Michael Babker

White Bear Lake, United States

Past: Release Lead, CMS Maintainer; Present: Production Department Coordinator, Framework Maintainer, Security Team Member, .org System Administrator; Future: Going Insane


Team Position Role Date Started
Production Department Coordinator Feb 2017
Bug Squad Member May 2010
CMS Maintenance Team Member Nov 2014
CMS Release Team Contributor 3.8 Release Lead Mar 2017
Community Translation Team Member American Translation Sep 2016
Framework Team Member Jan 2013
Google Summer of Code Joomla Team Contributor Mentor Mar 2017
GSoC 17 Webservices Member Mentor May 2017
Issue Tracker Team Team Leader System Administrator Oct 2012
Joomla 4 Working Group Assistant Team Leader Jun 2016
Marketing Product Release Management Team Member Template Supervisor Apr 2017
New Project Wide Template Design Team Team Leader Developer Oct 2016
Security Strike Team Member Jan 2013
Unit Testing Working Group Member Feb 2017
Webmasters Team Team Leader Sep 2015
Team Position Role Date Started Date Ended
Production Leadership Team Member Nov 2012 Nov 2014
Automated Testing Team Member May 2012 Oct 2015
CMS Maintenance Team Member Sep 2012 Oct 2015
CMS Release Team Team Leader 3.2 & 3.3 Release Lead Sep 2012 Dec 2014
Joomla X Architecture Member Jun 2015 Oct 2015
Joomla X Team Member Architecture, Code Quality May 2015 Oct 2015
Unit Tests Working Group Team Leader May 2012 May 2015
Update Working Group Member Development Aug 2014 Oct 2015

My first introduction to Joomla came in the form of a very poorly managed Joomla 1.0 installation on my organization's intranet in 2008 after volunteering to manage our team's pages within the site.  This had been my first introduction to a CMS and in truth I found our setup very difficult to work with.  Lucky for me, my job as our team's site manager was becoming easier as our intranet was being migrated into SharePoint and given our Microsoft enterprise environment, this made me a happy camper and I slowly went back to focusing primarily on my System Administrator responsibilities as we abandoned our Joomla based intranet.  First impression - unimpressed, but the seed was planted.


Fast forward to the beginning of 2010.  A friend had wanted to start an alumni organization for a group we were involved with in high school and asked if I was willing to build a website for this.  Even though my IT background was focused at the System and Network Administration level, I'd always enjoyed web site building as a side hobby, so I jumped on board with this and quickly threw together a static HTML site as a proof of concept.  I then realized I'd need a system where others would be able to manage the site's content and not depend on me to do it all for them, so I started doing some research into solutions and found Joomla again, this time in a more mature state in the form of 1.5.  I gave it another chance knowing that the two versions had changed, but wasn't really aware of the scope of change at any level, and I was glad I had done so; everything I had disliked about my first experience with Joomla wasn't an issue this time around.  Sadly, the site build never saw the light of day, but it was an important step forward on this crazy train ride.


As I'd been dabbling around with 1.5 and started building out my own personal web presence, the first 1.6 beta release had been announced, and I was intrigued.  I checked it out and started fighting with Joomlacode to report issues as at the time my PHP skills were non-existent.  At this same time, several folks had encouraged me to at least try helping patch items, so after spending some time learning what an IDE was, what SVN was, and getting all of that stuff set up, I managed to get my first patch contributed for bug 20568 in May of 2010.  As they say, the rest is history.


After that, I found myself learning quickly the ways of Joomla and starting to understand PHP as a whole and found myself spending more and more time doing things with the project.  I had begun writing my own extensions, took on more complicated bug fixes, and even volunteered to migrate the old JXtended Finder extension suite up from 1.5 to 2.5 standards, a suite which is known today as Smart Search.


It was in 2012 that things shifted the most for me in terms of my involvement with the project.  Throughout the course of the year, I had spent quite a bit of time focusing on the old Platform code helping to clean that up some and push it forward, mentored one of the many Google Summer of Code projects that year (all of that code has been available since Joomla 3.0), provided some assistance with the JUX movement and ensuring their code was up to standard to merge into 3.0, and was invited to join the Security Strike and CMS Release teams.  To close the year, I was invited to the Production Leadership Team.


2012 was also my first opportunity to meet the Joomla community in person by way of JandBeyond and it was an amazing experience to finally meet people I'd been working with online for the previous two years.  That event only encouraged me to stay involved, help more where I could, and laid the framework for me to build some truly amazing friendships.


Over the course of my time on the Production Leadership Team, I was able to see the Joomla! Issue Tracker deployed and become the point of truth for all of Joomla's issue tracking, coordinated with the team on a major revision to our development strategies, see the Joomla! Framework become a stable product, and be the lead coordinator for a dozen releases of the Joomla CMS, and have been able to watch our community grow immensely and be a part of that growth.


Though my time as a member of that team has ended as of November 2014, it's only the end of another chapter of my Joomla story; a new chapter has begun with new opportunities for myself, the teams I contribute to, and the Joomla project.

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