

Local meetups are even worse

You’re a strong person. You’ve been able to resist the numerous invitations to attend WordCamps. You’ve even turned down every invitation to speak at one, because you know that’s just another way of luring you to a WordCamp. But now you’re invited to a local meetup. Nothing too big, just a local one. What harm can it do, right? Well, a lot!

Local meetups are the offspring, or cause, of WordCamps. That means your local meetup is a WordCamp forced into a one evening event. Instead of two days, it’ll only take a meetup a couple of hours to be full of people, make you want to change your ways, make you learn new things and have drinks afterwards.

No, local meetups might have been nice, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re miniature WordCamps.

WordCamp EU and WordCamp US are the worst

Let’s face it. The bigger the WordCamp, the worse they are. More people that seek interaction, more sessions you should not attend and so many parties. Parties everywhere.

Really, if there’s one thing to stay away from, it’s those massive WordCamps, like WordCamp US and WordCamp EU.

What to do?

Good question. Excellent, one could say. Since more and more cities and countries start organizing WordCamps and local meetups, you’d better stay at home, have your food delivered to your house and try to talk to as few people as possible. Social lockdown would probably be best.

I mean, who would want to meet new people, discover new tools, learn about new techniques and have a great time?

Coming up next!

6 Responses to You should never attend a WordCamp

  1. Hardeep Asrani
    Hardeep Asrani  • 8 years ago

    I’m waiting for a post about why we should never use WordPress. :D

    Nice way to get our attention. :)

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Thanks! And I don’t think I have to convince you to use WordPress or Drupal.
      You wouldn’t want to build a website without Yoast SEO, would you? ;-)

  2. Ofra
    Ofra  • 8 years ago

    Ok, you convinced me to go to the next wordcamp (EU)! I was really on the fence with it :)

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Are you sure?

      I mean, that’s awesome. Really hope to meet you there!

  3. Torsten
    Torsten  • 8 years ago

    Well, then I hope we not meet soon at a WordCamp again. I’m still recovering after the “worse” WordCamp US ;)

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Oh yes, WCUS was the worst. So, let’s not do this again any time soon. Not in Paris, not in Antwerp and certainly not in Nuremburg!