200KM of journey from Pokhara to Kathmandu just to attend WordCamp 2014 added a new energy for me to do something for community in 2015.
Back in 2014, we took a bus journey of 7 hours to attend WordCamp Kathmandu. It was amazing to see some of the awesome folks speaking, presenting and sharing ideas in front of huge crowd. That day I listened to almost all of the talks and realized that even I could help people and speak in front of them. Most of the speakers talked about pretty basic stuffs that were fundamentally used in my workflow. Some other talked about their achievements and how did they achieved those.
That journey helped me to progress rapidly and most importantly I was inspired to do something. I’d already released a Free Theme on wordpress.org but didn’t really continue with that. On the way to being one year more mature, I learned some awesome tools and things that really helped me to speed up my workflow. Shiva Poudel, WooCommerce Contributor introduced me to several new tools which I hadn’t considered using in past. With his help and 192kpbs internet, I learned so many things to make my overflow better and better.
I knew the journey to WordCamp speaker won’t be easy as I’m from Pokhara, city 200KM far from where WordCamp Nepal happens reason being I would have to come often for demo presentation and other sessions. Luckily, I was in Kathmandu during this WordCamp speaker selection process. I had joined ThemeGrill team and was living in Kathmandu since.
Despite that enthusiasm, I really didn’t know how to proceed ahead and in the way of becoming 1 year more old, I almost forgot that I had even thought of speaking in WordCamp. Making way through the cluttered to-do list is not really my thing. I remember talking to my fellow developer friends about things I could speak next year while I was on journey back to Pokhara. There are so many things I want to do that it’s obvious to forgot some of them.
After joining ThemeGrill Team, somewhere around first week of October, one of my colleague posted link to WordCamp Nepal blog stating Final Call for Speaker for WordCamp Nepal 2015. I don’t even know how I missed previous call. Maybe my brain skipped those things. ThemeGrill’s Founders, Sanjib Shah and Rabin Shrestha, being speaker on previous WordCamp encouraged all of us to apply.
Slack-WordCampWe discussed about topics we could speak on WordCamp. I’d no specific idea but wanted to speak about improving workflow and other. Awesome folks at my office encouraged me to apply. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger and was probabaly waiting till the deadline goes off and I could use the old excuse I was planning.
I made a small presentation with 5 – 6 slides and showed to Sanjib. Being a speaker himself, he made me realize it could be made better and I can speak.
Next day, the first thing I did after coming to office was open up the form and fill up the details. Since, I still didn’t had any specific idea, I wrote topic:
“Better WordPress Theme Development Workflow”
This sounds little vague but I just wrote and submitted. I didn’t just care. Later at afternoon, Sanjib explained that there will be less speakers this year due to change in hall capacity and introduction of Contribution Sessions. I was almost sure I won’t get opportunity. I’d left the hope of being selected. In fact, I didn’t even expected a call.
Time went on and I went back to Pokhara as we were having festive season. After few days of reaching home, I decided not to use internet or computer for this whole vacation. I just logged into Facebook for few times a day and checked some random notifications. Moreover, I didn’t even had a reliable internet connection.
One lazy evening, I saw missed call from unknown number. I called back and a voice asked me to come for selection process for speaking in WordCamp. I was 200KM far and festive season was going on, I asked him to postpone the date and he happily did that.
A day before coming back to Kathmandu, I opened up my Laptop and created a small presentation again with Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 demo slides. I had to go for selection process after a day I reach Kathmandu, so I’d no other option than using that template and nothing more. That was so terrible that I didn’t even showed that to anyone.
Some hours I reached Kathmandu, I created yet another presentation in Google Slides with better fonts. I used a free template available on SlidesCarnival and made that presentation. It took me whole night to do that. Next morning, I went for presentation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach in time and asked again to postpone. Somehow I was discouraged inside and almost concluded that these series of events don’t me to speak.
Some other day I went for presentation at Acclaim Technology and with little nervousness and uncompleted slides I presented and talked. I must thank Sakin Shrestha and Arjun Singh Thakuri for their valuable feedback and input. It was visible to everyone that I’d incomplete slides. That day I’d privilege to see other speakers talk. I saw other talking and knew what to fix in my slides and talks.
Later on evening, I got email stating I was approved as WordCamp Speaker. I was happy and was working to make my slides better. I gave few demo talks at my office. Our fellow colleagues also gave me valuable inputs and feedbacks.
I added more examples and added more images to my slides. Then I was ready for 2nd demo session. Contradictory to my own belief, I failed terribly at my second talk. I just couldn’t utter words. I’d added new slides and couldn’t explain them properly. This time my slides were better but I couldn’t speak fluently.
I did some more sessions at my office and improved greatly. Again my cell phone ringed and I was called for final demo presentation. This time I presented better, probably better than I presented at WordCamp.
Finally WordCamp 2015 arrived. I’d to give my talk at 4:10 PM. I waited till that time. My nervousness changed vastly between those periods. Finally gave the presentation and it just went smoothly.
WordCamp Nepal Speaker
WordCamp Nepal 2015
Overall, it was quite amazing with a lot of changes and unexpected events. But I did it, I just did it.