As we approach the end of 2013, we also approach the end of the annual Liferay Conferences (the final two events are coming up: Liferay Portal Solutions Forum in London, and the Liferay Italy Symposium in Florence). I was privileged to be able to attend many of these, and while I always love seeing our community and the magic that can happen in person, I was especially excited to attend our first ever 3-day Developer Conference and UnConference in Berlin. This event was tailored to our developer community and featured not only some awesome talks from our community leaders, but an UnConference as well. Check out the video recap if you want to see some of the attendees and what they had to say, or read on for more detail.
If you've never attended or heard of an UnConference before, here's the short version: A conference where the attendees decide the agenda and topics to discuss. Olaf did an amazing job as organizer and event chief, and made it an event worth remembering (Literally -- you'll find summaries below). The first session was an agenda building session, and I was curious what would happen.. I attended an UnConference earlier this year with a bunch of community managers, and the moment the floor opened up for requests, 50 people stood up with pen in hand and a twinkle in their eye, so I was wondering what our community would do when faced with publicly speaking and stating their desires for topics. And I was happy to see there were almost 40 proposed topics ranging from Translation improvements to Clustering Architecture to Disc Golf!
While it's always fun to sit around and talk about Liferay, many of the sessions resulted in discovering new ways of doing things, improvements that can be made, connections between community members who only knew of each other from the forums, and many other benefits of a face-to-face conversation. I was only able to attend one talk per timeslot, so I don't have details on each and every one, but kudos to all of the note-takers for each session! It is a tough job trying to participate and write, so if you happen to benefit from any of this, be sure to thank the note takers.
Below are all of the sessions held during the UnConference. If the note-takers took notes, you'll find them linked either to an image of the physical piece of paper used for the notes, or a link to an online/digital version.
If you took notes and do not find your notes below, OR if you took notes via a laptop/mobile, please post them to the wiki, let me know, and I'll link to them here. Time permitting, I'll also try and link these to the agenda itself if it is to remain online (will need to check with the web team on that). If some of these are illegible, I believe Olaf has the high-res versions somewhere on his mobile!
- Disabling and getting rid of Liferay Core Features
- Application Performance Monitoring Tools
- Liferay as a Mobile Delivery Platform
- OpenSocial: Liferay as an OpenSocial Container
- Liferay Cloud Services
- Integration: Document Repositories
- Migrating Content to Liferay
- User Provisioning with SSO
- The Last 20%: How to make features more useful (Part Deux)
- Caching Levels
- Encouraging Liferay Open Source Contributions
- How to Upgrade the version of your portal after AlloyUI 2.0 integration
- User Experience and Usability of Social Portlets
- Patched Community Edition and How to Contribute and Maintain it
- Liferay Security: XSS Prevention
- LDAP: Get user data into LDAP
- Real Convention-over-configuration framework for Liferay
- Sharing Resources (services) among separately deployed portlets (plugins)
- Authentication Strategies between custom services and Liferay as a Provider
- Lucene Search Alternatives?
- Upgrade Best Practices
- Versioning & Compatibility / Versioning Plugins / Visibility Through Control Panel
- Stimulate Local User Groups: Benefits in local user groups
- Liferay Clustering Architecture (especially Media Library & Lucene Index)
- Illegal Code and Controlled Substance (Part Deux)
- 6.2 First Impressions and Faced Issues
- Best Practices Installing Liferay on a Linux Environment
- Liferay as a WCMS - What's cool/missing/what have you improved
- AngularJS Portlets
- How to maintain plugins installed through Marketplace
- MAVEN!!!!!!!! (Building Plugins with...)
- How to build Social Office
- Gamification: Hype or Awesome?
- Improving Translation Process (Part Deux)
- What's the Best / Worst thing about Liferay
- New Architecture Principles of app and how we can use Liferay in it
- Disc Golf at Potsdam
- EXT Deployment - A Chicken vs. Egg Deployment
The Developer Conference
The final 2 days were dedicated to a traditional pre-set agenda featuring many of our community leaders talking about their experiences with and knowledge of Liferay and related technologies. It was quite far removed from your typical lead-generating business / technical conference. We had the Julio and Sergio cooking show, Marian and Sampsa broke (and fixed) Liferay, late night Table Football, and I even snuck in some naked Finns into my community talk! For that I'd be quietly shown the door at many other conferences :)
I also saw an unexpected yet very real and very welcome benefit: our community literally sitting down with Liferay engineering and support experts, debugging issues in real-time on production sites, and getting immediate resolution to something that would have taken a lot longer online. That alone paid for their trip to Berlin, and really shows the power of our community: people with shared experiences (and sometimes shared suffering) getting together to make something better than before. This happened again in San Francisco two weeks ago! Very cool.
All in all it was a great event for me, and hopefully for everyone who attended. I know I sound like a broken record, but I think our community has the absolute best mix of positive outlook (even in the face of Liferay's ... quirks), a good grasp of reality, technical skills, and camaraderie that I don't see anywhere else. I hope we can repeat this kind of event in the near future, in Germany or elsewhere, and make it even more awesome!
I'm saving this for my next blog post (separation of concern, modularity, eh Ray?), but I also want thank all of our community that contributed over the last year. We've had a lot of nice contributions in many areas (and more in the pipeline), and it's nice to be recognized for this, so we recognized 5 individuals and 9 partners (worldwide) for their Community Excellence. I'll detail their achievements and what they give back to our community in my next post!
All in all, I was honored and privileged to attend and meet many of you. We are all stuck behind IDEs, monitors and keyboards, mobiles, endless internal meetings, Impress/Keynote/PowerPoint presentations, and other distractions, so I would like to thank all of you that took the time out of your busy schedules to pay for, travel to, and participate in these Liferay events.
Presentation slides for most if not all of the sessions will be available soon, so keep an eye out. I met a lot of new and old community members (I also realize I screw up new names, especially after a few sponsor-paid beers, and I deeply apologize for that), and I hope to see you at a future event, Liferay or otherwise, or online. Cheers!
PS: Happy Halloween! If you've ever heard of the Konami Code, give it a go on liferay.com.