My involvement with WordCamp San Diego started in late 2009, I had been using the WordPress platform for some time as a quick and easy to set up front end for all the back end projects I had been involved with at the time. As an Open Source developer and proponent I had wanted to make sure that I used only OSS tools and WordPress had the largest and most active design and user base I could find at the time. For some time I had wanted to attend a WordCamp event but couldn’t due to school and work obligations so I went out searching to start one here in San Diego. At the time nothing was listed on WordCamp.org so after talking to the guys at Automattic, they got me in touch with Dre Armeda of Cubic Two who was working on getting an organizing committee together to bring WC to SD.
I was involved with the organizing committee until late 2010 when I had to scale back my involvement due to the birth of my son Noah and asked them to welcome in a great organizer in my place named Phelan Riessen from Digithrive who had been involved in bringing other events to San Diego like Bar Camp and Drumbeat. The entire organizing committee did a great job planning and preparing for the event and I have to give them props for putting together a 200+ person event that was sold out in less than a week so as soon as Sponsorship packages went up I made sure to show my support for this wonderful endeavor.
The reason why I bring all of this up is that I think it’s important for us as a community to support these kind of events whenever we can. Not just for because it makes great business sense (WordCamps are corporately sponsored but not advertiser focused) but because it’s just good common sense for the general tech community at large. San Diego is growing in the area of small technology startups and if we who are in the technology field already don’t put our resources behind it when it makes sense for us then we run the risk of loosing all the talent and drive to other growing tech hubs like Austin or New York. Yes, San Diego is mostly a military contract town and as a developer I could make way more getting hired by a large government contractor then I would by creating a startup, yet cities grow and die by their innovations and innovators or lack there of. I’m only one person and am limited in what I can do through partnerships and other deals, but I’m proud of San Diego’s technology sector and think if we put our focus on developing talent first and keeping it here second through opportunity, we all benefit.
Back in 2009 I created a Technology incubator called Bastos Ventures that has grown well over the last few years, we already have a few projects under our belts and are always on the look out for new partners and ideas. Seriously. I’ll be at SDSU for the first Annual WordCampSD event on Saturday July 16th 2011 and I hope to see you all there.