The SiteLock team recently traveled to Oregon for WordCamp Portland where we had a sponsor table and met ┬ámany (if not most) of the attendees. It was a busy camp morning for me because I also presented a session titled “5 Steps to Personal and Website Security“. I’m happy to report that my session was received very well among the WordCampers.

The Sponsor Experience

First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to the #WCPDX organizers. They did an excellent job ensuring the sponsor tables were placed in a room that received steady traffic. The tables were set up between the session rooms, also conveniently located next to the coffee, water, and other refreshments.

The Talks

As with most WordCamps, the session topics were relevant to all types of WordPress users, and the session times were 35 minutes, plus 10 minutes at the end for Q&A. However, there were also lightning talks of 10-15 minutes, which were informative and entertaining.

Ethan Clevenger’s lightning talk discussed how to succeed as a freelancer, and in particular, the reasoning behind raising your prices and how to avoid the fear of making less money. Not only did his talk give valid advice on increasing your revenue while reducing your need to “constantly chase new clients,” but Ethan was also pretty hilarious in the delivery of his content.

In Praise of the Side Project: Learn New Skills, Make Money, and Have Fun.

Rachel Cherry is a Senior Software Engineer at The Walt Disney Company and delivered a unique and inspiring talk to those in attendance. She showed proof that side projects can lead to bigger things like Apple, Twitter, and even Gmail. The point she made though, was that they don’t always have to, sometimes side projects can simply be for testing the waters. This could include learning a new software package, drafting a blog about your favorite food to improve your writing skills, or building websites to razz your friends (#hiroy). Judging by the comments after, her talk made those in attendance feel at ease and less worried about their half-done projects.

Automating Your Workflow

Andrew Taylor’s talk about automation was great. Specifically, automating as much of your daily workflow as possible in order to put processes in place that you can rely on. This also allows you to be more productive. Even though it was a lightning talk, he packed in both the philosophy behind continuous integration and some actual methods he uses in his day-to-day routine.

Don’t Waste Your Content: Repurpose and Keep It Alive

Bob Dunn, more commonly known as BobWP online, delivered a great talk on why and how to repurpose any content you’ve created. He’s been blogging for ten years and produces three successful podcasts. How does he do it? You guessed it, repurposing content in order to save time and meet the needs of his different audiences.

A Little Fun and Frustration with Our Raffle

We always try to do something a little special at WordCamps, in addition to giving out webcam covers and t-shirts. In Portland, we raffled off an Amazon gift card, which was a fun experience. When reading the winning ticket numbers, we had to go through A LOT of them before we finally had a winner. It actually turned out to be pretty entertaining and helped build anticipation.

By all accounts, WordCamp Portland was a great event and one I know we’ll be back to next year. If you weren’t able to attend and you’d like to know more about SiteLock, I encourage you to read more about our company and products, like malware scanning and auto-removal, as well as our web application firewall options.

See you next year!