Aaron Holbrook
by Aaron Holbrook
3 min read


Today was a good day. In fact, this weekend was a good weekend.

I attended and spoke at the 2012 Milwaukee WordCamp. What an amazing time. I came inches from a swell of honeybees. I rode an antiquated lift elevator straight out of the 1900s. I met a famous cewebrity (web celebrity). I faced fears and inspired greatness. I was inspired. I am happy.

My talk was on WordPress and Version Control: A Workflow. I demonstrated how to use Git and WordPress to develop locally, set up a deployment system and push deploys live with the push of a button. People were telling me great job until I left the next day. I feel confident that although I have room for improvement, I did not present something akin to dog excrement. I thank all of you who paid me with your attention, and I am looking forward to doing more such speaking in the future.

John James Jacoby was so great to meet and talk with. I learned about how even though it looks not as sexy, Netbeans IDE is a stronger tool than Sublime Text, since I can work through code, easily jump through functions and see diffs right in the IDE. I enjoyed meeting someone from Automattic and am looking forward to meeting more WordPress legends.

The after party hang out at Milwaukee Brewing Company was awesome. I had a great hour or so talking and listening to Jess Jurick from 10up, JJJ from Automattic, and Brad Parbs. I truly believe the quality connections are what make these networking events worthwhile.

I met a woman that likes Merlin Mann! It was incredibly exciting to finally meet someone in real life that even knows who the heck he is and what he’s done. A fleeting moment, but truly awesome. Rachel Baker’s a heck of a coder and I look forward to learning quite a bit from her.

My wife Julie truly deserves my sincerest thanks for playing the role of two parents this weekend and barely getting any sleep. I’m taking double shifts tonight, please get some rest.

Twitter rocks at conferences. I don’t use it too much in normal life, but it’s brilliant in a close group of people. Like a connectedness that you can’t see but ties everyone together.

Being a speaker, and coming to help out the day beforehand with other speakers is amazing. I feel like we all formed a little bit of a bond that strengthened immediately upon the attendees showing up. All of a sudden we all have something in common and are happy to see one another. I love it.

Connecting with geeks is awesome! I truly love geeing out about Sublime or git config files or Merlin Mann. I need to find more geeks. I wish Chicago was more of a tech city. Anyone want to geek out?

Some thoughts that were in my brain and are now here:

Be honest. There’s no sense in lying. Just be yourself, be honest and good things will happen. Better things than if you lie.

I got a parking ticket because I’m an idiot. Don’t park your car over the sidewalk.

Find out what makes people tick and if it’s interesting dig deeper. If its not interesting go get a refill and find someone else to talk to.

You’re simultaneously stupider and smarter than you think you are.

Talking to other people is a great way to reflect upon who you are and what you’ve achieved.

Don’t correct someone unless you’re 100% sure you’re right and if correcting them is worth wasting your breath. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling stupid and they’ll think you’re stupid and kind of a dick.

Hand lotion is clutch. Dry knuckles are a bitch.

Present early the first day. People are pumped, they’re still there and they’re not antsy to get back to their life and family.

Don’t bring a 20lb camera with two lenses and a flash. Bring a light laptop, your phone and a water bottle. That’s it. Keep it light and keep it easy. You’re going to be humping this crap around for two plus days, don’t make it harder on yourself than it has to be.

Teaching others forces you to understand something better.

I would gladly drive 7 hours to experience a weekend like the one I just had.

Human quality connections trump quantity of connections any day.