The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Fires were Lit at the First Joomla!Ignite

Written by | Sunday, 01 December 2013 00:00 | Published in 2013 December
Joomla!Ignite was a new presentation style added to the 2013 Joomla World Conference. Twelve presenters took the stage at Harvard University to battle a tightly controlled five minute presentation format where 20 slides changed automatically every 15 seconds. Topics varied widely, but generally fell into three areas – self improvement, the Joomla! community experience, and soapboxes for change.
The Joomla!Ignite ending... The Joomla!Ignite ending... photo: Dianne Henning

The First Annual Joomla!Ignite is history, and as a version one rollout of a new feature at JWC, "it didn't suck!" according to a JWC committee member. Twelve intrepid presenters took the big stage at Harvard to do battle with a tightly controlled 5-minute presentation format where 20 slides change automatically every 15 seconds. Topics varied widely, but generally fell into three areas – self improvement, the Joomla! community experience, and soapboxes for change.

Click to watch the full 70 minute edited video of all twelve Ignites in order, including the introduction, slides and awards, or click the links to each individual 5-minute that are below.

Gabe Wahhab, President of Savvy Panda in Michigan, USA lead off the day with ways to Improve Work-Life Balance in the Workplace. Gabe's talk compared the brain activity of over-fatigued programmers to the brain states of someone asleep or under the influence. Solutions included doing more in less time by using meditation and diversifying activities in the day. His call to action was aimed mostly at employers, saying that as the boss, you have the power to improve productivity in your company by changing the results that you value and measure. Counting hours sitting at a desk is simply counter-productive, staff with a healthy balance in their day are far more productive in fewer hours.

Joseph Campbell of New Jersey, USA told a powerful personal story about how the path toward a "Big Beta" can lead to a site that fails to launch. He urged applying an important principle of entrepreneurial lean startups to websites by finding the MVP, the Minimum Viable Product and to save all the other bells and whistles for post-launch enhancement. All non-essential features should be added after the core site has survived testing, found it's audience, and is truly achieving it's primary objective. If the core site cannot achieve it's goals, adding extra features is wasted cost and effort. Always identify your MVP!

"The Power of Saying No!" was the compelling topic of Luke Summerfield's Ignite. His talk focused not only on how being overcommitted drains your energy and effectiveness, but that when done in teams such as Joomla various working groups, it causes projects to fall behind, consumes valuable leadtime, and prevents other available resources from being deployed on that task. As a Michigan resident and Inbound Marketing specialist at Savvy Panda, Luke pointed out that sometimes the nicest thing you can do for a project or colleague is to candidly admit that you are too busy.

In a very motivational discourse that ranged from Sparkleponies to the wisdom of Yoda, Kevinjohn Gallagher, our resident Scotsman, went kiltless as he described Management Consultancy Techniques that can be applied to Personal Development. Among the pearls of wisdom Kevinjohn shared was to have a personal mission statement, to leave the low hanging fruit to children and instead work now on your biggest challenge; and find someone that you consider a hero that does what you want to do and adopt their value system as your own.

Lovingly called the Soapbox Group, a number of presenters took the stage to plead with the community to make a change.

Tessa Mero's call to action is to Add Open Source and CMS Software to College Curriculum. A community college instructor from Seattle, Washington, USA, Tessa is simply astonished that graduates from community colleges and universities have no clue about the concepts of Free and Open Source Software, nor any experience with the leading Content Management System packages that power the web. She feels that it's time these institutions catch up with the web! Her goal is for all certificate and degree granting educational institutions to put Open Source software in general, and the leading non-proprietary CMS's in particular, into college-level curricula for web development graduates. You are welcome to fan the flames of this discussion - contact @tessamero.

A new community member hailing from Houston, Texas, USA, John Harrington created Sweet-Spot Systems and has spent the last decade coaching teams to work more effectively by understanding how team members perceive, think and respond to group tasks. We all fall into one of three categories - Mobilizers, Optimizers or Stabilizers. His talk, Finding Your Joomla! Team's Sweet Spot, provided insights to the barriers to communication that we experience in Joomla! Teams and Working Groups, and how to overcome them. John made available a free tool for Joomla! related Teams to better understand teammates and improve team performance. 

Not shy about fueling controversy despite his Canadian heritage, Rod Martin jumped on his soapbox to share the story of transformation of a volunteer-managed community camp as inspiration for his shout out that a Project the size of Joomla! should have a Professional, Accountable, Invested, and Detail oriented PAID staff! Igniting a fire in the community, both over the JWC weekend and since, many people have weighed in on the discussion about how to manage and grow the Joomla! Project and that having full time professional management could coordinate and accelerate many functions that would help our volunteers work more effectively on Project needs.

Coming from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Mike "Demo" Demopolous in his Ignite, "Don't Get Sporked by Wordpress" used a bit of magic to make his point that rather than compete head-to-head, there is more power to combining marketing forces to promote Open Source CMS solutions collectively and that clients are best served when you use the right tool for the job, even if that means using both Wordpress and Joomla! together in a single site solution.

Mr. Akeeba Backup himself, disguised as the mild mannered head of the Greek Mission Possible Force Nicholas Dionysopoulos, undertook "Mission Possible!, Securing a Joomla! Website with Two-Factor Authentication" Nic showcased a new security feature in Joomla! 3.2 that makes Joomla! the first Open Source CMS to provide Two-Factor, as well as being able to implement it using either Google Authenticator or Yubikeys.

Three Ignites focused on sharing and celebrating the Joomla! Community experience.

Helvecio 'Elvis' da Silva from Rio de Janero, Brazil shared his personal journey from being fired from a job, then discovering Mambo, to finding purpose and passion participating in Joomla! Days and being active in the Joomla! Community. His point was to Always be Watchful for Career Opportunities.

Peter Bui actually admitted in public that he is obsessed! Hailing from Sydney, Australia, is the founder and lead decibel jockey of the JoomlaBe.at podcast. In his talk titled Diving into the Joomla Community with an Obsession, Peter shared how he combined his love of digital radio broadcasting with participation in the Joomla User Groups in Australia to create a podcast service. Peter has interviewed dozens of members of the Joomla Developer community and by JWC13, has produced over 40 weekly episodes of "Joomla! News You Can Use!" found at JoomlaBe.at.

Capping off the evening with a celebration of Joomla! colors, Saurabh Shah from Pune, India shared his experiences in the Joomla! Community. Watching his show, A Celebration of Joomla! and Diwali, you would think that we are a community of obsessed, beer-drinking, party-hearty code-heads ... seeing his photographic evidence, I guess we resemble that remark! Saurabh pointed out that JWC13 happened to coincide with the celebration of Diwali in India, and shared what that holiday represents in his culture. He closed with his own Joomla! + Diwali celebration by lighting up the room. Everyone in the auditorium waived over a hundred glowsticks in Joomla! colors as Joomla!Ignite came to a close.

In a quick round of voting thanks to a polling app setup by Mike Demopoulos, Kevinjohn Gallagher walked away with the Best Presentation trophy and a bottle of American-made High West Rye Whiskey to share with his Scotch-drinking clansmen.

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Duke Speer

Duke Speer

Duke is on a mission to Save the World, one non-profit at a time.  Specializing in cause marketing, he builds photo and video-rich charity websites and integrates them with back office Donor Relationship Management (DRM) systems to provide a more personalized donor experience. 

Living at 7,000 ft. in Utah's snow country, he is celebrating his 35th season as a volunteer ski patroller.