3 minutes reading time (637 words)

How I discovered Joomla - Franciska Perisa


It was at the Web Development Weeks at her university when Franciska Perisa discovered Joomla. She turned out to be good at it, and this made her want to do more. Read all about where she started, what happened next and what she’s doing now!

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am living in Germany, in a small city near Munich. While I am working from home I try to stay fit by walking a lot with my husband and my dog. My job is to work full time as an IT-Consultant for customers in different industries. Focus is on full-stack web development, especially Frontend and automated testing.

When did you make your first Joomla website / extension?

It was 2016, when I developed my first extension. It was for my university's website and its schedule organizer. As a student I needed to use that feature a lot, but it was outdated and not usable on mobile devices at all. So it needed a complete revision.

What made you choose Joomla?

There was a university course called Web Development Weeks, where it was all about Joomla, extension development and how to improve the core by testing and creating Pull Requests. The course was very good and I was quite successful. That motivated me to develop further in the Joomla environment for my studies.

Can you describe the process of creating your first Joomla extension?

I think every extension developer knows the tutorial in the Joomla documentation. Back then I was not aware about any extension generator, so I built it step by step with that. And a lot of help from other students. When the website did not load like I wanted, there was no other way than understanding the functionality behind that and looking up which step I missed or misunderstood. I had to read a lot of code from the Ajax implementation and script loading part too, for my frontend improvements.

What challenges did you face?

The lack of (good) documentation was a big problem for a beginner like me.

How did you solve them?

I had the luck to have the course which made a kind of pressure to keep using Joomla and not give up. The result was to have a look at the core code, see how its extensions work and which parts I could use for my own code. A lot of debugging and using the IDE solved the rest.

Where did you get help (if you needed it)?

The combination was getting help from the other students in the course and of course the teachers. They were well prepared and had tips and tricks for beginner struggles.

You are well-known in the German speaking and international community, what is/was your involvement? 

My first bigger involvement was working in the team that developed Atum - the default backend template of Joomla 4. After that I participated as a student in the “Google Summer of Code” program and presented the outcome on JDay DACH. It was a page builder, which worked far from being perfect but quite well. Last but not least I was Co-Release Lead for Joomla 4.2. Which means I was involved in a lot of processes, part of many different teams and responsible for several releases. A really challenging and time consuming work, but also interesting and unforgettable.

Do you take part in any events?

The Joomla Day DACH is a regular event I am participating in. Another yearly one is the Cloudfest Hackathon where I worked on big Joomla features like TUF and multidomain in the past.

If there was one sentence to sum up your relationship with Joomla / Joomlers, what would it be?

I would always recommend Joomla as a CMS, even after all these projects and I think this means a lot.

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