This time around, we've sent 4 of our core developers over to JAndBeyond 2013 and it was our first time attending such a glorious event that we've heard so much and finally got the honor to be there. There are tons to share with you guys and I don't even know where I should begin ...
First off, the pre-event party was extremely awesome! It was a good session to begin with getting acquainted with other 3rd party extension developers. I can't express how cool this was but you can judge it by my short review and photos below:
On the first day of the event, it was very tiring for most of us because of the jet lag. We are on GMT +8 as opposed to the time zone here in Netherlands which is GMT +1 . We were like walking zombie's ;)
The day started with Robert Deutz and his amazing keynote and it woke most of us up. We sat through the other sessions for the entire day and also met up with a couple of guys that we have been always dealing with on Skype including Ryan Bernstein and Saurabh Shah from Cloudaccess.net.
We ended the day with J.O.S.C.A.R.S and it caught us by surprise when we won the award for the Best Commercial Website. I have to personally thank our awesome web designers, both @fath and @siewho for the extreme effort that they have put in on our site. Of course, without the effort of an awesome team, we wouldn't be able to win such an award and I personally would like to thank everyone from the team for their dedication and effort.
We started the day off pretty late still because of the jet lag and we missed our alarms! (web developers aren't that good with time :p) Headed to breakfast and continued with the rest of the sessions.
During intermissions, I took the opportunity to share a personal preview of our upcoming extension to certain people and they were really excited about what they saw! We had dinner with everyone else and the food was an interesting experience. It was an oriental restaurant and the food served were splendid.
Everyone was invited to join the Joomla bug squad team to fix bugs and we thought that it would be an awesome experience for us to join in the bug hunting / testing process. It was a really an eye opener for us to see that everyone is so connected and we could really feel the community spirit that everyone was talking about. It was a different sort of love we felt -- coding love. LOL.
During the bug squashing session, it was also the first time for me meeting Daniel Dimitrov from Compojoom and we shared lots of ideas and problems that we both faced. He was a really nice and cool guy and it's good that we could work things out even if we were competing on the same products (Komento and Compojoom Comment). In the spirit of open source community, there are no enemies or competitors, we just build extensions to compete and build a much better platform for Joomla! for the benefit of all users.
We've also delighted to meet Chiara Aliotta from Until Sunday who spoke about web designers and web developers working together towards a common goal. She nailed it with valuable tips on getting the right balance of both in building a great website. Her session came with an interesting poster that complemented the beach theme of JAB2013, too.
The socialising continued on to this day. In fact, we didn't really stop talking to people and getting to know the Joomla crowd. To be frank, its not an easy job walking up to strangers, shake their hands and all but thanks to Joomla, it broke all barriers and chatter away.
We sat in to hear what Radek Suski of SobiPro talk about how to run a successful Joomla day. We were keen of this and who knows we might have an Asian version *hint* *hint*.
The session by Chris Davenport about REST and the importance of being HAPI gave us great insights on building better integratability between Joomla extensions, especially in our future extension development plans.
Speaking of future, I went on to show some folks with our upcoming social extension to find out what they think of it. Well, if you weren't there, you might want to stay glued to our website when we make an announcement within a few weeks.
So, there you have it. A little recollection of our exprience at JAB2013. It was a great event that make us want to come again next year.
There are more pictures to see in our Facebook page. Looking forward to the next Joomla event!