J and Beyond 2014: An Overview

The past weekend marked a very important moment for me. After almost a year on the sidelines dealing with personal matters, I finally had the opportunity to go talk to and teach another community.

I was invited by Brian Teeman (@brianteeman) to go keynote at J and Beyond, an annual Joomla Conference focused on their core leadership group and the most active community members. I was very excited about the opportunity and the timing seemed to be right to get back on the speaking wagon, so I accepted the invitation, and along with my wife, made our plans to be at Konigstein im Taunus for the conference.

This event was a merge of very important and exciting points, so let me walk you throughout my side of things. First of all it marked my return, something that i had been looking forward to for a while, since teaching and speaking are things i very much love to do. The second aspect of it is that it was a new community to me. I have only worked with Joomla many years ago in a short 4 month contract in the Brazilian Government. Sufficient to say I knew basically no one in the conference, apart from Lorna Jane (@lornajane) and Sebastian Bergmann (@s_bergmann). I love reaching out to new communities and bringing to them some of what we are doing in the greater PHP community, i love getting them in touch and integrated, so this was something i really looked forward to.

The third aspect is that i was keynoting. A keynote talk has a different mindset from a regular one as it does the role of inspiring and setting a tone for the conference. This event does not use the regular opening and closing keynote format, but it still posed an entirely new area of speaking which i had wanted to try for years. So off I went into this mix of new and old and eager to make new friends and see the ones i had not seen in ages.

The event was amazing, the hotel was very nice and isolated bringing in the aspect of socials that I really enjoy from conferences like php[tek]. The organizers did a wonderful job of the regular conference and the socials. I did indeed get to know many new people, some of which were familiar with my work, some which had never heard of me, which is also very refreshing. I was very happy to spread my ideas on development and quality to a new crowd like i had done so many times before. New communities are a fresh playground to me and I love the energy that comes from them at hearing these fresh points of view.

The Joomla community is truly a great and lively one, everyone was very open to receiving me and talking about various topics, and even reaching out to my wife who was there for the ride. I felt very good amongst these people and truly happy to be speaking again. If you do any work related to Joomla, you should get to know their events and their community, they will surely have lots to add to your day to day work.

I was invited to keynote, but ended up covering a few extra topics the organizers asked me to address, so I also spoke about composer and did my talk on object calisthenics with far more detail then the keynote.

The keynote was a fresh new talk that i had been working on for a few months, trying to tie my lessons from Object Calisthenics and inspiration of writing clean code into an inspirational talk to promote these values in developers. It held the title of “Writing code that lasts” or as I like to call it “Writing code you won’t hate tomorrow”. The reaction of the crowd was very good and i really had a wonderful time being on stage ant talking to them. The conversations i had afterwards make me believe that my goal was achieved and i had developers now thinking about their code and becoming aware of these quality markers.

I hope to give this talk in many more communities and CakeFest has already invited me to do so in the CakePHP community, so hopefully you will see this talk somewhere close to you some day. Below are the slides if you want to have a sneak peek into it.

Thank you all from the Joomla Community and the Conference Organizers, it was a wonderful weekend of seeing friends, making new ones, inspiring and learning from a new community and I even got some time to explore the area which was also stunning.