Web development is something that has a great amount of community interaction in it. Developers, experts and novices are constantly sharing insights, views, information etc on various topics. This community interaction is not just a platform to communicate but also acts as a great source of learning. One such great community in the web development world is the Joomla community. A highly interactive community that engages in constant discussions and debates to make Joomla a better platform and one of the major contributors to this community is Joomla Expert - Steve Burge. He is well known for his venture OS Training.
Let us get to know more about this open source Joomla expert - Steve Burge, in this one on one-
I read about your different ventures like OSTraining, Alledia and how you worked hard for them. But I found very little about you. Tell us more about Steve as a person? What are your likes and dislikes?
Good question! There’s probably two reasons:
- I’m shy by nature. There are outgoing, big-talking CEOs who become identified with the company. But I’ve met a lot of quiet CEOs like myself who let their employees or work take center stage.
- We’ve got young kids - 2 little girls who are 4 and 6. As soon as my first girl was born, I stopped going to tech conferences. 10 years ago, I’d often be in an airport on Friday or Saturday nights. Nowadays, you’ll probably see me at the biggest conferences like DrupalCon and WordCamp US, but I’m happier being home with my family.
I genuinely enjoy or them all. Or, to be more accurate, I love moving between them. I really believe that developers need to keep exploring. I’m having a lot of fun playing with Drupal 8 at the moment, plus 2 new CMS’s called Grav and Pagekit.
If a stranger were to ask you to describe your work, how would you describe it?
The answer to that question is hard, because it’s constantly changing. I’ve been doing this 10 years and every year has been different.
Back in around 2007, I was constantly on a plane, flying everywhere from Alaska and Miami to Amsterdam and Munich. There was a lot of demand for in-person training.
In around 2011 to 2012, that demand started to evaporate as more and more people discovered online training. So, I spent a lot of time creating video tutorials.
Now in 2015, I’m more of a traditional CEO.
Working two jobs a day is not easy, still you did it. You worked as a teacher during the day and as a web designer at night. What were the challenges you faced then?
Honestly, I didn’t find it hard, but I was 25 and had no children.
Now I’m 10 years older and have two young kids who wake up very early, have boundless energy and are very noisy. I certainly couldn’t do it now!
If you were asked to choose between Web design and teaching what would you pick?
Teaching. No question about that. I get the most enjoyment from taking a complex task and figuring out how to make it understandable. This post on the beauty of Lego instructions sums up that philosophy.
Alledia.com was your 1st venture. How important is it for you? Are you still connected to it?
Yes, we still run Alledia.com. At the moment it hosts Joomla extensions. In fact, we just released OSEmbed, which makes it as to embed anything as WordPress does. You can drop URLs for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or anything else into Joomla and it will just work.
What are your future plans for OSTraining?
The next step for OSTraining will be to unify our videos into a total curriculum. At the moment, you can find sites like YouTube, Udemy and others with millions of disconnected videos. Our goal in 2016 will be to provide a unified
According to you, how does business downfall impacts a persons' life?
Now that’s a big question. I guess it depends on what you call a “downfall”. Running a business is often a constant stream of small failures and a business owner needs to overcome all of them.
The biggest failure I’ve had so far was Admincredible, a tool to update many Joomla websites. I learned several things from that:
- Use familiar tools. We used Ruby on Rails, a language we really didn’t know well enough.
- Plan for things to be 10 times more difficult than you imagine. In the end, we significantly underestimated the complexity of the task and the money we would need.
Tell us more about the OSWay.
The OSWay is our philosophy for teaching: Personal, Clear, Practical, Structured, Positive, Direct.
In practice, this means that our training his highly opinionated. We try to give a very clear pathway to success. For example, in Joomla 1.5 we used the SCAM workflow: Sections, Categories, Articles, Menus. In Joomla 2.5 we used the CASh workflow: Categories, Articles, Show.
'Joomla! Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide' has earned a lot of respect for itself and you amongst the Joomla and open source communities. Did you ever imagine writing a book, as a part of your career goals?
No, not at all! I’ve written 3 books now. Each book is like running a marathon. While you’re in the process, you hate it and curse yourself for agreeing to do this. As soon as you’re finished, you start to plan for the next one!
Who is the most influential person in your life?
Easy. My mum. She has just retired after 20 years as the headteacher of a school in England. Her school was actually right next door to Jane Austen’s house. If she can deal so calmly with 100’s of young children, then I can certainly deal calmly with a few difficult customers.
Tell us one thing you'd like to change considering the present scenario of Joomla training and development?
I’d love to see Joomla focus entirely on version 3. There have been enough major changes and migrations over the years. Let’s focus 100% on making Joomla 3 as great as possible.
3 suggestions you'd like to give new entrants in Joomla development.
- Find a mentor. You will learn much faster with experienced help.
- Get onto the Joomla Stack Exchange.
Download some relatively simple extensions and try to contribute. We have over a dozen free extensions on Github and would be happy to mentor anyone who’s willing to learn.