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 šŸ˜›), and Sanket started off with our Uber ride to the Pune Airport on Friday evening. I was really surprised to see theĀ 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 toĀ Bangalore at 1 AM and our next flight was at 8:30 in the morning. This long layover meant we had aĀ lot of time to kill. šŸ˜€

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

One of our colleagues, Rahul Prajapati (yes we have two Rahuls too in rtCamp šŸ˜›), reached few hours before us. All four of us decided toĀ skip breakfast and go for lunch directly. We were hungry,Ā 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 aĀ really good menu. I ordered a South Indian Veg. Thali, Joel order Fish Thali, andĀ 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 hadĀ 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 toĀ 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 toĀ Park central Hotel to meetĀ other WordCampers.Ā 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. šŸ™ŒšŸ»

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.Ā It was a usual sunny Kerala day.

I loved the idea to use LCD that the organizersĀ had out upĀ throughout the venue. AĀ 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 theĀ majority of attendees doesn’t come back to the tracks after a break. But here, I saw almost everyone backĀ to attend the session right on time. šŸ˜€

Lunch was great as you can figure out from this tweet. šŸ˜Š

Sessions

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

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 aboutĀ Handling clients, the human way!Ā 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 understandĀ your point. A good experience to be on the other side.

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

You can find the slides of my talkĀ below. IĀ would love to hearĀ from you all for any feedbacks for my session and for any tips for client management.

WeĀ 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 talkedĀ about WordCamp Asia. šŸ˜¬

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

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. šŸŗ