Meet a Joomler - Andrew Barber
In this month's issue we have an interview with Andrew Barber. While perhaps not many people know of his volunteering work for Joomla, he really is helping the project a lot. Let's meet Andrew!
Hi Andrew! Tell us a little about yourself
I live with my family in a village about 50 kms south-west of London. I run Net Yield, a small PR and marketing business which is focused on the commercial real estate market in the UK. I also work with a German PR business and travel to Frankfurt and Munich a few times each year.
So how did you get involved with Joomla and the J! Community?
About 12 years ago, my new business needed a website and I looked around at open source Content Management Systems. It boiled down to Joomla or Drupal. I chose Drupal on the flip of a coin! About a year later, I was introduced to Phil Walton, and we began working on a new website for a mutual client. Phil kept trying to convince me to rebuild my own site on Joomla! One day, when I was having some technical issues with it, he said to give him a few minutes, and he’d have a new site up and running. He did, and by the end of the day the Net Yield website was on Joomla!
Since then, I have worked with Phil on numerous sites for clients and projects and have become more involved with the community and help the marketing team with external publicity.
What do you do for a day job, and if this includes Joomla, how?
My day job involves advising clients on their public relations and publicity. A decade ago, this mainly involved writing and distributing news releases. Today, there is far more content creation involved. Inevitably this involves publication on websites and distribution via social media. Such publicity strategies require robust, flexible and accessible websites, for which Joomla is ideal.
Working with Phil, we have taken content creation to another level and developed “Realiser”, which is a Joomla-based site (https://www.realiser.co.uk) which allows commercial property agents and brokers to submit details of transactions. The site then automatically generates a news story based on the information supplied. It gets checked by myself or another member of the team before it is sent back to the person submitting the details. Joomla’s technology has dramatically cut the amount of time needed to write news stories in this way.
And do you use Joomla in other ways?
I have used Joomla to build websites for a youth football club, a local cricket club and a small environmental charity.
Are you involved in the Joomla community?
I have attended the London Joomla User Group (https://www.joomlalondon.co.uk) for a number of years. Sadly, I am not in the collage of attendees on the home page.
How did Joomla change your life?
It has opened up new business opportunities for me and makes my working life so much easier.
What did you learn and / or gain personally from being a J! Volunteer?
I am a believer in learning something new every day, and interacting with other members of the community from around the world has helped me to get a better understanding of web technology and how it is transforming different industries around the world.
Is there one site you are particularly proud of creating?
In addition to Realiser, I am very proud of two sites that I have worked on with Phil and SoftForge for Remit Consulting over the past two years. One of them, https://remark.remitconsulting.com, is a research project which, until the recent launch of the (J.4) subdomain this year, had relied on a mainly manual (and very complex) process involving multiple spreadsheets. The Joomla technology behind the site has transformed the project.
Do you have a memorable Joomla-moment?
Helping with the launch of Joomla 4.0 - issuing the launch news release, via a laptop connected to the web via a very poor Wi-Fi connection while sitting in my car, in heavy rain!