Airton, please introduce yourself to our JCM readers.
My full name is Airton Vieira Torres. I was born in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. I have lived in the USA in the Boston area from May, 1989 to May, 1990. I now live in Votorantim, Sao Paulo, Brazil since 1995.
My family includes my wife Grisiela and my two sons Daniel, who is 21 years old, and Giovanni who is six years old.
I have attended college (Engineering classes), and I hold technical degrees in Chemistry, Electronics and Computer Science.
My current job is as a Telecommunications Technician working for the local Telecommunications Company (Telefonica). Before that I have 14 years experience as computer programmer and systems analyst working with many different computer languages, such asBasic, Cobol, Fortran, Pascal, Delphi, Dbase, and Clipper.
My hobbies are soaring (gliders) and creating web sites – with Joomla!, of course :-)
How did you first learn about Joomla!?
In 2006, my brother asked me to create a site for our flight club which I did using plain HTML and some JS. But we weren’t completely satisfied with the results and with how difficult it was to add new content. So, in 2007 I started looking for a simpler and more “automated” way to add content to the site, and got to know the term CMS. At that time I came across Joomla! and fell in love with it.
What caused you to decide to volunteer to help support the Joomla! project?
When I started working with Joomla! many doubts and issues showed up while creating my first site. I went to the official fora where I received such a warm reception and found so many thoughtful people willing to help me without asking for anything in exchange, that I decided to give back to the community whatever knowledge I could get about Joomla!, and to help wherever I could.
What different areas of the Joomla! project have you volunteered for, and what areas are you currently involved with?
I started with the fora, where I’m still active. I also volunteered to join the Joomla! Bug Squad, where I’m currently a Testing Team Leader together with Marijke Stuivenberg, I’m also share the Webmaster position at the Joomla! Community website with Paul Orwig. I’ve been recently invited – and have accepted the invitation – to join the Joomla! Security Strike Team.
What goals do you have for improving the areas of Joomla! that you are currently volunteering with?
The work I’m more strongly engaged right now is to help get J!1.6 to RC and finally to General Availability. Another goal is to help refactoring the Community site together with all the official sites to make them more attractive and useful for our users.
What are some of the challenges you face in the areas of Joomla! that you are currently volunteering with?
At the JBS we have a very tight schedule to get J!1.6 stable, with a new beta release every other week. The same process will be repeated when we get to RC until General Availability. It’s a big challenge to coordinate all the people who volunteer and all the work necessary to achieve that goal.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
No money can pay the joy of helping other people or of knowing that your contribution is being useful to millions of users around the world.
What do you find the most difficult or challenging about volunteering?
In an international community like Joomla’s, the most difficult task is to work around the cultural differences that sometimes make it hard to communicate one’s ideas and opinions.
What do you like the most about Joomla!?
I LOVE our community. Also Joomla’s power and ease of use.
What would you personally like to learn more about which is related to Joomla!?
I’d like to become a better PHP/MySQL developer (only 1.5 years since I started learning) to be able to help even further.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering to help with the Joomla! project?
Don’t think twice. No matter if you are a user, or a designer, or a developer, or a security expert, or whatever. There’s always a place in the project where your knowledge can be useful.