WordCamp New York City departed from the norm this year by hosting not at an academic facility, but at the prestigious United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan. Seated on the East River, the United Nations Headquarters boasted impressive art pieces and beefy airport-like security. WordCamp NYC took part in the UN’s Unite Open Source initiative which aims to “break down barriers to technology innovation through open source governance, communities and collaboration.” #WCNYC hosted their two tracks in two huge auditoriums, equipped with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment, including individual microphones for each seat.
Some WordCamps choose to hold a Contributor Day to inform camp attendees about the various ways that people can contribute to the WordPress project. It turns out that pretty much anybody can help out, regardless of their skill set. There were groups working on how to contribute to areas ranging from ‘Core,’ the framework that drives WordPress, to Support. This Contributor Day was held on Friday, the day before the main event (typically they are held the day after the main event). I found my niche by taking part in the Documentation group; auditing future help and guidelines documents, directly contributing to the WordPress project for the first time! There was a profound sense of accomplishment by the end of the day.
The main event began Saturday morning. We shared the hallways with another open source camp, lining both of our areas with sponsor booths teaming with swag and information packets. The tracks enjoyed a high rate of attendance, with many attendees simply camping out in the auditoriums between sessions to take advantage of the comfortable chairs and speedy WiFi. The general consensus was that the venue was very accommodating.
The auditoriums mirrored each other in layout, which was applauded by many who felt it afforded the speakers an even favor in prospective audiences. With each seat equipped with its own microphone, the volunteers didn’t need to run around, hastily passing a microphone from attendee to attendee during lively Q&A sessions.
Between speaking with attendees in the hallway track, I was able to catch a couple talks, including one from George Stephanis titled “Security Isn’t an Elective”–which I could not agree more with.
@WordCampNYC certainly did not disappoint. I look forward to taking another bite out of the Big Apple next year! In the mean time, I’ll continue sharing our WordCamp and WordPress Community attendance experiences.