[How Did I Begin With Joomla] Episode 2: Meet Soren Beck Jensen
Your next dose of inspiration with Joomla is here!
Hello again in our series “How did I begin with Joomla” with inspiring stories from Joomlers all over the world!
This time, let’s have a talk with Soren Beck Jensen, founder and CEO of Jensen Technologies SL – a web development company based in Spain.
Besides being a raving Joomla fan from the start, he is also a proactive Joomla volunteer and a skillful Joomla developer. You can also get in touch with Soren on Twitter @sorenbeck.
Now, let’s sit around and listen to his story with us today! Hope you enjoy it!
When did you start your journey with Joomla? How did you know about it? Please tell us your first impression about Joomla.
I started using Joomla when it was called Mambo. Back then I was just starting the company and did not have any employees.
I have been working with web development since 1994 and was familiar with several different systems. Before Mambo I had developed sites by hand and using PHP-Nuke. If you used that software (back then at least) you would also have switched to Mambo in a heartbeat.
I was really impressed with Mambo but shortly after I started using it, the split to Joomla happened. Back then I was not involved with the community so for me, it was just a matter of typing in a different URL when downloading a new version of the software.
Joomla quickly grew and many new extensions were added all the time. In the beginning most extensions were of questionable quality so we got in the habit of never using any extensions but developing our own.
That quickly got repetitive so I developed a solution to quickly set up a new Joomla component. This is what was later developed into Component Creator. I must however add that many extensions these days are of really great quality and we have started using some in our projects again (such as those by JoomlaShine and other great developers).
Thank you. It seems like a very good start, doesn’t it?
How does Joomla affect your career? Why do you choose Joomla to stick with?
In the beginning we simply stuck with Joomla because it was what we knew. But now we also stick with it because we know it is very powerful and flexible and because we are heavily invested and involved with the Joomla project, both as volunteers. It is also because we develop the Component Creator and Neno Translate.
The popularity of Joomla (compared to WordPress) has declined over the years, but I think the main reason is that most websites only need to be simple and does not need the additional flexibility that Joomla offers. Additionally I feel that some users have soured on Joomla after having a hard time upgrading to new versions without proper backwards compatibility.
I however am glad we stuck with it. It is now a really well-coded and powerful CMS that we are proud of supporting and using in our projects.
So, can you share with us some troubles you got when using Joomla at the first time? How did you overcome them?
I honestly do not remember, but I would imagine that the problems I had were with not knowing or understanding how it worked and doing things the wrong way - for example, changing core code instead of extending the CMS by developing extensions.
It takes a while to get to know any complex system like Joomla, and when you are working on a client project with a deadline, there is not always time to learn how to do things the right way. This has naturally changed over time, and now we are very focused on always "doing the right thing" and advocate that others do the same.
Do you have any advice for a Joomla newbie to help them get started with Joomla easier?
I will stick with the developer perspective and also do a little self-promotion. If you are just learning how to develop Joomla extensions I would recommend setting up your component with Component Creator and viewing the files we generate. We have gone to great length to generate code that follows the Joomla Coding Standards and the development methodology outlined in the Joomla Developer Manual.
If you are a non-technical person I would recommend setting up a free Joomla Demo and just play around with it. If you get stuck or would like a guided tour I recommend watching the video tutorials created by Brian Teeman.
Let’s talk about Joomla community a little! As a frequent speaker, how do you think about Joomla events?
I love Joomla events and have made many real friends in the Joomla sphere. In the beginning I attended to talk and promote our own services, but quickly got hooked into the awesome community that exists around Joomla and its volunteers. If you develop for or even just use Joomla to build your site, I greatly recommend you to join a Joomla User Group or attend a Joomla event.
I’m really impressed and in love with the song “HalleJoomla” for Joomla’s 10th birthday! Let’s share about how you wrote it!
I read somewhere the inspirational quote "Life begins when you leave your comfort zone". It really made me stop and think back on my life and realize that it is very true.
My most favorable memories are from when I "left the comfort zone". So I asked myself how I could do that more often and one of the answers was to sign up for the JFactor at J&Beyond. I love signing and play both the guitar and some piano, so it was quickly decided that I would sing.
At J&Beyond 2014 we were sitting around playing guitar and started singing "Hallelujah" but quickly changed the words to "HalleJoomla" in the chorus. That was probably the start. You can see an embarrassing video of it here:
I am originally from Denmark and we have a tradition of singing homemade satirical songs at festivities such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. We do it the same way... takes a famous melody that everybody knows and re-write the words. So I sat down with my guitar and started writing. It was quite a fun and enjoyable process actually.
I will be participating again in this year’s JFactor with a new song, that I hope will bring some smiles to people’s faces. I have not written it yet, but know what melody to use. My ambition is to get everybody to sing along.
If you have not seen the HalleJoomla performance you can see it here:
And here is the karaoke version if you like to sing it yourself.
Thank you so much, Soren for your inspiring story!
How did you begin with Joomla?
The more “Joomla stories” we tell, the deeper we are in love with Joomla community and its members. Like Soren, I believe that there are many people love how they chose to stick with Joomla til this day. Let’s share your Joomla story with us! Just send us an email or drop us some words here or on our social channels at @joomlashine or Facebook fanpage.