Interview with Petra Hasenau, elected in the TYPO3 Association’s EAB

Categories: Association Created by TYPO3 Association Communication Group
A brief interview with Petra Hasenau, recently elected as a board member in the TYPO3 Association’s Expert Advisory Board (EAB)

Interview done by Rino Razzi

Rino: Petra, in April you were elected as a member of the TYPO3 Association Expert Advisory Board. That was at the General Assembly in Essen.
One hundred and sixty (160) of TYPO3 Association's members voted for you during the online voting process. A very good result, I'd say!!!
My first question is: did you expect this result? And how do you feel about it?

Petra: The short answer is: "Wow! Unbelievable! I´m still speechless."
I never ever expected a result like this! Honestly!
I thought, getting 10 or 15 votes would be amazing, but 160?!
Sincere thanks and a big hug to every single one of you who voted for me!
Although a few days have passed since being elected, I’m still surprised and completely thrilled.
And yes, it makes me smile and I hope I'll be able to make each voter happy by doing a good work in the TYPO3 Association.

Rino:  Am I correct in assuming that this is the first time you’re taking on an official position in the TYPO3 Association? Also, how and why did you decide to apply for a position in the EAB?

Petra: Yes, that´s true. It's my first time in an official position in the TYPO3 Association.
Last year Olivier asked me if I'd be interested. My first reaction was to laugh. Me? No, that must be a joke, I thought.
But I kept having to think about that conversation, again and again, until I reached the following conclusion: Actually, why not?
After speaking with several members of the TYPO3 Association (Board, EAB and BCC), all of whom were really kind and readily answered all of my questions, I found the courage to take the step.

Rino:  Many people in the TYPO3 community know you because of the great job you’ve done in organizing the T3UX event in the past few years.
Your background is in industrial management and logistics. You’re neither a TYPO3 developer nor a TYPO3 integrator. Is that correct?
This makes me very curious as to how your engagement in the TYPO3 community began.
Would you tell us more about your first days with TYPO3?

Petra: You’re right about me not being a TYPO3 developer or a TYPO3 integrator.
I first got to know TYPO3 through my husband Joey Hasenau, who began working with TYPO3 as a freelancer many years ago. As soon as we had established our family company Cybercraft Media Manufactory in 2009, TYPO3 was the one and only thing for us to earn our living with. And it works. Then my turn came to get to know the TYPO3 community and our business partners.
Especially the TYPO3 snowboard tours have been really great for that.
I finally got to know the people behind the names that Joey had mentioned from time to time. I got to know them and to appreciate them as people , not just in their role as coders, etc.. All of a sudden, I had contact with people from around the world - from Canada to Great Britain, from Scandinavia to Switzerland, from The Netherlands, France, and also Austria. Once, I was also able to speak with Kaspar Skarhoj, and was able to thank him for bringing  TYPO3 to life and thus giving us the chance to make a living from TYPO3.
The more I got to know the members of the TYPO3 community the more I wanted to contribute something towards TYPO3. I can’t code, so what else could I do?
The TYPO3 User eXperience Week was my chance to give something back to TYPO3. If you can’t code, there are plenty of other ways to contribute towards TYPO3. Take me, for example. I can take care of coders’ needs, making it possible for them to fully concentrate on coding, working effectively and thus making TYPO3 become better and better.
In 2012, I had to join in in front of the camera for a small info movie. That was for the first TYPO3 crowdfunding for Grid Elements 2.0., and in 2014 again, for a small movie about Theme Packages. After that, people I didn’t know started approaching me at  TYPO3 events.I like to help, when someone is new or lost, making him or her feel comfortable  and helping them become part of the crowd.
I realized that it could be useful to simply be there for people, so they can stop being shy and get connected within  TYPO3’s community.
This is what I want to contribute towards the TYPO3 Association.

Rino:  As you know, I've been part of the EAB since a year now.
Soon after attending the first official meetings of the TYPO3 Association, I noticed the total absence of women in all of the association's bodies (EAB, Board and Business Control Committee).
We also see a clear prevalence of men in all of the TYPO3 community events.
For me, that was an extra reason for being so happy about your election.
Today you are the only woman in any TYPO3 Association’s bodies.
What's your opinion about  this?

Petra: Weren’t there a few women in the TYPO3 Association in earlier years? For example, I thought that Sabina and Gina  had  an active role. At the moment the rate of women is definitely rather meager.
If I can be in the TYPO3 Association, I feel confident that other women can do the same!
To be honest, I’m also a little proud about the fact that the share of women who take part in the T3UXW is above average.
Hopefully that makes things less inhibiting and lowers the barriers for newcomers.

Rino: What are your ideas with regards to the TYPO3 Association and EAB activities? What do you expect from your new experience as an EAB member?

Petra: Gather experience. And contribute experience I’ve gained in the past.
Contribute another perspective to a business primarily run by male coders.
Inspire more women contribute as well.
Get to know more nice people.
Support and improve TYPO3.
Share the idea of open-source software.
I’m looking really forward to seeing all of you at the TYPO3 events this year, like at   the TYPO3 Developer Days in Malmö.

Rino: Thank you very much for your words, Petra! I look forward to working together with you and I'm sure that your contribution will help us in our work and in further developing the whole TYPO3 project. See you in Malmo at the T3DD17!