My First WordCamp Experience - Honors WP

My First WordCamp Experience

WordCamp U.S. 2023

Hello everyone! Justin here from the Honors WP team. I have worked with WordPress for as long as I’ve been on the Easily Amused team, first joining in 2020. During the past three years of my time working on the Easily Amused team, there was a significant event that had been a staple in the community that I had been missing – WordCamps. After attending this year’s WCUS, here is my take on my first WordCamp experience and what I learned during my week in National Harbor, Maryland.

Gaylord National Converntion Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

WordCamps bring the WordPress community together for collaboration, networking, and making friends. Since I was hired during the pandemic, WordCamps had been put on hold until deemed safe.

The first WordCamp U.S. post-COVID was held in San Diego in 2022, however, the day of my wedding also happened to fall on this day. Fast forward to 2023 and I finally would get to experience my first WordCamp U.S. While there are many regional WordCamps held throughout the year, WordCamp U.S. is viewed as one of the big events of the year.

Hanging Out

WordCamps is a great place to meet people, network, and talk WordPress. However, the location of WordCamp can be also a great opportunity to explore the surrounding city. As this year’s WordCamp took place in National Harbor, Maryland, the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. made for a fun day exploring the zoo’s various animals and attractions.

Panda eating at the Smithsonian National Zoo during my first WordCamp experience.
Exotic bird at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

The Talks

My first WordCamp was also my first experience attending various talks and WordPress workshops. To help the community, I volunteered at this year’s WordCamp, helping to ensure the sessions ran smoothly.

Justin Pine's volunteer badge at his first WordCamp event.

I also enjoyed the talks given by WordPress’s Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, on the future of WordPress and what is in store next for the open-source community. WordPress & Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg also gave his State of the Word talk and gave us a glimpse into the upcoming WordPress 6.4.

Meeting People

Much of the WordPress community works remotely, so having the chance to interact with people face-to-face was a welcome change of pace.

Michelle Frechette and Justin Pine at WordCamp U.S. 2023.
Michelle Frechette and I at WordCamp 2023

As I started with Easily Amused in 2020, I hadn’t had the chance to meet any members of the team in person, as we are spread throughout the country and the world. After three years, I got to spend time with James Tryon, who hired me to the Easily Amused team. I also had the chance to meet some people in the WordPress community, whom we have worked with including the team behind LearnDash and LifterLMS.


My first WordCamp U.S./first WordCamp experience was incredibly rewarding and the memories I made will last a lifetime. I had the opportunity to meet members of the WordPress community from all over the world – a chance I never would’ve had without WordCamp.

Members of the WordPress community having dinner at WordCamp U.S. 2023.
Photo taken by Zak Katz of Gravity Kit

Hearing the stories from WordPressers who have been to several WordCamps only makes me more excited for the next opportunity I have to attend another WordCamp and learn more about WordPress and the awesome community behind it.

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