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Meet a Joomler: Hans van der Meer

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Hans is the Assistant Team Leader of the Social Media Team. He’s a real "down to earth" guy from the Netherlands, who doesn't seek and ask for any attention, even sometimes trying to wave it aside, although he deserves it.

This time he didn't get that chance. It's now time to let the rest of the community learn a little bit more about him, who Hans is, what he does with Joomla, and within the community.

The Social Media Team fulfils an important part of the daily tasks within our community. Hans together with the rest of the team makes sure our news and information are published on the different social media platforms. The messages on those platforms are checked, other posters are answered and much more. This is a big job requiring daily effort, which deserves some appreciation.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m from Arnhem in the eastern part of the Netherlands and I’m married to Dafne. I love the area of Arnhem where I have a lot of options for trail run routes. For a few years, I’ve been running longer distances, up to 52 kilometres now. I love nature, all the different flowers and animals I can spot (except for ticks and small buzzing flying ones).

How did you get involved with Joomla and the Community?

Sometime in 2005 I registered a domain and needed a website for it. Finally, I decided to use Joomla as I already had Mambo experience on an intranet. I was on various Dutch forums as a user, then trying to help others, became a moderator and finally joined the official Social Media Team.

What do you do for a day job, and if this includes Joomla, how?

My day job has nothing to do with Joomla. I have a background in chemicals, and I work at a paint factory and am responsible for the Safety Data Sheets for our products. We put the paint formula’s in our chemical system, which already contains all of the raw material information. We then let the computer calculate the formula and we check the end result, and if the results are what we expect for this product, we produce a Safety Data Sheet, which contains all the information for the professional user.

Do you use Joomla in other ways?

For almost 14 years I was the webmaster for my running club, but I left the club at the end of 2019. Now I only maintain a few sites for my wife and me.

Are you involved in the Joomla community, apart from in your official position?

Alongside being the Assistant Team Lead of the Social Media Team, I am a JUG organizer for many years now. I also help the Dutch Joomlacommunity.nl team as a forum moderator and content writer. I am also in the team that organizes Joostock, an unconference and knowledge sessions Foundation in the Netherlands. I’ve also helped the JoomlaDay NL with their social media.

How did Joomla change your life?

It has made me more comfortable talking to groups and in organizing events and has also given me the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world. I never expected to talk to anyone from South America, North America, Africa and Asia in real life, but do it because of Joomla. (I’ll leave out Europe because I live there, but I do keep in contact with many Joomlers in Europe )

What did you learn and / or gain personally from being a J! Volunteer?

Getting more comfortable with talking and presenting to small groups. (I didn’t reach a big event yet). Also, I now know people I consider friends from the Joomla community.

The people who know you personally know that you like running a lot. What drives you to do this?

Running is relaxing for me. Of course, the body gets tired but my mind is getting fueled! I see so much beautiful nature while running. I have seen so many beautiful landscapes, for example in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, the mountains in France and even the Great Wall (marathon) in China.

What has it in common with Joomla or not?

Running is also a community, you see runners at races both closeby and far away. You share a passion!

What would you do if you would need to choose between the two for whatever reason?

Luckily there so far apart, it would never happen. But running helps me have a somewhat healthy body and mindset, so that comes first.

Most important or funny J! memory

I don’t have only one important memory, but lots of them.

  • On my first Joomladay, which was a weekend, I was only there for the first day. I really felt bad leaving because I didn’t want to. (I already had plans for the next day).
  • People who know me know I like running a lot. So I have good memories running at Joomla events with different people and talking about all kinds of things.
  • The community (worldwide) IRL! Meeting and speaking with our community makes our community so much better! (at least I find this to be true).
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