Waiting for my outbound Continental flight at O’Hare airport (now there’s a surprise) after WordCamp Chicago this weekend.
One word summary: Wow. I’ve been to the two WordCamps in New York as a part organizer and registration desk sitter, but not as a presenter or active attendee. Now that I’ve been on the stage, I’m hooked.
WordCamp today is what USENIX conferences were 20 years ago.
You have an incredible collection of users, practitioners, developers, and subject matter experts combined with a wildly diverse and interested community. Everybody has an interesting problem or approach or story, and yet nobody has a hierarchy in mind. People are just there to learn from each other and the speakers. It’s the flat-out best $30-40 you can spend to learn about content management. Among the many things that impress me about WordPress as a platform as well as a magnet for users is that you can solve the same problem any number of ways, at different levels of abstraction. On Saturday morning, a speaker showed how to change the default post display mode using
query_posts(), and today I explained how to do the same thing by hand-editing the SQL generated by the WordPress query parser. If you are a theme developer and more concerned with design and user requirements, the more abstract, duplicate-query method works; if you’re a database savvy developer then you can dive into the query semantics. Both work, both are about the same net performance, and both approaches include a wider array of talent in community.
Favorite take-aways of the weekend:
All in all, a great weekend, great to meet some faces behind the Twitter accounts and emails, and I left with a half dozen ideas of my own to go explore.