Written By: Frank Petrov
I spent this past weekend in Vancouver attending the Joomla World Conference. Vancouver is a vibrant, beautiful city and I enjoyed seeing some sights, but the real joy was getting to know some of the other community members, or Joomlers, and getting to know the project a little better.
If you're not familiar with Joomla, it is an open source content management (CMS) that was voted Best Free CMS in 2016. I started working with Joomla in 2003, before it actually existed as Joomla. You can read more about that here, but basically Joomla forked from another project called Mambo.
About 150 Joomlers attended the conference, along with some great speakers and vendors. Over 3 days there were many breakout sessions, each with 4 separate programs themed as Case Study, Business, Integrator, Designer, Developer, Community, and Workshop. I had the pleasure to attend these sessions:
|The Future Of Content Management||Ronni K. Gothard Christiansen||The future of website marketing includes contextual content, with the website adapting content to the user.|
|Do Penguins Have Knees?||Robert Jacobi||Content management systems limit the ability to share data due to their unique data structures. But hypermedia APIs are coming and will help solve this issue.|
|Grow Your Business With Effective Marketing Strategies||Sarah Waltz||Customers follow a journey from initial interest to buying, and marketers need to present appropriate content for each part of the journey.|
|Aesir Content Marketing Platform||Ronni K. Gothard Christiansen||Details on a component that allows website owners to deliver contextual content.|
It would have been great to attend more workshops, however I also spent time in certification training. More about that in a bit...
The keynote speakers also delivered some really interesting information, here's an overview of those:
|The City of Vancouver's Digital Journey||Tadhg Healy||This was super interesting, the city is using technology to better deliver services and information to residents. One program lets users report graffiti or other problems via an app, and the user gets updates as issues are resolved. They have a 4 year digital strategy that you can read about here.|
|Conflict is the Key to Great User Experience||Steve Fisher||Steve gave some great tips on how his team does project discover more effectively, leading to better solutions for their customers.|
|The Gentle Art of Website Security||Dre Armada||This was a powerful session, with some sobering statistics
|AMP||Eric Kuan||The Acceleraed Mobile Project is aimed at speeding up mobile web. Learn more at https://www.ampproject.org/.|
|The Future of Joomla||Marco Dings||Definitely my favorite session, with the roadmap for future releases and planned functionality changes. Joomla will certainly maintain its lead in extensibility over other content management systems. One exciting change just on the horizon is custom fields; you can read more about custom fields here.|
|Wrap Up - State of the Project||Sarah Waltz||Joomla is gaining market share again, after some declines. There will be better marketing going forward. And we are a close-knit community, the name Joomla was taken from the Swahili word jumla, meaning all together.|
While at the conference, I met some really great people from around the globe. At the risk of forgetting someone, let me say that I really enjoyed spending time with Bruno, Peter, Henry, Drew, Alan, Dennis, Andrew, Nicky, Jocelyn, Troy, Jay, Roland, Tony, Ronni, Dre, and others. Many of the conversations allowed us to dive deeper into business strategies that will surely prove beneficial to my company and clients. I'm eager to keep in touch and collaborate in the coming years.
Now for the highlight of the conference- certification testing. I'm happy to say that I achieved my Joomla! 3.x Certified Administrator status. It was a really tough test, and I've administered hundreds of Joomla websites in all versions of Joomla for over 10 years! This certification program is setting a higher standard in the website development community, which I feel really needs more oversight. Unfortunately today's CMS's, and other website building tools, make it fairly easy for anyone to build a website and that can impact a business negatively. Having helped may clients that were facing issues with a botched development I'm all for any steps that can be taken to help prevent business owners from having to deal with poorly constructed and maintained websites.
In closing my thanks to the Joomla Conference organizers for a spectacular event. I look forward to seeing everyone next year in Rome, if not sooner.
Look at what a difference a website redesign makes!