Disclaimer: I have been involved with the organisation of WeCamp for the past 6 years.
The WeCamp Experience. In these past few years this has been my best description for what WeCamp is. It is incredibly hard for me to capture the essence of the Experience but I believe it is an incredible opportunity to grow on a professional and personal level. If I were to believe in buzzwords one might even call it transformative!
What is WeCamp?
In short, it is a one-week development camp (on an island in the Netherlands!) where attendees experience the complete project cycle of a software project. From inception to planning to execution and presenting it to their peers.
Attendees are in teams with a maximum of 5 members, each with a respected member of the development community as their dedicated coach. Attendees are encouraged to go out of their comfort zones and grow. This is, amongst other things, done by carefully selecting the team composition.
Already interested? You can read much more information about the event at https://weca.mp/ or continue reading this blog post for a some of my feelings on the event.
And now my experience
Of course the above is a bit dry and doesn’t do the event justice at all. For me, WeCamp is so much more than that dry description. Every year I struggle to really describe what the event is about. One of the reasons is that it was designed not to be just another coding camp, but to be a special place where people come together and evolve.
In the past years, I have seen attendees grow during the event, rediscover themselves and re-learn things they had forgotten. Because of the small size (at most 25 attendees) and an ambience of camaraderie the event manages to offer something which I believe no other event does.
As a part of the organisation, it is a privilege to be part of this. The smiles and tears of laughter, of overcoming challenges together and the stories after the event of attendees who felt lastingly invigorated after the event are all so wonderful. I’m not going to lie, I have had trouble not shedding a tear after an event because it was such a wonderful ride.
You may leave WeCamp, but WeCamp never leaves you.
One of the cool things I saw happen is that at every other event you see ex-WeCamp attendees come together and bond. Even long after their edition of WeCamp has ended.
An example: I have been a coach at the first edition of WeCamp. Years later, some of my team members still call me ‘coach’ when I meet them. When that happens I beam with pride. Not because I coached them well, but because it makes me feel very much aware WeCamp has made a lasting and amazing impression on that person’s life and they have become better because of it.
I could go on talking about the profound impact WeCamp has had on me, my other crew members, coaches and attendees. But above all, you need to experience it. Over time I have come to accept that no words could ever really describe this event. The only way to know what WeCamp is is to go there and experience it.
See you at WeCamp?
If you want to know more, please visit the website at https://weca.mp/ and if you want to get impressions on what the past events were like you can find video’s, photos and blog post on our ‘After WeCamp’ pages: