Delaware did not get its first WordPress meetup until a little over a year ago when organizer Gregory Davis saw a need for WordPress enthusiasts to have their own gathering in the state. Davis went to meetups in the Philly suburbs but he wanted to give The First State its own. That was how the New Castle County WordPress meetup came to life.
“When I went to the other WordPress meetups, they were great and wonderful but thy were just not in our community. Unless you’re from this area, it’s kind of hard to understand. It’s its own culture and unique identity and I wanted to see that in Delaware,” explained Davis.
Since its first meetup last November, the group has covered a multitude of topics such as file and directory structures, creating custom plugins, adding forms to websites and an introduction to popular plugin Jetpack.
The word spread quickly, as it usually does within niche tech communities, and the meetup grew to 127 members. The members are a mixture of those who previously attended the Philadelphia Suburbs WordPress meetup and new members who have been seeking out a community to belong to. There’s even one member that drives in from Shelbyville. every month.
Davis has aimed to create a welcoming environment within the meetup to gather people of all skills levels for WordPress users.
“What I see, because I have a job where I spend most of my time in the enterprise world, is proprietary software,” he said. “WordPress is about giving back. It’s very refreshing in that way because it’s open source, it’s available and it’s accessible to people.”
Sometimes getting into a technology can be intimidating but groups like Girl Develop It and Open Data Delaware have created a welcoming environment for newbies and veterans alike. The New Castle County WordPress meetup aims to do the same.
“The most important thing is getting a regular meetup established and giving people in the area that are interested in WordPress to come and learn regardless of where they are in terms of skill or knowledge. What we talk about is that there’s always someone behind you in terms of learning,” said Davis.
Its next meetup is on Jan. 23.