Most people don't make a concious choice to use open source software. They choose the software by looking at its functionality. Or perhaps a friend recommended that they try it. Price is also a factor, of course, and that's where open source software really shines.
Choosing to use open source software might not seem like a big thing at first - but it is!
Open source software is changing the world, and the way people interact and communicate. And you are a part of that!
Unlike what you might think, it's not just developers that contribute to an open source software project. There are a large number of factors involved in making an open source project a success. Building the actual software is but one part of a large machine.
Being part of the Joomla community
There are many ways you can give back to the Joomla project. It depends on your skills and areas of interest:
- Helping out in the forums
- Writing documentation
- Translating Joomla to your language
- Bug testing new versions
- Spreading the word about Joomla to clients and on the web
- Teaching Joomla
- Organizing Joomla Nights, Joomla Days and other events
The spirit of helping
I've spoken to many people involved in Joomla and other volunteer projects. I've asked them why they spend so much time doing something without pay. The answers differ, but there is a recurring theme: Gratitude.
Several people say that Joomla is helping them fulfill their dreams, pay their mortgage, travel, meet interesting people from various cultures and much more. This instills a sense of gratitude, and a desire to give back. They understand that the reason they can use a free software today, is that someone helped build it, market it, grow it, in the past. Giving back by helping those who come after us makes perfect sense.
In an open source project, there are a lot of opinions floating around. It's so easy to forget that a lot of people actually spend a huge amount of time of their spare time for our common good. So some people spend a lot of time criticizing the project and how things are done. Are you one of them? Or are you, like most people, more concerned about the positives in the project?
Joomla is not someone else. Joomla is you and me, and it becomes what we all make it. We can all help the project forward by being positive, engaged Joomla evangelists. Helping out wherever we can. It's OK to be critical - and to ask questions in a positive and thought through manner. That's helping the project. Focus on the positive.
Be a Joomla evangelist - be a force for good in the open source world!