5 Highlights from Open edX Conference 2018 - Appsembler

5 Highlights from Open edX Conference 2018

One of the standout characteristics of Open edX is its passionate and active community.

Each year, that vibrant community of learning professionals, developers, and educators congregates for the annual Open edX conference to celebrate the platform, showcase contributions, and reveal some bleeding edge innovations.

This year’s Open edX Conference 2018 was held in Montreal, Canada, where thought leaders and attendees from all corners of the world converged. The Appsembler team was proud to be a Keystone sponsor again this year, and to be an active participant in many talks and discussions.

Previously, we shared the 14 reasons why we’re so excited about the conference, and this year’s event surpassed our expectations.

Here are our some of our team’s top highlights and learnings from Open edX Con 2018:

1. The Open edX community is stronger than ever

All across the board, we were floored by the strength and vibrance of the Open edX community. The shared vision and collective desire of the community to build and innovate on the platform are a key driving force behind Open edX’s future potential.

Here are some comments shared by our team members that capture the essence of the community:

The community is strong – together, what the Open edX community members are contributing to the platform is far greater than the sum of its parts.
– Valerie Pierre, Project Manager at Appsembler

“The breadth of experiences and areas of expertise within the Open edX community is massive. Meeting people in person really made that astonishingly clear. The needs are extremely varied from basic pedagogical, to hyper technical.”
– Cody Carson, Customer Success Manager at Appsembler

“The Open edX community feels like a real community. We dug into hard issues (e.g. governance, radical architectural changes) and felt like the edX folks were listening to and working with those of us in the community.”
– Aaron Beals, VP Engineering at Appsembler

2. Exciting Open edX architectural changes ahead

At the conference, the edX team announced some architectural changes ahead accompanied by a move from modulestore to blockstore that will make the process of innovating and contributing to the platform easier.

“The overall theme was “opening up” the software and the contribution process: I’m pleased to see that recent and planned changes to the architecture will support easier extension, theming, and integration. edX has also understood the need to open up the contribution process to support the Open edX community which is bubbling with ideas to make the platform better.”
– Bryan Wilson, Software Engineer at Appsembler

A couple of very important changes in terms of architecture are coming, which will, in my opinion, help increase competitive values of Open edX as a platform over time. For example, the backend/front-end separation work will help bring on a lot of fresh design/development talent to the community to actively help improve the UX/UI aspect of the platform.”
– Matej Grozdanović, Front-End Engineer and Designer at Appsembler

“The platform is strong; major architectural changes are under way which will allow for more future-proof custom learning solutions.
– Valerie Pierre, Project Manager at Appsembler

3. More than 35 million learners reached

The numbers are in, folks. There are more than 35 million learners on the Open edX platform. The platform and its reach are growing, and this isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

“Open source software contribution is not easy. But the knowledge sharing benefits, self-development and making the software more valuable for others make it more than worth it.”
– Omar Al-Ithawi, Software Engineer at Appsembler

A full house for the keynote at the Open edX Conference

4. Innovations in Open edX reporting, mobile development, and more

The annual conference is an exciting opportunity to unveil upcoming developments and innovations to the Open edX platform.

The Appsembler team was thrilled to unveil Figures, a lightweight reporting tool for Open edX designed to provide rich insights into how your courses and learners are performing.

For a brief demo of the new Open edX reporting tool, watch the video below featuring a lightning talk from John Baldwin, Senior Engineer at Appsembler:

Also, J’aime Ohm of the Appsembler team led a workshop where she walked attendees through building and releasing a mobile application to learners.

Attendees at J’aime Ohm’s iOS & Android Application InstallFest

 5. A Global Team Reunion

At Appsembler, we are proud to be a distributed-first team — meaning, we are not limited by location and do not have a physical “office.”

Our team members can be found all across the world (or they are digital nomads), in locations ranging from Uruguay, Equador, Croatia, Japan, Jordan, the UK, the USA, and more.

The Open edX conference was an opportune time for some of our team members to get together and for some, to meet each other for the first time in person!

One of the reasons why we love what we do is because we get to do our best work with some of the most talented human beings across the planet.

If you have a passion for technology and learning and want to make an impact, well…we definitely want to hear from you. (we’re hiring :))

Team members representing Appsembler’s Customer Success and Engineering teams!

Missed the conference?

Want to catch up on the exciting talks and presentations from the conference? You can watch the live video streams by clicking here.

And that’s a wrap! We hope to see you at next year’s conference in San Diego. Have questions about Open edX or Appsembler? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!