I probably have one of the stranger (but not strangest) associations with WordCamp San Francisco: abject terror and absolute salvation.
In 2012, I went to WCSF for the first time, amidst some of the roughest professional turmoil of my life. At the time, I worked for a bank and was exceptionally unhappy with my work. I really wanted to work doing WordPress, and had spent much of the last 12 months applying to places and just not finding the right fit. Then I decided I should go to WCSF and see if I could make magic happen there, so I bought a ticket and had my car decide that brakes were optional. Short on the money for the trip, I appealed to the community, crowd raised the funds, and the day after I made goal, was asked to speak! I’d never spoken at any WordCamp, but I said yes because I was determined to change my life. Serendipity happened again, and I was contacted by DreamHost about a job. They too were coming to WCSF, so we had an interview and then agreed to meet up after my talk. This meant my talk was also part of my interview, and thus extra terror set in.
Of course, everything worked out perfectly. Now I’m happily employed doing WordPress work, traveling the US talking at WordCamps, and otherwise helping the community at large, being paid to do what I love.