Or, What I Learned at WordCamp Last Weekend

I just got home from WordCamp North Canton.

This was my first time attending a WordCamp as a speaker. I did a presentation on ***Options Pages for Plugins and Themes***.

Along the way I got to rub elbows with a few people I’ve long admired. Jeff Chandler from WP Tavern, Topher DeRosia of HeroPress (and now Pippin’s Plugins), a couple of the “Happiness Engineers” from Automattic. All of that was really cool, and I appreciate their openness and encouragement. Turns out, even though I look up to these folks as giants in the field — well, because they are — they’re incredibly humble, down-to-earth folks who eat their pizza and drink their beer just like everyone else. Sure they know things that I don’t and have experiences that I don’t. But their willingness to share those experiences and that knowledge turns out to be what makes them great people. They’re not “better than thou.”

Also, speaking as the lead-off presentation in the camp’s “Development Track” helped me realize that I know way more than I give myself credit for knowing.

I went into it thinking that what I was presenting was “easy stuff” and that the main criticism of my talk would be along the lines of “Yeah, we already knew that. Why are you wasting our time with this?” Instead, the main response was, “Holy crap! You know you were way over the heads of a lot of people in the room.” Then they (mostly) added, “But it was really good. I had no idea what went into those things.”

I’m not saying this to toot my own horn either. What it comes down to is if I often don’t realize just how much I really know and have to share with others, I’ll be that there’s something you think of as “so easy and trivial nobody else would care about this” when actually there are a lot of people who have no idea, who look up to you and would appreciate your sharing it.

I’m told that imposter syndrome happens in every field — probably yours. So, if you ever think to yourself, “My experience isn’t good enough, and I don’t have anything worth sharing,” you’re probably wrong.

And the biggest thing I learned at WordCamp this weekend was that one of the best ways to discover that you’re not the loser you think you are is to start sharing all those “trivial” things you know with someone else.