WordCamp Kochi Diary

WordCamp Kochi, the first WordCamp in South India and my first time as a speaker at a WordCamp.

Reaching Kochi

Me, Joel Abreo (yes there are two Joels in rtCamp ?), and Sanket started off with our Uber ride to the Pune Airport on Friday evening. I was really surprised to see the long queue at every check-point at the airport. It’s time that we should get a bigger and better airport soon.

We took our flight to Bangalore at 1 AM and our next flight was at 8:30 in the morning. This long layover meant we had a lot of time to kill. ?

We all wanted to eat at Subway but the store was under cleaning. The staff told us to wait for 30 minutes. We waited but even after 30 minutes, we were told to wait for another 30 minutes. We gave up, had a nice Hatti-coffee and checked-in for the next flight.

Having another 6 hours to go, we all went off to sleep in the waiting area.

We woke up after few hours and boarded the flight. It was a 40 minutes flight.

Day 1 – Food & Friends

After reaching the Kochi airport, we took an Ola to Time Square Hotel at Marine Drive. It was a one hour drive with a good view of the backwaters.

One of our colleagues, Rahul Prajapati (yes we have two Rahuls too in rtCamp ?), reached few hours before us. All four of us decided to skip breakfast and go for lunch directly. We were hungry, very hungry.

Except Joel, rest of were veggies. But as Joel wanted to eat some seafood, we decided to go for a place there we can find both. Luckily, our Hotel’s restaurant had a really good menu. I ordered a South Indian Veg. Thali, Joel order Fish Thali, and Sanket, Rahul had Punjabi food.
I couldn’t figure out what was served in the Thali, but it was great.

After lunch, I headed back to the room as I had some calls and emails to take care of. Rest of the guys went to Fort Kochi.

In the evening, I met Chandrabose, an ex-rtCamper. We went to Marine drive, chatted and then went to eat an authentic dosa that I was craving for.
I found fruits and juices’shop, and surprisingly road-side Chaat-waalas at many places. We share same food tastes it seems.

Juice Shop

Later in the night, we all went to Park central Hotel to meet other WordCampers. For a moment, I felt WordCamp Pune is still on. So many people I met in Pune, then in Udaipur and then here. We indeed are a part of a very warm WordPress community. ??

DAY 2 – WordCamp Day

Joel and I woke up a little early in the morning to go through the PPT slides. We all then got ready and headed for the venue that was 5 km from where were at. It was a usual sunny Kerala day.

I loved the idea to use LCD that the organizers had out up throughout the venue. A good way to reduce the paper and flex footprint.

Hari started off with the opening remarks. His session and crowd management was fantastic. At every WordCamp, I felt the majority of attendees doesn’t come back to the tracks after a break. But here, I saw almost everyone back to attend the session right on time. ?

Lunch was great as you can figure out from this tweet. ?


I attended the opening session by Nagesh Pai. He was really kind to mention the work rtCamp is doing with India Express project.
Off-topic – He and Alex were the only two attendees in the Malayali attire. ??

I also attended Amit’s Session on MVP, Harshad’s session on Caching, Dephanee session on remote working, Sudhar’s session and Mahanghu’s session on support.

My talk started at 2:30 PM. My session was about Handling clients, the human way! I felt great to be on that stage and share my experiences and learnings. Speaking about a topic comes with a challenge to make everyone in the audience understand your point. A good experience to be on the other side.

Amit’s (from wpoets) notes covered my session nicely on this Twitter thread here.

You can find the slides of my talk below. I would love to hear from you all for any feedbacks for my session and for any tips for client management.

We all then headed for the after-party, where we cut the Wappu’s birthday cake and had a good time chatting with each other. Psssst. we also talked about WordCamp Asia. ?

Thanks to these guys in green for organing this great event. Hope to see you all at a WordCamp soon. ?

PS – I reached Pune today morning after another night of long layover at Bangalore airport. Please excuse the typos as I am still very sleepy and partly hungover because of the after-party last night. ?

WordCamp Singapore 2016

Last month I visited Singapore with Rahul to attend the WordCamp Singapore and meet few of our clients there.

We had to take a flight from Mumbai at 1: 15 AM Saturday, so we started early on Friday evening from Pune. Traveling to Mumbai by road is always exciting as we get to eat vada-pav (Indian Burger) at a foot joint on the highway. Joel also accompanied us till Mumbai as he had a flight to catch on Saturday evening.

Day 1

We reached Singapore on Saturday morning. First thing Rahul suggested was to get SIM cards. We also bought the NETS card that we used in to use local transport.

We took a Uber to the hotel, freshened up and headed straight to Little India to have lunch and meet some friends. Being a vegetarian, I had to settle down for whatever options I had. Rahul did a quick search and suggested Murugan Idli  for trying South Indian food.  Excellent it was! Though I had to spend SG$ 11 for a dosa and a pair of Idlis, it was worth every penny. ?

In the evening we went to Marina Bay to see the Laser show and explore the areas around it.


Day 2 – Free Day

I and Rahul went to Maxwell food centre. Rahul had this delicious chicken dish and I had a fruit platter.

Rahul's and my lunch
Rahul’s and my lunch

We then went to Sentosa Island as our Hotel receptionist told that it was a good place to explore.  A local lady was kind enough to suggest us to take the bus to Sentosa instead of the monorail. It saved us 4 SG$. This left a great impression of the local people in Singapore. I found them very warm and helping.

At Sentosa, we settled down at a restaurant right at the beach. While returning we went to a Casino. I earned SG$ 16 on a bet of SG$ 2 card game. I cashed out right after, hence proving house doesn’t win always ?



We went to meet a client in the morning. After the meeting, we went to a temple nearby and then went to Orchard street for some shopping.

By evening we headed for Azucar bar for the Speaker dinner. It was a great feeling to finally meet people from the community.

Day 4 – WordCamp Singapore day

Excellent venue with superb connectivity. The Microsoft facility was great and I was really impressed with the WordCamp organisers to put up such a great venue.

WordCamp was a two-track event. I was able to attend a couple of sessions only as I spent time talking to other WordCampers there.

After the WordCamp, we all had to meet at Azucar for the Afterparty. Rahul headed to meet Mahaghu at Maxwell Food Center. I went for a stroll towards the Merlion Park. I spent almost an hour there. Since the afterparty venue was only a mile away so I decided to take a walk till there. The route was same where the F1 race was scheduled the very next week, so took the chance to see the track.

Day 5 – Client Visit & Shopping

We went to meet one of the oldest clients of rtCamp – Rotimatic. I finally got a chance to see the machine in action. They were gracious and made some great dishes out of the Rotis. ?

After the meeting, Rahul headed for the Airport for his further travel to attend a meetup in Bangkok. I had a half-day to myself that I decided to use to explore the local market. I inquired with the receptionist and some local people.

After some hard work, I found Bugis street. I shopped clothes and accessories for my wife and other family members. In the evening I met few friends that I made at the WordCamp.

Day 6 – Back Home

After a great breakfast at the Hotel, I headed for the airport. I reached very early so explored the Singapore airport and bought a bottle of wine. I spent almost 30 minutes at the auto foot massager.

The airport authority kept my perfume bottle as its quantity was more that 100 ml. A really bad feeling to lose your stuff like that.

I reached India and this signboard at the custom liquor shop cheered me up. It is from a famous Bollywood song that celebrates drinking. It reads “I have not committed a theft by drinking a little”. ?

We are now planning our trip for WordCamp USA. Looking forward to meeting many new people there.