NopCommerce Days 2016 Recap
Last year, when we came back from the first ever nopCommerce conference, we were convinced that this event would go down as one of the most significant milestones for nopCommerce because for the first time it brought the nopCommerce community together. Back then we knew that this would be the first of many such events to come. So, in the beginning of this year, when an advisory committee was formed to help organize the next nopCommerce event, we were more than happy to jump aboard and contribute to making the next event a success. We also became the biggest sponsor of the event.
And there it is. The second edition of NopDevDays took place in the beautiful city of Amsterdam on October 20th - 21th this year. I am excited to tell you more about it. From just a one-day event last year, the conference has spread to two days. It included different lectures for developers and store owners, workshops, a discussion panel and a lot of time for networking.
The number of attendees was more than double that of last year’s event. We were happy to see how much the nopCommerce community has grown in just one year. There were people from more than 30 countries, mostly developers, and managers from companies who work with nopCommerce and are nopCommerce solution partners.
The networking part of the event was particularly strong and definitely one of the things that made the conference worth attending. Many new partnerships were formed and ideas exchanged. We ourselves were thrilled to meet in person many of the people whom we only knew through our daily email correspondence as well as some good friends from the previous year’s event.
The number of speakers has grown drastically compared to last year. More than 20 speakers gave lectures on different topics related to nopCommerce. This year the agenda was optimized into two tracks - one dedicated to the store owners and managers and another dedicated solely to developers. There was also a discussion panel where a few selected store owners and extension vendors sat down and discussed their experience with the system as well as what its future should be.
Nop-Templates.com co-founders Milen, Boyko and Stefan were among the speakers. Milen shared his insight on what it takes to be a successful nopCommerce vendor and also took part in the discussion panel. Stefan gave practical advice on advanced nopCommerce theme development. Boyko unraveled the mystery of the nopCommerce Web API, which was developed and contributed to the nopCommerce community by the Nop-Templates.com team.
All lectures were very interesting and I am sure most of the people attending the conference found them quite useful. Here I will just highlight my personal favorites: Valery Jacobs from Microsoft Today spoke about the future of asp.net. Rutger Buijzen from DotControl talked about how to use machine learning to improve eCommerce Conversion. Marianna Koroleva’s workshop on advanced nopCommerce plugin development was among the top rated lectures of the event. Ventsy Popov from Zingasoft shared his tips and tricks on running nopCommerce on Azure. For those who have missed the conference, all lectures have been recorded and uploaded to the nopCommerce official YouTube channel.
Last but not least, I would like to mention Andrei’s inspiring keynote at the very beginning of the conference. As I was listening to him talk about the future of nopCommerce I could not help but remember how during last year’s conference we had an improvised discussion panel. NopCommerce vendors and partner companies who would normally see each other as competition sat together as one along with Andrei. We talked about the future of nopCommerce and what needs to be done so that this amazing system gets the attention and the market share it deserves. One year later, I am happy to see that all decisions that were made back then have been actually implemented:
1. NopCommerce has a brand new responsive website, designed by Nop-Templates.com and implemented by the nopCommerce team.
2. The nopCommerce administration has been redesigned and is now fully responsive and is super user-friendly.
3. Last year, Andrei had big plans to expand the nopCommerce team and to hire more marketing specialists and developers. This year we were very happy to meet all of the newcomers in person. They are doing a great job pushing the system forward both dev and market-wise.
4. The most challenging idea was to involve the nopCommerce solution partners in a coordinated effort to popularize the system. Challenge accepted! Local nopCommerce user groups and meetups have spawned in different countries around the world. For example in Sofia Boyko did two talks about running nopCommerce on Azure both at the Sofia .NET User Group and at the Azure Bootcamp event.
5. Last year it was also decided that nopDevDays should evolve and turn into an annual event. This year’s conference was a success indeed – there were more attendees, more speakers, and the agenda was optimized and improved to appeal to all developers, managers, and store owners. The preparation for the third nopCommerce conference has already started and choosing the location is the first thing on the agenda. Although we all had a great time two consecutive years in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, it seems that the conference will be moving to another location. If you have any suggestions about where the next nopCommerce event should be held, don’t hesitate to say so in the comments below or in nopCommerce forum.
As you can see a lot has been achieved since last year’s conference. And there is still much more to come. In his keynote, Andrei stressed a few key goals that he has for nopCommerce in the coming year. Let me just highlight some of the most important:
1. Apart from having one major event, nopCommerce team is going to increase the number of nopCommerce-related events by holding smaller, but more frequent events on a local level.
2. NopCommerce is currently building a team of developers, who will be working on the long-awaited Umbraco integration.
3. NopCommerce will continue to expand its marketing team in order to implement key strategies to popularize the product. These include the creation of more how-to videos, tutorials, articles, webinars and useful content, which can showcase nopCommerce strengths and at the same time make this powerful product accessible to even the non-tech-savvy store owners.
4. NopCommerce is moving to .NET Core in version 4.0.
NopCommerce Days 2016 might be over, but we are already looking forward to the next big event. We have been a nopCommerce solution partner for 6 years now and during this time we have witnessed the system grow incredibly and turn into the amazing product that it is today. What we have learned during these years is that having a strong community is essential for the system to evolve further. And events such as NopDevDays really strengthen the community and help it grow and mature. So, do join us next time around and become part of the growing nopCommerce family.