Ever tried volunteering? I did…

*DISCLAIMER:  the post below is my personal experience.  I still believe that Joomla!  is an awesome product, and will continue to promote it / blog about it

You’ll understand that I’m not talking about any kind of “volunteering”.  After all, this is a Joomla!  blog.  No, I’m talking about volunteering to contribute to the “Joomla! project”.  Well, I have.  I wish I could say it was the greatest thing I’ve ever done, but I would be lying. 

In the last few weeks, I got the idea that I should try and “give something back” to the Joomla!  Project.  After all, I’ve ‘taken’ so much myself.  Great add-ons, wisdom, tips, suggestions, an interesting hobby, a tool to finally build the sites I wanted to build.  What could I do in return?  I tried donating money to Joomla! but I never found out how that’d work, so I gave up on that idea.  So, why didn’t I just give some of my time / skills instead?  After all, all the cool people were doing it! 

So, in the last two weeks, I tried to do my share.  But I soon realized that ‘contributing’ isn’t easy.  I started with translating a component, and sending the translation to the developer.   Who, for a reason that’s beyond me, decided not to use that translation and instead keeps offering an out-dated translation instead.  Okay, moving on I guess.

Later, I tried to apply for a few ‘teams’ I knew about, but the result wasn’t any different.  Not replying to my e-mails seems to be the Joomla! equivalent of saying “I’m sorry, we don’t need you”.  Don’t you think I haven’t seen you visit my blog, to find out more about me.  WordPress statistics don’t lie! 

A man starts to wonder why this happens.  Was it a Global Joomla! Conspiracy against me?  Of course not.  Some kind Joomla!  people Tweeted some excellent suggestions on where I could try to “apply”.  

I’ve come to the conclusion that part of the problem must be my ‘Joomla résumé’.  I’m not much of a forum freak these days (went cold turkey after a serious forum addiction a few years ago), and I’m not a well known developer either.  Nor have I ever attended a Joomla! meet up.  All of those are things I can’t / won’t fix.  I’m a ‘site builder’ and a writer with social issues.  I assumed that this wouldn’t matter much for the teams I applied for, but apparently it does. 

There were a few more places on my ‘list’ I could try, but I had set a deadline I am committed to.  Maybe, some day in the distant future I’ll have the urge to ‘contribute’ again.  My Joomla résumé will be just as unimpressive as it is today, so I might end up disappointed again.  That’s where this blog post might come in handy. HELLO, ME, YOU’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE.  FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!

Isn’t Joomla and more ‘Contributing’?

In some way, probably.  If I’ve got to believe my stats I’ve pointed many people in the right direction when they had Joomla!  problems.  But for me, that’s not ‘contributing’.  This blog is like a ‘knowledge base’ and if it weren’t for this blog, these posts would’ve been Word documents, stored in a folder on my hard disk.  They would’ve been written anyway.  And I don’t see how solving minor problems helps Joomla! as a whole. 

Thanks you anyway, people.

Let’s finish this post on a positive note, like all articles here.  Last week hasn’t been a total disaster.  I’ve learned that there are some Joomla! people out there who are seriously committed to Joomla! and the Joomla!  community.  If you’re one of these people, don’t take see this blog post as an ‘attack’ on the community.  It’s just something I’ve got to get off my chest. 

This week, I also learned about ATAAW – or, should I say, finally took the time to figure out what ATAAW was all about –, discovered that something I’ve been ‘expecting’ is coming to your Joomlaverse soon and I learned a valuable life lesson.  Don’t invest your time and energy in something if it’s not meant to be. 

I wish my fellow Joomla! people the best of luck in their efforts to improve Joomla!   Don’t worry about me, I’ll probably forget all about this in a week or so Glimlach

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