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Welcome Sarah Watz, New OSM President

Welcome Sarah Watz, New OSM President

On April 8, Open Source Matters, Inc. elected its new president, Sarah Watz. Sarah had served on the board for two years, leading the Certification program effort before taking on this new role.

First, congratulations on becoming the new president of Open Source Matters! It is great to see a woman at the helm!

Thank you. I'm really looking forward to working with the awesome new board. I'm sure we will do great things together for the Joomla project.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm 41 years old and married to Peter. We have two kids Kate (13 years old) and Philip (11 years old). We live in Lidingö, on an island outside Stockholm, Sweden.

I discovered Mambo in 2004 and moved to Joomla in 2005. I fell in love with Joomla and 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 have been the President for the JUAS for several years, as well as project manager for many Joomla!Days and Joomla!Nights in Sweden. I've been speaking at JoomlaDays, J and Beyond and the Joomla World Conference.

I am the co-founder of Pixpro, a digital communications agency. We help our clients to get organized, grow sales and save time. We do that through analysis, strategy, development, integration, implementation and optimization of smart solutions for digital marketing. We work with Joomla to create websites that engage and convert, and Infusionsoft CRM to help simplify sales and marketing.

Pixpro has also created some extensions that are published on the Joomla Extension Directory. The most popular one is PixSearch which enhances the search experience in Joomla with autocomplete functionality.

What are your goals for your term?

I'm in the process of putting together a game plan. I'm going to introduce it to the OSM board and then I will share it with the community. I'm certain though that one of the goals will be focusing on internationalization.

How can we get more women involved in Joomla leadership and the project as a whole?

Joomla is a global project and we need to think of that when we try to get more women involved. In some parts of the world it's easier to step up and be a leader because of the support system at home. In other parts it's not that easy. And to encourage more women leaders we need to make it even easier to start volunteering than it is today. When you have more experience in how volunteering works, and you would like to lead a working group or be a part of the leadership team, don't be shy. Nominate yourself when there is a call on the joomla.org site.

A great initiative for women is to share our experience and the challenges we have with the life puzzle; family, work, volunteering, me time, etc. in a Facebook group. If you are a woman and would like to share your experiences I recommend that you join this group.

What do you think are the biggest challenges Joomla currently faces as a project, and how will you and the OSM Board address that?

Using volunteer time as effectively as possible is crucial to the project future success. We need to get better about documenting processes, history, contacts, etc., for the volunteer work. No one should use volunteer time just to figure things out by themselves. We need to address the fact that Joomla has grown really fast and we need to make sure we are structured the way we need to be for the growth to come.

To volunteer should be fun and encouraging. It makes me sad when we don't respect each other's differences when it comes to experience, culture, gender, language, etc. At times we hurt each other because of lack of respect or due to misunderstanding. We should instead embrace the differences, then we will grow faster as a project and reach new heights.

We need to reach outside our community to tell the Joomla story. Many have heard of or tried earlier Joomla versions and they gave up when they needed to migrate. It was to hard. And some left for another CMS. Now it's time for us to get the message out that Joomla is the best CMS out there for many websites. It's time to ask the website owners and developers around the globe to rediscover Joomla. Most are happily surprised when they do.

You have been busy with Certification, can you give us a brief description of what it involves and when we can see it being implemented?

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. The Joomla certification program will establish a standard and play an important role in choosing a Joomla service provider or developing a qualified workforce. Joomla professionals, Joomla service users and employers will all benefit from the certification.

The Joomla Certification is coming to life this year. Right now we are crowdsourcing questions for the first certification - Joomla Administrator. Please help out here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cjBVlKSTObvfNfX-lA9agRb_KPJcW7Rd3yGhbnEb7RE/viewform

The team has a Facebook page that updates frequently if you would like to stay in touch with the progress.

Is there anything new or innovative that you would like to see Joomla do?

I would love to see Joomla continue to be a cutting edge CMS, trying to help Joomla website owners around the globe to create great and stable websites.

The Joomla Framework will be a great framework for developers. I'm really curious what that will bring to the future of Joomla.

I gave a speech at JWC13 on how I would like to see Joomla support ways to personalize the user experience based on previous patterns. Because our attention span is only 2.7-3.0 seconds we need to help website owners to present the information most interesting to the user to grab their attention.

Thank you, Sarah, this will be an exciting time for Joomla! You can contact Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow her on Twitter: @sarahwatz

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