You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.
And I remembered it today as I tried to process my experience at BeachPress 2.0.
A Unique Event
This week 28 WordPress people descended on a house on the Oregon Pacific coast for a week of coding, writing, lightning talks, food and community. Some of us were independent freelancers, some ran their own agencies, some worked for Automattic, some worked for other companies. The common thread for all of us was WordPress.
The first day one of the attendees who is new to the WordPress community asked me if there were any other events like this. I thought about it and said there are WordPress meetups, but those are just a meeting. Then there are WordCamps, but they are much bigger in attendance, shorter in duration, and don’t involve sleeping at a beach house.
I concluded that outside of company specific trips like WooTrip, WDSCamp, and 10up’s retreat there aren’t any events like this one. The fact that there was such a diverse group gathered together made BeachPress truly unique.
A Unique Venue
The house we spent the week at was a monolithic beach house with 11 bedrooms and 8.5 baths. A truly beautiful getaway for these WordPress Lost Boys/Girls to run away to. Before I left I joked that I was headed to “nerd summer camp.” The truth was that when I started thinking about a week of hanging around coding with cool people on the beach I was as excited as a kid going off to summer camp!
Surround yourself with smart people
The lightning talks and side discussions were worth the price of admission. The attendees build and maintain some of the biggest plugins and projects in the ecosystem. Listening to them talk about their work and how they worked was educational. Everyone was approachable and willing to answer questions. Some of us had deadlines and work to do, but some had taken vacation days so the vibe was very much a slower laid-back one.
Surround yourself with friends
When I went back to being independent this year I was lucky to be surrounded by a great group of people. The group is a source of inspiration, teaching, support, and friendship. The best part of BeachPress for me was being able to hang out in person and deepen those friendships.
Changed is not the same
Good events motivate and educate you. Great events leave you changed. I’m glad to have been a part of BeachPress and am grateful to Justin Sainton for putting it together again this year!