A chilly Joomla! Day in Arusha.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-06 at 12.02.08

Welcome to Arusha, the town so calm, so beautiful, so welcoming. You should come here, if you can afford it. Endless queues of tourist are arriving here in their numbers….you wonder why, but when you are here, everything makes sense, makes peace. Driving in Arusha I can see how a large, sprawling city with all of the contradictions that brings, it is, the best place to be. The traffic police standing on the street in their white uniform, very white my friend asked how they wash it, they keep it white, just like new.

On the one hand, Arusha offers a nice break from the rigours of life on the African road – it has excellent places to stay and eat and, for the most part, it is lush, green and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year, thanks to its altitude (about 1300m) and location near the foot of Mt Meru which by the way, I can see from the comfort of my living room. I should brag, but I won’t. Resting on the foot of the hill, cool weather and a sight to behold. Waters flow freely from the hills, in many directions, if not all. You will not get enough of banana plantations and you will not miss them on your dinner table. You are in the land of it.

Starting point for many safaris and cultural tours, it’s a place where everything happens. Roasted free range chicken with roasted bananas and potatoes, from Kenny’s place…..right on the open street, to Hawaian pizza at George’s Tavern. Everything is great. And worth the fight.

Which brings us to Arusha’s alter ego. As the safari capital of northern Tanzania, Arusha is where you’re most likely to encounter touts offering safaris, souvenirs and all manner of deals, some genuine, many of them not. Their main haunts are the bus stations and along Boma Rd. What brings me to Arusha? That which has taken me everywhere, Joomla love. We travel, eat good food, meet friends and get lost in Joomla. A family of open software enthusiasts, techies, who bring people together, share ideas, share visions, and help run each other’s mission. I mean those guys……I am one of them.

Enjoying great conversation, maybe networking, a lot of that, sharing great food, made so amazing with much of the East African love. So I must say, my arrival, at 2pm was wonderful. The sun was up and there was a taste of life in everything, including the things not edible.

Then I fell asleep at midnight only to wake up 30 minutes late for breakfast…….to a heavy drizzling morning, not pouring, just heavy drizzling. Here, there is a difference. That meant I was one hour late for everything, including my presentation which was starting 9am. So when we pulled over at a gas station to buy fuel, we got a call, and the shame attacked me like a bitter woman. That kind of shame that will follow me all the way to when I arrive at JR Institute of Technology, and there I could see everyone sitting in humility waiting……….not for someone important but me, this guys who could not keep  time. So then, I pretended nothing was wrong and even that was more shameful, it was cold and I was struggling to keep me alive.

Then there was my introduction, and before I went further, I was interrupted, by the teacher. He urged me to keep it in Swahili…….my presentation. That my students are a little handicapped when it comes to English he said. What he did not understand is that even if you are really good in both languages, its difficult to make a presentation in Swahili when you did it in English. But I had to brave myself, picking all the words I could remember……because the word Joomla! itself is Swahili……Mradi wa Joomla! to mean my Joomla project. But then it all went well for all my two presentation.

While in the car with Gloria, after the event she mentioned to me, that the students were very happy and I asked her why she thinks so, she said that if  Tanzanians are happy, you can see it on their faces. I wouldn’t have known that. Back at our Airbnb Pamela the lady in charge of the house took us to the market to get some fish for our dinner project. At the table was also Karin, who is visiting here from China though she is originally German. She lives and works in China together with her husband and they are trying to start a business here in Arusha, she has been here many times.

She narrated to us how she drove from Cape Town, where they had bought their Toyota Landcruiser to Arusha, something I have always wanted to do. The car sits at the parking when she is not doing her safari’s and when I went to check it out, I admired the big wheels on it and the inside fitted with a refrigerator. Before we left Arusha, I had made good friends, and helped to create Joomla User Group Arusha, managing one of my desire for this trip. I have not yet gotten anybody willing to volunteer for Joomla! but am still hopeful.

Joomla! on Community leadership.


The Jand Beyond conference has always been a special event. Like a family event and this years was not an exception. We gathered at the Pre-Party Event organized by dashboard at Wazze Krafta on 10 Dolnych Mlynow, a place full of creativity. Walk a few blocks down and you find Perfect Dashboard. My friend Djamel, who heads the Joomla User Group calls this place “the Incubation Startups of bars” As a creative, this was the perfect place to start the three day event. The #Jab17 was an opportunity for several of our newly-elected members of OSM’s leadership to meet with the Joomlas who were attending the conference in Krakow, Poland, for a drink a chat and brainstorming.

Poland and most importantly Krakow, once the city were the King sat,  was a great choice for this event at we discovered from the welcome we received from the Joomla community in Poland. The city hosts many historical buildings including St Mary’s Church, Cloth Wall and town hall tower sitting in the middle of the square. Robert, the President of JandBeyong has always done a great job organizing this event together with the newly elected team who were at forefront to make sure that the event was on point. Alexander, the Vice President of OSM was very involved, together with his company Perfect Dashboard who were also the sponsors, we had Mike “Demo” Demopolous, OSM’s Treasurer; Yves Hoppe, Department Coordinator for Programs; Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall, Department Coordinator for Events; and Robert Jacobi the President.

Since this group was recently elected, it also presented valuable time in the evening and following the conference to get to know each other and discuss the important priorities for their departments. Different meeting were taking place in different rooms. Joomla is powered by a team of volunteers from all over the world, dedicated people who put a few hours a day to create a product that will help people at the end of the other side of their computers. Events like this bring fun and renewed strength to the people behind Joomla! and the community. The community representation was in different ways, jRunning on Saturday and Sunday, the beer evenings at the lobby of Best Western, the “going for a smoke” team at the entrance of Novotel and the “late night crew” who went to bed at 2am and woke up at 6am for breakfast.

The main take-aways from this event included ideas for maintaining the health of communities formed of contributors that put in just a couple hours a week.   The topics attracting the most attention when i  comes to creating a vibrant community included:

  • how to “onboard” our newest contributors to make sure their first attempts to contribute to documentation or user support are a success and that first attempts to submit a Pull Request to improve the software are properly mentored and result in a successful and positive experience;
  • how to communicate effectively to a diverse community that is spread across continents, time zones and languages;
  • how to prevent burn-out of volunteers that have moved into critical leadership roles, especially release managers;
  • how to create a culture that teachs new contributors the “right way” to contribute in a way that does not embarass or discourage them; and
  • how to build succession into the responsibilities of each leader so that fresh enthusiastic faces can rise quickly in an organization and not be discouraged by long-term leaders that have lost some of their energy.

Joomla is always in  need of volunteers, hance a “call to volunteer” you can always make a difference. Joomla is now represented by 370,000+ lines of code, made by 780+ contributors. It is used by 6.9% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 3.3% of all website, with 82,000,000+ downloads from joomla.org since February 2017. It is also home to 7,888 extensions, and translated in 68 languages.

As any ecosystem – Joomla’s ecosystem is fragile and needs to be nurtured to sustain and grow. Through joomla.org you can volunteer and for more about certification programme, certification.joomla.org. Joomla community will be heading to Rome Italy in November for the Joomla World Conference dubbed “The Italian Bridge” I haven’t seen the movie, but I hear Italy is a home of bridges.


JoomlaDay Kenya 2016, a great success.


Greetings from The Joomla! Community in Kenya. The fourth annual JoomlaDay Kenya hosted by the Joomla Community in collaboration with CMSAfrica was hosted by Strathmore University. @iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excel­lence in ICT innov­a­tion and Devel­op­ment based at Strath­more Uni­ver­sity. It was estab­lished to address the Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals(MDGs) and to con­trib­ute toward Kenya’s Vis­ion 2030. The research cen­ter is involved in inter­dis­cip­lin­ary research, stu­dents engage­ment, col­lab­or­a­tion with gov­ern­ment, industry and other fund­ing agen­cies.
Since the first in 2012, this conference has rapidly developed into an important forum where Joomla! ethosiasts can meet, have interactions and network with each other; where mattendees can cooparate and learn from tech exparts about the latest processes in technologies to deliever an even more efficient business. In today’s digital world, we download and upload tons of information from and to the internet. We visit millions of websites in our internet lifetime and sometimes, we even want to make one of our own. However, this could prove to be costly and you may not know how to go about it by yourself. This is where an immensely useful product called Joomla! comes into the picture. Put in simple terms, Joomla! is a software for making and updating a website in an easy way.

The best part about Joomla! is that it requires no prior programming knowledge. This means that anyone can creat and develop a website in easiest possible manner. This is the massage we have tried to spread in all our Joomla! Events throughout East Africa. We have managed to bring enlightment on what joomla! can do and how the community work something that very few people know about. Among the topics where Joomla! 101, by Shadrack Serem, taking us through the Joomla!3.6 including the latest and greatest features from the developers supporting Joomla!, Creating a joomla component in 30 minutes, this was a practical talk which tusked the attendees to participate, learn and show their results, with two keynotes, Payments in Joomla! and Intergrating voice call API to Joomla!

We take this opportunity to thank our speakers who took their time to participate in this event and share their great knowledge to better others. Its a great sacrifice to make but for the community, it goes along way. In the same spirit, to our sponsors, the people who made this day a success, our host Open Source Matters, @iLabAfrica, CmsAfrica, Netrixs Business systems, NorrNext, Akeeba, Web357 and DJ-Extentions and Joomla Monsters. Your support has always gone a long way and we value your partinerships and hope that they will continue to grow and flourish. Joomla! Day may have ended, but the community is still active, look up for our meet-up, with our upcoming Joomla User Group coming in the early 2017. Its also important to announce that the 2017 CMS AFRICA SUMMIT will be held in Abuja Nigeria. for bookings please visit summit.cmsafrica.org. So see you in Abuja, Nigeria in 2017.




JoomlaDay Kenya is here.

Hagen Graf has for a long time written Joomla Books and still participates in Joomla and Tech. He lives in Fitou, France, together with his wife Christine.

Nairobi is a tech hub, not like the big stuff we see in the US and UK, but its starting and we are on our way there. Big innovations have been born here, and had a great impact in the world and the society. Tech thrives, commands business, improves business. PAYING for a taxi ride using your mobile phone is easier in Nairobi than it is in New York, thanks to Kenya’s world-leading mobile-money system, M-PESA. Launched in 2007 by Safaricom, the country’s largest mobile-network operator, it is now used by over 17m Kenyans, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the adult population; around 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through it. M-PESA lets people transfer cash using their phones, and is by far the most successful scheme of its type on earth. “Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money”? This was a question in The Economist.

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has transformed into a technology epicentre. An agile mobile banking system has created new market opportunities for digital entrepreneurs. 4G internet connections became more and more affordable and still are mobile payment services are booming up and the promising startup scene and ecosystem constantly is reinventing their offerings. Silicon Savannah has positioned itself as an epicentre of startup weekends, innovations meet ups, accelerators, incubator events and investors get together. True to that form, Nairobi has one of East Africa’s highest concentrations of US dollar millionaires accounting for 8400 in number as of 2016.

Kenya government at the forefront of technology development – investors are being lured to invest in Nairobi, and are heeding the call positively so and the city has positioned itself as an investor friendly city by being open to aid agencies, development funds and foreign NGO’s. The birth of M-Pesa revolution by Vodafone in 2003 and subsequent launch by Safaricom in 2007. This revolution inspired many to be tech entrepreneurs and proactively launch startups. The launch of iHub in 2010 – as an open space for startups, positioned Kenya’s capital, Nairobi as the future of startups, technology and innovation. Since then, we have seen the growth in shared spaces around the city.

@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excel­lence in ICT innov­a­tion and Devel­op­ment based at Strath­more Uni­ver­sity. It was estab­lished to address the Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals(MDGs) and to con­trib­ute toward Kenya’s Vis­ion 2030. The research cen­ter is involved in inter­dis­cip­lin­ary research, stu­dents engage­ment, col­lab­or­a­tion with gov­ern­ment, industry and other fund­ing agen­cies. With a cli­ent list that includes some of the largest soft­ware engin­eer­ing and tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions com­pan­ies in the world, you can rest assured that your product devel­op­ment endeavors are in good hands with @iLabA­frica Whether you’re look­ing to aug­ment your exist­ing engineering team, or com­pletely out­source your soft­ware engin­eer­ing, you’ll find that iLabA­frica provides cost-effective solu­tions, cus­tom tailored to meet the needs of your business.

This will be the home of our fourth edition of Joomla Day Kenya, #jdayke16 which will be on 17th September 2016. The Secretariat for JDKE is proud to be working with @iLabafrica in making this event a success. Joomla day events brings together tech enthusiasts, developers, programmers and designers to a table of networking, interaction and learning. With great support from OSM, Joomla day events have thrived and increased in cities all over the world. We welcome you to this great event, and we would like to thank our great sponsors without them it will not be possible to have this event. Open source Matters for great leadership and support for our Joomla Day Event, Akeeba Backup, Web357, NorrNext, Kenya Website Experts, Netrix Business Systems, Joomlashack and cmsafrica. @iLabafrica our host and venue sponsors for their great support. For those out there who wish to partner with us, our door is still open for you.

See you at the #jdayke16

Hotel Alimara

We were all sitting on a round table, with our laptops open, Radek looked down on his screen, his fingers hung over the edge of his keyboard as if his wrists were broken. I couldn’t blame him, for days he had worked hard to make sure that the event JandBeyond was a success. His brilliance reflected this independence as he regularly found his way through challenges with grace matched by only a handful of engineers in the world. Radek is Polish, but his wife Sigrid, while having dinner narrated to me how they met. He was working for her, and they fell in love in the process……..and it was a good thing she says. They got married in Poland, but he, Radek had to wait three months to be able to travel to Germany and be with his wife, then, there was no European Union. They now live and work in Germany, and they keep bees.


We were five of us hard at work in the conference hall of the Hotel Alimara in Barcelona, Spain. Our team since I joined had been working well, and this was the first time we would be all of us in one room. We are called Joomla Event Team, one of many teams working with Joomla.org. This regular website where millions of websites are born and it’s among the most trafficked website on earth. Radek as now you know him is our team leader, but he is also a member of other teams including the Joomla Event Travel (JET) a program he pioneered and is now very proud of. His passion for Joomla is evident, every morning he would display his coffee on a table that in inhabited by everything Joomla, and the mug would be Joomla too. At least that’s how I came to know him.


We are all developers, Sigrid who works with her husband Radek in Germany, keeps us alive, she organizes our meetings and work schedules. Rowan, the lady with a big heart working from her London apartment with a great view of the London city-none like her in London, Carlos, the polite but strict Spanish guy who also loves running, through his company working on different successful project and then me, the guy who cycles daily in Nairobi Kenya doing design and enterprise consultancy. But all our work in Joomla was invisible, hidden inside the glowing screens of our laptops. What no one could possibly know is at the click of a button from any of our web browser, we would launch features that would instantly have an impact on millions of people around the world, yet to the person sitting near me, for all they care, I was playing solitaire. Rowan once told me-and I say this with a lot of love, that it took years for her mother to understand what it is she does, as far as she was concerned, her daughter stirred at a computer screen, like somebody who needs help.


The most amazing thing about our digital age is that the person next to you in a Starbucks might just be hacking into a Swiss bank or launching multiwarhead nuclear missiles continents away. Or maybe he’s just on Facebook. You can’t tell the difference unless you’re nosy enough to peek over his shoulder. Hidden behind our ordinary appearance were unusual facts. Although we were in the same team, our sitting together was a rare occurrence. Most of the time worked online. This meeting in Barcelona is the first we have all worked in the same room, but on a daily basis we are working in different countries and continents.


The very idea of working remotely seems strange to most people until they consider how much time at traditional workplace is spent working purely through computers. If 50 percent of your interaction with coworkers is online, perhaps through e-mail and web browsers, you’re not far from what Joomla.org does. The difference is that work at Joomla.org is done primarily, often entirely, online, and probably most important by a team of volunteers. Some people, most people, work together for months without even being on the same continent. Teams can organize to meet during world events, to recharge the intangibles that technology can’t capture, like sharing hii-fives with a bottle of beer. Which explains our trip in Barcelona.


Here is what you don’t expect to do on your first meeting, Budget and Budget cut, for the event team. Most people doubt that online meetings work, but they somehow overlook that most in-person meetings don’t work either. Being online does mean everyone might be distracted, but plenty of meeting today are filled with people with their laptops open, messaging each other about how bored they are.  My theory is if what is being discussed is important, people will pay attention and in our meeting, Budget seemed to be the only topic of discussion and after that, we talked about other things, other personal things.


Later that day we all took seats at the bar, enjoying the conversation and some drinks. Many people know my name, but its only today that they can put a face on the name. When we are working on Glip or on email, you don’t see people’s faces. During our meetings on Hangout, most people don’t show their faces too. It’s difficult to know how they have changed or what color of hat they are wearing. But this kind of meetings allow you to answer some of the most disturbing questions on how your team mates look.


When you tell your neighbor that you have a Job, then spent the rest of the day, week, months, or year indoors, it’s difficult for them to believe you. And that’s just how internet has changed the way we work. For the Joomla Event Team, office was Hotel Alimara, so was home. And when we are in our different continents, we still have our office open on Glip, our tasks remain the tickets we solve-a ticket is when somebody sends a request, like a problem. Our boardroom is Hangout and skype and we live and breathe GitHub. With the hundreds of volunteers involved in Joomla community, the designers, programmers, engineers, translators, the people who sit behind their computers and launch applications that impact millions of users in the world.


The biggest consumers of coffee, this for them is where their work is, their heart is and their commitment is. It’s important to say that for me, Joomla has been a home, a wonderful place to work, network, make friends, interact and create strong bond of friendship. And when I look at people in action, all under the leadership of Sarah Watz, the President of OSM the future has never been brighter.

Get The Jab

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to JandBeyong. If I could offer you only one tip to a better life, JAB would be it, the long term benefits of JAB has been proved by Joomla scientists, whereas the rest of my advice, has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

Robert Deutz the organizer for Jand Beyong, in his forward says “JAB is fun-and Iam not talking about the JOSCARS, JFACTOR or the time at the bar”. He should know better, am sure he does. The theme this year was; A FAMILY GATHERING. For sure you all know what happens in family gatherings. So you all see what am talking about. I will despense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of Joomlers, well never mind……….you will not understand the power and beauty of Joomlers until it has faded, that is if it will fade. But trust me….in twenty years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as lonely as you thought.

Fly, Not like a bird but in an aeroplane. Most JAB event are a flight away, and when I say a flight away I mean, you might be on the train or a bus or something…. but to be honest, I havent met anyone who arrived at JAB in a bicycle, but in a minute or two, the hotel will be full of people. So if you are scared of flying, atleast do one thing that scares you.

Floss, dont waste your time on Jealousy, sometimes you are at JAB, sometimes you are not, so have a good camera, a good phone and if possible a selfie stick and have a good time. Take adverntage of crowds, thats where the action is always at. Take pictures at the lobby with other Joomlers and post them on your social media and forget that you have problems-if you succed doing this, tell me how. And when you fill you have something to tell the world, blog.

Run, Join the Jrunners at the hotel lobby at 7am, you will meet some cool people who love to do what you love to do. You will run to the streets, then decide to run to the hill, to Tibidabo, it will be difficult getting to the top and some will drop out of the race and some will push on and when you finally get there, you will see a beautiful view of the city de Barcelona. You will take salfies and you will have earned your breakfast, but not until you run back to the hotel before 9am.

Learn, Attend all the keynotes, Be(e) Community by Radek Suski, A day in the life of a UX designer by Chiara Aliotta, Would it be easier if we all spoke English by Brian Teeman-am sorry, I have to write this article in English. Be at the breakout rooms, there is always a reason why they are there, just as I said, so that you can learn something. Ask question and angage the audiance and much as you can, if possible, make your contributions.

Network, Look forward to the meals, the healthy break at the lobby, with snanks and drinks and Joomlers to interact with. Sit on a table with people you dont know, or havent talked to, or people you dont like, you never know, you might start liking them. Exchange contact at the table, talk about stuff, Joomla stuff you are doing in your country, and your families too. Laugh, laugh and laugh because you never know when you will meet them again. And when you meet them again somewhere, remember their names and continue talking.

Be Crazy, Dont miss the JOSCARS and JFACTOR, I mean, dont miss those two kids. They have a way of making you realise the talents you have, it maybe shouting, making faces, singing, magic, hitting drums like Cliff or bending metals and nails. If you are crazy enough, show your bad underwear, accomblanied with your bad dancing styles but remember, you will still have tomorrow to face the same crowd. Whatever it is, you will be glad that you tried it and if you win, you will brag for a whole year.

The Bar, Know that its always open at 5pm and everybody will be waiting for that moment. The people you want to meet will be there. You will not need your wallet am sure because Jab always has it sorted. There are soft drinka too, for Joomlars who dont drink, or you can try different cocktails by yourself. You can carry your beer from home too, and brag about how good it tastes. Dont be stationary, get to different table and feel different moods of Joomlers. Some beer makes them relaxed and some, it improves their energy, but for the noise, there is nothing we can do about the noise.

Tour, Get yourself a T10 metro ticket, you will have ten rides on the metro. Tour the Arena De Barcelona, Sadrida Familia, Rambla Street or Cathedral De Barcelona. Pick the maps, read direction even if you do not follow them, ask for a toilet-in Spanish and pray that you said the right words. If you like something, take photos, they will remind you when you are back home. Value every minute, be selfish with time, yea really, its those things you cant recover when they are gone. If its summer, you will enjoy long days and off course very short nights. Remember your way back home and the time the metro will go to sleep, if you miss both, you will destroy a whole days work.

Check-out, But don’t be in a harry to leave the hotel, there is always somebody who feels they should be around for a few more hours, or even days. Trust me, you will not be alone. You will find yourself in a group of Joomlers and you will creat some awosome memories. But if your cab shows-up, just leave, you might miss your flight back home, or whatever your next destination. When you are home, you will have alot to smile about.

Remember one fact, that Joomlers will always attend JAB, it will always be fun, the keynote will be always be great, you will be allowed to be crazy at the JFACTOR and JOSCARS, you will learn, network and interact alot, there will be great meals and the beer, the beer tap will keep running. Maybe some broken bottles, or glasses, but it will be worth the lose. And you will love your family gathering.

Gracias Barcelona

#JWC15 – The African Way

If you are reading this article, you would be pleased to know that am alive. I have just returned from Joomla World Conference 2015. My journey took me through some of the world’s busiest Airports – Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Mumbai (BOM) formerly known as Bombay International.

I applied for the Joomla Event travel immediately it was announced on social media. It was my second time and I didn’t have much confidence that I would be sponsored for the trip, dont get me wrong. In my line of work involving with Content Management Systems, I have met great people who have done a lot in Joomla Communities around them and every time I listen to them talking, I always wish I could do what they have achieved.

So I had a lot of excitement to be in the Joomla World Conference and interact, network and have fun with great minds. This was my first time attending the Joomla world Event and visiting India, one of the greatest and oldest economy of the world, the second most populous nation with over 1.2 billion, seventh-largest country by area and the most populous democracy.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as of October 2015, the Indian economy is worth US$2.182 trillion; it’s the 7th-largest economy by market rate. India’s telecommunication industry, the world’s fastest-growing, added 227 million subscribers during the period 2010-11, and after the first quarter of 2013, India surpassed Japan to become the third largest smartphone market in the world after china and US.

Bangalore also known as Bengaluru, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka was the host for the Joomla World Conference 2015. Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India, because of its role as the country’s leading information technology (IT) exporter. Indian technological organizations ISRO, Infosys and Wipro are headquartered in this city.

It is also home to many research institutions in India such as; India Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) (IIMB), and many others. Bangalore confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems, but with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $83 billion, Bangalore is ranked fourth in India by overall GDP contribution, after only Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

Sheraton Hotel at Brigade Gateway was the official hotel venue for the conference. A five star hotel located near the city Centre and fifteen miles from Bangalore Airport. The hotel is set in an upscale lifestyle enclave beside a hospital, with sky access to the world trade center and Orion Mall, the city’s largest shopping mall. Over 2,300 square metres of event space comprising 19 unique venues, while six restaurants and lounges offer casual or fine dining. 24 hour fitness gym, infinity pool and sumptuous shine Spa offer great combination for business.

The Journey

The Joomla World Events are organized and managed by a team of volunteers sitting in different parts of the world. They have amazing dedication, using IT tools to connect with each other and achieve a common goal. My life was then placed in the hands of this great team. After accepting my award, my name was printed in the Joomla Magazine, and that marked my first step to the World Conference.

The award took care of my travel, stay and event. On my part I needed the passport with an India visa, luckily, my country Kenya has had good relations with India and because of that, I was able to apply for my visa through the e-Visa portal on the embassy website. I arrived in Bangalore’s Airport from Nairobi via Abu Dhabi, at 3am on 5th of November and with my e-Tourist visa, there were no questions asked.

The moment I stepped out of the terminal building I met Daniel Net for the first time. He was arriving from France. Together with my colleagues from Kenya and Uganda, we managed to grab a taxi that took as to the hotel. We got lost on our way and arrived at our Hotel 1hr 30mins later. We were received by Saurabh Shah, a member of the Joomla Event Team. Because of our early arrival, we were able to get some rest and recharge, ready for the 3 days event ahead of us. I went to the gym and covered 5km on the treadmill. I cooled down at the pool and took a walk to the park and the mall, just seconds from the hotel. I was set for the Conference.

The Event

I have attended many events in my career as an entrepreneur, events organized by big corporates from San Francisco’s silicon Valley, like Oracle, Cisco, VM Ware and others, but I have to say that Joomla Events are well organized. Considering the ones I have had an opportunity to attend or follow through social media. The #JWC15 was not an exception; the Joomla team worked round the clock connecting delegates through different flights to the event, making sure that everything was set for the day. The lobby on second floor hosted sponsors stands, with information materials, technical advice, gifts and giveaways.

The venue was ready. The pre-event started at District 6, a restaurant at the ground floor of the Hotel, being a Thursday, they had a Karaoke night, drinks and food sponsored by Joomla!, Excitement was in the air. Soren surprised the crowd with his singing skills, performing the song Hallelujah originally done by Alexandra Burke, which he renamed Halle-Joomla and it threw the crowd into jubilation. I haven’t sung to two people before let alone a crowd, but with the energy in the house, I found myself on stage doing Chasing cars by snow patrol and Califonication by the red hot chili peppers.

I retired before mid-night. The first day of the JWC15 started with a keynote speech from Open Source Matters President Sarah Watz, who took the delegates through the journey with Joomla and open source matters, the great challenges they have overcome and achievements that have led to Joomla celebrating 10 years. She also urged the Joomla’s delegates to see great opportunities to grow the Joomla community. We then headed to the breakout sessions. I attended Joe’s session of ‘terms of your slavery’.

Coming from Africa, our labour output per payment is always measured in 8 hours service. For many Africans they either don’t know their terms of slavery or they don’t know how to negotiate for the same. I met many Joomla’s, who are willing to hire expertise from different countries were interested to know income per hour basis, and this topic gave Joomla’s insight on how to choose your client wisely, avoiding clients from hell who want to devalue skills to a commodity and bully the worker. Increasing contribution of students with Joomla was also an exciting session for me.

Over three years, I have worked with students in different universities in Kenya, encouraging them to get involved in the Joomla community activities. Ruth came in that afternoon laying down some of the promises developers break, tools they can use to make sure that they don’t break them and the importance of not breaking them. The last keynote involved interactions with LEGO which was a combination of learning, interacting, knowing yourself and having fun. Thanks to LEGO Serious Play’s Marko Rillo. The evening ended with dinner and networking over drinks. Then Bug Squashing till late at night.

Day two started with a keynote address from Tessa Mero taking the Joomla’s through the state of Joomla Projects. Later I attended Pete’s workshop with guide to practical guide to building accessible websites. He started by taking into mind the challenges the Joomla’s were facing and trying to solve them through his workshop. The Joomla Founders Panel gave Joomla’s an opportunity to know Joomla’s founders, as well as past and current leadership as they shared about what has made Joomla! Great for the past decade. At the end of the day, we celebrated 10 years of Joomla over dinner. Networking went on into the early hours of morning.

Building and maintaining a healthy community by Priyanka Nag started us off on the third and last day. This session and that of Biraj on FUEL with Mozilla had tons of practical lessons that can really help and improve a community and the way it works. Knowing the difference between technology as a tool and people having the obligation to use it to innovate projects. Hagen gave some important insights on how to earn money with Joomla, while Carlos highlighted The Pros and Cons of social login, the benefits of using social logins, (considering that social media has tons of information that can help a client know their customers and their needs) that should be explored when building your website. Kenneth closing keynote on the history of Joomla! With the announcement of the venue of the #JWC16 and as usual there were winners. This was my first time attending a Joomla World event and it was such a great experience.

I had a great time meeting with the world J community, networking with them and creating contact. If you have never attended one of these events consider doing so. It is something you should put on your bucket list. See you in Vancouver, Canada for the #JWC16.