J and Beyond is about so many different things. It is the annual gathering of the Joomla developer community. It is the time where friends gather each year. It is the place where we share our knowledge for the benefit of Joomla and not just ourselves.
But it is much more than that. It is also about tradition. 2015 will be the sixth year that we have held J & Beyond and each year we have tried hard hard to both honour those traditions and introduce new ones.
- The J.O.S.C.A.R awards - started as a joke but now seen by many as a valuable recognition of their work over the previous year. Now in its 6th year.
- The Joomla Performance Run - shamelessly stolen from JoomlaDagen the idea of a starting the day with communal exercise (optional of course) is something unique to Joomla events. Now in its 5th year.
- Supporting Charities. In 2013 Brian did a sponsored swim to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2014 we sold old J & Beyond t-shirts at silly prices to raise money for research into children's cancer and in 2015 we are doing something different with apopo.org - our invited non-profit organisation. (More details on this to come). Now in its 3rd year.
- Make it Happen - we have always had bug squashing sessions at J & Beyond but for 2014 we took it a stage further and made "contributing" the main focus of the event. Instead of pushing it late into the evening, for developers only and competing with beer-time the "Make it Happen" session was a time when everyone could contribute to the future of Joomla. Not with discussions but with real work. Now in its 2nd year.
- J-Factor (Joomla's got Talent). Another innovation introduced in 2014 was the J-Factor. An opportunity for anyone to showcase their skills (or lack of) in something other than Joomla. It's back again (entries still open) and with a celebrity guest, familiar to anyone who has watched the show in the UK, as the host. Now in its 2nd year.
In 2015 we are introducing a new social event. The Big Joomla Geek Quiz. On the Saturday night we will gather together for the ultimate test of your geek and joomla knowledge. We're deliberately keeping details of this limited as we don't want to spoil the fun. What we will say is that we hope will become a long lasting tradition as well.