More and more leaders in the Joomla project have been talking about how important it is to listen. At JoomlaDay France last weekend, I had the opportunity to hear in person what people are thinking. It was an enriching experience for me, and sometimes surprising…
Several months ago, Paul Orwig, President of Open Source Matters (OSM), found that despite the language barrier at JoomlaDay Colombia, making himself available through a translator for people to come up and just talk and ask questions, was one of the most valuable experiences he'd ever had at an event. In his interview this month, David Hurley, Joomla's new Community Development Manager, talks about the importance of listening to one another.
Thanks to invitations from event organizers, funding solutions, and a shared sense of commitment throughout leadership, it is not unusual now to see quite a few team members participating in JoomlaDays. JDay Boston had members from OSM, the Production Leadership Team (PLT) and the Community Leadership Team (CLT), the Bug Squad, as well as our Community Dev Manager. JDay India in February, and upcoming JDays in The Netherlands and Guatemala had or will have multiple members from leadership as well. Reactions from conversations and feedback forms indicate that it means a lot to attendees to have a chance to meet and talk to people involved at the overall project level.
A "Round Table" discussion was organized at JDay France with the leadership members present. It included two OSM members, a former PLT member, our Community Dev Manager, and Brian Teeman. While Brian does not hold an official role or serve on a leadership team, I discovered that most people think he does! I can understand why that is - the project doesn't have a better or more experienced spokesperson, and he certainly had his place at that table. Some people in the room were surprised to learn that OSM does not decide the direction of Joomla code development. We explained that those decisions are in the hands of the Production Leadership Team (PLT). It was a good discussion, and I think we were able to effectively answer questions, make suggestions, and above all, listen and learn from the exchanges.
Eric Lamy, Vice President of the French Joomla Association (AFUJ), told the story of helping the Joomla community in Algeria start a user group. Two years ago the AFUJ sent 5 people to Algeria to help them get their JoomlaDay off the ground. Last year they sent two people, and this year JoomlaDAy Algeria has taken wing and is flying on its own. That is a beautiful story of mutual support and "fraternité", but what was disappointing to hear is that when Eric initially went to joomla.org to find resources and support for starting a new user group, he didn't find what he was looking for. It came as good news to hear that Goal H in the recently published CLT goals for 2013 specifically addresses this need.
All of the teams have a lot of work to do toward better communicating and internationalizing our messages. There are many dedicated leaders and community members in place right now working hard to accomplish an ambitious list of goals in 2013.
I am grateful to JoomlaDay France for the opportunity to feel connected, to learn and get new ideas, and above all, to listen.
Vive la France! Vive Joomla!