Meet a Joomler: Christiane Maier-Stadtherr
Christiane is a hidden gem within the Joomla Community. She is actively involved in making Joomla 4 accessible, as a member of the Accessibility Team. She also worked on the new Workflow feature that will be shipped in the new version of Joomla.
Christiane is a freelance developer from Germany and is a very active member of the DACH Joomla community.
Tell us a little about yourself (where you’re from, where you live, your family …etc.)
I am living in Munich, Germany, a beautiful and old Bavarian city, well-known by Oktoberfest. When I wanted to study, nobody around me knew anything about computer science. I heard Computer Science had something to do with languages, so I decided to go for it. Languages .. indeed ..
Afterwards, I was employed in the field of software engineering for many years. In the meantime, I am in a rather restless retirement and work as a freelancer and web developer.
What do I do if not Joomla? Meet friends, enjoy exhibitions .. and anything else that keeps me from housekeeping!
How did you get involved with Joomla and the J! Community?
I am a board member in an association that works for the disabled. When the internet was born and the first homepages were created, I developed a website for my association. This became a small self-developed content management system based on PHP and MySQL. Some years later I found Joomla! and it was love. Joomla! was young in version 1.5; as a newbie I used to ask questions in a German Forum: How to get rid of the “welcome on my site” in beez?” and soon became a supporter, then moderator and step by step grew into the community. I was lucky to find some mentors who coached me in programming with joomla.
What do you do for a day job, and if this includes Joomla, how?
I am still working as a freelancer making websites - especially for organisations for disabled and with Joomla, of course.
Do you use Joomla in other ways? (hobby, build websites)
As my profession (Web development), hobby (Joomla), and social engagements (web development with Joomla) are nearly the same for me, I am happy to use Joomla for everything. Note that my initials are CMS - nomen est omen!
How are you involved in the Joomla community?
I am involved in many ways: a moderator in german forums, a speaker on Joomla days in Germany and Austria, a member of JUG München, and author of official and unofficial blog posts for Joomla.
How did Joomla change your life?
Did Joomla change my life? I don’t know. Surely Open Source did as for all of us. It opened the world for me; interacting with people from around the world made me feel young again!
What did you learn and / or gain personally from being a J! Volunteer?
What I learned from Joomla? Web Development. It always gives new impulses and motivation to learn new techniques. But the best gift is: I found friends, not only virtual but friends that I can see and visit and hug (if there is no corona around). And I like participating in Joomla Events, it is like a family gathering.
How did you get involved in Accessibility? Is Accessibility a topic that you are interested in for personal or business reasons?
Accessibility first was a personal experience I made in a non-profit organisation for disabled, mainly wheelchair users or with severe motoric disabilities. While accessibility first was meant as physical accessibility - reducing steps and kerbstones, building ramps and so on, the information on websites opened a new world for disabled, if the websites were accessible. While I am bad at pushing wheelchairs, I wanted to help with a website and learned as much as possible about accessibility in the web.
Which is the most important or funny memory connected to Joomla?
There are so many wonderful and funny moments, it is hard to decide. The most important memory is a book that I wrote with two others about programming extensions for joomla! 2.5. This was my personal game changer, from user to contributor. And you can imagine how excited I was, when I had my first session on a Joomla! Day - and the famous Peter Martin twittered one of my sheets! Never will I forget this moment! Peter Martin! My sheet! Wow!
Thanks Christiane for your time and contributions to Joomla!