Why JoomlaCamp Chicago
The first JoomlaCamp Chicago event was held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 as a hands-on, problem-solving day of Joomla! The idea came from connecting with other Joomla User Groups and event teams. I was looking for something that could be done fairly easily on the opposite year of JoomlaDay Chicago to keep the Chicagoland community engaged. JoomlaCamp seemed to be just the thing.
Before jumping into questions, I took the opportunity to talk with the group about the Joomla Community Magazine, after all, it had been instrumental to the JoomlaCamp Chicago. As an avid reader of the Joomla Community Magazine, I’d read a recap of JoomlaCamp NYC 2018 and reached out to Laura Gordon to find out more. She happily shared information on how to find mentors, how to find a venue and provided suggestions for the format of the day. Laura’s help was just what I needed to meet my goal of community engagement.
The size of the group afforded us the opportunity to get to know each other’s experience better. The morning was spent answering a range of questions covering topics such as: hosting companies, Joomla best practices, extensions, site security, Joomla integration with other technologies, databases, Fabrik, Joomla 4, PHP, and some of the differences between Wordpress and Joomla. Yes, we covered a lot! One of the participants shared with us an extension, Reportico, which is preventing him from being able to update is site as it is heavily used by his company and the extension is in need of an update that is long overdue. We worked to find him replacement options so that he could keep his site updated with the latest version of Joomla without breaking it and keeping the much needed functionality. I look forward to hearing if any of the options works for him. Next, we reviewed another participant’s site to aid in solving a series of questions - success! She left feeling that her site was better (or at least would be) for having had a chance to work through her questions.
Mentor Robert Jacobi, shared his personal website which uses the Gantry, a theme framework. It provided a great segway into the afternoon, where dived into its use. As a big fan and user of Gantry, I was more than happy to discuss and demonstrate how it along with Joomla can great many types of sites. The group left excited to try Gantry out on their own sites (development site first of course) along their other new found knowledge of Joomla.
All in all, it was a fantastic Joomla day!
Special thanks goes out to Joe West, Manny Manago, Nicole Warner, Robert Jacobi, and Laura Gordon. I could not have done it without you.