Become a WordCamp expert in a few months: in Lauren’s words

November 2, 2016

Lauren at WordCamp Tampa
Lauren at WordCamp Tampa

She speaks fast and takes action fast. She has stepped out of her comfort zone to get involved in the WordPress community and is now on fire. She claims she can be shy at times, but it’s hard to imagine her in a hesitant attitude. Meet Lauren (from the US, WPML support), who has gone from no experience at a WordCamp or a Meetup at all to being selected as a speaker and taking part in several WordPress events in just a couple of months! I did not want to miss the opportunity to talk to her and ask her how it all happened so quickly.

What were the different roles you played at WordCamp events?

I was a speaker at four of them: WordCamp Toronto, Tampa, Raleigh and Rochester. I am co-organizing and will also speak at WC Wilmington. I started off the first Meetup in my city Myrtle Beach, where a dozen people attended. OnTheGoSystems also sponsors these events, so I help in that respect as much as I can by talking to people, introducing myself and the company I represent, etc.

When and how did you start getting involved?

It started back in August this year, after WordCamp Europe in Vienna. Andrés (from Colombia, WordCamp Manager at OnTheGoSystems) contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in attending and applying as a speaker at WordCamp Toronto, as I was the only one available in the US. To my surprise, I was accepted and that got the ball rolling.

The schedule from WordCamp Toronto
The schedule from WordCamp Toronto

 

What role do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy speaking because it is a very rewarding experience. Not only is it great to speak but also to listen to the feedback afterwards. Someone told me after WordCamp Tampa: “This session made the entire weekend.” Someone else: “Thank you for the presentation…it inspired me…” I love helping people and having an impact on them is wonderful. It boosts my self-esteem as well.

On a personal level, how do you combine being a mum with a little kid and taking part in so many WordCamp events?

In the first place, I didn’t expect to be selected as a speaker in so many WordCamps! I am very lucky because my family is very supportive – my husband, parents and in-laws. Technology also helps a lot: we communicate via Skype, messages, etc. We are OK, more or less, only that I miss my son so much!

Working at home during the week makes a difference too. During the week I am at home and have time to share with my kid. Then, on the weekends I need to travel, it’s my solo time, my techie-adult time. This has also influenced my relationship positively since we miss each other more and I am happier to be back home :)

What are your future plans?

I will be more selective as to where to apply as a speaker; I don’t want to be travelling every single weekend! I will apply as a speaker for WordCamp Miami, which is a big one.

Anything else you want to add?

Finally, I want to say thanks to OnTheGoSystems for giving me the opportunity of taking part in these events, which are great in many senses.  On a personal level, they have been a confidence booster. I have also discovered a great community, which is not only related to my job but has also become a lifestyle for me.