Every November, a group of Joomla! developers, site builders, designers and enthusiasts join together for the Joomla World Conference. This years conference is in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. There are quite a few great reasons to attend the Joomla World Conference, here 5 we think are important.
#1 Meet like minded people
You're hunkered down in your own little world cranking out websites or maintaining your company websites and wonder, "are there other people out there like me?" The answer is YES, yes there are! The make up of JWC attendees is quite varied. Everyone from the site maintainer at a big company to site builders, to the developers of the extensions you use every day attend JWC. You'll even meet some of the core team who code the very software you use every day.
#2 Learn new things
I learn something new nearly every day. The days I'm at the Joomla World Conference I learn more stuff in 1 day than I learn in several weeks of floundering around the internet googling things I can't figure out. Here you can attend not only the main Keynotes, but multiple training and tech sessions per day. Many of them are presented by developers who create extensions for Joomla (which brings me to #3).
#3 Get to know extension developers
Many of the developers who create the extensions you use every day not only attend but present at JWC. That means you can ask them questions directly in their session, or hang out with them during a meal and pick their brain. I've been known to dump my feature requests on many developers during JWC.
#4 Network with other Joomla! users
Because many of the meals are included in the conference registration, you are encouraged to sit with someone you don't know. Everyone I've met at JWC was very friendly and they're always open to someone new sitting with them at a meal. Even if you're an introvert like me, if you force yourself to sit with a person you don't know at every meal, you'll be amazed at the people you meet. I have attended both Boston (2013) and India (2015) and always connected with new people, many of whom I now chat with online and use as resources.
#5 Get involved in the Joomla! Community
Many people use Joomla and never realize that ANYONE can get involved in the community. Attending JWC is a good way to get started. You can meet others who are involved and get learn about the different working groups. Once you put a face with a name, you can find them online and get plugged in. My first JWC was in Boston in 2013 and after that I got connected with the community. I'm now part of the Capital Committee (fundraising for project), the JWC team (I am the A/V lead for the conference now) and the UX Team. I even managed to do my first "pull request" and get the little gear icon in the Joomla administrator area changed to a user icon because it just seemed to be a better fit. ANYONE can get involved as long as you're willing to give of your time and talents. Attending JWC can be a great start to that.
The early bird pricing ends September 1st, so you'll want to register and secure your ticket NOW before the price goes up. If you're having trouble deciding if you should go, submit a comment below and we'll try to convince you it's worth coming. If you've already been and want to share about how great it was, also feel free to comment below. We'll see you in Vancouver in November!
Looking for more reasons to come? Vancouver is a beautiful city. Check out this article from the Joomla Magazine site about it!