8 Reasons Why Your Entire Company Should Contribute to TYPO3

Categories: Community Created by Mathias Bolt Lesniak
Colored pencils in a circle, tips pointing inward.
Photo: Mahbod Akhzami / Unsplash.com
What was your New Year’s resolution for 2021? I propose one: Involve more people in TYPO3 contribution. Here are eight reasons why agencies should also encourage non-developers to join the fun.

Here are some examples of professions you might find in an agency, and how people might find exciting ways to contribute in the TYPO3 community:

  • Marketers will expand their knowledge of TYPO3’s unique selling points.
  • Salespeople will learn more about how TYPO3 creates value for the clients.
  • Project managers can increase their understanding of solutions and best practices.
  • Content publishers will learn how to best optimize their publication workflow.
  • Testers can share their experience and help the CMS meet their needs.
  • Designers and UX professionals get a chance to make TYPO3 look and feel just right.
  • Support teams can learn how others solve problems and the best ways to debug TYPO3.
  • Accountants can increase transparency and optimize spending for the association. 
  • Managers can teach effective leadership and facilitation skills.

A little while ago, I asked for quotes from TYPO3 community members on Twitter. Their responses reflect a lot of what I believe to be true, and I think it reflects the views of many people in the open source CMS business. I have included some of them here.

From a Business Perspective, TYPO3 Contribution Is …

1—More Than Code

It is easy to see a software community as being only for coders, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Take the article you’re reading right now, for example:

  • The person who proofread this article is a part of the Content Group
  • This website it’s on was designed by the Design Team. 
  • The need for this article was brought up in a Marketing Team meeting.
  • (Publishing this article didn’t require a coder either.)

All of these tasks can be done by non-coders!

Sure, you’ll find a lot of coders in the Core Team, typo3.org Team, Security Team and Server Team. However, those are just four of fifteen TYPO3 community teams and committees. Some other teams have no coders at all, and TYPO3 needs all kinds of people.

2—Uncovering the Possibilities

Abraham Maslow said: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail,” and that is true for a lot of things. By bringing in more people of different professions into the TYPO3 community, we broaden our perspectives.

I’m sure diversity among coworkers brings fresh perspectives and creativity to your client projects. Community contribution can multiply that value by putting you in contact with even more diversity that can help solve problems, sell, and build TYPO3 websites.

3—Improving the Editing Experience

If everyone found writing HTML the easiest way to publish a website, we wouldn’t need a CMS like TYPO3. To make it even easier, we’ll always need active contribution and feedback from website editors.

People who work with content publication and those who teach editors how to use TYPO3, have a very different experience to those of us who write code. The only way to make TYPO3 better for editors and educators is to bring them into the discussions that shape the user interface!

  • What documentation helps an editor get started? The Documentation Team makes TYPO3 easy to learn for everyone.
  • The Education and Certification Committee works on learning materials and certifications.
  • The Localization Team makes sure the TYPO3 Backend is translated to the languages editors know.
  • The Accessibility Team ensures that TYPO3 can be used by everyone and share their expertise, increasing the overall accessibility competence in the community.

4—Magic at the Workplace

That heading might sound cheesy, but—believe me—it’s a huge benefit of company-wide TYPO3 contribution:

To expand on Sybille’s points:

  • Learning: Because you meet some of the most experienced TYPO3 people and get to discuss new approaches with new people.
  • Motivation: Because you’re part of something bigger.
  • Contacts: Because the people who can help you solve a problem are just an email or Slack conversation away—and it's easy to find out who knows what.
  • Experience: Because challenging yourself and learning by doing is best done in the company of people who know more than you.
  • Expand your mindset: Because working with people from outside of your workplace allows you to think outside the box.
  • Get new ideas: Because groundbreaking innovation happens when you encounter new ways of thinking and challenge your own and others’ assumptions.

5—Being Part of Something Bigger

Nothing creates motivation like being part of something much bigger than yourself. That’s how sports teams build their fan clubs, and it’s what brings the little extra to that otherwise boring Monday at the desk. Stefan puts it so succinctly:

In the world of TYPO3, even growing the community is a contribution and a team effort. Take a look at the Community Expansion Committee.

6—Community brings Networked Expertise

“I can help with this” and “I know someone who can help with this” are really the same statements, said by the same people, but at different times. You might have understood it already, but let me say it again: In open source, it’s not just about scratching your own itch, it’s about everyone contributing what they can and creating shared perfection together.

7—World-Class User Experience Requires Real Users

Just like you would want a cross-section of society represented in government, you can only cover every angle by including everyone.

8—Don’t Underestimate the Return on Investment

Because contribution happens in the community, there is also considerable group-based learning going on. Being in contact with the community means there is a constant exchange of knowledge. If you allow it to happen, this build-up of expertise will benefit your business.

This knowledge exchange happens everywhere in the TYPO3 community, but the Education & Certification Committee and the Documentation Team are both important movers and shakers in this value-creation process. 

Still, you should count in teams as diverse as the Demo Project and the Security Team, the Design Team and the Academic Committee in this process of giving you back more than what you brought: They help shape TYPO3’s public image as the professional CMS it truly is.

We’re All Pulling in the Same Direction

Even if you’re not an agency owner, there is still a lot you can do—such as encourage everyone in your company to participate and maybe invite your boss for lunch (and a chat about contribution).

As John F. Kennedy said: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Find Your Team and Join

Additional contributors for this article
  • Proofreader : Felicity Brand
  • Reviewer : heather mcnamee