March 10, 2013
It was the first TYPO3camp this year and the first TYPO3camp in the Netherlands, ever, taking place this weekend in Venlo. Close to the German and Belgian border it brought a lot of attendants from both countries. Besides that the Romanian presence really gave the event, with 86 attendants, an international feel.
55% of the attendants never attended a TYPO3camp before and an estimated 20% never visited a TYPO3 event before. The location for this TYPO3camp was the University of Applied Sciences in Venlo. There was a nice cross-section of the TYPO3 community with representatives from the TYPO3 Association and TYPO3 teams. As a community manager I am especially proud of this event in the Netherlands and the organisation is confident that this event will spark of more activity in the Dutch community.
TYPO3camp crowd (Pic by Rudy Gnodde)
As is common for an unconference style event the attendants plan the schedule themselves in the morning session planning. The schedule was nicely filled and on the second day the session the program was established even faster, because the attendants got used to the concept.
The first day ended with a presentation by me for the whole crowd called: “Growing The Community”. I discussed the current state of the community, how we communicate throught the internets in general, what we can learn from other projects and where we are heading with the TYPO3 community.
We have progressed a lot in the community with having solid running teams, our communication channels, but on the other hand the constant growth of the community which brings in more stakeholders makes it difficult to keep the transparent communication going. There is still a lot to be desired and there will always be room for improvement. The fact that we have so many communication channels does not necessarily mean that we have better communication. As a matter of fact our communication tools are more open to interpretation than ever as I showed in the presentation. Meeting in person (face-time) like on this TYPO3camp is still the most important tool to move development.
One of the things we can learn from other communities is getting metrics from the tools we use to show the current state of the community. Especially the community metrics page from Puppet Labs is a good example. The future of the TYPO3 community will need to see more localised and smaller intiatives taking one thing at a time and being able to celebrate small achievement.
I got two valuable suggestions during my presentation. People want to contribute, but find it difficult to locate the contribution process on typo3.org. A tweet bij Donny Berkholz just this morning also made me realise that even though we have a contributor page we do not show what the value proposition of contributing is. There is still room for improvement in that space, especially when realising what a huge potential of contributors we have. Some extra promotion like a big banner in the stage area would be an option in order to get some more focus on improving TYPO3.
The second suggestion was by one of the participants that mentioned feeling lonely after registering at typo3.org. After registering there is no welcome message and there is no message whatsoever after inactivity for some time, which is quite usual when being part of a community. One of the things that could be very useful is being able to recommend user-groups meetings, code-sprints and /or TYPO3camps based on your location. This would require some changes in the registration and administration process for typo3.org.
Professor Mattes (Pic by Rudy Gnodde)
These suggestions will definitely be a topic during the coming typo3.org sprint end of March in Wiesbaden.
As a special guest we had Frank Peeters of the University of Applied Science Eindhoven, who presented “Synchronization between changing requirements and changing design”. Frank demonstrated the Symbiosis tool and showed how this challenge can be realized.
There was a great constructive feeling at the TYPO3camp Venlo and outside of the sessions there were quite some meetings and discussions going on about current developments within the TYPO3 family. Meeting face to face is important to touch base on what is going on and to ensure progress.
Check out http://typo3.org/events/ for a TYPO3camp or other TYPO3 event near you.