Whether it's a community group in your local area, or a global free and open source software project like Joomla, volunteers are an important resource for any organization. Joomla! In fact, it would not exist without over 750 volunteer contributors to the code base alone, along with hundreds of other volunteers over the past 17 years that have made Joomla what it is today.
Some in the community have commented recently that there's very few new faces appearing in the community, and those that are here have often been around for many years. That means we have a loyal base of enthusiastic volunteers. They provide strong retention of organisational knowledge, but at the same time can't do everything. The beauty of free and open source software projects like Joomla is that anyone is welcome to volunteer to help Joomla.
More Joomlers means more ideas, more fresh minds and the stronger we become.
Joomla always happily tries to engage with those interested in volunteering. The initial ways to get involved are traditionally self-paced, and the Contribute to Joomla page, as well as several previous magazine articles, outlines some starting points.
A number of the ways to contribute are ideal for those that can contribute anywhere from 30 minutes a week through to regular hours.
- 88 languages need translations completed or proofreaders appointed.
- Patch testing is an ongoing process which testers can spend time completing whenever they have time spare.
- Documentation needs to be updated across the entire system, and can be done at your own pace.
Many other ways to contribute start to see regular hours required to contribute. At your local level, that might see you coordinating your local Joomla User Group meetings each month. At the global level, roles regularly become available and advertised either on the Help Wanted page, in this magazine, or on Joomla's community leadership blogs.
There's been a number of new faces coming in recently following the recent structural change that has formed the Outreach Department, and the reinvigoration of the Joomla marketing team.
Over 300 students expressed interest in participating in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) with Joomla this season. GSoC is the first of a number of student engagement programs Joomla are involved with in 2022.
The restructure creating the Outreach Department has started to see several teams working more closely together including Joomla's Volunteer Engagement Team, Marketing Team, Events Team and Joomla User Groups team along with several others. Many of the activities of these teams are going to be aimed at supporting local user groups, and provide - as the department name indicates - outreach programs globally.
Since Joomla 4 was released in August 2021, Joomla's been winning awards and interest has been returning as users find out how well Joomla 4 performs.
Several opportunities exist going forward that need volunteers to work towards delivering some special projects. These projects are ones that have either been shelved over time due to not having the resourcing required at the time, or by not having the right product available to put forward combined with their solution. They may still be projects that take a number of years to come fully to fruition, but they're areas that you as a reader may see and think that's something you would be interested in helping with.
The Education Outreach team paused activities in the lead up to Joomla 4's release, waiting for the product to both be released as well as mature more and see more features added over time. Following Joomla 4.2's release, the Education outreach team may be looking at restarting the development of Joomla curriculum resources for secondary and tertiary education. These would be designed to provide digital technology teachers around the world with a ready to deliver subject guide for students to learn content management systems, ideally using Joomla 4.
Developer Relations Program
Joomla's last attempt at establishing a DevRel program - where developers have a team they can reach out to for guidance, assistance and education - was back in 2015. DevRel is a mixture of marketing, public relations, community engagement and sharing product expertise. A mixture of volunteers is going to be needed to make this program happen, and you don't necessarily need to know everything about developing with Joomla.
Over the years, I've been involved in hundreds of conversations on ways to use Joomla. One of the great features of Joomla is its extensibility. Even starting with the flexibility custom fields provide to content management, coupled with the new workflow and scheduler components in Joomla 4, that's enough with a bit of thought, planning and creativity to make amazing data driven websites for any requirements. Add in a selection of extensions from Joomla's extensive Extension Directory and there's not much you can't make a website do using Joomla.
Currently though, Joomla's Showcase Directory is lacking case studies to show off the power of Joomla. Contributing a case study is a simple way for readers to make a small contribution to Joomla - and most likely find you end up with a quality backlink to your website*.
- *At time of publication, Joomla Showcase Directory has a Domain Authority of 92, and does not restrict links being followed through to showcase sites. This may change without notice at any point should the showcase directory be rebuilt.