Production Working Group: JSOP Updates

Written by | 03 August 2010 | Published in 2010 August
The Production Leadership Team manages all areas of Joomla! development, including documentation, design, coding, and development cycle. In addition, the Production Leadership Team manages all areas of the Joomla project which relate to the production of the Joomla! CMS software and it’s documentation. This issue’s Leadership connections contribution from the Production Leadership Team consists of an interview with Mark Dexter on the status of the Joomla! Student Outreach Program.
For those who aren't familiar with it, what is the Joomla! Student Outreach Program (JSOP)?

The purpose of this program is to provide a structure that allows students to gain real-world software development experience working with world-class mentors on projects of value to the Joomla! community.

This is an all-volunteer program. Students, mentors, and administrators work on a volunteer basis, although there will be cool t-shirts and achievement certificates for students who successfully complete one or more projects. See
for more information.

What are the goals for the JSOP?
  • New Talent: JSOP is one way the project can recruit new development talent into the community.
  • Community: By fostering working in teams, JSOP will help strengthen the ties that connect community members to each other and to the project.
  • Working Code and Docs: The work product of JSOP projects is expected to improve the Joomla! software and documentation.

For students:

  • Experience: Real-world experience working on real problems.
  • Knowledge: Work with and learn from world-class mentors. We have a fantastic team of mentors who are anxious to get started.
  • Satisfaction: See your work incorporated into real software used by many people all over the world.
  • Recognition: Be recognized for your contributions to the team and to the Joomla! project.
  • Community: Be a part of a fantastic community.

For mentors:

  • Satisfaction: Helping teach, guide, and nurture students as they make the transition from the classroom to real-life work.
  • Satisfaction: Helping the Joomla! project recruit new talent into the community.
  • Satisfaction: Helping complete important work for the project.
How many people are involved in the JSOP (students and mentors)?

About 12 students and 12 mentors.

How many different projects are underway, and can you give a summary of some or all of them?

We have 7 projects: Joomla! Development Tools, JConnekt 2.0, Media Gallery, Project Management Tools, Usability Testing, Web-Based Translation, and Zen Joomla!. You can read about some of them here:!_Student_Outreach_Program_Project_Ideas

More links:

What have been some of the more rewarding aspects of starting and managing the JSOP?

It has been great to see the enthusiasm of the community toward students and toward these projects.

What have been some of the biggest challenges to starting and managing the JSOP?

This is a new program that we are trying on a pilot basis, so we don't have it all figured out. Also, many of us are very busy at the present time with working on version 1.6, so that is a challenge.

Are there plans for a 2011 JSOP? If so, what things have been learned which might be applied to future JSOP offerings?

I think so, but it is a little too soon to say for sure. I think one lesson (at least for me) is to try to have more involvement from the Production Leadership Team in creating the proposed JSOP projects.

Is there a way for the community to follow progress of the JSOP projects?
Yes. JSOP students are blogging on Also, anyone can read the JSOP Google Group:
Are there ways the the community can support the JSOP, either by testing or in other areas? If so, how can community members learn more about opportunities to help?

Yes! If you are interested in any of the projects, just write a post on the Google group or email any of the mentors.

When will the JSOP be completed?
The program will officially end on 31 August 2010. However, the projects can (and many will) continue to be worked on after that time.
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Paul Orwig

Paul Orwig

Paul is a freelance web solutions provider based in Parker, Colorado, USA. He is the President of the board of directors for Open Source Matters, a former member of the Joomla! Community Leadership Team, a former Webmaster for the Joomla! community portal, and he was the founding Lead Editor for the Joomla! Community Magazine.