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Interview: Sarah Watz and the 10 Years of Joomla!

Interview: Sarah Watz and the 10 Years of Joomla!

The JCM interviewed Sarah Watz, the current president of Open Source Matters about Joomla's 10th Birthday, and what it means to the Joomla Community. Let the celebration begin!

Joomla Community Magazine: Can you tell us a little bit about the plans for the 10th anniversary of Joomla?

Sarah Watz: It’s a very special year for Joomla, so one day is not enough for us to celebrate. We have already seen celebrations for the Joomla 10th year since this spring, and I predict we will see Joomlers celebrating all the way to the end of the year.

As always in our community it’s up to us to make it happen. Therefore I encourage all JUGs and upcoming Joomla!Days to acknowledge this huge milestone. We are not just celebrating 10 years of great code. We are thankful for and celebrating all the Joomlers who have volunteered during the past 10 years, no matter whether big or small. All your contributions matter. Every day.

We are celebrating an Open Source community that is a lot different from all the others, where we are all volunteers contributing our time, our passion and our expertize for free. This is done year in and year out to maintain Joomla but more importantly we always strive to keep on innovating. Joomla has been first in our industry with a lot of features. I’m very curious and hopeful for what the next big thing we can innovate that will be an example on how digital communication and web will be used not only today, but in the future.

JCM: Are there any anniversary related actions that will be launched to promote Joomla around the world in the upcoming months?

SW: A trend I can see is the birthday cakes that are very creative and which make me smile. At the Joomla! Day Malaysia in August there was a session scheduled for bringing in the cake, singing happy birthday songs in many, many languages, since there were attendees and speakers from all over Asia. After the celebration everyone had the opportunity to get a of piece this tasty cake.

Birthday cake from Joomla!Day Malaysia in August 2015
Birthday cake from Joomla!Day Malaysia in August 2015

So far there have been several initiatives from all over the world to celebrate the big milestone, like videos, websites with the history: how we ended up here, Joomla stories, limited t-shirts and hoodies have been for sale, cakes have been baked and served, and many companies in the huge ecosystem around Joomla (like extension developers, template developers, training companies, hosting companies, service companies and developer companies) have generated great offers for their customers to acknowledge the 10th anniversary.

JCM: The Joomla World Conference this year will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Joomla. What is planned to happen during the event?

SW: I will not get into details. Since it’s our world conference there will be celebrations :) Grab a ticket now before it’s sold out and be part of the magic! Since it is the 10th anniversary I expect it to be the biggest JWC yet.

JCM:This is the first time the conference is taking place in Asia. What are the general expectations about celebrating Joomla’s anniversary in India?

SW: I’m so happy that the JWC team decided to get the JWC to Asia. It feel that it is important for the world conference to move around so that it is actually more affordable for more people to at least come to the world conference when it’s arranged in your part of the world. In my recent travel to Asia I can see the excitement for them that it’s finally coming to their part of the world.

JCM: How can people around the world join the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Joomla? Is there any activity to take place worldwide?

SW: As I mentioned before, it’s up to you as a Joomler to help communicate and share your local celebrations. It can be in your JUG meeting, at a Joomla Event and also with your peers or your fellow colleagues. Please use the hashtag #joomla10 to share the excitement with everyone.

JCM: Up to today, from your perspective, what are the greatest accomplishments of Joomla so far?

SW: The first early days when the founders decided to fork Mambo was a great accomplishment that started this journey that we are sharing. And I don’t think everyone agrees when I say a great accomplishment was to have the guts, as our awesome developers have had, to take big leaps in development from major versions to the next. (What we have learned from it is that we should have been better in providing tools for users to follow the versions easier than it was done.) Other things that were great accomplishments are making Joomla Mobile Ready right out of the box, including Bootstrap and making Joomla even more secure with Two Factor Authentication. There are so many more, but these are the things that are on top of my mind. All this has resulted in an excellent code base and a much better web publishing software than most. And that has always been the goal.

JCM: What the community can expect from Joomla in the next 10 years?

SW: In recent years of more frequent global traveling and getting to personally know a lot of Joomlers around the world, I feel confident that we will continue to be a strong and vibrant community for the next 10 years. A community that continues to transcend the challenges of differences in cultures, languages and timezones. And embracing the difference as our cutting edge advantage! A community that is tighter than ever and truly lives the Joomla meaning “together as a whole”. A community that comes together, more determined than ever to solve the challenge of making digital communication easier, for both end-users and organizations like companies, governments and non-profits. A community that stands tall and proud for what we achieve together everyday, with positive and passionate volunteers. Working together to make positive changes. A community that continues to be compassionate to others. And a community that is brave enough to make real change in the digital world. And that takes courage. Remember Joomla becomes what we make it to be. The sky is not the limit. I see it as a great starting point.

In name of the Joomla Community Magazine, we thank Sarah Watz for her time and availability.

Join the celebration by sharing your images with #joomla10. Best pictures will be published in the magazine in the end of the year. 



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