3 minutes reading time (681 words)

Meet a Joomla User Group: Arnhem - Nijmegen


The Joomla User Group Arnhem - Nijmegen is close to my heart as I have been the organizer in the past. This Dutch JUG is located in the eastern-middle part of the Netherlands and has started quite a long time ago. Read more about this JUG in this interview.

Where is your User Group located?

Peter Martin: The Joomla User Group Arnhem-Nijmegen is located in two cities that are close to each other, in the east of the Netherlands: Arnhem and Nijmegen. In the past, we did the meetings alternately in both cities. Currently, the meetups are at db8's office in the center of Nijmegen.

For how long has this User Group been organizing events?

Peter: I started helping out in September 2018. Henk Flederus joined in 2022. However, before we joined other people had been organizing it.

Hans: As the interviewer but also a previous organizer I can help a bit. I visited the first meeting at Café Vrijdag and I believe it was somewehere in 2007.

How many people are involved in organizing and how many visitors are joining your meetings?

Peter: We currently have two organizers (Henk Flederus and Peter Martin). The meetings are visited by 6 to 14 people.

Are your meetings in person, online or hybrid?

In person meetings.

How did your JUG evolve during the years?

Henk: The objective and approach have remained the same over the years. See where we as Joomla fans can help and inform each other. Sharing information about Joomla, but also topics related to developing websites that we can inform our customers about.

What topics are usually/mostly being presented at your meetings?

Peter: New features in Joomla, Joomla extensions, solving issues with Joomla.

Henk: Sharing information about Joomla, but also topics related to developing websites that we can inform our customers about. For example newsletters, privacy, Cookies, GDPR,...

Which topics have been popular lately to get information about?

Peter: Security related topics, YOOtheme Pro.

What difficulties do you face organizing your JUG?

Peter: Sometimes it is difficult to find interesting new topics and speakers. Because of COVID19 our JUG did not organize any meetings for 2 years. After the restart we experienced a slight decrease in attendees. It’s also difficult to get new visitors. Finally it’s difficult to find a good mix between the topics/speakers and the different levels of expertise of the visitors.

Henk: We have a monthly JUG and finding topics that are interesting enough for a broad target group is often difficult. The level of knowledge varies considerably, which means that the number of participants is sometimes limited.

What is your most precious meeting?

Peter: One of the meetings that I really liked and where I learned a lot was the presentation “Ten things you cannot do with Wordpress without plugins and can do in Joomla” by Steven Trooster. With Joomla, you can do so much out-of-the-box without plugins. I was surprised how many external plugins WordPress requires to get somewhat similar functionality (but at the expense of stability and security).

Furthermore my recent presentation "Expert session on GDPR legislation" was fun because of the interaction with the audience and that it generated a lot of conversation.

Henk: A meeting in which two webshop developers shared their experiences about technology, choices, vulnerabilities, responsibilities, risks. Not just Joomla, but look wider than that. So take the customer as a starting point and look for the best solution for this.

Do you need extra volunteers, or help?

Peter: We can always use an extra Joomler helping out with the organization.

Henk: Yes, PR to get more attention for Joomla and the JUG. Gradually the enthusiasm wanes somewhat. New, especially young people with fresh ideas, are welcome.

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