Tag: DevCon

Alfresco Software resurrects DevCon

Encouraged by the success of the independently-organized, developer-focused BeeCon conference, and seeking to continue its renewed focus on developers, Alfresco has decided to resurrect its own annual developer-focused event. This week Alfresco announced that DevCon will be held January 16 – 18 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Alfresco had previously given up on big, annual events, deciding instead to focus on smaller, one day events in local markets around the globe. These were primarily sales and marketing events focused on lead generation and did not include an open call for papers.

When the annual events were discontinued, the community stepped in. The Order of the Bee, a global community of Alfresco enthusiasts independent of Alfresco Software, Inc., held two successful conferences in 2016 and 2017. These were low-budget, non-profit affairs with a very high signal-to-noise ratio.

Despite being organized independently by the community, the Order of the Bee events were still heavily supported by Alfresco. The company paid for high-level sponsorships and sent many engineers, John Newton, and other staff to give talks at both Order of the Bee conferences.

The company’s interest in annual events isn’t the only thing to have come back around lately. In the early days, the company was very focused on developers. The repository was pitched as a key foundational technology to content-centric applications. Over time that focus blurred as the company tried to move up-market towards “solutions” and the marketing focus turned to business buyers. But the pendulum has swung back again, centered mainly around the Alfresco Development Framework, a set of components meant to make it easier for developers to build content and process centric applications. So it is no surprise that Alfresco would be interested in being the primary driver behind an annual developer-centric event.

The resurrection of DevCon by Alfresco should be good for the community as long as the event is able to hold on to its community and developer focus. They have invited The Order of the Bee to help with conference planning, so that will help. And, the community and developer outreach functions within Alfresco are now held by many former community members so that also increases its chance of success, at least from a community perspective.

The Alfresco community has always been strongest in Europe. For now, Lisbon is the only date announced. If it is successful, it’s possible we could see a North American date later in 2018, or perhaps they will alternate continents every other year.

The Call for Papers is open now. But if you want to speak, you’d better hurry. The deadline for submissions is Monday, October 23, 2017.

Join me in Spain for BeeCon, the community-organized Alfresco conference

Registration for BeeCon 2017 is now open. What is BeeCon? It’s a conference focused on Alfresco organized by The Order of the Bee, a grassroots community of Alfresco enthusiasts.

This year the conference is April 25 – 28. We’ll be in Zaragoza, Spain, a beautiful city about 1.5 hours by train from Madrid.

If you’ve ever been to Alfresco DevCon, the conference is a lot like that. The focus is on providing high-quality content free of sales pitches.

Despite being run by volunteers with costs kept to a minimum (it essentially runs as a non-profit), last year’s conference was well-attended and felt very professional and well-planned. I have no doubt that the hard work of the conference committee and the support of our sponsors will result in another proud moment for The Order of the Bee and, more importantly, a productive use of your time.

This year the format changed slightly. We moved the hack-a-thon to the beginning of the conference so it would not conflict with sessions. That night we’ll have a welcome party. Sessions start the next morning. The conference features two and-a-half days of traditional sessions, which are mostly technical, as well as lightning talks, which are always entertaining and informative. The schedule is on the conference site.

BeeCon is planned, organized, and executed entirely by volunteers. Alfresco Software, Inc. and other vendors pay to sponsor the event, but the program is driven by a committee of Order of the Bee members. Speaker selection is based on the merit of the proposal. Do you have an Alfresco story to share? Become a speaker!

For me, BeeCon is a time to lift my head up from my projects and spend time learning what others are doing in this space. It also gives me a chance to physically hang out, chat, and laugh with people I collaborate with online nearly every day. This year, I hope you’ll decide to join us in person. I am looking forward to seeing you in Zaragoza!

DevCon Hack-a-Thon & Activiti Day

Just a quick note about recent DevCon goings-on in case you’ve missed this via other channels…

Early-Bird Registration Ends 10 September!

Just a friendly reminder: You can save some money if you sign up before 10 September, so do not wait to sign-up.

DevCon 2012 Promo Video

Includes a few quotes from the Alfresco community’s colorful cast of characters.

DevCon 2012 Hack-a-Thon

We’re going to be doing a Hack-a-Thon the day before the main conference starts in both Berlin and San Jose. This will run concurrently with the optional Fundamentals and Advanced Training classes. So if you are an Alfresco old-timer who doesn’t need Fundamentals or Advanced training, show up a day early and join us in the hack-a-thon. We’re still deciding which projects we’re going to work on that day. More info will be posted on the DevCon Hack-a-Thon page as it develops.

Activiti Day Berlin

If you are attending DevCon Berlin and you have any interest in Activiti, you should plan on staying an extra day and joining us for an Activiti Community reception the night of 7 November and then an all day Activiti Community event on 8 November. See the DevCon blog for more details.

DevCon Lightning Talks Debut

We’re planning on having two lightning talk sessions, one on each day of the main conference, at both DevCon events this year. We are planning on using the Ignite format, but if that is holding a significant number of people back, we may decide to relax that requirement. If you want to give a 5-minute talk at DevCon, sign up now.

Alfresco News Recap: DevCon, Survey, Dashlets, & a Forums Milestone

The news in the Alfresco world is happening faster than my sluggish blogging pace can keep up with, so I am forced to write a “recap” style post to keep you informed. It won’t win a Peabody, but at least you’ll be in the know…

Alfresco DevCon Registration Goes Live

Alfresco DevCon registration has been live for a little over a week. This year, we have a cool site just for DevCon that includes the full agenda, travel info, speaker bios, and a sponsor listing. Early-bird registration ends September 10 for both Berlin and San Jose. We’re on a pretty good pace right now with registrations so I would not wait around to secure your spot.

Alfresco Community Survey

The survey ended a couple of months ago. Honestly, we had a disappointing response rate compared to last year. Still, there was some good feedback provided. I’m responding to many of you to get you to elaborate further on your suggestions or to respond to specific questions. I’m about halfway through my follow-up list. Last year, I published the survey results and I’ll do that again this year before too long.

Alfresco Dashlet Challenge

The Alfresco Dashlet Challenge has just kicked off. This is a developer-focused contest in which people try to see who can create the coolest Add-Ons for Alfresco Share. You could win one of three Android tablets and a free DevCon pass if you can edge out the stiff competition. My blog post on socialcontent.com talks about some of last year’s submissions and includes a link to the full terms and conditions. My fellow American citizens were a big no-show in last year’s Dashlet Challenge, so I’m hoping to see that corrected this year!

Mark Rogers Makes His 4,000th Post

If you’ve spent any time in the Alfresco Forums, odds are you’ve come across Mark. He’s been a dedicated soul, working tirelessly to answer questions on just about every topic imaginable, since 2008. He’s routinely in the top 1 or 2 users in terms of volume in any given month. What’s great about Mark, though, is not just that he’s prolific–he’s also helpful. The guy has racked up 287 points, which is second only to Mike Hatfield. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Mark’s. Well, last month, Mark made his 4000th post in the Alfresco Forums. 4000 posts! Just to give you some perspective, that’s about 1.5 times higher than the person with the 3rd highest number of posts (Kevin Roast). Of course everyone who spends significant amount of time in the forums on their own time deserves kudos, but when you see Mark at DevCon (or run into him in the forums) please congratulate him on this milestone.

While I’m on the topic of forums, we did pretty good on cutting down on unanswered posts in February, March, and April. Those months had some of the lowest number of unanswered topics as a percentage of topics created. But now we’re creeping back up to our old numbers. If you get a chance, maybe you could spend an extra 30 minutes in the forums this week. If everyone did an extra post a week (which is about 1/30th of Mark’s pace!) it would really help out.

Alfresco Community Pledges & other things that worked well at DevCon

I had so much fun putting on Alfresco DevCon last week in San Diego. You can read my short wrap-up on the Alfresco DevCon Blog. Claudia Saleh also provides Day 1 Re-Cap and Day 2 Re-Cap posts as well. And Claudia took a lot of great pics at the event and put them on Flickr. After London we’ll get all of the presentations from both events on SlideShare for everyone to enjoy.

We tried a lot of new things at DevCon last week. I thought I’d re-cap what worked well here:

Purposeful lunches. DevCon was two days. On Day 1, we assigned a technical topic to each lunch table and then made sure an Engineer was at each table to cover that topic. Attendees sorted themselves to the table they were interested in discussing over lunch. Some tables really worked their topic over thoroughly during lunch. Others used it as an icebreaker and then moved on to other stuff. On Day 2 we divided the tables up by geography and industry vertical. Most people I talked to liked the concept.

Engineering Office Hours. The concept is a repeat from our first DevCon, but this year we had a bulletin board with each Engineer, their bio, their picture, and a sign-up sheet. Attendees grabbed a slot, then met with their Engineer. This worked out really well. For London we’ll pre-print the time slots rather than have them be freeform.

Panel Discussion. Last year at DevCon in New York, the panel discussion was a little ad hoc. This year we put the panel discussion on the morning of the second day as a general session and that seemed to work. For London, we’re moving the panel discussion to the end of the second day so any questions that the day 2 sessions raise can be asked at that time. It should also give us a nice opportunity to recap the conference.

Alfresco Community Pledges. DevCon serves a lot of purposes. One is to energize and motivate people to get involved with the Alfresco community. I had some extra Alfresco “attitude” t-shirts so I decided to give them to people who would pledge to make some contribution to the community in the coming weeks and months. Here are some that we got via twitter.

@dev_kraig Kraig Van Houten
@Alfresco I #pledge to write one #alfresco related blog post per month

@SunilRehman Sunil Rehman
@Alfresco I #pledge to report 5 new #Alfresco 4.0 b bugs before thanksgiving

@WillWhite18 Will White
I #pledge to report at least 5 bugs in #Alfresco 4.0b before thanksgiving.

@Michaelcford Michael C Ford
@Alfresco I #pledge to answer 6 unanswered #Alfresco forum post in the next 3 weeks

@emmichie Eric Michie
I #pledge to host an #Alfresco meetup in my area twice this quarter. Salt Lake City Utah

@tenthline_ecm Tenthline
@tenthline_ecm will #pledge to host #Alfresco meetup in #Toronto twice this quarter.

@aaronaheath Aaron Heath
I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month for the next 12 months. I will also become more active on the #Alfresco forum.

@perejnar Per Ejnar Thomsen
I #pledge to report 5 new (legitimate) #Alfresco 4.0b bugs before Thanksgiving

@dstaflund Darryl Stafflund
I #pledge to answer 6 unanswered #Alfresco forum posts in the next three Weeks.

@iancrew Ian Crew
I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month.

@trisofer Chris Paul
@jeffpotts01 I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month.

It was great to see these and to talk to people between sessions who said the conference was the kick in the pants they needed to get going again with their contributions.

Thanks to everyone who attended, sponsored, or spoke at DevCon San Diego. It exceeded my expectations and hopefully yours as well. I’ll report back here after London and we’ll see if these ideas were just as successful for that event.

Alfresco DevCon 2011 session list has been posted

I’ve finally finalized the list of sessions for Alfresco DevCon Americas in San Diego and Alfresco DevCon EMEA in London. Have a gander. I’m sure I’ll be running around like a wild man those two days, but if I get to see some sessions, I think I’m going to be hard-pressed to choose which ones to go to.

My next step is to put those sessions in date-time and room slots. To fix the schedule, basically. It’s an interesting Sudoku-like exercise. You don’t want to have overlapping tracks for a given time slot, you can’t have overlapping speakers for a given time slot, there’s a bit of a logical progression between some sessions, and you want to try to avoid scheduling extremely hot sessions for the same time slot.

The last one is the really tough one. I can pick my favorites but those won’t necessarily reflect the group’s favorites. If all of my rooms were the same size it wouldn’t matter, but they aren’t. In each city we’ve got one big breakout room and two smaller ones.

To get some handle on how well attended some of these might be I’ve created a very short survey. The survey is basically, “Which city are you attending” and “Pick your favorite sessions from this long list”. If you are planning on attending and you have a few minutes, I’d really appreciate it if you’d review the list of sessions for your DevCon city, then take the survey.

Even with this survey the schedule won’t be perfect. Apologies ahead of time if you have to make a tough choice.

Alfresco DevCon coming to San Diego and London this Fall

We’ve finally got everything settled around the cities, venues, and dates for our annual Alfresco DevCon. This year we will be in San Diego at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter October 26th & 27th and in London at Prospero House in Central London November 9th & 10th.

In both cities, the two conference days will be preceded by a Training Day. So, if you want to take the Jump Start or Advanced training courses and attend the full conference, you’ll need to block out three days. If you are skipping Training Day, you’ll need to block out two days.

My official announcement is on the DevCon blog, here. You should get in the habit of following that blog for all DevCon related news. I’ll try to point you to additional posts on that blog as they happen, but that feels kind of redundant.

We’ll get registration turned on soon. And we’ll be sharing additional info around hotel and travel, so watch that blog.

Alfresco DevCon 2010 presentations now available

I’ve uploaded most of the presentations from Alfresco DevCon 2010 to SlideShare. The easiest way to get to them is to use the DevCon 2010 tag.

You may be thinking, “Damn, the conference was seven months ago, why do I care?” and to that I have two responses. First, sorry. We’ll do better this year. Second, the collection includes some really helpful resources on a variety of topics. I think every one of them could help someone out there on projects today.

Here are some of my favorites:

Okay, that’s half of the sessions, but it is hard to narrow them down. Anyway, take a look and favorite the ones you really like. Also, if you are planning on attending DevCon this year, feel free to give me feedback like, “More sessions like this would be great,” or “Maybe not so much of this one this year”. That will help me plan the conference tracks and content.