Openness and Exceptional Eye Contact: Wolfgang Fiebig on the Unique Spirit of the TYPO3 Community

Categories: Event Report, Community Created by Luana Valentini
As we embrace 2024 and its upcoming events, we're excited to share something a little different with our community. Meet Wolfgang Fiebig, facilitator, mentor, and coach, who recently stepped into the TYPO3 world as a curious guest. 

Wolfgang's take on the TYPO3 community is a window into how we're perceived through fresh eyes, and it's as enlightening as it is thought-provoking. If you're interested in how he and on-stage partner Claudia Deuster translated his findings into his facilitation session at the conference, don't miss out on our blog post recapping the event

In this candid chat, Wolfgang shares his unfiltered impressions from the community events he attended. It's a perspective that challenges us, celebrates us, and most importantly, connects us. Dive into this unique conversation and see our TYPO3 community in a new light, just as Wolfgang did. Wolfgang, you participated in several community events before T3CON. How many were there?

Wolfgang Fiebig: I attended two events: the Developer Days in Karlsruhe and the TYPO3 Camp in Munich.

What do you remember from these two gatherings? 

I was impressed by the general spirit, the ease, and the cohesion among the people. The palpable warmth and openness were markedly different from other events, where participants are often very focused on their plans and don’t take any notice of each other. Here, the atmosphere was quite different, characterized by openness and an exceptional amount of eye contact. This fostered good conversations and a natural flow in the interactions. This human connection was genuine and tangible, and that really impressed me.

Can you give an example?

Yes, these are the impressions and conversations that arise when one opens up. This makes the difference and leads to real human connection. My experiences were marked by enthusiasm and joy to be part of the TYPO3 community — a wonderful experience. Normally, I’m happy to go home after larger events, but this time it was different. I was sad to have to leave early because of a pre-booked ticket. This shows how extraordinary the community is.

Besides the spirit, were you impressed by any topics or content in particular?

One theme was the realization that despite competition and individual goals, one is part of a community. Some acknowledged that they can only manage large projects as part of the swarm. This maturity, both human and business-wise, was impressive. The term Community Economy was coined, which I found fitting. The opportunity to realize one's own ideas and the awareness of being at least partly an owner of the whole gives people strength and motivates them. This attitude was reflected in the deep conversations I was able to have at the events.

Did these conversations influence your approach for your session at the TYPO3 Conference?

I didn't have a specific method. My approach is to start with a blank page to avoid preconceptions and keep the space open for new ideas. An example I often cite is opening the barn door for all ideas. Even better: taking the barn door off or tearing down the barn altogether to overcome mental boundaries. This opens up new possibilities.

Among all the interviews you conducted, what emerged as the primary concern for your and Claudia's session at T3CON?

The main focus was on strengthening the community spirit. The realization that we are only strong and viable as a community was central. This spirit shaped our questions on stage in Düsseldorf.

And where do you see potential for improvement?

A challenge is moving towards a more open attitude and shedding limiting beliefs. I sensed doubt in some and would have wished for more open-mindedness. In others, the attitudes were more diverse, but overall, more openness would be desirable among the official representatives. Furthermore, the community could be younger, especially in Düsseldorf, where more executives were present. At the community events, the age structure was more balanced. However, there were few women present. Women and young professionals introduce completely different approaches, which nourish the diversity of our community.

What impression did you have of the conference compared to the developer-oriented events?

The conference was different, with a different audience and atmosphere. Nevertheless, the outcomes were good, and I felt an increasing sense of coming together. The DevDays and the Camp were more familiar and familial, while the conference was more differentiated and initially fragmented. However, everyone was looking in the same direction after two days.

When you talk about outcomes, what are you referring to specifically?

I am referring to our session and what emerged in the word cloud. Most responses were “Inspired,” and that sums it up well. My goal was to lead the participants to this kind of inspiration, despite the acoustic headwinds in that situation.

Picking up on your last question on stage: What is your vision for TYPO3 in 2028?

If the development I observed at the DevDays continues to be fostered, I see TYPO3 continuing on a positive development path. It’s important that the committees function and don’t hinder themselves through fears or limitations. The global situation requires a rethink, moving away from island thinking towards more connectivity. At the events in Munich and Karlsruhe, I experienced exactly this kind of connectivity.

Is there anything you would like to say to the community members?

Be curious and open to new things, listen to each other. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Realize your dreams together through listening and dialogue. Get rid of the boundaries and limiting thoughts. This strengthens the community, which lives through you.