3 minutes reading time (675 words)

Meet a Joomler - Chris Keen


Back in 2009, Chris needed to build a website. After building an HTML site, he thought there had to be a better way to do it. And he discovered Joomla. With a professional career as a data engineer, he continued using Joomla for personal projects. In 2015 he decided it was time to give something back to the project, and he joined the Certification Program Team. First, reviewing questions and answers, and since 2017 as Team Leader.

Thanks for participating in this interview, Chris! Could you tell us a little about yourself? 

I was born almost 60 years ago in London, England, but moved at a young age to Norfolk, where I grew up. At the age of 19, I moved back to London again to work in ICT for Shell. After ten years at Shell, I resigned to go backpacking for a year in Central America.

Upon returning to London, I met a Dutch woman, worked as a Business Analyst for a few years, before moving to the Netherlands in 1996. I’m still in the Netherlands (Arnhem area), now with a daughter of 21 years.

My hobbies include travelling, walking, trying to run, and enjoying nature.

How did you get involved with Joomla and the J! Community?

My journey with J! started in 2009, I needed to build a website for my partner. After building and updating an HTML site, I thought there must be a better way to do it. I discovered J! 1.5, was very pleased when 1.6 came along, and never looked back. I even started a part-time company building websites, not for the money, but to learn and support a few friends, small companies and even some NGOs.

In 2015 I decided it was time to give something back to J! And the community. So I volunteered, joining the Certification Program (JCP), reviewing the questions and answers to be written in clear and concise English. After taking on various roles in the JCP, in 2017 I was thrown into the JCP Team Leader role at the Joomla World Conference. I’m still trying to fulfil this role.

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

I am a Data Engineer (a developer and data analyst) helping provide Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics solutions for a large health insurance company in the Netherlands.

My J! company is now on hold due to a lack of time, and a lack of knowledge over the last few years!

Do you use Joomla in other ways?

I don’t really build any websites anymore. The last one was nine months ago, as a photo gallery of my daughter’s life when she turned 21 (of course, using Joomla!).

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

I try to attend Joomla events when I can, mainly Joomla Days in the Netherlands; I also participated at the local JUG for some time.

How did Joomla change your life?

Joomla as a product gave me a chance to try something new, start a company and become a small entrepreneur. For that, I’m very grateful.
The community has also had a significant impact on my life. It introduced me to the Open Source world, the fantastic community that drives and supports it.

Attending events, gaining knowledge, making friends and being part of this community has enriched my life in many ways.

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

The J! Project is unique, as it is community-driven. Being part of this community and helping support it, if even in a small way, has taught me a great deal. It’s allowed me to fulfil roles and be involved in tasks that otherwise I would not usually carry out. Finally, making friends and working with such a broad range of people has changed how I see the world and how we can work together.

Do you have a memorable Joomla moment?

I have many great and fond memories; it’s challenging to pick one particular one out.

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