Born to be Wild: An Interview with Chris Marinou
Chris, please tell us about yourself, where you live, and your life activities.
I live under the Greek sun, in the traffic madness of Athens. I am 40 years old now, and I am still trying to figure out what am I going to be when I grow up! :). Until then, I will continue to work as a front-end developer in the web industry. In my free time I enjoy playing football with my friends and riding my new bike (Yamaha MT-660).
When and where did you start learning code, and how did you get involved with Joomla?
I was a sales manager since I was 32. In 2002, I started to “play” with web development and I quickly realized the possibilities. I am self-educated and after a short period, I was lucky enough to get a job as an employee in a big company in Greece. That is where I learned to work with other colleagues and I managed to refine my coding skills.
That is also where I was introduced to Joomla!. I was quite impressed when I realized that big projects were developed using an open source platform and that there was a huge, worldwide community supporting and contributing to it. That was it! I fell in love with Joomla! and ever since then, I feel that I am a member of the Joomla! family.
After a few years, I became a co-founder of Komrade (web development agency), and a part of this wonderful team (Fotis, Lefteris, Chiara, Yiota and Katia). Now, I spend most of my time on templating for large scale Joomla! websites.
Providing the community with fresh Joomla! templates was always my biggest desire and after that, Templateworks.net (almost 40,000 downloads). I plan to extend my efforts in that direction.
You’ve done a lot for the JCM. Have you created any specialized mods or plugins for us?
The JCM development was a team project and I was very happy to be involved and contribute. The structure is quite simple, as we use the K2 component for the content construction, so all the features we needed were built-in.
As far as special items, a few K2 template overrides and a “K2 Topics” module (displaying this month's articles categorized by topic) was enough to get this done.
Where do you see Joomla! In the next five years?
Since the first Joomla! release we can see that there has been a big improvement, but we are not there yet! I am certain that in the next few years this wonderful platform is going to be an out-of-the-box solution for a corporate, blog, or portal website providing all the necessary functionalities from the very first step; the installation.
Also, I know there are professionals working on the administration UX to reduce the learning curve for new users. There is still a lot to be done, but the project is on the right track.
Will we see you at any upcoming Joomla! Events?
"J and Beyond 2010" was a great experience. I met people from all over the world (27 countries), shared ideas and information. I was honored to receive a J!Oscar for the best Joomla! “Web Site – Corporate” (Gazzetta.gr) and I loved the fact that so many great contributors finally got some real recognition. So, yes, you will see me in The Netherlands for the J and Beyond 2011 conference in May!