The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Introducing The Wheel (The Power of Collaboration)

Written by | Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00 | Published in 2014 August
Looking back through history we can see those moments of inspiration and those ‘game-changing’ movements. We admire and respect the innovative leaders which blazed the trail and lead the way into the future. We admire them because we know it’s a difficult job. We admire them because at times they were scoffed and ridiculed their ideas were rejected and their sanity questioned. Yet they continued. They persevered and they saw what no one else saw. They saw the future. And they were overwhelmed with the burden to get us there.

Looking backwards is easy to do. We can clearly point to those leaders and those visionaries and respect their work. The next thing we do is turn and look ahead. Where do we go from here. We’ve arrived at the future and now live in the present. What is the next step from here?

Blinding Speed

Technology is advancing at an incredible pace. Moore’s Law has held true and provides a good description of not only the past advances in technology but also current rates of growth. With things moving at such an incredible pace we’re surrounded by advancements. These advancements are happening in small shops, and large corporations all around. It’s exciting and intimidating all at the same time.

“Don’t Reinvent the Wheel.”

I’ve heard the phrase many times as I am sure most others have as well. The idea behind reinventing the wheel is a common theme and one especially relevant in technology. We already discussed the breakneck speed at which things are advancing all around us. Changes, improvements, and updates both small, incremental changes as well as wide-sweeping strokes are available in technology. I say available because we have the great and wonderful opportunity to live in an open source world.

Open source means sharing, it means cooperation. It invokes a sense of unity and togetherness and it allows us to all work faster. Improvements can be shared and we learn from each other. Why spend time and effort creating something already created and working wonderfully by someone else? Time is valuable and especially volunteers’ time is incredibly valuable. Good communities recognize that idea and use it wisely.

How Does This Affect Joomla?

Ok, so most of you probably agree with me to this point. We all recognize the value of open source when it comes to working together and we all see the bigger picture. How do we put what we know into practice? How can Joomla improve, make changes, and stay relevant in the ever shifting landscape of technology and content management?

The solution is simple. Collaboration. One single word. Collaboration is the key to growing, improving, and succeeding. We’re open source. We’re community. We need to prove it.

Let’s Be Specific

What does collaboration look like for Joomla? This question is not as simple as the previous one. Here is where things become more challenging for people. Change is hard, people struggle with accepting change and also determining how to implement change. This comes from a deep-seated fear of making the wrong decision. The fear of failure is sometimes over-powering. What if we make the wrong decision? What if we make the wrong change? What if…?

Aside: Can you feel the fear mounting? The problem is the result too often is sitting in one place. Failing to make any changes because of the fear of failing. I’ll leave reasons to fight this fear for another post. Suffice it to say, failure is not a reason not to try.

Back to the specifics. And back to that wheel. Let’s explore possibilities for the future. Some options may be scary, some ideas may seem improbable or impractical. The important thing is successful growth, beneficial improvements, and the relevancy of Joomla in the future. What open source projects and code can Joomla use to accomplish its goals. The content management landscape is changing and evolving as new open source projects are released and code is pushed forward. Rather than re-inventing the wheel and building things which have already been built and built well Joomla needs to take advantage of what’s available. Discuss pros and cons of those options and lets make a difference. The time of failing to make decisions is past. The fear of failure will no longer incapacitate our progress.

It's Time

It’s time Joomla showed the world what it is and what it can do. Joomla can once again be the leader in demonstrating the power of open source. Joomla can show everyone what collaboration can do.

 

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David Hurley

David Hurley

David Hurley is an open source advocate and travels most weeks of the year to speak around the world on topics of tech, PHP and open source software. He is the Community Manager for Joomla - the second largest content management system in the world. He is also a member of the Production Leadership Team and the Framework maintainers. David writes semi-obsessively at http://dbhurley.com and is an active partner in several businesses.