TYPO3 Talk with Daniel Siepmann: Member of Official Documentation Team

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series! Check out the Interview with Tomas Norre on TYPO3 For Everyone! We have launched the TYPO3 initiative for business executives, professional freelancers, marketers, decision-makers etc. The ultimate goal, Inspiring people to communicate about TYPO3 eco-system by keeping the philosophy of OpenSource.

TYPO3 Talk with Daniel Siepmann: Member of Official Documentation Team

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Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 21!

Hi TYPO3 People, this week we have Daniel Siepmann with us this week for interesting TYPO3 Talk! Daniel is author of TYPO3 Blog channel called https://daniel-siepmann.de. Daniel is working with TYPO3 since 2012 and has been active part of TYPO3 Community with his contribution and participation at TYPO3 events. 

Grab that cup of coffee to explore Daniel's insights into his views, the history and potential of TYPO3 and the open source community, and how we can build a better TYPO3 ecosystem together!

Let's explore his journey with TYPO3 from then to now, and much more!

  • Interviewee : Daniel Siepmann
  • Company : Codappix GmbH
  • Designation : Author of Daniel Siepmann TYPO3 Blogs
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system

Hey Daniel, please tell us something about yourself to our audience.

I’m a 30 year old web developer from germany. Most of the time I've been working with TYPO3 since 2012. I own https://daniel-siepmann.de/ where I blog in English about some things, as well as TYPO3. I’m employed at https://daniel-siepmann.de/Codappix GmbH which I’ve founded with three colleagues back in 2018. And I’m a huge fan of open source.


First question, How did you initially get involved with TYPO3?

During my apprenticeship. The Web agency already had developed their own CMS and was moving over to TYPO3. My first steps were standalone PHP development, which was embedded into TYPO3 by colleagues. I’ve asked myself how TYPO3 could help me during development and read the TCA reference during my second year. That was my beginning.


How do you contribute to TYPO3? How does your company encourage open source business practices?

I’m currently mostly contributing by opening bug reports at https://forge.typo3.org/, by providing patches for core and documentation.
I also participated in a lot of Events in Europe before the Covid-19 pandemic where the community shared knowledge and exchanged ideas. Furthermore, I’m striving to open source as much as possible, e.g. smaller Extensions and sharing knowledge via my blog. And am a member of the association via a community membership. I also am Budget Owner for Provide QA Best Practices usable by Community the second time.

I was involved in TYPO3 Documentation Team, Education Committee, small partition of support during EXT:dashboard integration into TYPO3 CMS.

Our company (Codappix GmbH) is sometimes sponsoring events like Camps or TYPO3 Online Days 2021. The company has a silver membership.


As a TYPO3 Professional, What was your biggest challenge to building your TYPO3 business? Do you have any special tips & tricks for TYPO3 business people?

I’m not a business person, more a hands-on developer. The biggest challenge in general is to actually get the underlying requirements from our customers. Customers and agencies, as well as freelancers, need to work on that part. I’ve encountered some that are just delivering “something” instead of what the customer actually needs. And customers are not always aware they need to invest some more money to support their agency to prototype in order to find out what the customer really needs.


Over the years, the TYPO3 open source ecosystem has evolved. When you look back, Are you surprised or feel lucky with the overall success of TYPO3? Where do you see it going in the future?

I’m a little surprised. TYPO3 had to tackle some hard things, and still is trying to solve some issues. I didn’t think it would work out that well.

I see a bright future for TYPO3. TYPO3 already has features like Workspaces, multi site and multi language as well as great permissions. It is very flexible and allows you to build any kind of website or application. It also allows integrating existing solutions and libraries, which is becoming easier due to PSR. I guess TYPO3 will follow that path and make integration even easier, and solve some more inner issues.


Can you give us a sneak peek of TYPO3's future visions?

I’m not in a position to provide any official information, just some personal opinion and guesses. I guess TYPO3 will reduce its code base and replace further parts with existing components. Developers familiar with other frameworks will have an easier start with upcoming versions. TYPO3 will adapt existing patterns known from other frameworks. Also standards will be established. E.g. Extbase will make use of PSR-7. That way it should become easier to port existing code between different frameworks.


TYPO3 is 20+ years old OpenSource CMS, Although we have very little CMS Marketshare. eg., At present, TYPO3 0.6%, WordPress 63.6%. In your personal opinion, What do you think about what we majorly missed in TYPO3 journey?

Probably some more marketing and good tutorials for beginners. I also don’t think WordPress and TYPO3 share too much of the same market. Yet I’m not a marketing or sales person and am not to much into those topics.


Unlike other CMS' where do you think the TYPO3 opensource ecosystem lags behind?

I’m not familiar with other CMS, but I think one of the biggest issues right now are existing extensions. Most extensions are huge monoliths. That prevents maintenance for users and developers. It would be way better to have smaller modular extensions which can be combined. Installations would be way smaller and faster and easier to maintain. Developers still can use mono repositories and do subtree splits or any other kind of development that works for them.

Also some users might be way too unfamiliar with how TYPO3 works and what TYPO3 provides. Other systems might need some special “Gallery” extensions. You can easily integrate such features via TypoScript and a bit of TCA and Template, depending on requirements. People just too often don’t know and will build another gallery extension.


What do you think of the global expansion of TYPO3? What do you feel the TYPO3 OpenSource Eco-system needs most?

I like it, the more people use TYPO3, the more will contribute. I also think that a global expansion means further contribution from people all around the world with different needs and expectations. I guess TYPO3 GmbH already does a great job by providing their own website in way more languages, e.g. in Hindi or Spanish. We probably also need information at typo3.org in more languages. And we need more languages in general, e.g. Japanese or Chinese, Russian, etc. But typo3.org is a community resource, some people would need to invest time to provide parts in other languages.


As we are managing T3Planet, TYPO3 Marketplace, What do you think about the t3planet.com? What are some key factors & characteristics that would attract you?

I don’t see myself as the target group of t3planet.com. But I really appreciate there are sources for other target groups, such as themes or easy installers.


TYPO3 is built on PHP. PHP was established and it’s easy to understand. There was a huge community for PHP already. How important was that “TYPO3 was powered by PHP” for its popularity?

I’m probably too young to have an opinion on that question. But I see the current development of PHP as well as TYPO3. I’ve the feeling both leave some people behind. I actually don’t know the reason, because both have a proper pace in my opinion. Maybe some people are taking care of too many topics at once. We need to focus on some topics to provide a proper expertise nowadays. There are also valid use cases for “one man shows” but you probably won’t get the same quality as it is really hard to keep track of all the new stuff. E.g. type hinting in PHP, new attributes system in PHP, Events in TYPO3, Middlewares in TYPO3, new routing in TYPO3, TypeScript, SCSS / Sass, Frontend Frameworks, Performance, Security, etc.


There are extensions, multilingual, multisite enterprise CMS, ease of use, among all these, what attributes for the TYPO3 success?

All of them. Removing any single feature would reduce the situation where you would go for TYPO3.


Who is your open source mentor/hero? Can you name some people (at least 5) whom you follow to get knowledge and updates of the TYPO3?

I actually follow a huge list of RSS feeds from all kinds of blogs, from community and official sources.
I actually never had a mentor which is sad. But there are so many “heroes”, even if I no longer like that point of view. It holds me back from getting in contact with those persons which is a bad thing. The TYPO3 community is so friendly and open, you can always write and talk to everyone.


What are some places, blogs, and online communities you would recommend to our readers that you think are the best places to get help about TYPO3?

I’m following the official RSS feed of TYPO3.com and TYPO3.org, as well as the GIT commits pushed to master. And I’m investing a huge amount of time within TYPO3 slack.
I also guess Twitter is still a must-have, even if it feels way more empty since the pandemic.


Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing. Also, can you suggest some ideas on how TYPO3 could be expanded globally?

All open source needs way more contributions in regard to marketing.

And everyone should give it a try. There are many people within Slack which are happy to support you during your contributions. Don’t feel stupid or afraid of doing your first contribution. Start small with an actual use case, e.g. bug report, bug fix or improve documentation.

There are so many different smaller groups working on specific parts. Get in contact with one of the teams which can be found at https://typo3.org/community/teams or an initiative which can be found at https://typo3.org/community/teams/typo3-development/initiatives.

I’ve no great idea how to expand. Everyone can try to create a user group in a city or country. The most important thing is: Start. Don’t think and worry too much, go ahead and follow your idea.


Last but not least, Apart from TYPO3, What're the things you love to do?

I love exchanging ideas and knowledge, as well as discussing some details, and listening to music, especially live music.

Hey Daniel heartily thanks time to conduct these interview and sharing your views with insights. 

If you too want to share your views regarding the TYPO3 Eco-system and TYPO3 Open source community, you are more than welcome. Feel free to reach us or drop us a message in the comment section below.
Also, thanks to all Post Status readers, we will see you at the next interview. Till then stay tuned for next exciting T3Interview :)

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