Joomla Day West

Joomla Day West, held at the Ebay Center in San Jose last weekend, was one of the best Joomla events I have been to yet.

On Friday night, we gathered together on the back patio of eBay Town Center for Joomla night, including some announcements, delicious food, and authentic Oktoberfest music and beer.

Saturday started with our Master of Ceremonies, Allen "Gunner" Gunn, running into the room with some heavy metal blasting. After an introduction, he passed around the microphone where we all had a chance to quickly give our name, where we were from, and most of all, one word to describe how we were feeling. After many great responses, I thought I would try "chilly" since I am from Denver, but I did not get many chuckles. Oh well.

The idea of the day was to follow an "unconference" format (read here for more information). To begin, we were given three statements. If we agreed, we went to one side of the room, disagreed to the other, or if we were middle of the road, stay in the middle.

The statements were:

  • What is more important moving forward, Joomla having a strong core and framework, or ease of use?
  • What is more valuable, that Joomla is Open Source, or the features that it provides?
  • What is more important, that Joomla caters towards the small business users, or the Enterprise?

It was quite a scene. And in order to show agreement, we "twinkled" out fingers to keep a sense of order. We finished up the morning with our first learning session, then breaked for lunch.

In the afternoon, in addition to meeting up for three more sessions, the highlight was "Speedgeeking", not to be confused with Speed Dating. Or maybe it was meant to be confusing. Anything goes at an unconference!

We were split into groups and went around the room where the presenters at each "station" had a chance to speak about their specialty in the time allotted, and then we ran to the next one.

The stations were:

  • Azrul , developer of Jomsocial, spoke about you guessed it! Jomsocial!
  • Merav, owner of iJoomla, spoke about SEO and her iSEO component.
  • Joe Leblanc spoke about his work in creating a standard to connect Joomla extensions and components together with the core framework
  • Chris showed us the Blueprint CSS framework which allows you to build Joomla sites on top of for fast development
  • Aaron from MooTools, talked about what they are doing in regards to the integrationwith their framework and Joomla.
  • Oliver from the Kunena project, showed us some really neat new things that the new version can do such as color coding categories
  • James showed us the directory component of the Sobi 2 content construction kit
  • Sunir Shah from FreshBooks gave us some ideas of how their service can help us provide professional looking invoice to our clients

Everyone had a wonderful day and we were all looking forward to returning for day 2, the "Hackable Conference".