Ontmoet TYPO3

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Thanks to Wolfgang from jweiland.net for sharing. Also, thanks to Patrick Broens for the picture.

Today, I’d like to write about a topic that’s really important for those who want to work with TYPO3 - the TYPO3 Community. TYPO3 is open source software (OSS) which means that the program’s source code is available, and can be used and modified by anyone. It also means that anyone can contribute towards TYPO3.
Open source is built on the backs of willing volunteers and from the beginning, TYPO3 established a worldwide community. Developers and users come together at both official and unofficial community events to exchange ideas and information, to socialize and to further improve their TYPO3 skills.

TYPO3 Community’s motto is “Inspiring people to share” and this attitude manifests in different ways. For instance, when collaborating, there’s no rivalry. One might expect that e.g. agencies wouldn’t necessarily want to help each other out, or that members might withhold expert knowledge so that others don’t profit from it.
But that’s not the case in TYPO3’s Community. Of course not all company secrets are disclosed, but extensive know-how and knowledge about TYPO3 is shared at these events. For example, if one can’t carry out a job, for whatever the reason, a different agency or freelancer gets recommended. And like so often in life, it’s a case of give and take.

Why should you visit TYPO3 events?

The answer is pretty simple: to get know our community, to gain know-how, and – if you feel inclined to do so – to share yours.
Maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of “I’m a TYPO3 beginner, there’s nothing I can contribute.” There’s no need to worry about that. At every event I’ve been to in the past few years, the participants included quite a few beginners. Even if you’re not able to contribute code or extensions at this point in time, you can certainly contribute the experience you’ve gained so far.
Plus, the viewpoints and experience of “newbies” is incredibly valuable, especially for “old hands” who have been working with TYPO3 for many years. Their input is a great way of preventing tunnel vision and of avoiding overlooking faults with the system or an extension.

It’s this communication – between experienced professionals and enthusiastic beginners – that makes these TYPO3 events such an incredibly valuable experience to me.

What type of TYPO3 events are there?

First off, there’s the so-called BarCamps a.k.a. TYPO3camps. Anyone can attend BarCamps and these events focus on TYPO3. If you want to find out more about BarCamps in general, check out this (German!) YouTube clip.
BarCamps usually take place at the weekend from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. Here, you can listen to talks and participate in workshops. And if you feel inclined to do so, you can both suggest or give a speech, and suggest or lead a workshop. BarCamps give you the opportunity of participating according to your needs and knowledge.
It’s also a great opportunity to get to know the community. You can have a chat with core team members and extension developers, and ask questions you may have. And don’t worry, they don’t bite and are always open for discussions. ;-) And having fun is part of the game at BarCamps, as the events also feature an evening program. Tickets usually cost somewhere between 50-70 Euros.

There’s nowhere else you’ll get such top-notch professional training at such a low price!

Other official TYPO3 events include the TYPO3 Conference (T3CON), the Developer Days (DevDays), the Agency Meetup Days (AMD) and the TYPO3 Snowboard Tour (T3BOARD). Of course these events are more expensive, but they’re also a really good opportunity for extending your knowledge, gaining additional skills, and socializing.
And last, but not least, there are ever so many TYPO3 User Groups (TUG), which are run by volunteers and financed by sponsors. Participation is free of charge. TYPO3 enthusiasts meet up once a month (or so), to talk shop, exchange news, show new, cool projects, and lots more.
I’ve been an active member of the TYPO3 User Group Bodensee for a few years and always look forward to this monthly meeting. And even when not so many of the crowd turn up (like in August where it was just 3 of us, due to vacations), it’s always good fun networking and sharing thoughts and knowledge with like-minded people.

Where can you find information about TYPO3 events?

Specific information about all of the TYPO3 events can be found on typo3.org:

If you use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, check out TYPO3, TYPO3 Usergroup, etc. Here you’ll find the latest news and Twitter feeds.

Which TYPO3 events are coming up?

Quite a few TYPO3 events will still be taking place this year. The following is a brief list (that isn’t exhaustive ;-) ):

I’ll be participating in the TYPO3camp RheinRuhr in Essen and will also be running a workshop beforehand on Friday, November 3rd (A TYPO3 integrator crash course! Check out this link for more information). Unfortunately, I won’t have time to attend more events than that this year. Although the event in Munich is very tempting to me indeed!

Before leaving...

My advice is to just go for it and take part in one of the many TYPO3 events. You’ll benefit enormously from it. And if you’re employed, maybe you can convince your boss of financing the BarCamp for you. You’ll never get such high-quality training at such a good price!
I look forward to meeting you at one of the BarCamps or at the TYPO3 User Group Bodensee. And do come around and say “hi” to me there. Thanks for reading!

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