The Joomla! Community Magazine™

JWC 12 - An Unexpected Journey

Written by | Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00 | Published in 2013 January
You've never gone to a Joomla! event and you don't know what to expect from it? Here are my impressions before and after my first Joomla! event, the Joomla World Conference in San Jose, from November 16 - 18, 2012.

"It's a long flight", "I have to book the hotel", "Got to purchase my conference ticket", "I don't know too many people", "It it worth it to attend a Joomla! event?". These were my main concerns and honestly my excuses to stay at home and enjoy my French coffee while coding some Joomla! extensions. I was some kind of a hobbit...

Just to explain quickly, I have been working with Joomla since 2006, but never went to a Joomla event before, even in France. I'm in contact with the Joomla! Community Team on Skype and spend some time in Joomla forums, but all in a "virtual" sense.

It was in August and I had almost given up; California was too far, I had no passport, let's forget it...

At the beginning of September, coming back to the conference website, I noticed a link to a thread : "JWC – Share a room", and found this post :

Hi everyone!
I'm Helvecio from Rio de Janeiro/Brasil
I plan to be in San Francisco from Nov 11th to 15th. Then San Jose from Nov 15th to 19th.
If anyone is interested in sharing a room, contact me!

Damn, I could not argue about the hotel room price anymore!

I immediately checked the flights from Paris to San Francisco...second piece of good news, it was less expensive than I expected.

After a couple of days, I applied for a passport, my event and flight tickets were purchased. The room sharing was organized with a 3rd guy, Mark W. Bender whom I knew from the Joomla Community Magazine team.

During the conference, I met people I only knew from forums, emails or skype chats : Alice & Dianne from the JCM team, William White, a US Joomla user and friend, extension developers like Nicholas Dionysopoulos (Akeeba), Peter Van Westen (NoNumber), Sander Potjer (ACL Manager), Jisse Reitma (Yireo). There were many more, of course...

What about the sessions? Just check the videos on the conference website. I was most interested in the developer sessions. The ones I attended were high quality and from what I've heard, the other ones too.

To make a long story short, the people were great, the sessions were great, the organization was great, the food was great!

I had a lot of questions before this event, I had answers and still have questions, maybe more now, but no more about Joomla events. In 2013, I'll do my best to attend the JoomlaDay in France and JandBeyond, and why not as a speaker ?

So, if you're in the same state of mind as me before my first Joomla event, don't sweat it. Check your flight, book your hotel, buy your event ticket, relax and enjoy the event and the Joomla community spirit!

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Tagged under English, Feature Stories


Joomla! developer and K2 addict...

Latest from Olivier NOLBERT

Great subject line Olivier! Fits with the current new Hobbit movie that is popular right now. :-)

I too had all kinds of questions about the value of going to a big Joomla! event and it took Alice and Dianne, along with my wife, to gang up on me and convince me to just do it. It was one of the best Joomla! decisions I ever made.

The value of going to these events is enormous. You don't seem to know until you've experienced one of these events what you have been missing.

There is always a way of making it work and I hope people that read your article above will see it. Get a ticket, share a room, just do it!

I originally intended to just go to a big Joomla! event to meet everyone and view the sessions. But the Joomla! community is so open and inviting that they make plenty of opportunities for everyone to participate in the event. You don't have to do a session but you can get involved with all kinds of stuff. By doing this you get to work with some of the brightest people in the Joomla! community.

So don't just read this article and forget about it. Act on it! Find out when the next big event near you is and buy the ticket, share a room, and offer to get involved in whatever area of interest that appeals to you. You'll be amazed where the journey takes you.
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the comment...I'm glad you've noticed the reference to the Hobbit movie.

I really was like Bilbo before... :-)
I also had the same dilemma, it cost a lot to go to the event but it was most definitely worth it - and to be honest if you're involved in the Joomla! community in any way then it was the place to be.

It can often be quite daunting going to an event where you perhaps don't know anybody, and don't have any idea what to expect - but I have to say that everybody I met was friendly, all the sessions I went to were informative and I learned a great deal. I also got to meet in person several of the extension developers who I have been buying extensions from since the days of Joomla! 1.x but never actually met in person, which was pretty cool!

I'm looking forward to the next event, better start saving!