I'm writing this article from the exhibit hall of the Flourish Open Source Conference - now in its fifth year!
Flourish is a fantastic local open source conference that takes place at the University of Illinois at Chicago each spring, sponsored by UIC's ACM chapter and Linux user group. For a student-run conference it's great: a full lineup of interesting speakers from the open source community, learning sessions, code sprints, and plenty of hallway networking opportunities.
I missed the Joomla session since I was helping Scott staff the info booth of FreeGeek Chicago, the awesomest computer recycling and training program in the Midwest. I think we were able to talk some new volunteers into coming down to share their open source knowledge and happy vibes with the FGC crew. And besides, everyone agrees that Joomla is just an "also-ran" in the open source CMS world now, right? ;-)
At a Flourish conference a couple of years ago, some colleagues and I helped organize a "code for a cause" website building sprint for a local nonprofit organization - it was a lot of fun and I'm definitely going to suggest doing that again for Flourish 2012. There is a Python code sprint going on this year, but as I'm not a pythonista, I just poked my head in and took a look.
Notable appearance: Mitch Altman, inventor of TV-B-Gone and co-founder of Noisebridge. The Web2Py framework dudes are here representing. And speaking of Noisebridge, I did not know that Chicago now has their very own hackerspace - I will be joining Pumping Station: One as soon as I am back in the 312. Gonna build me a robot!