Recently we had a chance to chat with Saurabh Shah, Open Source Matters Board Member and Joomla! consultant, and ask him a few questions about his experiences with Joomla. What Saurabh had to say is really worth your valuable time, so sit back and enjoy the interview. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Saurabh, a million thanks for accepting my interview invitation. To start – what are 3 non-Joomla related facts about yourself that you would like to share with our readers? Those that aren’t covered in the Internet….
Thanks for inviting me here. It’s my pleasure to talk with you. In your first question you asked me to reveal a few personal hidden secrets. For those who don’t know me personally here you go: 1) I am a workaholic and you can find me online almost all day long unless I am getting some sleep or travelling. 2) When I travel, I like to to walk around my new surroundings all day and I can still party all night long with good company. My adrenaline kicks in and keeps me high when I am travelling and meeting new people. 3) I like to watching TV series, Reading good articles about new technology, Tweeting & playing with good kids (who don’t cry too much) when I’m not working.
What is the driving force that motivates you to take an active part in various Joomla-related events (Joomla! Events Team, Joomla! User Group, Joomla! Social Media Team, JoomlaDay India, etc.)?
The Joomla Community as a whole motivates me and everything I do. Everyday I interact with so many people online and around the globe. We discuss ideas and help each other and seeing their passion keeps me motivated to do more things and help the project in any way I can. Moreover, it’s like a family to me. Regardless of the the team I’m working on, it’s all just one big happy family to me.
When did you realize that Joomla might become the essential part of your career? Do you remember your first experience of using Joomla CMS?
To be honest, while I was learning about different content managements systems in 2008, I didn’t know that it would be such a big part of my life. After using Joomla for the first time, it felt was easier than any other CMS I had learned. After using Joomla for a few months, I was addicted and I was using it for every project. Eventually it became an essential part of my career. Since then, I have never looked back at any other CMS. I remember that my first experience using Joomla for a German author’s website. I converted the site into Joomla 1.5 and added a testimonials page with some component and customized it.
How Joomla has changed over time? How do you see the platform unfolding in a year’s time? In 4-5 years time?
Joomla has really changed a lot in the last few years. It’s not just a CMS, you can do a lot more with Joomla. We have a platform team now, which we didn’t have before, and they clean code and were responsible for the responsive integration which was a great move for the project. I still see a lot more things need to be added to make it the greatest CMS available. I know the Production Leadership Team (PLT) is doing many great things and they have a lot more in the pipeline. In the next 4-5 years of time, we have a lot more to do keep generating better code and features. You can read the project’s roadmap and details on the developer website.
You’ve been working with Joomla for such a long period of time. What Joomla features, do you think, make millions of users gravitate towards the platform? What sets the platform apart from all the other CMS solutions currently available?
Simplicity and the support from thousands of volunteers really gravitate towards the platform. I have seen many new users over the years that they just needed a website for their business or a personal website and just a simple guide to learn how to get started.
What is missing in Joomla CMS that you wish the platform had in its core? How would you make it better?
I don’t think anything is missing as such. As we know, we cannot have all features as we need because everyone has different needs and we cannot bloat the CMS with all the features everyone wants. I am not saying that Joomla is 100% perfect, but no CMS is. There is always improvement to be made and new features to be added or some old unnecessary features to be removed. Constant changes for better CMS is the key to make it all successful.
You’ve built a lot of Joomla templates. Which one has been the favorite to develop? And the one you are mostly proud of?
Yes, I have created lot of templates and I enjoy creating them with all the tiny details as per the client requirement. There are lot of templates and each of them have different needs so it’s hard to pick just one. One of the projects I worked on which I am proud was for the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (https://ace.nd.edu/).
There are thousands of extensions available at the official Joomla Directory. What are Top 5 extensions you can’t afford to miss out every time you configure a Joomla website and why?
There are so many great extensions it’s hard to pick just 5. This is just my personal pick but many times I choose from other great extensions based on the project.
As Joomlaholic, have you ever faced the problem of website migration from other CMSs to Joomla? If yes, what are the main difficulties of switching to this platform? What’s your view on using automated converter?
Certainly. I’ve had to deal with changing from WordPress to Joomla, but there are great tools available to help resolve the migration problem. I can’t say I’ve ever used the automated converter.
Do you think that keeping the same design is an important part of migration from one platform to another?
Yes, design is very important because it is how they are selling their products or services and displaying their brand. I try to create the same look and feel as much as possible to the original site. But sometimes it does depend upon the client too. Most of the time changing from one platform to another, they ask to revamp the site itself with a new design.
We are coming towards the end of our interview. Any personalities or resources out there for Joomla lovers to follow? What are your words of wisdom for those willing to start their careers with Joomla but something keeps them off the “Go” button?
Wonderful! I did not notice that we have come to an end of an interview. There are lot of groups and people to follow to be honest. The Joomla Community is big and it would not be fair to give just a few names. I am currently building a list on Twitter and adding more people to follow Joomla. You can get names there and pick who you think you should follow.
A Dream, Which we Dream Together, is Reality! Come and join the awesome community. Just jump in and you will be taken care of by the community.
A huge thank you to Saurabh for sharing his time, thoughts and experience with us. Keep reading our ongoing Experts Interview Series with a lot more experts to be invited soon.
P.S. Left with a strong desire to switch to Joomla? Then look no further than CMS2CMS automated migration service to perform the conversion as safely and easily as possible. Find more detailed information here and try your Demo Migration without any delay.