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JoomlaDay Chicago 2017 Recap

JoomlaDay Chicago 2017 Recap

JoomlaDay Chicago 2017 was held on Saturday, September 23rd on an unseasonably warm 90+ degree Chicago day. The event included three tracks one for beginners, one for seasoned users and one for those seeking certification.

Kicking Things Off

The day begin with a welcome address from SD Williams where she discussed briefly how to grow the Joomla! community through high school internship programs. SD shared with the group stories of how she works with interns to pass on her love for Joomla. The students learn from the ground up and in a few short weeks become contributing members of her team both in the building and assisting of end users in the care and maintenance of their Joomla! site.

Open Source Matters (OSM) President Robert Jacobi gave a State of Joomla! Keynote address reminding us that Joomla has won Best Open Source Content Management System for many years and is still 100% community based. Wrapping up his energy-driven keynote, the attendees headed off to their respective tracks.

Three Tracks of JoomlaDay

The beginners all day workshop was led by OSM Treasurer Mike Demo where by the end of the day, the attendees had completely built a website from the ground up.

The seasoned user track included speakers:

  • Cory Webb, who presented Building a Joomla! Module
  • Jim Dolinski, who presented Scalable Joomla! Deployments on AWS
  • Brian Mitchell, who presented Why Open Source Matters
  • Matt Christensen, who presented Less is More, Leveraging the Joomla! Core

This track concluded with an Ask an Expert discussion panel where our speakers graciously answered questions for everyone. Many remarked how they enjoyed being able to hear the different takes on the same question.

The third and final track was the certification track which included exam cram led by Kendall Cabe, followed by the Joomla Certification Exam. This track ran on both Friday September 22nd and Saturday September 23rd allowing test takers from Friday to attend the general sessions on Saturday.

The result was 4 new Joomla Certified Administrators from both sittings. SD is extremely grateful to the Certification Team, especially Sam Suresh and Luca Marzo for all of their help and guiding me through the process. Their patience in answering the multitude of questions is appreciated. Thanks to Mike Demo for volunteering to supervise the exam.


The pre-event speaker’s dinner was a great way to share Chicago-style pizza and get to know the speakers who have contributed so much to the event as well as the Joomla Community as a whole through their blogs, presentations and other forms of knowledge sharing. The post-event Meet-and-Greet continued the conversation and fostered new (and renewed) Joomler friendships.

Continuing the Sharing

The keynote address and other presentations can be found on: joomladaychicago.com including a couple from presenters who were unable to attend but wanted to share their information with the attendees. Photos from the event are also available.

How Did We Do?

This event was put on with a shoestring budget with volunteers putting labels on water bottles and many warehouse store trips. At the end of the day, there is a small surplus that will be put towards renewing the domain and hosting accounts for JoomlaDay Chicago (joomladaychicago.com) and Joomla User Group Chicago North (joomlachicagonorth.com), with any remainder going towards JoomlaDay Chicago 2019.

"Thanks" is too SMALL a word

I was taken aback by all the kind words and expressions of gratitude by the event attendees and speakers. This event would not have been possible without the efforts of the JoomlaDay Chicago Team, Joomla User Group Chicago North (JUGCN) volunteers, our speakers, our attendees, and our GENEROUS Sponsors: Danico Enterprises, Inc., RSJoomla!, Times Two Technology, Zilleem, Raptor Power Systems, Simplify Your Web, SiteGround, and CompoJoom, with support from Open Source Matters.

Thanks again to all the sponsors, speakers, attendees, and volunteers who helped make this event happen.

If you’d like to help with JoomlaDay Chicago 2019, let us know at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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