You, me, and TYPO3 … with Luisa Faßbender

With You, me, and TYPO3!   I want to introduce people behind our TYPO3 product and our TYPO3 Community you might haven't seen on stage. The TYPO3 Community consists of smart and amazing people who tell their own story with TYPO3.

This time, I'm with Luisa Faßbender—she works at Marketing Factory Consulting GmbH in Düsseldorf as a Project Manager.

Hey Luisa - when did you first get to know with TYPO3?

I was a student in Marketing and Economics when I started an internship at my current company. That dates back to 2015. At first, I mainly did work as an editor and managing content. That's an excellent job for an intern to get to know TYPO3. I helped out a lot in the company's business to support their clients by putting their content on their websites.

Looking back, I think one can quickly start working with TYPO3, and the more I used TYPO3, the more quick-wins and time-savers I found. So I learned bit by bit every day.

Was there a mentor when you didn’t know what to do in TYPO3?

Yes! My colleague Simon Schmidt—he's excellent at explaining things in a friendly manner. He's a developer, also part of the Dashboard Initiative.  We share the same way to work, so when I was a newbie he always took the time to explain the concepts behind the features to me.

Still today, he helps me understand the file structure within an extension, and other things I'm curious about!

How does your average day look like with TYPO3?

I feel comfortable in the TYPO3 Backend. So for new projects, I take care of the editor access and group permission system, defining the structure of the folders and the PageTree. And for existing projects, I'll help to find out what went wrong on the editors' side. Handling the classic call about accidentally deleted content is a no-brainer with the Recycler module to bring content back!

And most of my job is not using TYPO3 but listening to the clients' needs and finding out the best solutions that our company has to offer for them. TYPO3 is so much more than just using it. As Marketing team lead, I'm also looking into new ways in which to talk about TYPO3, write about TYPO3, and build up campaigns around TYPO3. 

Follow Luisa on Twitter

What do I find on your work desk that you definitely don’t want to miss?

I have a Groot from `Guardians of the Galaxy` — it's a safe place for all my USB adapters which I need when going to a customer or holding a presentation.

And there's a plush Unicorn (with a twist) — *laughs* — this is the one thing that I can throw at people if they tease me, or if I need to squish something when something is just not working.

What was your most recent "aha moment" with TYPO3?

At first, I didn't dare to touch anything related to coding—I'm just not a developer. But the more you work with TYPO3, the more confident you become in diving into new areas. And you'll notice that it isn't even that hard. Look at me: I now know a bit of PHP (to read) and I know where to find specific parts of TYPO3.

In any case, I just recently had the heart to edit TypoScript constants for a custom Google Maps extension. It's actually a good feeling to take steps in new areas you previously feared to go.

One huge “aha moment” was when I started to change translation labels (which we store in Git) myself instead of putting a new issue into our Sprint Board for the developers. So now, I change translation labels myself. The developers only need to review my changes, and I don't need to wait for the little things anymore. And as a nice side-effect: I learned the Git basics as well with that.

What are the things you like the most about TYPO3?

I love TYPO3 because it is structured. I'm a structure fanatic. And TYPO3 provides all this for me—I can logically order all pages without searching and browsing—it's just a natural thing. The basic concepts that I fell in love with instantly back then, like the Page Tree and the folder concept, haven't changed over the versions, and I think that's a good thing. People are used to these concepts from other systems, and it makes TYPO3 really powerful, especially in larger, multisite and multilingual installations.

What do you do besides thinking about TYPO3 in your life?

There are the evergreens: I like doing sports and reading books, but I also love cooking. It's not just about having something to eat but all of the necessary parts like researching recipes, the grocery shopping and the cooking itself I enjoy so much. But the actual eating is satisfying enough for me to be happy!

In addition, I love going to festivals. In the summer I'm on festivals a lot of times during the weekends. I love the atmosphere, and absorb the enjoyment of the people there — and of course the music and the artists!

You’ve been at some TYPO3 events - which ones are your highlights?

TYPO3 Camp Rhein-Ruhr is where everything started for me. At first I thought it was all about development and coding, but there are so many exciting sessions. When I joined Boris Hinzers' talk about how the TYPO3 Community also works with Marketing, I knew I wanted to be part of it. Additionally, the CertiFUNcation has become one of my favourite events over the last years. 

This year would have been my first time to attend both TYPO3 Developer Days and TYPO3 Camp East Europe , but these probably won't happen due to corona. I heard so many good things about these events, so hopefully I’ll get my chance next year.

What’s your primary motivation about being an active part of the TYPO3 community?

There are so many things, but the one thing that comes back to my mind is that I'm treated as I am—and not some young blonde female marketeer with no experience. I know more about marketing than the cliché PHP developer. We shouldn't be ashamed that we know more than others, but be humble enough to share it.

In the beginning, I was afraid that I wasn't appreciated for my knowledge or feedback—because I'm not a developer, and a woman. But I've never ever had this experience in the TYPO3 Community. I always and everywhere felt appreciated and warmly welcomed. Of course this is my personal experience. Having such a feeling makes me less afraid to contribute and share my ideas—and not just come up with the ideas, but actually help them become reality.

If you had one wish about TYPO3, what would it be?

I'm thrilled about the new Dashboard in TYPO3 v10! I can't wait to try out existing widgets and come up with fresh ideas on what is missing.

One thing however I've always wanted to have—I'm actually a bit reluctant to ask—is the lack of proper support for themes. I would love to tell people that TYPO3 is not hard to get their own website up and running, and the repetitive HTML coding part should not be necessary to get a primary blog running live. I'd love to use TYPO3 out-of-the-box for this use case and so many more smaller websites, instead of working with other content management systems that do theming better, but are inferior in the ways I'm happy to work with.

This interview was taken by Benni Mack, TYPO3 Project Lead, in April 2020.