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One Year of Joomla! Events
This year was very successful considering the number of Joomla! events held around the world. I'm very happy and proud to have been able to participate in many of them. Each event was different, and each was very special. Here is a short report from the events in which my husband Radek and I were able to participate.
JoomlaDay™ France in Toulouse
This was our third JoomlaDay™ France. And as always it was a marvelous one. This year, besides all those great members of the French community and the very professional organisation team, many current and former members of the Joomla! leadership teams attended. It allowed the organisation team to provide a session called “Round Table”, in which session attendees could meet face-to-face with the members of the Joomla! leadership and freely talk about their problems, about Joomla! features or about the leadership structure itself.
JoomlaDay France also hosted the famous J!Flag this year.
The picture I will keep for a long time in my mind is Nicholas Dionysopoulos, Brian Teeman, Jean-Marie Simonet and David Hurley sitting in the foyer together squashing Joomla! bugs. Especially because it was a fully spontaneous bug squash session.
While during the conference delicious French food was served, we enjoyed the last evening with many of our friends at a Sushi restaurant.
All in all, it was a great event and we really enjoyed it.
JoomlaDay™ Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo
Image by Edin Kmetaš
This event for me was the best proof that a JoomlaDay™ doesn’t have to be huge to be a great event. JoomlaDay Bosnia and Herzegovina felt almost like a big family reunion. We were happy to meet in person one of the famous co-founders of the Joomla! project: Emir Sakic. It was especially great because Brian Teeman, another of Joomla!’s co-founders and our good friend, was also attending this conference. Not to mention all the other community members like David Hurley, Nicholas Dionysopoulos, Sander Potjer, Mike Veeckmans, Valérie Isaksen, Adnan and Arslan Kurtovic and many, many more.
The whole event was dominated by a very friendly, almost domestic atmosphere with many great and professional sessions and discussions. Sarajevo is a beautiful and very friendly city. Especially remarkable is the fact that, as it is for the moment the only JoomlaDay event in the ex-Yugoslavian area, also many people from Serbia and Croatia attended this event. One could say that Joomla! is connecting people despite all past differences.
I'm very happy that this event also hosted the famous J!Flag and was signed by the organisers.
J and Beyond 2013 (JaB) in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
Image by Saurabh Shah
This was a different kind of Joomla! event than a regular JoomlaDay. In theory it was a developer conference. In reality I would rather call it a Joomla! geeks event. Yes, there were a lot of developers attending this event, but also a lot of people involved in this great community in many other ways. As always it was a great opportunity to meet people I speak with many times a week in mailing lists, in forums, via Skype, etc. This was an event to meet people and talk in real life, drink a beer and sometimes clarify all those misunderstandings you may have had with them in the virtual world.
Aside from the social aspect, which is really the most important one at JaB, you can also find out how the Joomla! project ticks. It is because traditionally there is a Joomla! leadership summit before the event and as a result almost the entire Joomla! leadership team members are attending JaB. But many of them do not only participate, but also lead sessions at the event itself and they are happy to explain many things and tell you what is going on inside the project. This gives all attendees a unique opportunity to get more involved in particular areas of the Joomla! project.
Of course there are also a lot of interesting topics from other areas, like extension development practices, business processes, design and many, many others.
The first day finished with a common dinner in the nearby restaurant and lot of discussion and, yes a lot of sushi. Although we went to the same restaurant again the next evening, the day was finished with a huge and very productive bug squashing session.
The whole event ended with an exciting keynote from David Hurley. Well, not quite. Shortly after David's keynote we caught Robert Deutz, the main mind behind this event, and asked him to sign the famous J!Flag.
I would personally recommend everyone who is connected to the community to attend this event. Not only because of the great sessions and speakers, but mainly because you can meet all those people you probably know or heard about.
JoomlaDay™ Germany in Nuremberg
Image by Sören Eberhardt-Biermann
This is somehow a very sentimental event for us. We have been attending JoomlaDays in Germany since the very first MamboDay.
As the organisation team is also organising the J and Beyond events, you can imagine how much experience the team already has. For that reason we can fairly say that this is one of the most professional JoomlaDays we ever attended. Well almost. For some reason the team still didn’t figure out how to order the right weather for the conference!
But aside from this little issue, the JoomlaDay Germany 2013 was great as always. Lots of professional sessions, excellent keynotes and many great people.
And again we had the famous J!Flag at this event, and ceremonially the organisation team signed the flag right after the event.
JoomlaDay™ Spain in Albacete
Image by Saurabh Shah
We heard a lot of good things about JoomlaDay Spain before, but this was the very first we were able to attend and we were not disappointed. It was a very well organised event in a beautiful city, in a beautiful and friendly country.
The conference itself was visited by many fabulous community leaders and great members of the Spanish community.
JoomlaDay™ Bulgaria in Sofia
Image by Sigrid Suski
Don't ask me why, but this was somehow the best event we attended this year. It's more a feeling which I can't really rationalise. It just felt good. Yes, the organisation of this event was very good and the country is very nice and people are extremely friendly. A really big thanks to Mihail Semerdzhiev for organising this event and taking care of us.
This was a fully different way of organising a JoomlaDay than what I'm used to. It had a different philosophy and mentality, I think. But it was really a wonderful event.
I was impressed by the Bulgarian community. And I don't mean only the Joomla! community, but the whole Open Source community in this country.
It is probably not a coincidence that one of the most engaged hosting providers in the Open Source community, is based in Bulgaria. Big thanks to Tenko Nikolov, Ivo Tzenov, Tina Kesova, Daniel Kanchev and the rest of the particular team for the tour through their office.
All in all; this event was the best example of the spirit of Open Source, and it was a really great experience.
Joomla World Conference 2013 in Boston
Image by Oduor Jagero
Unfortunately we weren’t able to attend the very first Joomla! World Conference in 2012, so this time we simply couldn’t miss it.
One would expect the weather in Boston in November to be very similar to the weather in Germany. Indeed the temperature was almost equal, however we were lucky, and although it was a bit cold we mostly had a beautiful blue sky. This allowed us to take a tour through historical Boston before the conference.
On Thursday, the organisation team arranged a pre-event party at Meadhall. It was really a pleasure to attend it with so many great people from the Joomla! community worldwide, and talk with them in a very relaxed atmosphere.
The conference started at Friday at 9 o'clock. During the registration process one could realise the dimension of this conference. All in all, about 300 Joomla! fans from all around the world were attending JWC13. Hats off to the excellent organisation team for handling such a big conference.
Just as at the J and Beyond conference, a Joomla! leadership summit was held prior the event, and consequently the event was attended by many members of the Joomla! leadership teams. A lot of sessions at this conference were directly related to the project’s structure and future. But there were also a lot of other great talks and presentations led by many great specialists.
On the last day of the conference, Radek led a session about how to "Organise a Successful Joomla! Event”, which was well attended. This is a very positive fact, as we can probably expect even more Joomla! events in the upcoming year.
The real highlight of the last day was a keynote by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, about the history of WordPress. It is really wonderful to see leaders of two "competing" systems talking in a friendly manner with each other.
The conference ended with a funny, but also interesting keynote from David Hurley in which, at the end, David invited Dianne Henning to ceremonially sign the famous J!Flag.
I could write much more about each of these events. Instead however, I would like to thank all the organisers of these events to which we have been invited, and also thank all organizers of events we weren’t able to attend. I’m sure they were also magnificent.
Thanks also to all speakers and all attendees of any JoomlaDay™ or other Joomla! conferences. I hope you enjoyed these at least as much as we enjoyed it.
If you've never attended any Joomla! event, you definitely should go. This is the place where you can feel the real spirit of the Joomla! community, and it is a great feeling.