Interview of the Joomla! Certification Team
Those of you who read joomla.org in English, have known for a few months now that there is a new initiative in place to create a Joomla certification program. This is a project in which the presence of Joomla! community members who speak Spanish is very important. It's a project being worked on by people from more than a dozen countries and several continents. It is born from the fusion of so many different experiences and marks a milestone in the creation of a quality CMS certification program for Joomla.
As we have been working almost two months at a fairly fast pace, it has become necessary to tell the rest of the community our progress which is not definitive yet, but we can share our vision for this ambitious project.
This August, in between working sessions, some of the team members of the certification program took a little time and prepared a report as if for a newspaper. Let’s see how it goes:
Please tell us a little bit about yourselves and about the Joomla! Community in your country:
- My name is Sarah Watz and I am a Joomla evangelist who lives in Stockholm, Sweden. I run the Joomla! Specialized web agency Pixpro. I've has been working with marketing, communication, sales and education for more than 20 years. My passion is to provide great business value to the projects with which I'm involved. I discovered Mambo in 2004 and moved to Joomla in 2005. I fell in love with Joomla! with its vibrant community and began contributing to the community. My first involvement in the Joomla! community was as vice president for the Joomla! User Association Sweden (JUAS). Since then I've been the President for the JUAS for several years, as well as project manager for many Joomla!Days and Joomla!Nights in Sweden. I'm a frequent speaker at events such as Joomla!Days, JAB and the JWC. Now I'm a OSM board member and feels really excited about working with the Joomla Certificate Program."
- Max Lynam, @MaxOnTheHill, founder at Molehill.com.au. We have a great Australian Joomla community, regular JUGs in most major cities and at least one JoomlaDay per year. Melbourne is my home town and is the birth place of Mambo and Joomla ... our Aussie community is where Joomla started all together as a whole and we're really proud to be involved."
- My name is Sara Thornton and I work for WebHolism, which is an ethical web design and SEO company based in the UK. Due to timing clashes with the fabulous London Olympics last year, the UK unfortunately didn't have a Joomla Day for 2012, however, we're back on track and our Joomla Day is looking to be an exciting event in Ascot on the 5th and 6th of October 2013. If you fancy getting in touch, just drop me a tweet at @webholism (Twitter) or Facebook.com/webholism
- I'm Pedro Vidal, president of an association created for the dissemination of Free Software, whose origins were some of the Joomla community members who gathered around in the Joomla Days. I work in a company dedicated to the development of computer applications and two of whose pillars are based on Free Software projects and training. I participated as a speaker and organizer in Joomla!Days of Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza and Merida, and this year, if time and health permit, in Albacete. I have spoken about the Joomla eShow in Madrid and Barcelona, about the extension of the CISL organized in Spain, at the Free Word Conference Software and any other similar event. I spoke at the J & B in Germany about how to make Joomla profitable in my country. I have taught over 200 courses of Joomla since version 1.0...”
- Irene Lopez, member of the Board of the Association Open Source Iberia. She comes from the non-technical world, and holds a degree in English Studies, which allows her to have the skill to serve as a liaison between anything related to the Spanish community and the Joomla! project. She has helped organize Joomla events such as: the last 4 Spanish Joomladays, the 2 Open Source Congress Spain-Portugal, and the first certificate for VirtueMart. She has also managed for years the training department in her company for years.
- My name is Victor York and im currently working the company named Complusoft. A company based on the development of free software and much more. I have been working for three years as a Joomla content creator and developer. As a team member of Complusoft I have participated in the creation of the content for our clients administrators training and thanks to knowing two languages (Spanish and English) this has opened many doors for me in this sector. Even though my experience in Joomla is of only three years, I have already made some contributions to the community such as article translations for the Hispanic Community and my last contribution was for the Joomla Bug Squad. I hope to be able to continue with these contributions as I have great expectations and much interest to keep working hard and learn more.”
Can you explain the process to obtain the Joomla certification?
- Sarah Watz: Information on the different certifications available and the certification process will be accessed through joomla.org. You don't have to pass any specific training or class before pursuing the certification. You can just come as you are with the experience you have from working Joomla. If you would like to have help obtaining the knowledge you can prepare yourself for the test through reading documentation online, taking online training, coaching or in in-class training. It's all up to you. You choose the certification you would like to pursue and click on a link to pay for your test. After the payment is done you will receive a link to the test that will be online. When you are done you will receive your result if you passed or not.
- Max Lynam: Testing online. Other certificates (not the administrator one) may require other components.
- Sara Thornton: I can't speak for the final version, but I would hope there would be a variety of different competency levels, all taken online with significant measures to ensure that the testing process is fair, and that no-one is at a disadvantage due to language barriers or internet connection speeds.
- Pedro Vidal: There will be different levels that each can provide access to best suit our needs. It will be simple to access them, with an explanation of how to get and test themselves in several languages, also in Spanish.
- Irene Lopez: It will be an online process which will allow and facilitate the widespread access of many users to be administrators recognized by the Joomla! Project. For me the biggest advantage it presents is that you do not need to attend any prior training. With your own experience you can get your certificate.
- Victor York: It is simple and anyone with little or no experience can obtain it. It's as simple as studying official documents provided by Joomla in your spare time (or not) and putting together the experience that each of you might have and apply it to an on-line test where the results will be immediate and with this facility you can get your own professional Joomla certificate!
How is the experience going of working on this topic with people from other countries and continents?
- Sarah Watz: It's such an amazing experience to share knowledge across the globe. The team meets once a week and during different times to accommodate different time zones. Sometimes we have very different opinions that need to be discussed in detail, and sometimes we have the same opinion very clearly. I'm impressed at how much we cover on every working meeting via Skype and also the work in-between meetings.
- Sara Thornton: The project is well organized and expertly led. The team working on this project has a range of wealth and experience, which makes it very interesting to see how different people use Joomla. These differences make the team stronger and will hopefully produce a certification that is comprehensive and balanced.
- Pedro Vidal: An example of harmony and good work. All team members are melting our differences in neutral forms so that the contributions can be valid for each of our countries.
- Irene Lopez: I find it amazing and a pleasure to be able to discuss a topic across so many countries, in such a constructive and smooth way, and above all, to always reach agreements and points of contact between the fantastic members forming the team.
- Victor York: It is a unique experience when we talk about the variety of people involved in this project. The diversity of views is abysmal at times but it helps because you can always learn something listening to the visions of others. We work hard on the project in the short time we have in our meetings but are quite effective. Our hope and desire (not to say that we know) is to get a good result at the end...
Why would you recommend getting Joomla! certification?
- Sarah Watz: The certification will play an important role when choosing a Joomla service provider or developing a qualified workforce. If you want to be part of that pool of service providers you should certify yourself in your area of expertise.
- Max Lynam: For clients to be able to manage their own websites and also for employment opportunities.
- Sara Thornton: To solidify your understanding and get a Joomla "seal of approval" that you're on the right track.
- Pedro Vidal: This is the best way to guarantee the level of knowledge face to face with your customers, a quality seal prior to submission of your work.
- Irene Lopez: Because it's the only way to differentiate yourself from those who call themselves "experts in Joomla!" and we all know that they are not.
- Victor York: Why?! It is a unique opportunity that has never been presented in this world and to all those fans of Joomla they will want it more than anything and those who are new it will come in handy for their job or to find that job they’ve always wanted.
What do you think it brings to the Joomla! project, that this certificate exists?
- Sarah Watz: It will be a key factor in furthering the growth, development and success of Joomla. The Joomla certification program will ensure the competence of Joomla professionals. Joomla certification exams will go beyond training by providing a documented measurement of knowledge. Joomla professionals, Joomla service users and employers will all benefit from the certification.
- Max Lynam: It will pave the way towards Joomla being broadly accepted into the enterprise. The administrator certificate allows training and certification for qualified positions within companies for managing the businesses websites, intranets and extranets. This supports the business and enterprise in effective management of their online assets.
- Sara Thornton: Peace of mind for both clients and developers. For developers it helps to guide them into methods of best practice. For clients it can provide a useful measuring tool to gauge the ability of their developer.
- Pedro Vidal: It may be a "connector" between different professionals that expand the possibility of working in projects where the distance or the difference of cultures is not a barrier.
- Irene Lopez: I think it will provide appropriate recognition to those who have spent many years dedicated the evolution of Joomla, and will allow the community and the project to grow more and more each day.
- Victor York: It will draw the attention of the world and serve as a pillar in your Joomla experience where afterwards your knowledge will be indeniable. This will bring developers even more together with administrators and provide more confidence for both.
Trying to be unique, please make up one hard question to test our readers to see if they are good Joomla administrators:
- Sarah Watz: Why is it important in which order the plug-ins are?
- Max Lynam: How do you manage user access in a Joomla website?
- Sara Thornton: Without Googling the answer, how would you set up a multilingual site in Joomla 3 if you're not allowed to use an external language component such as Falang?
- Pedro Vidal: What difference of salary should there be between a Joomla Certified Administrator and an Oracle Certified Administrator? ;-)
- Irene Lopez: What PHP version do you need to install a Joomla! 3.x?
- Victor York: How would you take away all users permissions to publish articles except those of the administrator?
And that's it, I hope I have been able to awakened your interest and I plan to keep you informed on the progress of the project.