Introducing Mobile Apps at JWC 2015
This being my first article for the Joomla! Magazine, I will give a bit of context about myself. I started working with Joomla! in 2007, developing websites as a consultant, and then developing extensions professionally as a livelihood. Gradually I have timidly begun to collaborate with the community. Today I actively participate as Marketing Manager in the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED), and contribute to Joomla! StackExchange and Joomla! Bug Squad. Finally, as a result of this mega Joomla World Conference, with a team of volunteers we created the Joomla Mobile Apps Working Group. But, I am getting ahead of myself - an organized description of the event follows...
My road to Bangalore
I always had as a pending idea to get more involved with Joomla. To a large extent, our community lives online, and much progress can be made in this way. However, events are an excellent opportunity to strengthen links and to experience in depth a reality that is not transmitted by electronic means.
The world conference is a dream opportunity, organized once a year to present the state of the project and the community officially in an international context. In principle, Bangalore seemed unattainable, not only by distance, but also by resources needed to get there. My only option was to submit an application to the Joomla Event Traveller (JET) program, which supports project volunteers. To my great surprise, I was awarded the funding to attend JWC15!
Once I was able to process the news, I happily began to prepare for the trip. A call for conference sessions was opened, for speakers to submit their presentation ideas. Innocently, I thought: since I am on my way to JWC15, I can also submit a presentation on the topic of mobile apps. Title of my presentation: "Mobile apps development for Joomla". To my double surprise, I was selected to present on Sunday the 8th of November. A huge and unexpected challenge, I was going to attend to my first international Joomla event, and I was also committed to present an innovative session to the Joomla community.
A World-Level Conference
The conference formally began on Friday, November 6th. However, on Thursday there was a pre-event celebration, where I started to meet my fellow Joomleers. In particular, Tessa Mero and the rest of the JED team members who could attend. In the JED blog, you can see our postcards, From Joomla World Conference 2015: JED in Action.
The event was organized into three days of sessions with different topics, and it was perfect. Sessions had a pace that invited capitalizing on each one, selecting favorite presentations while attending complementary subjects. All of this in a context that encouraged dialogue and creativity between community members.
Finally, on Sunday, it was time for my presentation, "Mobile apps development for Joomla". Previously, I had the opportunity to present the subject at JDay Sevilla, thus I was introducing an evolution on the same subject. The area of mobile applications is a hot topic these days, and the presentation was a full house, with audience questions that invited an open debate. Finally, as a result of being in the conference with industry members thinking about a Joomla future for mobile applications, we organized the creation of a working group. Of course, everyone is invited to participate.
My favorite presentation was "Building and Maintaining a Healthy Community", by Priyanka Nag. Priyanka introduced us to the world of Mozilla with a project management methodology applied to community management. Frequently, community organization is based on regular tools such as mail and chat. After a certain tipping point, these informal communication tools are limited and produce unnecessary conflicts, undermining the community spirit. In this session, Priyanka presented a documented process for community management, where each issue is a milestone in history to learn from and an opportunity for growth.
India 101, I was not ready
My trip preparation was only the visa application and how to reach the hotel from airport, under the premise that in India people speak English. To my surprise, I discovered that in India there are at least 20 official languages, one of which is English. In practice, my rudimentary English hardly managed to convey the hotel address with a proper intonation. To my luck, a friendly bus driver guided my arrival.
India is a universe unto itself. In the brief period of the conference, I found an incredible diversity of customs, foods, religions and ways of life; all accompanied by a spirit of general kindness that permeated everyday. The Joomla community in India is important and I will always be grateful for the friendship that we experienced at the event. My memory is fragile and I cannot remember all those who came to thank me for some online help or advice. I am the one who will always be grateful.
A final salute, to the group of Hispanics (Alejandro, Angel, Carlos y Marianela) who represented the language well, with our usual volume.
Heading to Vancouver
Personally, the conference was a success and a lifetime experience. Now, it's time to continue building on the basis of community feedback and collaborating for the project growth. The next meeting will be in Vancouver JWC16 and I look forward to meeting you again. See you soon!