1) Hi Les & Andy. Could you tell us a little about yourself? How did you come to Joomla? What’s your background?
Well, I can tell you one thing is for sure, I don’t have a big ego, I’m way too cool for that! I guess that summarizes everything, so just click on JoomlaStorm.com.
All joking aside, my experiences in this grand ole world range from having my diapers changed by my mother to jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. I’m a big fan of the outdoors, I love the Discovery channel (Man vs Wild), I wig-out to Pink Floyd, I attended the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, I’ve lived in big cities like Chicago, New York City, and Phoenix, I’ve been in Men’s Fitness magazine, and every co-worker I’ve ever worked with has been more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs wondering what prank I would pull on them next, and with all of that, somehow my family and relatives still consider me to be an ideal father to my four beautiful kiddo’s. I ran out of breath on that one, I hold my breath when I type. Was that a run-on sentence?
I am a home schooled computer geek with a passion for graphic arts. I can remember being first introduced to Joomla! about 6-7 years ago when an IT guy at one of my previous places of employment brought my attention to Mambo. I was captivated by the concept of Content Management and knew instantly this technology would one day shape the future of web design, and Joomla! is well on it’s way to doing just that!
Now, the guy that spends all day making me mixed drinks and opening my fan mail is my fearless partner Andy! Andy is one of those so called "edu-ma-kated" guys who spent 4-6 years acting like they were in college to learn, when truly they were there for chicks and beer! The mere thought of it makes me, uh-um….moving on.
Andy graduated college two years ago with a degree in information systems analysis and design. Apart from mixing me drinks and reading another letter from some obsessive fan of mine, he designs web sites for some software development firm in the travel industry. He’s a newbie to Joomla! but can say the alphabet backwards in binary format while juggling eight bowling pins. I keep telling him he picked the wrong career field. You wanna hear someone tear it up on an electric/bass guitar, Andy can "RIP"! He’s in a well known local band, Left on Sunset. He gets all the chicks, but where does that get you?? Yeah right! When we disagree about something we settle it over a good ole Guitar Hero 2 competition on the PS2. Andy dreams of one day beating me, hopefully he doesn’t read this!
2) Have you worked or designed with other systems apart from Joomla? If so, how do they compare?
We’ve both worked with PHP-Puke, I mean "Nuke". That’s about all I’ve got to say about that! Joomla! or bust!
3) What are the origins of JoomlaStorm? You seem to have developed a distinctive design philosophy – big, colorful and clear…
Andy and I are both dreamers. When laying the road map for JoomlaStorm, we knew one thing for sure, we wanted to be "Simply Different" and stick out from the rest of the Joomla! theme sites and clubs that were already available out there, and as everyone knows, there are some great ones! I’d like to give a shout out from JoomlaStorm to all of our friends at:
- Pixelsparadise.com and
These sites as well as several others have done and continue to do a great deal to promote the advancement of Joomla! Andy and I knew the time was now to join the pioneers and do our part to take Joomla! to new heights. Our philosophy is "Build it and they will come!" and our goal is to do more to touch some of the hundreds of thousands of designers and developers out there that have never heard of Joomla! before. We search the web everyday for new places to drop a line about Joomla!
Andy and I also spend a great deal of our time researching new web trends, tips and techniques to share with our Members and the Joomla! community. Just recently, Andy and I have both been inspired and intrigued by the Web 2.0 philosophy and the concepts behind it. Web 2.0 is all about standing out from the crowd with big bold attitude, vibrant contrasting colors, code so clean you could eat off it as well as graphical world domination! The key to success is becoming more comfortable slinging around CSS than the Swedish Chef is wielding rolling pins and handguns! For all of those Swedish Chef fans out there: check this out!
4) What design resources would you recommend for someone working on improving their design skills? Are there blogs and sites that you read often to pick up tips?
The truth is out there? Does anyone know the URL? These are some of our favorite sites for building your CSS design skills:
- CSSZengarden.com – A great showcase of inspiration and what can be achieved through CSS
- W3Schools.com/css/ -A complete CSS reference with some simple tutorials
- Wpdfd.com/editorial/basics/index.html – A great CSS Overview for beginners
- Tizag.com – Some great Tutorials on several topics
- Colorschemer.com – A great tool for anyone that struggles to come up with unique color schemes. It’s a tool that can help you come up with literally thousands of color schemes that work magic together.
- JoomlaBeauty.com. Another great site for inspiration and other great CSS links.
5) Are there any features or scripts you see on non-Joomla designs that you would like to implement on your templates but can’t currently because of the way Joomla works?
No, not really. You can integrate anything into Joomla! There are so many designers and developers out there that are more than willing to help that I think the sky is the limit. That’s the beauty of Open Source, use it to your advantage. Let’s dream and design together! If anything, come over to JoomlaStorm, we’ll try our best to help each and every member succeed in their dreams. Our reputation thus far has been to help each and every member as if they were our only member! Stop by and ask some of our current members what they think!
6) What can we expect from the new Designers Club that you’re launching?
JoomlaStorm has recently taken the next step in it’s evolution! We have transitioned from a Theme Club to an all inclusive Designer’s Club, a one-stop-shop and complete resource for any web designer. In addition to our Joomla! Themes and support forums, we have also added several other features such as a Store for non-members, offering a wide variety of graphic design elements, JoomlaStorm Themes, and Flash elements/tools that all add those finishing touches to your projects and designs. We have also added a Pligg based NEWS section available to the entire community to promote their own sites, products and interests that relate to web design. We are also in the process of adding a section completely devoted to tutorials, tips and tricks about anything and everything that is cutting edge in web design that will prove to be a priceless addition to your browser bookmarks! And that’s just to keep us busy for now, We also have bigger dreams and more impressive goals, but if we were to share those plans, Andy and I might receive a visit from "Vinnie" and that wouldn’t be healthy! If you still have any doubts on our determination and staying power, just keep an eye on us and see where we go! If you’re the best of the best when it comes to design, keep in touch, we will be expanding in the future and that means we may make you, the next "American Designer"!
7) As someone highly involved in design, what benefits are you looking forward to with Joomla 1.5?
Andy and I are trippin’ out on 1.5 Mark my words, 1.5 is going to set the bar so high that other CMS groups out there might as well just jump on our wagon and ride it to the top with us. One major advantage of 1.5 for theme design will be the ability to modify the HTML output generated by Joomla! The HTML output will be moved to extension templates, which can be overridden so a designer can remove tables and change the CSS classes in an effort to make the site more accessible. I definitely am looking forward this one!
Well, I’d like to say thank you to Steve for the invitation to take the "Hot Seat!". Steve has a great thing going here at Alledia. All Andy and I can ask of everyone here at Alledia is to come check us out at JoomlaStorm when you get a chance. Take advantage of our free resources and if you find a theme you like, just get a membership and add your name to the list of possible winners for that awesome MacBook Pro we’re giving away soon! We can only succeed in our dreams with you and others working with us!
I’ll leave you all with the following words of wisdom, "The meaning of life is to give life meaning."