17-19 November 2017

The Italian Bridge

Rome · Italy

An interview with Sander Potjer


Read how Sander Potjer, the person behind the extension ACL Manager came to use and work with Joomla! Sander is a regular contributor to Joomla! and a seasoned presenter at JWC and regional Joomla! days. He will be speaking at JWC in Rome this year, here is what he had to say.

Sander, great to talk to you, please tell us something about yourself.

I'm a 31-year-old Dutch guy that lives in Naarden in the Netherlands. A Joomla-lover that has been using Joomla since the early beginning. I am co-owner of Perfect Web Team (perfectwebteam.com), a Joomla-only web agency with a great team of 13 people that like to build the perfect Joomla site. We're working on bigger Joomla-project like for Dutch radio stations. Besides building Joomla websites I am also the developer of the extension ACL Manager and soon to be released new extensions under the label PWT Extensions. In my free time, I like to contribute to the Joomla project as well, mainly via the Joomla Volunteers Portal and the local Joomla community. 

So how did you start working with Joomla!

I started as a regular hobby user back 2005 while I was actually studying architecture and building a website for my rowing team. I'm still doing the rowing part of this, but I exchanged the architecture for Joomla which became my profession. This was never planned, but I got really excited about Joomla and building websites and extensions for others, so decided to switch my career. I learned Joomla by trial and error. I like challenges and those help me to keep learning, so still learning more about Joomla! Besides learning, I also like to share my Joomla knowledge with others, for example by giving presentations at conferences. 

Joomla! is now powering over 3% of the world’s websites, yet outside of the web build/development market no one has heard of it, should we care?

With Perfect Web Team we choose to focus on one CMS only, so Joomla has no secrets for us and we can do everything with it. But if you ask us to use a different CMS I can guarantee that you won't have the same results. Its all about your knowledge about a specific CMS. In the end, Joomla is just a "tool" for us to build a website with. In our experience clients may have heard or have a prefered CMS, but the most important aspect is often the web builder itself. Does the client trust you well enough that you can handle the tool to build what the client is looking for? It is of course helpful if people heard about Joomla, but I would care more about how you sell yourself and Joomla to potential clients. 

As a veteran of Joomla! conferences, what advice would you give to a first time attender who is considering coming, but has not committed yet, what would you describe as the key benefit to be gained from attending a JWC?

So far I could join all Joomla World Conferences and I am very glad I did. It is great to get to know others within the Joomla-community, sharing ideas and knowledge with people from all over the world is very nice. Together we have so much knowledge about Joomla, but also about other related aspects, like running a company, hourly rates, working with clients, project management tools etc.... If you do have a challenge, ask others about their idea or suggestions. You will notice that often someone else challenged it before. Within a couple days you will get fully charged with the latest Joomla developments and you will heading back home with more knowledge and fresh inspiration! And of course with new friends!

Anything else that you think may prove interesting to potential attendees?

Joomla is big, web development in general is huge. You can't keep up to date with all latest developments and trends by yourself. Conferences are a great way to learn more about this in a short period of time. Many speakers are experts in their area, so get the advantage out of that and gain knowledge about the topics they looked into for you. It will save you time, but it will also open up your eyes. I am always fully charged with new ideas and inspiration when I return from the Joomla World Conference!

Sander, many thanks, I look forward to seeing your presentation "Don't repeat yourself with JLayout" on Sunday morning.

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