I've traveled a lot since I left the .Net world. Back in the day I went to 2, maybe 3 conferences a year - WordCamp Portland plus a .Net conference or two.
I presented at my first conference shortly before exiting that job.
Since moving to WordPress (and open source) full-time, I've attended more conferences than I can count and spoken at more than a dozen (7 in 2013 alone). Attending a conference is a huge privilege. Speaking at a conference even moreso.
In April of 2013, 10up held their first developer summit in Portland. Countless hours went into this event, and the content we covered was far more densely-packed than any open conference I'd been to before or since.
We learned about Vagrant. We established Git workflows. Some experimented with Grunt for the first time. Several internal tools were born in that team meeting, and it proved that we could accomplish truly great things when co-located for a short period of time.
I missed our annual meeting last October for the sake of jQuery Russia. Following co-workers via Twitter showed me it was just as successful an event, and I'm sad to have missed it.[ref]I wouldn't trade my experience at jQuery Russia for the world, though. If only I could be in two places at once![/ref]
Today, team 10up embarks on our next "learning summit." We've grown in size since last April, and our team has grown in scope as well.
What began as a purely developer-focused meetup now features three separate tracks - adding design and project management to the fold and fully fleshing out our team.
This isn't the team I joined just under 2 years ago; it's better.
A team 10up summit is far better than any conference - I get to spend a few days talking code, design, and client management with the best minds in the business. It's an honor to be counted among the team, and I fully expect my colleagues to blow me away once we all hit the ground.
What's In Store
That's just Wednesday.
Today is filled with team-building and communication exercises (followed by what's been promised to be an amazing team dinner).
Thursday is an all-day hackathon where the entire team can come together to accomplish tasks that require tactile presence. I, for one, am looking forward to working through ideas quickly, in-person, on a whiteboard (one of the few tasks I've yet to perfect doing remotely).
This week I get to bump elbows with and learn from some of the most talented engineers, designers, and managers in the business. Want to see what's in store for a 2015 meeting? We're hiring ... ;-)