This past Friday through Sunday, November 16 – 18, saw the first ever Joomla World Conference in San Jose, California. The variety of backgrounds from the group that descended on Silicon Valley in the US was absolutely amazing. There was a different language being spoken in every corner of every room, and sessions were mixed with the highest level Joomla Pros and the freshest of Joomla beginners. It was a great crowd.
It was very heartening to know that however deep your Joomla background is, you could benefit and grow from attending this conference. I’m already looking forward to the next event.
The diversity of sessions was impressive, but the amount of time each presenter was given meant that the depth of information was sometimes not quite as deep as I would have liked. There were presentations on specific extensions, new programming methods, general business practices and lots and lots of marketing and SEO. This last subject turned out to be one of the most popular throughout the entire weekend. People are definitely looking for good marketing help!
The keynote speeches were a highlight of the JWC12, and while they were all great the presentation by Steve Fisher from Canadian web design firm Yellow Pencil was quite special. Instagram and zombies pretty much sums up his methodology for a keynote presentation. When that was combined with an amazing perspective on responsive design and where the web is headed in terms of display and content availability, it was great fun…and I desperately want to move to Vancouver now.
All of the information given out by the presenters was just about invaluable, but for me the absolute best part of the conference was meeting so many amazing Joomla people and finding out what makes them tick. I do have to admit that I was a bit star struck at times. Being able to have real conversations with people like Joe Joomla and shake hands with Nicholas Dionysopoulos from Akeeba Backup and Kyle Ledbetter was amazing. I probably said “Thank you” to Nicholas too many times…but he deserves it.
The prevailing theme of the weekend and the point that matters most to you from all of this is community. Joomla needs you. The momentum is impressive. The support is building, and it only gets better when we all find our local Joomla User Groups or start one if needed and get the word out about what the Joomla Project means and what it can do to make information accessible in more ways for more people.
And lastly, go to events. Meet the people you see and work with online. I ran into a fellow attendee called Jennifer who let me know that she was an actual member of Joomla Pro, and that was awesome. Find out what’s going on and get involved…see you at the next event.