And as 160 other Magento developers from Germany, Europe and even the United States we followed that invitation.
As I have never before been on a Mage Unconference and only once before been to a Magento event I wasn't completely sure what to expect.
So I was quite overwhelmed when I arrived at the pre-event party to find a huge crowd of people that was absolutely welcoming and made it easy to get into contact with a lot of different and interesting people. We chatted a lot about a lot of different topics and as most of them were developers sometimes we even touched the topic of coding.
And then – after a far too short night – I found myself lining up at the registration desk to receive my badge, T-Shirt, and all the other necessary stuff. I wasn't the only one that had a long night and it was again easy to get into contact with a lot of different people over a coffee from the excellent coffee-bar. And then Fabian started the 5th Mage Unconference on behalf of the organization team with a recap of the last five years. It was amazing to see how the event evolved over that short period of time.
And then we were invited to propose sessions and to shortly introduce them to the audience. As an unconference lives from the participation of everyone there were a lot of interesting and diverse ideas proposed and put up for voting. And then we had a few minutes to decide which of these sessions we would like to hear and to mark them with our "Klebchen". And then the 16 sessions that had the most votes were put up as schedule.
And then suddenly everyone was gone to one of the four rooms where the sessions were held. And some of us were using the main room for a not announced discussion and so started the "hallway track".
In general, the different sessions where not all Magento-centric. So even someone who has not yet had its fingers into Magento would find interesting things to listen to and to follow. And a lot of the discussions we had in the hallway track where very interesting and circling around topics that are relevant to all developers, no matter whether their favorite System is Magento, Symfony or WordPress (to name some).
And then suddenly all 4 slots were over and it was time to head to the party (again). In a small bar, we enjoyed the evening with new and old friends, catching up on the discussions we had during the day or just getting to know each other. It was an amazing evening for me feeling welcome and actually part of a community.
And then the next day dawned and the first thing that was of importance was getting one of those great coffees from the coffee-bar. And then the next planning session started with all those sessions leftover from the day before as well as some new sessions that sprouted from discussions during the party. Again 4 slots with 4 sessions each. And this time there were even more non-Magento specific topics and again a lot of discussions during the hallway track.
And then suddenly the whole event was over. Far too soon. Which meant saying goodbye to a lot of old and new friends.
Would I want to visit the event again? Definitely! Would I recommend it to other Magento developers? Also definitely! And what about non Magento developers? Sure! Why not? Getting to know new people, new views, fresh ideas from a different point of view is always a good idea!
I'm definitely looking forward to the next MageUnconf next year!