Written by Peter Bui Follow on
Published: 07 September 2014

Lately there have been more and more startup weekends, and hack events. Essentially weekends where designers, developers get together and start pushing out applications, websites and great ideas to the world. Some of these events, such as Sydney Startup or PayPal+Braintree Battlehack attract hundreds of developers all fighting for a chance to be noticed with their new idea and product.

This weekend a few of the JoomlaDay Sydney Users decided to get away from the hussle and bussle of the Sydney CBD and get out to the central coast for our own private Joomla hackathon event to try and create a few business and product for the Joomla Community. We started on a Friday evening all the way to Sunday afternoon tapping away working on our project.

The Hackers

A small team of 4 got together, Hardy Azeez, Peter Bui, Spencer Feng and Tim Plummer for a weekend away from the families and commitments to try and come up with something that we could all benefit from.

We all had different levels of experience, backgrounds and skills in different areas which could benefit our hacking weekend. We all fell into our roles quite comfortably as well.

Hardy Azeez

Business owner, sales, marketing and customer engagement

Peter Bui

Business owner, developer, git controller and marketing

Spencer Feng

Front end developer and backend developer

Tim Plummer

Backend developer, code lead and FOF expert

First Night

Before we started on any coding, we first brain stormed a list of ideas and problems. Bringing our own ideas to the table as well as looking towards the issues that the Joomla community were having with certain aspects of their site management and usage of the CMS. We looked at what our own corporate and enterprise level customers and formed a list of their own requirements to tick all the boxes needed from Joomla.

We then let those ideas sink in while we all worked on a local community project together, JoomlaDay Sydney. There were a lot of things that needed to be done for the event and it was beneficial to use some time to fine tune and promote the event. We woke up the next day to ticket sales so it was well worth our time.

Second Day

This is the day when the real work all started but since we were working on our own time frames we started instead with a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs! #PeopleMustKnowWhatImEating

After which we started on a product features list, prioritising and grooming process. We wanted to get as much done as possible over the weekend and get a minimal viable product (alpha release) out to market to test and validate our idea.

With that validation we can continue development and take it to a new level where perfect for our audience and subscribers.

We didn’t quite have a full agile board for the process but a couple of sheets of paper was all we needed.

We broke off and started working on different aspects of the code with Tim leading the development, Spencer helping with feature building, Hardy working on front end development and marketing and myself working on backend, git control and marketing.

There was quite a lot of learning to do throughout the day as we made a few decisions in regards to the direction of the development that we would take.

  • The component was going to be built for Joomla 3
  • The component was going to be built using the FOF framework
  • Basing our development off Tim’s base component structure complete with build scripts
  • Complete git usage with the entire team. Not everyone was up to speed with using git.

We had a few distractions during the day including food and one of our friends from PayPal Australia, Steve Cooper, coming to the beach house to see what we were up to and taking us for some pizza (thanks Steve).

We eventually got everyone up to speed that afternoon in regards to development and workflow but by the time we decided to turn in for the evening, we had a working product that we could submit to the Joomla Extension Directory. It’s amazing what we can do with a little bit of teamwork and the willingness to share ideas and teach each other what we know.

So what have we made?

We’re not going to share it quite yet. :)

But here are a few things that it does right now.

  • Able to configure expiry to Joomla users
  • Handle how expired users are managed
  • Create additional profile data for a user without needing to code
  • Insert author publishing profile to articles
  • Avatar handling for users

Next features that we are building over the weekend include:

  • User activity logging
  • Import and exporting of users
  • Email registration process and customisation
  • User CRON manager
  • Social network logins

Third Day

We wrapped up the final day with additional feature development in our component, code clean up and brainstorming of ideas on how we can sustain, nurture and give others in the community the same opportunities to learn how to develop something cool with Joomla.

Want to find out more about or new extension and product for Joomla?

Sign up to the mailing list we plan to officially launch it at JoomlaDay Sydney 2014 on October 11.


Peter Bui

Peter Bui

An all round web specialist with years of experience in web design, development and open source solutions at PB Web Development

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