WordCamp Miami is one of the biggest WordCamps in America and for good reason!
We were lucky enough to be accepted to WC Miami as speakers and give our “Accessibility for WordPress” presentation to a great bunch of very intelligent people who seem to care a lot about inclusion and accessibility.
I am always amazed at how much I learn when I attend a WordCamp and WordCamp Miami 2019 was no exception. WCMIAMI lived up to the hype. They are know to be one of the biggest and best WordCamps in America and I can see why. They over delivered in every way.
First of all, I would like to congratulate WordCamp Miami for the fact that over 50% of the speakers were women. WordPress and WordCamps are known to be very inclusive and accessible, to begin with, but this is a new milestone. Congrats!
I met so many great people doing some really cool things.
I was very happy that we were given the opportunity to do our Accessibility talk at WordCamp Miami this year. My lovely wife was out of town so my daughter and I loaded up in the car and made the trip down to Miami from St. Pete.
Of course I have been to Miami before but I had never driven there via the Old Tamiami Trail so that was the route we chose. It was fun to go a different route than usual. There are many State and local parks along the way. They have everything from camping to fishing in the Everglades.
Olivia (my 11 year old daughter) was not as impressed with the scenery as I was. Apparently there was a lack of internet access in parts of the Everglades. Who knew?
We finally made it to the outskirts of Miami and settled into our hotel room for the evening. Early the next morning we were up and headed to Florida International University for WordCamp.
I had to speak at 9am so of course we went to the wrong event at FIU by accident just to make things interesting. It took a few minutes to figure out that WordCamp wasn’t the only event at the school that weekend. Eventually with the help of an FIU student Olivia and I were escorted to the correct room. We arrived about 2 minutes before the talk. Whew!
There were 91 people in the audience which was a great turn out. It really encourages me that so many people are interested in learning how they can make WordPress more accessible. Our talk is usually about 45 minutes but we were able to condense it down to fit the format of WC. Unfortunately we were not able to take a lot of questions. I have found that people asking me questions about my talks is one of the best ways for me to learn new information.
After our talk we settled into the Happiness Bar and had a nice conversation with other developers. once we were finished in the Happiness Bar, Olivia and I headed to lunch. They had a great assortment of food and we had some good Daddy daughter conversation. This was Olivia’s second WordCamp and she was starting to enjoy herself a little more now that we were out of the Everglades and her phone had internet access!
I volunteered as a Room MC and had a great time for the next few hours. I really liked being an MC as it gave me an opportunity to meet several fellow speakers. There is a bit of a camaraderie among us as we all know what it’s like to get up there in front of an audience and give a talk. It can be a bit nerve wracking but the rewards far outweigh any butterflies that we may have just before a talk.
After a few hours all of the talks were finished in my room so Olivia and I packed up and headed back home. Across the Everglades…with patchy internet 🙂 –Steve Curtis