“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” ― Ibn Battuta, The Travels of Ibn Battutah.
This blog post describes my visit as President of the TYPO3 Association to the first Barcamp-style event in France. If you want to find out what a Barcamp exactly is, then read this Wikipedia Page.
It's Friday morning, around five thirty when I leave the house to go to Frankfurt airport. The sky is blue and the sun is about to rise. The taxi driver is a nice bloke. I walk to the gate to get on onboard the airplane that will fly me to Munich, where I will take the second one to Nantes.
As many might know I feel much sympathy for France, as my parents have a French connection. My father is half French and my mother is Swiss from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
I have been also visiting some TYPO3 related events in France in the last years, so it was a pleasure to see a first TYPO3 Camp happening on the 23rd to 25th of June.
The TYPO3 Camp is organized by the French-Committee in the TYPO3 Association and mostly by the nice folks from the Agency WSEILS: Rachel Foucard and Alain Le Tainter.
Nantes is a city in the western part of France, nearby the Atlantic Ocean and known for its River "La Loire" and it's nice Quartiers.
After arriving at the airport in Nantes and taking the shuttle bus to the center of the city I decided to search for a place to get some coffee and food. Nearby the location of the camp is the "Café de Plantes" where I sit down and observe the vibrant activities around.
I end up eating a Croque Monsieur and later I am joined by Mathias and his wife. Some minutes later Rachel and Alain are also with us. What a great coincidence.
Alain is so kind to drop me off at my hotel. Later I walk back to the Boulevard de Stalingrad where the Dojo, a nice coworking space, where the TYPO3 Camp Nantes will take place.
It's five o clock when the participants are slowing coming into the camp Location. A crowd of around 30 TYPO3 community members is welcomed by the host team around Rachel, Alain, and Jonathan. Extensive explanations are given to the attendees of the TYPO3 Camp how the next days are thought to happen.
The core of each TYPO3 Camp is Session planning. All participants gather around a board and collect ideas for possible sessions. The main difference between a Barcamp and a Conference style event is that participants can request session depending on their interests. This was widely used in Nantes.
Once Session planning was over participants formed groups in order to go on a treasure hunt. Four riddles had to be solved to find a final location. Those riddles were presented to the groups at different stations, that were great locations located near sights of Nantes. My group did not end winning this, but we had a great time getting to know each other and caught some excellent photos while walking around.
Food is always great in France and we ended the evening at "La Cantine du Voyage". This restaurant was excellent for our group of thirty people. We enjoyed a small menu with salad, chicken, and dessert. After this meal that was accompanied withs some nice wine, I sank into my bed.
On Saturday morning the BarCamp gathered to listen and discuss the different topics from the session planning. The first three sessions held took place in the living room style chamber of the Dojo Nantes:
- Mathias Schreiber: The Future of TYPO3
- Olivier Dobberkau: Cloud Meteorology - TYPO3 and Platform.sh
- Rachel Foucard & Jonathan Iroulin: The French TYPO3 Community, its Committee, Work, Activities, and Website
After this three sessions, we took a break around a vegetarian light lunch. Although I have not a vegetarian lifestyle, I found the choice in the lunch box quite enjoyable with my favorite being the hummus and the rolls offered.
In the afternoon the Barcamp crowd were able to choose from two tracks offered with another 4 sessions:
- Philippe: TYPO3 Environment Sync
- Alain Le Tainter: ISO27001 & Secure Development Process
- Cedric Tempestini: Drupal 8 and TYPO3 - a closer look and differentiation
- Thomas & Rachel: Content Elements and Templating in TYPO3
- Annie, Romain & Mathias: Forms in TYPO3
- Rachel & Cedric: Agency Organisation - Agile, Kanban, Budget Management
- Jonathan Iroulin: How to translate Extensions in TYPO3
- Olivier & Mathias: SEO, Voodoo, Yoast, semantics, and computer vision (nreach) with TYPO3
While having a break the French Barcamp folks gather to discuss how to create awareness about the camp and create buzz around it. We noted down ideas and responsible persons for them. I can only tell that those not attending will be envious not to have been present. But maybe next time?
The afternoon is closed with a small session planning for the next day.
Evening Dinner and Nantes Nightlife
After a quick stay in my little charming and practical hotel, I meet with the others on "Place du Boffay" to have drinks and dinner together. We end up at a newly opened restaurant (whose name I will omit) and had a great time together around diverse food options. After that, we dive into the vibrant nightlife offered in Nantes. If you never had been to Nantes, then this aspect might convince you to go there. After some drinks at John McByrne Pub, I hit my bed exhausted and happy from this day.
Sunday morning starts later than planned, but who could have guessed. With most of the participants being enjoying Nantes together in the eve this was not a surprise. This is a natural consequence of the friendship that is initiated at such an event. Nobody is really angry about this and we just skip a session to accommodate.
- T3CCoach handled by @wembley
- typo3.com french translation handled by @rakel
- Form Extbase validation by @cmonard
- What's new in TYPO3 by @mathias.schreiber
Going back home
Around noon we all gather to have the last round of feedback before all participants head back home. I take the opportunity to have a small meal with Karolin and Mathias and then we shared a taxi to Airport to travel back home.
I really enjoyed this BarCamp. It had a great and friendly atmosphere. I was almost able to exchange conversations and ideas with each one around. This is not often possible at larger camps. This event was the first of this kind and I think that next year it will attract many others to join. The organizers did an excellent job and made my feel really at home. The Dojo Nantes is a great place for such an event and Marielle who runs this place is a charm and knows how to enchant. Give this place a try if you are seeking for a place for your startup idea or a meeting with peeps.
A Barcamp would not be possible without the financial support of sponsors:
Please consider them in your pitches and choice of products.
I am looking forward an upcoming repetition of this great event! Merci et à la prochaine les amis!
Pictures, presentation links, Twitter and other blog posts.
Great collection of pictures from the event can be found here: www.irista.com/gallery/u9tj8iezn2tg Thanks to Jonathan Iroulin who did a tremendous job catching the vibes on camera.
I will add a link to the presentations as soon as we have them collected. Not every session had slides, because of the nature of them.
A Twitter Wall can be found here: walls.io/7C82Vkd6K that collects posts with the #TYPO3CampNantes
Send me your thought via the comments function below.