Today kicks off WordCamp Phoenix. Tomorrow (and Sunday) I'll be speaking there. This is the third year I've presented at WordCamp Phoenix. Why do I keep coming back?
I'm not from Phoenix, I'm from Portland - a few hundred miles north. Flocking down to Phoenix every year has become something of a tradition for me, though, and the why of it is a good question.
First, I love the weather. Portland is a blistering 40 degrees right now, so spending time in the sunny south is refreshing, invigorating, and a great break from the gloom back home.
Second, I love the community. Portland is fairly tech-savvy, but we're also sports-savvy, food-savvy, environment-savvy, and so on. Phoenix (or at least the WordPress community there) is much more focused on technology and businesses. Perhaps this is why WordCamp Phoenix draws some of the biggest names from the community each year. Or why Phoenix is also the location of PressNomics.
Finally, I go to Phoenix for the tradition. My first trip south was at the behest of a close friend of mine. It was the first time I'd ever traveled for a conference, ever traveled for WordPress, and ever spoken at a conference. I like to remember where I started, and physically being in Phoenix is a great way to reflect on those early days as a .Net developer trying to find my way in to the WordPress world.
Oh, and SanTan is a big reason, too ;-)