Meet Tymoteusz Motylewski, TYPO3 Core Contributor, Poland (Application Podcast S02E12)

Categories: Community, Podcasts Created by Jeffrey A. McGuire
In this episode, we hear from Tymoteusz “Tymek” Motylewski, Co-Founder and CTO of Macopedia and TYPO3 Core contributor. Today, we discuss his introduction to the TYPO3 community in the early 2000s, his favorite features and hidden gems of TYPO3, and his work helping make TYPO3 a powerful and easy to set up headless CMS.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player here, watch the video below, and there’s a full transcript of our conversation down there somewhere, too! Don't forget to subscribe and send us your feedback and ideas!

Tymek’s Warm Welcome to the TYPO3 Community

Tymek started off not knowing much about TYPO3, but while working at a web agency, his German partners wanted to use it, calling the CMS a “rising star.” Tymek says, “I started Googling it. And I said to them, ‘Well, why not? Let's try it out!’”

His curiosity and growing experience with TYPO3 led him to start contributing to TYPO3 when and where he could. Tymek says, “It’s so easy to contribute! My grandma could do it. Asking yourself, ‘Where did I get confused in the process?’ is really the simplest contribution you can make.”

This contribution would serve him well later on, in an important early TYPO3 job interview, “Because I had already been contributing, my interview was pretty easy. I was able to just show them what I wrote and where I had made contributions.”

Eventually, Tymek would become part of the TYPO3 Core Team, where he would remain for several years. He says, “My history shows that it's really possible to start from zero to becoming a part of the team.”

The TYPO3 Community Is What Sets it Apart

Tymek has a lot to say about how helpful and influential the TYPO3 community has been for him, especially when he was just starting out. He reflects, “I would say that the community has helped me every single day.” 

He remembers when he was not yet part of the core team, but still wanted to attend a TYPO3 core team event, stressing that he would do whatever was useful while he attended, “even make coffee.” The organizer accepted him readily, explained that they already had a machine for the coffee, thank you very much, and Tymek was heartened by how approachable everyone was. He says, “It was a really great experience to see that these top experts, whom I only knew by name, were also real humans who were humble, friendly, and open.” 

Tymek finds that warmth all around the project, “The strength, openness, integrity and friendliness of the TYPO3 community makes it different,” he says. “The community is not focused on the money, and you do not see every committee member as a potential customer or hire, but as a person.” 

TYPO3 Works as a Headless Setup

Tymek is also involved with working on TYPO3 as a headless CMS. He explains, “When we saw that the headless movement was becoming more important, we started investigating how we can use TYPO3 to deliver the content in a headless and standardized way.” Tymek estimates that 10 or more TYPO3 agencies are utilizing the TYPO3 headless setup, but that they are getting hundreds of installations per day on Github. He adds, “Headless and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) don’t fit for every customer, though; you have to judge and use the right tool for the job.”

Tymek answers our rapid-fire questions

  • TYPO3 in one word: “Powerful.”
  • Favorite feature of TYPO3: “The page tree.”
  • A TYPO3 hidden gem: “I want to highlight the link validator. TYPO3 can detect the broken links and report it to you. And you can just click the link validator and go directly to the place which needs to be fixed.” 
  • Coolest thing built with TYPO3: “We built a gamification portal that lets users access many gyms and swimming pools across Poland, with over a million users.”
  • What Tymek wishes people knew about TYPO3: “TYPO3 has a very good return on investment.”

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Need More Reasons to Press Play?

Fun fact: Tymek enjoys tongue twisters. As always, we round up today's episode with some rapid-fire questions on TYPO3, including our favorite Suggest-a-Guest segment.


Application, the TYPO3 Community Podcast could not have happened without our special guest Tymoteusz Motylewski, b13 and Stefanie Kreuzer for our logo, and Maestro Patrick Gaumond for our wonderful, quirky theme music. 

And a huge thank you to the TYPO3 Association for sponsoring this podcast!

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Meet your host

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire, Partner at Open Strategy Partners, helps organizations communicate and grow at the intersection of open source software, business, and culture. He connects the value and people behind the technologies to the people who need to know about them through inspiring conversations, keynotes, podcasts, and more. 

His approach to technology marketing—sharing the human context of complex technology solutions, and celebrating the expertise and success of their creators—has left its mark in business and open source communities over the last 15+ years.

Interview Transcript

This transcript is a partnership between robots and humans. Since we built robots based on our own image and we are flawed, this transcript is also. But only a little.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  0:00
Welcome to Application the TYPO3 community podcast.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  0:06
Hi, my name is Tymoteusz Motylewski. And this is Application, the TYPO3 community podcast, sharing your stories, your projects and the difference you make. Celebrate the TYPO3 community on the application that TYPO3 podcast meet the humans behind the technology.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  0:23
One, two. Welcome to Application, the TYPO3 community Podcast. I'm Jeffrey A McGuire, you can call me Jam. And this is where we celebrate the TYPO3 community sharing your stories talking about your projects and the difference you make in around and with TYPO3 CMS. In today's episode of application, that TYPO3 community podcast I had the enormous pleasure to get a couple hours of Tymek's time Tymoteusz Motylewski. He is the CTO of Macopedia, a software agency in Poland and has been in the TYPO3 community since the early 2000s has done a ton of contribution. He was on the core team for a long time. And he's yet another wonderful, generous, kind hearted, fun person in this community. He and I talk about how he got into TYPO3 the empowerment story of how an open technology like ours, let him have a whole career and build a company that employs a significant number of people and helps a lot of clients. And there's an interesting twist there where his agency having an E commerce specialty, has allowed more companies to keep more people employed during the pandemic, which I think is a wonderful angle, we talk about open source in the world and in Africa. And there's so much golden here. I'm glad that you're listening. And I hope you get as much out of this conversation with Tymek as I did speaking.

Tymoteusz Motylewski. Welcome to application, the TYPO3 community podcast I'm really, really happy to talk with you. And like so many community friends and colleagues, I have enjoyed spending time with you in the past. And I haven't seen you with my own eyeballs for two, three years at this point. Which is, you know, I've gotten over feeling guilty about that. Because we've all been sort of stuck in this pandemic. We're recording this in real time in late November 2021. How have the last couple of years been for you?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  2:48
Very intensive, I would say on all grounds. Yeah, from from the personal ground. I have three kids now. So it was congratulations, right and an experience to become a father and you know, handle all the unexpected situations. So the only thing you can expect is unexpected, right? But on the other hand, on the on a business side and community side, you see how the whole ecosystem is evolving and changing rapidly. And so both on the technology side, and also my company has grown two times during the last few years.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  3:26
So it's doubled in size. Yeah. Why don't you give me your perspective on being an agency in the last couple of years, I saw several patterns over beginning middle now in the pandemic with different kinds of agencies. And then let's talk about what's been going on in the TYPO3 community at the same time. Tell us about Macopedia and tell us about how the last couple of years been from Expedia

Tymoteusz Motylewski  3:50
Macopedia is a software house. So Development Agency located in post nine in Poland, this is our headquarter however we have a second office in Krakow, we hire people all around Poland, we cannot say you know that there is a really main city anymore, we get our 80 people now and we do similar technologies TYPO3 is one of them not the only we also do ecommerce with shopper for example, the pin systems with akinyele and also the ERP systems with Odoo. So this type of Python base stuck alright and have the last couple of years been well very intensive, we have we have doubled in size we have and because of that we also have to introduce a structure and a company because before we were really flux and now we have a structure of technological leaders which which are handling you know, each leader has a technology and engineers in his team this work pretty well we went with this you know management for Zero, half in style. Oh, yeah. And then a pandemic meant for us that, you know, we are we we are changing. And this was a very good move, because we started the transition, like, let's say, this half a year before pandemic started. And we were announcing the leaders after all the preparations, I believe in February, last year, so it was just before the pandemic started, and we got it, it was really super cool, because then the next months, which was really crazy, I think that not only for us, but for the whole world, let's say not only it right. Without leaders, it will be super hard for me and my business partner, and with with leaders with a dedication and really, were able to take care of our people who have this new time times which you know, requires constant change, you know, changing the way we work, going 100% remote, also, some fluctuations with the customers, because, you know, some, for some customers, the pandemic means, okay, we sell much more, and for some customers, it was, oh my god, we cannot sell in any of our physical location. Yeah, because of the lockdown. Yeah, and suddenly, this, you know, the sales channel, ecommerce sales channel, which were something a little addition to the main business suddenly become the channel, which drives 100% of the of the sales, which also gives us, you know, a thought that, well, we are somehow responsible for those people up, you know, at the end, that if we screw our job, you know, that this company will not survive, and the people you know, down in the warehouses and the production will lose their job. I see that this is this is something of the missed point. You know, a lot of people live depends on the it depends on the on the ecommerce depends on the CMS depends on what we do,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  7:14
I imagine that Macromedia must be a pretty great place to work if the leadership is is really thinking about those sorts of consequences and, and people up and down the chain. So did you did you reach out to clients and proactively say, hey, really, really e commerce now and we can help you,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  7:32
we usually we do that as a was a part of the Customer Success conversation. However, with that, with the pandemic, we had to do that more actively. And, well, companies were of course, not prepared often. And with bigger corporations, the first reaction to the pandemic and to the lockdown was like, let's cut cut all the budgets, that Yep, everything and then figure out what is essential for Yep, it was, it was pretty crazy. Hopefully, we were having a long term relationships with companies and we were not under, we're not directly under the marketing budgets, which were cut as a first thing. They're also, you know, stuff like contracts with longer period of cancellation, you know, helped us a lot to strive. At the end, we, you know, there was a lot of calls, and, you know, chaos, but at the end, it worked pretty the first month of dynamic work pretty well for us. And we also did a bold move to start hiring then. And more more aggressively. Because we saw that many, many companies around are there reducing stuff or reducing the payment, we went the opposite direction. And yeah, this helped us to acquire some really, really cool talents.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  9:00
Nice. As a leader, as a manager, you're you you also know very well that if you sell better than suddenly you've got stress on the on the people and getting the work done side and if you don't sell enough, then suddenly you've got stress, paying the bills and keeping everybody busy, right. And it's a constant balance and a constant bet about what what direction things are gonna go. I saw different sorts of agencies and service providers and us when things got really, really tough in March and April, we lost we lost a couple things that we're ready for a signature that the you know, the potential client just pulled away. And other people sort of took a big break and then you know, looking around the TYPO3 sphere and there's generally the agency's base are of course agencies who were really invested in air transport, hotels, tourism, had a really tough time, you know, and agencies to e commerce and actually like catalogs and other sort of data organizational systems bumped and then just have been doing better and better and better. You're not the only agency owner to tell me. Well, I don't know, if you had your best year last year, but I know an agency couple agencies who had their best year last year, once everyone figured out that not spending money was also not an option. Right, then everybody got on with digital transformation. And the new term I've heard is digital acceleration that's happening now too. So whatever turning up digital to 11 means. So what if turned to the type of three community, I'm gonna say, I think that the community feels very solid and very collaborative. And because the community is spread all around the world. And because, you know, the community's been around a long time, I have seen a lot of things work quite well, the concept of events, and whether the online events are working or not, there are question marks, but I think in general, people have collaborated really well, the contribution is continuing version 11 came out, and it's pretty great. So far, lots of really good things have happened. And I've run organized or been in all of these different online events, and you know, sprints and whatever, but I feel that everybody is getting tired of just seeing each other through the camera, you know, I don't know, how does the community feel to you right now. And over the last year or two? Well, I

Tymoteusz Motylewski  11:16
feel, yeah, a really big need for, you know, seeing people in person and collaborate in like, you know, hand to hand this to desk. Yeah, it was pretty tiring. For example, we organized two coats, prints, one for the TYPO3, headlights and one for the core team. And those were online events. Well, our people, you know, gathered in post nine together to collaborate over, you know, other other peoples around the world, we're joining remotely, I saw that it's much, much harder to do this kind of codes in hackathon. As a as an online event, it's much harder for organizers, but also the collaboration is you have to put so much effort to make this collaboration happen. And that it's it's quite tiring. And yeah, and then before, you know, it was was usually the coast last like three days, four days, and people were just, you know, very enthusiastic and came back to home, you know, fitting the spirit. And now, you know, after two days of remote sprinting, it was okay, I feel we managed to do everything. But this human interaction is really a missing key. Yeah,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  12:35
there's not that buzz, right. And even if you went for four days to, to wherever to do it together, and you got eight hours of sleeping for days, you know, I've had the experience of coming out of it excited and believing in stuff and with fresh ideas and motivations or whatever. And so that having a beer together, and whatever the energy in the room factor is, is close to impossible to reproduce. I think, for open strategy partners, we had to learn very quickly to do all of our client workshops, all of the discovery phase and strategic planning and stuff, virtually. And I think we've got an extremely good practice with mirror boards now. But I think in my ideal world now that there would be as many people as possible together, I feel confident that we can have someone call in virtually and be an equal part of the event. But I'm, I'm sort of starting to dream of, of having the room again, and like being able to feel when we're tired and need to need a break or any of that stuff. So I was in a team lead meeting the other day commute for the community and some people reporting fatigue, and I think I think we all need a recharge like a big like, pizza community pizza party or something. But But together anyway, Tymek, how did you discover TYPO3?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  13:55
It was a pretty simple story. So back in the day, I was working in delivering to customers, you know, my own CMS, because back then everybody wrote their own CMS, of course,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  14:09
I'm adding you to my list. Because as crazy as that sounds today, what year was that?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  14:14
2008? Nine, some of that, uh huh.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  14:18
That's a little bit late. But everybody between 2000 2005 I mean, I must know, a dozen people who had their own CMS. And then, and then, you know, five or 10 years ago at conferences, it was hilarious and really, really fun like 2012 2015 to ask that question, and there would always be hands up in the audience. Yeah, I had my own right. And then you'd say, and how many of you still have clients on that? Right, and you're like a major conference for major technology, and they're like, so you had your own CMS.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  14:52
And then one of the customers said, Well, I heard from my German partners You know, that there is a disk kind of CMS, which is called TYPO3. And I would like that. And for me, it was 'TYPO-what?' So I started Googling, right? And have found it and say, Well, why not? Right? Let's let's try it out. And this was Did they say why they wanted it? They said that this is a number one rising star in, you know, dock market. So they wanted, so you went

Jeffrey A. McGuire  15:31
and checked it out? Yeah. I tried

Tymoteusz Motylewski  15:33
to learn it and to implement that for the customer. At the end, it worked out. However, from the business perspective, this was a complete disaster. Because well, well, I did not know without knowing technology, I did not know how to estimate that. Right. It was a time I was still, you know, studying so that the amount of money were not that important for me rather than the learning. So it was basically a side job to the to the studies. Yeah. But but then I started looking at it. And I saw a very big benefits and, you know, leverages, you can have using the system, and I just, you know, wanted? Yeah, I need to know that. There are a lot of people who helped me in that process. The biggest in a poll on the committee was was not very big, but that there were few people who, you know, helped you with every question you had on the on the forum. Yeah, who remembers form notes?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  16:36
So who was helping you?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  16:37
Krystian Szymukowicz. He's the founder of source brokers companion is still doing TYPO3. Yeah, he was answering all the, you know, all those kinds of stupid questions. You know, when I now look back, and I see what kind of questions were those, okay, those are really silly questions.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  17:02
A different internet, though the web was very different. So

Tymoteusz Motylewski  17:05
that's true. That's true. But But still, I'm really grateful to him and everybody else who, who I met and who helped me. And I think that this is this was also something very, very strong and is still very strong integrity community that this community is different

Jeffrey A. McGuire  17:23
than other products. In English, we have the concept of paying your dues, you know, the first project you did, and you were getting money for it, but you know, you probably couldn't, it probably was not in any way justified by the number of hours that you actually took, right? Now, the funny thing is that in German, okay, and we'll translate this to English later, but in German, they call paying your dues, they say, learning by doing. So you were studying you did this project in TYPO3, you had your own was your CMS in PHP as well. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so what happened, then? What, what what you were studying? And you did this thing, then what happened?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  18:04
Well, I started getting more into it and, and started implementing TYPO3 instead of the custom built CMS.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  18:13
Was that called Timok? Three?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  18:16
To be honest, yeah, I don't know if it had a name at all.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  18:23
Kasanka where?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  18:26
That's good. Let's go next. Yeah, then then I went to finish my studies in in German, in Germany, in Stuttgart. And I stayed in Germany for for a few years. Working in TYPO3.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  18:46
Got a lot of TYPO3 going on. Well, I actually moved to,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  18:51
to buy Franco to this button. And he, yeah,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  18:55
as always, yep. Huge raid key and go dude, all those people. Yep.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  18:59
Yeah. So it was this path. And I remember that my interview was was pretty nice and easy. I was I was expecting much, much harder. And because I was already contributing to the, to the TYPO3 community, not not to the Core Team, but I published some expressions and I, you know, contributed to documentation and stuff like that. And I was really surprised that they did not have that much question about the competencies. They just, you know, I just showed what I what I wrote, what are the modules? I did? What are the contributions and it was pretty, pretty nice.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  19:42
Before 2010 I think that the world was still based on on resumes and job interviews and, and that sort of old way of trying to figure out who to hire and it sounds like you had a very early experience of what's quite common now especially in open source where A lot of times, clients ask as well, I think you might be able to back me up. But if you need to, you know, if you want to do something, you can say, well, here's my, here's my GitHub account. And here's my, here are my extensions in the extension repository. That's your resume, because it shows, you know, 10,000 sites are using this and 100,000 sites using that and you contributed to core there. And it doesn't necessarily matter where you were sitting and working doing that, if I'm going to hire you, for a technical job. In my experience, maybe a decade ago that clients in open source also figured out how to judge agencies by their community engagement. So we had people saying, Okay, if you say, you can do a media project for us, show me your team's handles on in the repository and show me that you're maintaining or writing code in this space to prove your credibility, which was like a huge wake up call for contribution. At that point, you clients look at that open source side of stuff. No, no,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  20:58
no, I don't well, not not our customers not, at least not in Poland. Yeah. So if we show them that they can, they can value most of them, you know, see and grasp the the value in the proof proof of work. However, most of the customers often don't grasp the concept of open source. And yes, and that, you know, that the companies are really contributing stuff, and you can show that you can see that. So it's not really useful in a, you know, to get customers to us by by showing contributions. It's, for us, it's more giving, giving back, right? If we were using the software, which is which is for free, we are not paying a license fees, we can we can, you know, adopt it, and we can get, we can install it, use it for our customers, then I see it as a rudimentary furnace to give something back. And if you haven't, it doesn't have to be something vague, right? It can be a good issue with steps to reproduce. It can be something to documentation, it can be a patch, right? Yeah, different or even, you know, financial, just send through, perhaps

Jeffrey A. McGuire  22:12
sponsor an event. Yeah, hire an intern, there's so many ways to contribute. And I think that a sensible business that bases it's critical, you know, revenue stream or critical infrastructure on an open source technology, or any, I mean, anything where you have any kind of influence on it, I think you'd be crazy not to be in the middle of it, to make sure it's okay. And to make sure that it has a future and to make sure that it's the best quality possible, because an agency sale is often a trust sale, right? You have customers who are really good at making refrigerators or running a hotel, and you can't demand they then open source understand our weird, intellectual world of open source and giving away good ideas, and they just want to trust that you can build good things, and they're gonna run for 10 years. So I guess for us, you know, the way that we assure it's gonna run for 10 years is that we make sure that TYPO3 is healthy, right? That's right.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  23:11
That's right. So well, then this then the story to closing the TYPO3 story, because it was not the and then I started really digging into contributing more. And finally, I managed to get to the core team, and I went was in the courting for several years. Now I'm in not in the core team anymore, but in the product team. So both strategy related topics, but my history shows that, you know, it's really possible to start from, you know, zero from a student who just doesn't know the name of the system to become a part of the team, which which decide is what goes in or not what what is the what does quality means Thrive was the correct way to solve the

Jeffrey A. McGuire  23:56
issue. That's a really beautiful thing that you're describing. And that your your path from being able to program at some level, and somebody asks you to check this thing out, because they want it that way. And the open source enablement story, I've just sort of seeing that from a from a slightly different perspective. I don't think that commercial things where you have to buy licenses and buy manuals and buy user seats and all that stuff, give people the chance to define their own lives in the same way and define and have control of their economic destiny, destiny and support their families and communities. And then you also took that opportunity you support at other families paying their rent and surviving and however many customers and their customers and the people in the warehouses right. And all of that came because this technology is open and anybody can start at the same place. And you know, every time we make it better, it's better. That's, that's fantastic.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  24:55
That's so nice. You know, sometimes we are going to the doctor Then it events like, you know, career days, on those events. From the stage, I always get questions like, What is the best way to pursue your career in open source in it in a programming? What can I do as a student to progress? And my answer is always, you know, one TV series less and just use this time this, you know, 40 minutes to do something for free this do some open source contribution,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  25:26
right? And then what do you say to them? When they say, Oh, I couldn't contribute? I don't know, what do you tell them about that contribution?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  25:34
Well, my grandma can contribute. It's so easy, right? I mean, it's our testing documentation, what can what can the easiest thing to do? And just, you know, marking what failed? Right? Where did you find yourself confused? That's a really simplest contribution you can make

Jeffrey A. McGuire  25:53
downloading the software and asking good questions is already helping? Yeah.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  25:58
But of course, you know, for engineers, it's just the beginning, just to get something out of the fence, you know, just to feel the feeling also, the gratitude, and that very quickly, you will become recognizable in the community. People start, you know, knowing your name, not the face. But But knowing your name. And yeah, it's a really, really great path forward. Because in the open source world, you can do stuff the best way every company has their good enough thresholds, right? Yep, this is good enough. Let's move forward. And in open source, you will get you know, this and other experts who take a look and say, Well, yeah, your 300 lines of code, it's good job, it solves the issue. But you know, if you solve the problem in different place, it will be you know, those three lines, that's it.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  26:51
Yeah. And you you take you take this external library, and this, this check function, and you're good to go. And then you're not recreating the wheel or whatever.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  27:00
Yeah, so and you're getting coaching from the best people in the world from his ology, you will never be able to hire.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  27:07
Yeah, so I have had the opportunity many times over the years to talk with, quote unquote, bosses about, well, why should we be contributing, you know, because, and I don't know, we have so much client work, we can, you know, you don't have time to do the patches, or send people to stupid conferences, or whatever. And I'm like, tell me what it costs to send an engineer to do some course somewhere for a week or a month, or pay for their, whatever, at night school, compare that to sending them to a conference, where they're going to come back super excited, and grateful to you that they got to hang out with their peers and the best people in their industry for a week. Plus, they go to Code sprints with literally the best people in this particular technology, whom you'll never be able to hire, as you said, right? And get training with the best end, like submitting code into the open source resources for many projects. It's like, it's the toughest coding standards, the highest quality standards plus smart people who care about the thing, right, looking to make sure that every idea that we're trying to throw in there actually makes sense, right? So it's like, the most affordable cost efficient kind of training, and retention and motivation for developers possible. Yeah,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  28:21
that's true. That's true. My first code sprint was actually well, back then the TYPO3 has only code sprints for for the core team. People outside we're not, we're not involved, however, well, I depth desperately needed wanted to do, you know, to see how it's going, you know, how to do this stuff, how the internals works, how, what kind of people are there, right. So I wrote an email to a guy who organize a expats, Coldspring, somewhere north, north Germany, and I wrote a letter, you know, I'm not a core developer. I have not contribute to the core yet. You know, I did some extensions, but not to the core. However, I would really love to go to the code sprint, I can brew coffee, I can write tests, I can do whatever you want me to do, but just please take take me. Yeah, to my surprise the answer. Okay. Well, we have a coffee machine. So this is covered. However, tests, yes, please. Nice. Yeah, just just came.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  29:23
And then you got to learn and contribute and make a difference. And everybody was better for it. Right?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  29:28
Yeah, this was a really great experience to see that those people I know only from the name, like, they're super, you know, top experts. Those are also in the same time really real humans. You know, humble people who are friendly open. And, you know, we'll see by you and ask, you know, a freshman like, hey, what do you think about this code? Right. And I was a, well, it's good.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  29:57
Open source is a great equalizer as well. I believe that literally everybody who comes to a community has a unique set of experiences and perspectives, and therefore can provide unique value to the project. When I got into open source, it was literally only technical and literally only code and literally only developers. I don't know now, but even in the last few years, there are still a few conferences around her like, only code and only no soft talks. And I never did hard technical talks. And I'm not sure I've ever had code in one of my talks after the first couple of years on the scene. But now I think it's great that communities understand that we're a groups of humans, and we need, we need lawyers and designers, and we do need someone to whatever their contribution is, I love it, when people bring their families, you know, and the partners or kids are volunteering as well. And then learning on one side and making sandwiches on the other. And all of that helps it be better. So that's

Tymoteusz Motylewski  30:54
yeah, and learn to how to communicate better, right? Yeah. My job as a CTO is mostly working with people not with the code, right? These days. And this is this is a challenging thing to learn. Right?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  31:08
Nice. But that you can see that right. My entire technology career, once I figure it out, what I think I'm here for is I care about the the humans behind the technology. And I'm most interested if I'm, if I'm talking with someone about a specific, something that they build, one of my questions is always going to be what was going on in your life at that time? Right, which leads to when was like, when was that as a really powerful question, because as soon as they say when was that they're like, Well, I was, you know, finishing university and doing this, and this and my first kid and then visited, and you have this real context around. And that's why I couldn't spend six hours on deployments anymore. And so I built automation, you know, and it's like, wow, you know, I love those moments. I love those moments. What is the coolest thing you've ever built with TYPO3

Tymoteusz Motylewski  32:01
That's a hard question. But I will just take first one, which which just popped in my mind, this is a gamification portal, we have a customer which is we are handling since many years and this customer issues sports cards, so we buy just one card and then you can go with this cards to any gym, swimming pool, whatever. And they have over a million users in Poland so it's pretty big number

Jeffrey A. McGuire  32:35
this weight so it's a it's a membership card and then you can go to X number of things a week or a month or whatever.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  32:41
Yeah, any gym any any swimming pool, you know, sound squash play nice. There's

Jeffrey A. McGuire  32:48
one of those in Germany, I don't know if we're allowed to say the brand, because it might be a different brand.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  32:53
However, they had this idea to do some additional value for the for the customers also, especially during during summer. So they The idea was to build a gamification a portal and a summer game. So during the summer you do different activities, you go to the gym, you get points you drive with the city bicycle, you get points you know, watch some webinar about you know, healthfully food or, or sports, how to train, you get points. And then they got some hours, you can exchange the points two hours. And then the whole thing was was running on TYPO3 for for several years. This was pretty amazing. And to application. Actually, it was running like, you know, huge amount of users.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  33:48
We you said there are a million users in Poland. A year of the cards. Wow, that is okay. That's pretty cool. That's one we haven't had yet. Excellent. Who do you look for for advice or information in the TYPO3 community? Well, there are

Tymoteusz Motylewski  34:05
plenty of there are plenty of people who who whose opinion I value a lot and or I'm grateful for, for an advice. It would be really hard to say

Jeffrey A. McGuire  34:21
okay, now it's on Slack instead of in a forum but there are lots of people who are really really helpful and really, really willing to push you in the right direction and help you learn stuff and I haven't seen people sort of with the old fashioned open source attitude of like RTFM and go away and that's a dumb question. I don't see that in Slack in type of use like except when I put into the the random channel or the whatever the non tech chat channel is a couple of years ago that my apartment with my daughter was looking for an apartment in Rotterdam. I put at Channel I got five 1000 burns back. But hey, I learned. So there's some there's some value in that.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  35:07
Yeah. But this is this is really important thing. I mean that to always think about who will read this communication, we also had to learn that in a company when we grew, I mean that if you send a message to the, to the channel or to the email to the whole company, then you suddenly are hitting 10s of people. Yes. So if you write something, which is unclear, or without explaining context, or you know, next steps, or what will happen, then you will get, you know, 10s of people asking you a question. Yeah. And you don't want that. And

Jeffrey A. McGuire  35:46
not only are they asking you questions, but they might not even have needed to use their time or brains to deal with that problem, because it's not theirs, right? Yeah, I was in a startup, I was the 18th employee. And I remember very, very distinctly, very specific growth points, somehow 18 to 30 was sort of one feeling. And then between 40, and 50, was when all of the communications changed, like up to about 30, or 40, every message was always to everybody. And everybody could jump in on every project and and do whatever work made sense. But then by the time we got over a 50, we were starting to have actual products and an actual way to make money. So that started changing. And I remember the day that I didn't know, everybody, or everybody's name at the company. And that was at about 4550. Ish. And then I remember when somebody got in touch with me inside the company, and I didn't know that their job title existed, and what their job title meant. And that was somewhere around 150. And that was like, How can I help you, Dave? But what is it that you do?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  37:06
But he he didn't ask you to pay money to Congo, right?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  37:12
Yeah, so anyway, so my experience

Tymoteusz Motylewski  37:14
was was pretty similar. When we, when we grew, we also had to change the communication. I know everybody in the company by name, and then my face I because well, I've been also in the hiring process. And while I'm on the top, so I have to write however, a few months ago, we did real life company, meeting gathering in some nice place. Many people's often from the same team have not seen each other, you know, in real life, because they were hired during the pandemic. Yeah. And there was just no, no, no possibility to do so. Yeah, it was very, very important to get them together. And okay, so this is my team. I mean, not just the avatars. Yeah, not just the video cameras, face, but real people, Oh, you are so tall.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  38:09
Everything that I say about about open source community, and the dynamic and the energy and the motivation coming from meeting together, right, that drives really great remote communication, and collaboration, and all of that counts Exactly. For your remote teams. I want to say that open strategy partners, where I work, has a really good culture. And, and it's a pleasure to get to work. But you know, the, the the current constellation of people we've never, ever had the chance to, to, to come together physically, you know, because of the last couple of years. But I imagine that if you if Matt competed doubles in size, again, that you are you're it's just not going to be physically possible for you to be in every interview, and no, every single person, I think that would be tough.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  38:58
We'll see when we can.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  39:00
Right, it's a problem you want to have. That's right, exactly. What is something in the TYPO3 community that you'd like to highlight?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  39:10
Yeah, I really talked about that. I mean, this this openness and being really friendly, and that the community is not focused on the money, and that you do not see every committee member as a potential customer or hire. But you see them also, you know, people from in the same Well, in the same group, you know, robbing the same boat or whatever.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  39:40
That's another nice bit of perspective. Everyone, it might be competing for a given project or needing new developers but we're all still kind of in the same community together, not sort of against each other like that. Yeah. And

Tymoteusz Motylewski  39:56
you asked about advice, advice I got or or who Do i bother? So I remember, for example, that the topic of management, free zero, this was the idea I got from Oliveto Berkow on some of the conferences, we just talked about, you know, structure and growing a company. And for example, this was an idea he just shared, right. And then theory, in theory, we are two agencies which which are doing the same product. So, we should be competing, right. And the same the same with other people with with with Benny mark is also leading a company. But he was, you know, always helpful, and well, he's driving the product, right?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  40:42
Yeah, I see, Benny is very able to put on the running my agency hat and, and running the TYPO3 core development hat. And as far as I can tell, he does a excellent job at both ended. It's very ethical, and very fair, I really like that a lot. I admire that a lot in him. That's true. That's true. Can you tell me about a time that the community helped you,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  41:06
except for the first product? First implementation? I see that community is helping me or my team because, well, I'm not doing development anymore in on a daily basis, let's say every day, right? So every day we use the mutation every day, we use product deployments, you know, issues or patches somebody created every day we have some discussions or sometimes we collaborate on some you know, common common goal or common product, common expression, I remember, you know, 10s of situations like I go to the slack, I have issue with XYZ, and I asked question, and I got answer from maintainer of this expression, for example, in like, you know, some minutes, it's a

Jeffrey A. McGuire  41:53
really perfect answer. That's just a fantastic, perfect answer. Thank you. It's great. Here's a here's the ready, fire aim round, quick questions. Okay. Yeah. What one word would you use to describe TYPO3

Tymoteusz Motylewski  42:09

Jeffrey A. McGuire  42:10
What is your favorite feature of TYPO3?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  42:12
Page tree.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  42:14
What feature would you like to see removed from TYPO3?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  42:16
I believe it has too less features than too much.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  42:21
Okay, what feature would you like to see added to TYPO3?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  42:25
I would like to see maybe not other because it's already there. But really highlighted. It's the link validator. It's like, like a hidden hidden gem. And TYPO3, especially for for all this SEO, people that TYPO3 can detect all the broken links and just report it to you. So we can just click and go directly to the place, which needs to be fixed. And the problem is that it's a little bit hidden in some info module. And it really deserves to be a separate module, which is visible for everybody. And you can just go there and get your

Jeffrey A. McGuire  43:03
feedback. That's, that's another hidden superpower. And in in TYPO3 installation, something it really impressed me when I figured it out is all of the recent versions have full upgrade documentation built into them. And you can upgrade from version to version to version and also internally, you've got some code analysis, if you've written custom code that will tell you how compatible it is with with with moving that forward as well, plus the full documentation onboard. And I was just like, wow,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  43:38
and that's not that's not everything. Do you know the project from Sebastian Schreiber? He is He has implemented the rector TYPO3 Vector project, which is able to actually migrate your code. So it has rules for every backwards incompatible change in TYPO3. Wow, okay. When you write your code, you just run it. And suddenly you accessions becomes, you know, compatible with with the next version.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  44:11
You see everyone who hates regex. Now, you see, yeah. Wow. Wow. I think we should do a session about just like mind blowing tiny things that you might not have realized about about TYPO3. That's so cool. I don't know if this is the same question in a different color. But tell us something that you wish people would know about TYPO3 but they don't usually,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  44:35
from that from the customer's perspective, that it's a very good that TYPO3 has a very good return of invest. Well, also because of the upgrade path we just mentioned and and that strategy TYPO3 has that it's evolutionary not revolutionary. Well, from the from the developers or integrators perspective is you know, how to start rupture the content under the editor experience more inline, so you can reuse the thing, you know, over the over the place and reuse the components, we use the elements.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  45:11
You've, you've been thinking about that a lot working on the headless stuff, too, right?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  45:16
That's right. That's right. So I would say those are the difference.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  45:19
Yeah. And on the return on investment topic, if any of you are working in, you know, a place where GDPR, or its equivalent laws are enforced, we have to run, quote, unquote, supported software. And TYPO3 is fully supported for three years, because of the community structure and the official maintenance. And every major version, every Long Term Support version of the major versions, is supported by the community for actively for 18 months, passively, which means security and, and important backports for another 18 months. So you get three years of official support, which means you're legally compliant. And then you can buy from the TYPO3 company that TYPO3 GmbH, you can buy another three years of support. So you can actually get six years of legal compliance from a piece of open source software, which is awesome. And

Tymoteusz Motylewski  46:15
this is really amazing. And you will not see that in any other products, many, many products, even commercial ones, that doesn't guarantee that or even don't have the roadmap, how long this software will be ordered. You even don't know when we make the screen.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  46:34
Right? I mean, you can just plan your upgrades every five years. And and I mean, that's a that's a huge timescale for for most websites anyway. And frankly, we might as well say it Well, we're here, since version nine, or 10. The GDPR compatibility and the ability to delete people and forget about their records, officially and verifiably has been, has been built into. So I have seen several members of the TYPO3 community and the TYPO3 Association officially working very hard to make the open source technology that we love and use to make an even bigger difference in the world. And to be even more of an equalizer. Just like your story. Have you built a career and you're supporting all these lives? Right from because you had access to this thing? Mateus Lesniak talks about TYPO3 being a true democracy and the power for political and societal change in the world, which is, which is pretty amazing. And you are one of those people that I think is is is is doing a lot to make the world a better place with open source software. And I love that TYPO3, in particular, has been involved in the CMS Africa event for a few years. And that someone along the way discovered that the government of Rwanda, for example, had a bunch of old TYPO3 sites. Since then, with with some volunteering and some association support, they've been upgraded. We're training people down there, there's mentoring going on, tell me about Please tell me your Rwanda story.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  48:08
And with Rhonda so actually, the whole adventure started with with Daniel Moran, who came to me and and say, Well, you know, the random government in Africa has a bunch of TYPO3 websites, and they are trying to upgrade TYPO3 and make a new platform which will be reused over because every website there was built with a separate instance with a separate, you know, design. And you can imagine if you have hundreds of websites, it is really hard to maintain an idea was to create some common ground some some templates to organize the thing, share that data between websites and do what what CMS is are good. For, right? And Daniel told me that, you know, there's this project we can do together in Ronda. Well, at first I had to check in them up we're on days, because I know that well the country and a little bit of the history but where exactly is this? Yeah, we started this mentorship and and consultancy project with 10 people on the ground. We started with with online coaching sessions with helping them you know, run the website and create the website first from scratch without doing work ourselves. So this was one of the strong points in the whole project, that we are there to help them to build competencies, but we are not allowed to do anything ourselves.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  49:49
So the learning by doing principle actually,

Tymoteusz Motylewski  49:51
that's right. That's right. This was also why I loved the project from the beginning, because it was very clear for me that this is a How you should work how you should help. Not by just you know, giving a fish but but the steak, right? Yeah, we started online. And then we went to Ronda a few times and work, you know, for a week or two with with the people on the ground. And after a few months it went live. So the official Rhonda government website, as well as many ministries and institutions are running on TYPO3, the new version, and this whole thing is maintained and hosted and developed by the local people there. Yeah.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  50:37
So these these agencies have the skills and the ability to offer services and in their own economy go on and help more people learn to do it and generate more revenues. It's

Tymoteusz Motylewski  50:46
fantastic. So in this group of webmasters or developers, we got both people from the public administration from the let's say, Ministry of it, as well as as the local vendor. So they were working as one team to deliver the thing.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  51:05
Wonderful, wonderful. So I know that Anya likes and ring went down there. You've been down there, Daniel's been down there. Who else has gone down? Well, for the

Tymoteusz Motylewski  51:13
CMS, Africa, there were, I believe, martyrs will also also there and a few other Oliver, the blue cow, I believe, for the Ronda, I'm not sure if anybody else when they're

Jeffrey A. McGuire  51:27
fantastic. That's wonderful, in the meantime, didn't come out that some other governments in Africa are really interested in this as well.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  51:34
That's true. That's true. So there's signals from from other governments and other institutions. And well, why being there, we also discovered that there are other institutions we did not know which are running TYPO3, like one of the banks there or university, well, I never we did not have them on the list. And they were not part of the of the of the relaunch project. So so that there is much more going on in TYPO3 or then than we thought at the beginning.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  52:06
So it's so interesting that I'm also setting a technology free making it available to anyone, then you just it goes in grows like a mushroom in the wild as well. It's it's pretty fascinating. It definitely goes to the all the empowerment stories. It's that's terrific. Tim, like you mentioned holding a TYPO3 headless sprint, at your company. Headless is considered quite important as part of the web today, and the ability to deliver data or business logic to applications and different sorts of front ends. And one thing that I've always found quite exciting or interesting about TYPO3 is that since it was built, it has always been a back end system and a front end system that communicates via API's, and has a scripting layer in between, right where it's so there's there's in interesting power and security kind of built in since forever. But tell me what's going on with headless and TYPO3 now and tell me what that sprint was about?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  53:07
Well, a few a few years ago, when we saw that the headless movement being something really important. We started investigating, you know, how can we use TYPO3 to deliver the content in a headless way, and also in some standardized way, because many companies in the world, us included for for certain projects delivered, you know, dedicated API's? Yeah, we integrate for this customer, we integrate TYPO3 for your ecommerce. So we do a little API, we do what, what we need. And that's it. So we were started investigating how to do that in a more standardized way. So TYPO3, to have a really headless API and TYPO3, which is not limited to some small amount of features, but which expose all the features TYPO3 is not enough. So language handling translation,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  54:03
a universal API to cover all of those internal API's. Yeah. So

Tymoteusz Motylewski  54:07
you, you can have the same result as with the standard in templating. You know, if you have this language fallback in the sun templating, you want to have the same handle approach. If you want to have this, you know, multi tenant multi domain setup, we want to have the same in headless. And yeah, we started building that, as you said, using the layer of which was already in TYPO3, that the front end rendering is separated from the from the data and backing. We use it to deliver a JSON API for TYPO3 which allows you to use workspaces, language handling, whatever you like,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  54:50
wow. How long has that been going? Well, it's

Tymoteusz Motylewski  54:53
already a belief it's three years. So since we, three or four years since we started The first project that was one of the first project was Macmillan education, Magna English website, the one of the biggest publishers and UK. And since then most of the projects we do in TYPO3 are our own headless, we had also renew

Jeffrey A. McGuire  55:17
as a US Mecca pedia as Macromedia.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  55:19
Yeah, we also have released as open source, the, the JavaScript part, the front end front end part. So you can use headless us stand alone, you just integrate TYPO3 with whatever you like using the API. But you can also have full stack PWA application where front end is template. And it's rendered in JavaScript. And this JavaScript library is communicating with TYPO3 headers back end,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  55:46
progressive web app. PWA. Yep. Nice. And do you know how many other agencies are using this? The Headless setup?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  55:56
Well, I know of more than 10 However, judging from the statistics on I did happen and package based, we got 10s or even hundreds installation per day. So it's, it's pretty. Wow, not much bigger than me no.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  56:13
Okay. So that that also proves that headless and decoupled systems have really arrived that it's a fundamentally important part of of digital business models now?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  56:24
Well, the short answer is yes. However, you have to use the right tool, right. So not every customer, that the headless and PWA is not good for every customer. But you have to judge and use the right tool for the job.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  56:39
So what I think I just heard, I would have told anyone who asked me, one really good reason to use TYPO3 is, you know, your favorite feature of the page tree allows me to do all sorts of hierarchical data modeling, including a really strong multi domain setup. And because there's really strong multilingual handling, that means that TYPO3 is incredibly good for setting up international multinational businesses or places where you have subsidiaries or whatever. And, and, and user rights and branding. And all of that can be centralized can be distributed, it's, it's great for all of them, I would have said that anyway. Now, I think what I heard is that I could take that same setup, and output it through the headless API, so that each region or country or language could have its own app or its own, you know, e commerce things going and still be running that from one place, and I'm even more excited.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  57:33
But in what is even more, you can have some of the domain cell or some of the tenants running the standard rendering with templates and fluid and some of them going headless is the same installation. So you don't have to, like rebuild everything from scratch. But you can migrate or use whatever you is the best for the job.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  57:55
Right. And I'm guessing that you can also take something that's standard rendered as a website and turn it on for headless later without having to do any, any more crazy, crazy amounts of work as either

Tymoteusz Motylewski  58:07
you will not have to do any content changes, you just reuse the content assets,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  58:12
right? Because structured data we nice, which is which is one of my favorite things about TYPO3. So but that is yet another conversation and and we have another thing that we like to call the suggested guest and Carl and I are planning season three of this little show. Who is it that you'd like to hear us talk?

Tymoteusz Motylewski  58:35
Yeah, I think if I can call just one person, I would say it should be Sebastian Schreiber. Who's the director? Yeah, with director will the whole Rector project, which is much bigger than just the TYPO3 because he wrote Justin TYPO3 plugin. And the rector is a tool for in general for TYPO3 for for PHP works. And it's the tool is really changing the PHP landscape. Because it becomes much cheaper to upgrade to be compatible with newer type of newer PHP versions. Yeah, and also to migrate their frameworks or breaking compatibility changes. And the plugin. Sebastien wrote for TYPO3 is the if not the biggest, and the well maintain then one of the biggest plugins for rechter no other CMS no other application, decides this TYPO3 has a tool like that.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  59:34
Okay. I'd love to talk with him. And it seems to me like there might also be a fun idea. What would you think if we did some conversations with essential technologies outside of TYPO3 like things that we need and rely on that aren't TYPO3 so so the rector people would be cool composer. I know God and Niels that will be fun, maybe PHP fig in there somehow.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  59:59
That will be critical if you you are about to talk to the composer of people, I would like you to verify one, one anecdote if I might challenge the other composers, so I heard you know, from, from somebody I don't remember now from who whom that the composer json that the package manifest was actually inspired by the TYPO3 extensions manifest. This ext M conflict php file. And they took this idea from TYPO3 because TYPO3 had this package management from years before varier. Composer, composer. Okay. So I would like to validate this.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  1:00:46
Okay, that's a really fun question. And I'm years past I saw Jordi Butano quite regularly and I would, I would consider him a friend. So So Jordi and Niels were coming through for this podcast too. It's a fantastic idea to make. It's been really, really great to talk with you. And I think that, my hope is that the next time we talk or sometime soon when we talk that we could actually do it over beers, and good food and stuff and porcelain croissants. I'm really interested about puzzling questions. No, yes. And I and the fact that I can make them myself there. That is perfect. That's the kind of experience that that's worth traveling for. I think. So thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Thank you so much for your contributions. Thank you. It's been great. It's been great.

Tymoteusz Motylewski  1:01:29
Thanks. Bye.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  1:01:34
Thanks to the TYPO3 Association for sponsoring this podcast. Thank you b13. And Stephanie Kreuzer for our logo. Merci beaucoup Patrick Gaumont, TYPO3 developer and musician exraordinaire for our theme music. Thanks again to today's guest. If you like what you heard, don't forget to subscribe in the podcast app of your choice and share Application, the TYPO3 Community Podcast with your friends and colleagues. If you didn't like it, please share it with your enemies. You can find show notes, links and more information in our posts on Remember, open source software would not be what it is without you. Thank you all for your contributions.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak