My First WordCamp Presentation Was Awesome

I’m sitting in a tattoo parlor in St. Louis right now waiting on the artist to sketch up my art.  I love tattoos, I love getting them, I love appreciating other people’s, I can’t get enough of them.  I get tattoos to memorialize events in my life.  I get them for other reasons too but that’s a big one.  I decided to get one that represents my experience this weekend.

haildale-shamrockI’m on stage all the time with my band.  We’ve played in front of 500 people and I didn’t have a single butterfly.  But the day before doing my first WordCamp presentation I was nervous as hell.  I was terrified honestly.  I’ve never spoken as an expert.  I’ve never considered myself an expert.  I was encouraged by my piers to apply for speaker positions though so I decided why not and sent out a few applications.  To my surprise three got back to me and I was actually doing it.

I spoke on Plugin Development 101.  It was a basic introductory to how plugins are built in WordPress and how simple it is to actually make one.  The end of the presentation I build a plugin in just a few minutes to demo the simplicity.  The slides can be found here:

When I got to the conference and was setting up my computer with the projector I felt a lot calmer.  There were only two people in there.  As much as I wanted to have a big group, my nerves were very happy at the tiny turn out.  I was supposed to start at 9, but decided to wait a couple minutes to see if anyone else showed up.  By 9:04 every seat in the room was filled… shit.

I kept my composure and just went at it, started talking, introduced myself and went slide by slide.  I was fast, and I probably rushed a couple of slides because I was finished in 25 minutes when it was supposed to be 40 minutes with a 5 min q & a.  Thankfully everyone seemed to really enjoy it and there were loads of questions to fill the remaining time.  We had an awesome discussion overall and I think people really got some good stuff out of it.

So in a few minutes the tattoo artist will be back to get me.  I’m getting an old school radio microphone with WCSTL in red lettering above it.  I added a pic below, skin is swollen, pink and twisted a little weird, it looks really good though and can’t wait for it to heal.

Up next, June 4th in Asheville, I’ll be presenting on leveling up as a developer.