And we’re back again this week with one more exciting interview with Brian Peat. Let’s get to know him a bit before we start.
Brian is a member of the Joomla Marketing Team and also the founder of The Peat Group. He builds Joomla sites for a living and play drums in his spare time. He is a closet Lego fanatic (that’s something really cool! ), have experience in video (including web streaming) and in creating presentations with Apple's Keynote software and also runs keynoteuser.com. His specialty is "integration", making all the parts of a site match perfectly even if it means a bit of hacking and using lots of overrides ;). Most of his sites are built with commercial themes and extensions, but they're nearly all Joomla based!
I messed around with Mambo before the Joomla fork when a friend from church showed it to me as an option for building a church intranet. After that I toyed with Wordpress and Drupal a bit, and then looked at Joomla again. I built one or two 1.0 sites and then really got into it once 1.5 came out. After that I started building sites on the side as a part time freelance business while I ran my Apple consulting business. Just before 1.6 came out, I sold my consulting records to another mac guy and move my family to another state to go to a ministry school. I continued to build Joomla sites on the side and eventually got a job at the ministry school managing their websites. I created my first 1.6 site for the ministry and then upgraded it to 2.5 all the while creating several other new 2.5 and then 3.0 sites for them before finally moving to the Nashville, TN area in July of 2014. At that point I ventured into a full time freelance business building Joomla sites.
Well, I'm a site builder and I give back where I can with the marketing and capital groups, as well as hopefully the new UX group. Many of us have extensive hours in REAL joomla sites, so while some of us can't program, we can certainly give real world feedback on how the site gets used by us and our clients. Those who program can submit ideas and pull requests, many of them do that already.
The Eco system
The flexibility of menus and modules
The professional templates that are available for it.
It's an interesting thing. There's a greater community that consists of folks like me who create sites and developers who create templates or extensions. Then there's the core group of volunteers and what I call the "conference" goers who all seem to know each other very well. There's some overlap between the two, but if you're not in the core group, it takes a bit of work to get connected. It's not that hard, but if you're an introvert, it takes some work on your end to meet people, remember names and get connected. At times I still feel like a bit of an outsider...but then it saves me from having to deal with drama in the core :)
It's a powerful (and free!) tool for quickly building GREAT looking sites that are easily expanded. I see it as a tool for site builders first and foremost.
Well, despite the drama that happens when you have an all volunteer project, I see Joomla continuing to move forward. Progress is at time slow, but it'll get there. I'd like to see the admin side go more modern, with better ajax type loading and things like collapsable menu levels in the menu editor list view and a cleaner, more modern admin template. There needs to be some work done on making things easier for the END user, including a better Media Manager and stock text editor.
Thank you so much Brian for your time. It was great fun talking to you. Even I agree that the look and feel of the admin side can be taken to a next level.
Guys, that was Brian Peat! Stay tuned, we’ll be back next week with one more interview.