On May 30th the first international Joomla (news, site) conference will take place in Wiesbaden, Germany. Although it’s not an event officially organized by the Joomla team, the event will gather Joomla users, developers and enthusiasts from all over the world. The conference, called J! and Beyond, will run from May 30th to June 1st.
From JoomlaDays to International Conference
The concept of local JoomlaDays has been a great asset to the Joomla community. These events have brought Joomla users together, but only locally. There has been no international Joomla conference so far. Through the years, though, the Joomla community has become more international and friendships have emerged across borders. I believe Twitter is one arena where this has happened. From this, the idea of an international conference came to be last year.
J! and Beyond -- The First International Joomla Conference
As mentioned, the conference is not organized by the Joomla team. The event is organized by the German company Robert Deutz Business Solutions. Some weeks ago, the Joomla project was presented on one of the biggest exhibitions related information technology in the world -- the Cebit 2010. The German Joomla team organized an impressive stand and the reports show that many, many people inquired about the Joomla project.
Now, the Germans have joined forces to create J! and Beyond, and I really look forward to seeing what they have put together.
At this time, there’s a draft version of the agenda available. The specific contents of the program depends on the community proposals. At the moment the organizers are planning a keynote on each day on a special topic.
On the first day, Sunday, there’s planned 3 rounds of 5 parallel sessions with each round lasting approximately 1 hour. In the evening there will be a social event.
Monday starts with a keynote followed by 2 rounds of 5 parallel sessions. Each round will last approximately 1 hour. After lunch there will be 1 round of 5 parallel sessions of approximately 1.5 hour. Followed by a longer second round lasting 2 hours. The day concludes with the J!Oscars event in the evening.
Tuesday starts as the other mornings with a keynote. Subsequently, there will be a round of 5 parallel sessions lasting approximately 1 hour each. After lunch, two rounds of 5 parallel sessions of 1 hour and half in length. J! and Beyond will conclude with a closing session and a scheduled finish to the event at 5:00 pm.
Between the sessions there will be a lot of free time to discuss in small or larger groups. Beside the program there will be vacant rooms for spontaneous sessions or talks.
The event will be held at the Wilhelm-Kempf-Haus conference centre, just outside Wiesbaden city. A lot of the attendees will stay at the conference center, which I think is very nice. It will make the social part of the conference easier and more natural.
Pulling in the Same Direction
In my personal opinion, this will be a great opportunity for Joomla users to connect -- across borders, across skill levels -- to achieve some common goals: To inspire and educate users, to make the community stronger, and to help grow the Joomla project for the benefit of all.
I'm optimistic and hoping that this event will be the first in a long range of international Joomla gatherings. Joomla fans, I'll see you there.