We're approaching the middle of the third day of the 2014 East Coast code sprint, situated in a bucolic farmhouse just outside of Frederick, Maryland. The location has made this sprint a little different, with some people being able to commute back and forth. In total, 14 or so sprinters have been working on webtests, improvements to CiviVolunteer, and improvements to buildkit for all platforms, which some renewed focus on Joomla and Wordpress. It's looking promising that buildkit will be fully supporting all the CMS platforms by the end of the sprint, making it even easier to contribute.
As this was my first sprint, I wasn't completely sure what to expect. In between some intense, heads-down work, we've found time for decompression as well. We've worked in great meals on the various porches at the farmhouse, great conversation around the firepit, and a spirited round of "The Greatest Game Ever." Monday also included a spirited discussion on forms strategy for Civi 5.0 focusing on usability and a robust architecture that will allow CiviCRM to integrate more seamlessly with all the CMS platforms and work in responsive design frameworks. This release is on track to provide an amazing level of capability and flexibility for developers while being the most user-focused release of CiviCRM yet.
While the work at the sprint has been focused on Civi, the time with other developers has been invaluable as well. It's been a great experience to have candid and in-depth conversations with developers on Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress covering not only infrastructure, but also challenges and best practices. While there are plenty of conferences and events where you do effective networking, it is rare to be able to spend both work and leisure time together. Getting to work together and in person with this extended set of collegues is already providing me with a lot of tools to take back to my company and to contribute even more to CiviCRM.
If you haven't considered participating in the community, or haven't done it in awhile, it's worth a look. You can make a measurable contibution, and you'll get so much more out than you put in.