My first (Shopware) Unconference

I had the opportunity to attend the first-ever Shopware Unconference ( in Cologne this weekend. But this was not only the first-ever Shopware Unconference but also my first ever Unconference in general. And I don’t want to anticipate anything yet, but I can already say: I’ll be back!

It was a spectacular event, and I want to start with a massive shoutout to the organizers Firegento (Carmen, Claudia, Fabian, Rico and Tobias), for making this possible.

But before writing about my experience during these 2 days, let me first explain why I think it was so crucial for so many of us.

The importance of this event

We all know that the pandemic made it hard to meet people in real life in the last couple of years. In-person events got cancelled over and over again. And this led to frustration, seclusion and forgetting how it is to attend events like this.

Still, we can clearly see that the E-commerce industry is on fire!

Digitalization is way more important than ever, and lots of new faces are quietly (or not so quietly…Matheus ;) ) appearing in our community.

And these are the people that I was finally able to meet for the first time! Even though you seem to “know” someone from chats, video calls, talks, and digital events, it’s a difference. And wherever you were looking, during the day, or during those fantastic Aftershow parties, people started to enjoy in-person conversations with people they usually just knew from a digital and distant way. It’s the feeling when you know somebody…but not really.

And of course, meeting old friends was a wonderful experience too. Having someone getting up and running over to welcome you after such a long time (Mr Aaron…Niklas…) can never be replaced by any digital event.

And even outside the venue, during breaks, there is time to hang out with friends and shop for some new LEGO stuff. (thx Flo).

What do I think of Unconferences

WOW… that’s all I could say in a very compressed and direct way.

If you don’t know what Unconferences are, then think of a more natural and relaxed conference, without any plan regarding speakers and talks. It’s like a marketplace where people offer topics, and the community decides what will be presented.

And it’s not only about technology. There were brainstormings on how to grow the community, sessions on how to present like a boss and even things like “How to plan a flight from Cologne to Bremen”. Though I really hope that there wasn’t any actual use for that last scenario…would make me curious who got left behind last time.

If that is interesting for you, please don’t forget about the location, the load of food and beverages available in almost every room, and all these other entertaining things that are offered.

Germany drops restrictions, but SCUC does not!

I think everyone is entirely done with those restrictions, masks and more. But even though I’m not really afraid, I still have my opinion on how things should be done and how we should get back to life.

It was an absolutely fantastic move to still require people to be boostered and tested during the whole event. This meant 2–3 tests for everyone who wanted to enter the venue. And this was checked!

The organization team could have let people get in without tests but decided to make them necessary anyway. I want to personally thank you for that great decision. As it is with coding too -> “Better be safe than sorry!”

Talks, people and friends

I have to be honest, I didn’t have that much time for the talks and presentations that I thought I would.

I met so many new people and was nearly talking all of the time.

After trying to simply watch what happens on the first day (and also missing the deadline for my proposals because of too much talking), I was able to offer 2 talks on day 2. And lucky me, both of them got enough votes.

My first one was about “Development with “, where I was able to talk about the community project that we create at dasistweb ( I had some great feedback and heard exciting ways people and agencies use it. And the best thing is, with the united force of multiple agencies, we are now even trying to improve the setups, documentation and examples for all of us in the Shopware community.

Really looking forward to seeing what will happen! This is community!

My second talk was with the well known Ramona from Shopware about using in combination with Shopware.

Pitfalls, design patterns, pipelines and lots of other recommendations and insights. The goal is clear - “Let’s all create better apps, plugins and improve the eco-system with a long lasting quality!”. Thanks for that collaboration.

Besides this, Shopware presented the brand new Administration SDK with some great new ways to hook into the Administration from external apps, making them the way to go in the future - even more than before. Also performance will be way….wayyyyy better with the upcoming Shopware versions.

I heard great ideas about shop automation and deployment strategies, which I’m keen to try for our company. Every single piece could become a future step at dasistweb and our pipelines, which is something we put so much effort in. We love automation, and we love to create perfect setups. We’re techies!

But also, the discussion and talk about some PWA and Headless approaches from Niklas of Mothership was an excellent way for me to start the whole weekend and even prepare myself for the upcoming implementation of the Mollie Shopware plugin. Yes, it will be entirely headless, and it will be good…just give me a bit ;)

In addition to these excellent talks, I finally met the whole crew of ScaleCommerce again, my Mollie buddy Flo, Stefan from Shopware, and Benjamin/Volker from Tideways. I also talked to other inspiring people from Kellerkinder, Basecom, Shopware, Maxcluster, Shopware United (my mate Wouter), Matheus (you just know him…), Jisse (…it’s called Morotai dude, not Ma*****), Webweit, Mothership, ITG Commerce, Ben Marks, Edin from Webversiert and …almost Joshua B. (If someone didn’t get mentioned in here, please excuse me on this…that list would be just wayyyyy too long)

Still, a special mention of Niklas and Claudia from Shopware. It was a pleasure.

What’s next?

This was the first, but definitely not the last, Shopware Unconference for me.

I learned a lot, met great people and had fantastic discussions.

It was not as relaxing as I thought it would be, but that might just be me talking and talking and talking.

If you think that sounds like a charming and friendly event, then it would be your time to step in and check it out on your own.

Until we wait for the next SCUC, you’ll get the chance to meet the community at the Shopware Community Day in May to convince yourself how the people in our community really are. If you’re there, stop by and say hi :)

Thank you, Firegento e.V.