While SilverStripe is widely known and used in New Zealand and Australia, there are pockets of activity all around the globe. One such pocket happens to be Austria! While our best-known member is definitely Zauberfisch (German for magical fish), who is a frequent core contributor (and you may have heard his voice on SilverScoop, the SilverStripe podcast), I'm known as xeraa – bonus points if you can guess why. I have had quite a few points of contact with SilverStripe over the years.
We currently run the Austrian meetup group, which comes together every quarter. Most of the meetups happen in Vienna, but people from other parts of Austria attend on a regular basis. We also have regular participants from Slovakia, big credits to them for taking the long journey every time to talk about SilverStripe.
Our meetup group discusses both technical and non-technical issues. One of the big talking points is always how to promote SilverStripe in Europe. While nearly everybody knows WordPress and many have seen TYPO3 and Drupal, hardly anyone has heard of SilverStripe and its advantages. As a developer it is a constant battle against the "but X has a plug-in for that" – which is only good if you do not need any customization – and "we will simply buy one of those nice themes" – which is only an option if you do not have a corporate identity you want to display. It can be a tough battle sometimes, and we are trying to make SilverStripe's unique advantages and flexibility known.
At the meetups, Zauberfisch shared how to get started with Gridfield and why Composer is the best thing since sliced bread (beating Git submodules). Most recently, Pali provided us with an interesting talk on wireframing with SilverStripe and ZURB Foundation. If you do not know already, you should definitely check it out. And if podcasts are your thing, I can recommend the recent "The Changelog" episode as a nice introduction. Pali has been kind enough to put his presentation online — go check it out. In the true fashion of "drink your own champagne", Pali's online presentation was built on SilverStripe and ZURB Foundation.
For our next meetup we are planning a hackfest. One of our member's mentioned that they had some core SilverStripe patches waiting to be merged, and never quite managed to create a proper pull request. We will try to cover the basics, transform all open patches from the participants to pull requests, and hopefully create some more. Please, spread the word and participate. If there is demand, we might even extend this event to the virtual world. If you have any questions, get in touch with us!
Philipp Krenn (xeraa) is one of our community meetup organisers (for the Austrian group) and wrote one of the SilverStripe 2.4 books. He has also attended SilverStripe meetups in San Francisco and is just waiting for a good reason to attend one in SilverStripe's homeland