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Meet Radek Suski - the father of SobiPro and director at the OSM board of directors

Meet Radek Suski - the father of SobiPro and director at the OSM board of directors - 4.7 out of 5 based on 12 votes

After a short break with our Blog stuff it is time to meet you with another great guy - Radek Suski :)

About an year ago, I joined the Joomla! group on Facebook where I had the pleasure to meet Radek. Radek is the developer of the famous SobiPro Component and he is also directly involved in the Joomla! Project. He is actually a director at the OSM board of directors :)

Find out more about Radek Suski, SobiPro and the Joomla! Project below!

Tell us a bit more about you, your workspace and Radek Suski as a whole.

I have been born in Poland but I am living in Germany for about twelve years. I studied computer sciences at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Beside my usual work which includes developing SobiPro and Apps for it, and managing our servers, I love traveling to various Joomla! events and riding my mountain bike. I would love to learn to pilot a small plane but this is unfortunately very expensive here.

We have also 4 budgerigars and these are working together with us in the office. I love these birds.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm usually getting up at 6 o'clock. As a communication junkie I have (just a joke) to post my daily #Coffee O'Clock™ picture at my website, Facebook and Twitter ;) In case the weather is good, I am going for a bike ride, usually 30-40 kilometres. When I am back, Sigrid, my wife is already working so I am joining her in the office. We are working for our own company and/or for the Joomla! project depending on the actual needs.

Radek Suski and his bike

You are directly involved in the Joomla! Project. Tell us a bit more about that.

I got actively involved in the project first by providing our very first extension for the Joomla! community already in 2006. We, Sigrid and I, were both attending several JoomlaDays around the world. I was involved in the organisation of the Polish Joomla! foundation, the PCJ Open Source Foundation and was the First Chairman of the Foundation Council for some time. I was one of the organisers of the very first JoomlaDay Poland in 2012. Later I joined together with Sigrid, the Joomla! Social Media team. Meanwhile, somewhere in 2012, OSM was searching for new board members and a good friend of mine asked if I would be interested and if he can submit my candidature. I agreed and in October I was elected to be one of the directors at the OSM board. I am involved in many official and unofficial areas of the project:

There are some minor other tasks and areas I am involved but I think the list is long enough already.

What is your favourite part of being a part of the Joomla! Project?

Unquestionably the Joomla! community. This is why I love attending Joomla! events. You can see how great, vibrant and awesome our community is. I was attending the very first (to my knowledge) Mambo Day and it's where I got totally "infected". Especially attending international Joomla! events like JaB or Joomla! World Conference enhances this feeling. This is simply a great feeling to have friends all around the world and then, once or two times in year, meet them in person. This is really priceless. But also attending local JoomlaDays or JUG meetings is simply an awesome experience.

Radek speaking at JWC13
Radek speaking at JWC13
You are the developer of the famous SobiPro Extension. Tell us a bit more about it.

Sometime in 2005 we discovered Mambo and built our first website for our company with it. The work with Mambo was really a pleasure so we decided to build another website, this time for our village. We planned a local information portal and we needed a good companies directory for this website. At that time there were only two suitable extensions for it; the one was way too expensive and the other one wasn't very advanced. As the second one was licensed under GPL we decided to take this one and improved it. We found the idea of Open Source Software very exciting, so we decided to give the improved extension back to the community.

SOBI got popular very soon and therefore people started to ask for new features and we were implementing those features. With the time we found us spending more and more time on the development of SOBI and then Sobi2 and at the end we dropped the idea of creating the website we originally planned and concentrate more on the development for Joomla!. At some point also Sobi2 wasn't sufficient enough because people were using it for other purposes than a simple business directory. The need for a new extension appeared as some of our users wanted to install Sobi2 more than once at the same site. We decided then that we need a fully new design and created SobiPro. It was a very good decision and SobiPro users are really happy with the possibility to use it for different purposes at the same site with the need for only one extension.

Who is you favourite Joomla Template Provider?

Heh; you know my opinion on this topic. I am kinda purist when it comes to templates. I don't like all those bloated, click-through templates. I really love these templates from Joostrap and I like templates from Joomlabamboo.

What do you think about It is quickly becoming the biggest source of Joomla Templates since well-known names like Gavick, Joomlashine and Joomla-Monster have already joined it.

To be perfectly honest, I know the site and I visited it once or twice. But I have not much knowledge about it. It's probably because I am a software developer and not websites builder (web developer). I am not building any websites and therefore I am not searching for templates.

What, in your opinion, are the 5 Extensions that bring most value to the Joomla! CMS?

I think the first on this list is very obvious - SobiPro. Many people are going to be surprised because most of Joomla! users consider it as a directory extension only. The truth is, that we are using SobiPro for almost every kind of content and also as form component. We are using SobiPro at the Joomla! event site as the events directory, the team members list, and we used it also as a form for the Joomla! Events Traveler submissions. More sections are planed. I am using it also as a blog extension and photo gallery. And we are using it for the download directory, documentation, FAQ and many other purposes. But of course SobiPro cannot provide every and each functionality. So here is my complete list:

  • SobiPro
  • Akeeba Backup
  • Akeeba Admin Tools
  • JCE
  • ...

And I have no idea what the fifth would be. For my needs and our needs this list is actually complete with those 4 extensions.

And the most important question - what do you think about the future of Joomla? How do you see the CMS in 5 years from now? Will it increase its market share and more specifically, will it get closer to Wordpress in terms of user base?

I have no idea where Joomla! CMS and the whole project will be in 5 years. We are working in an environment which is changing rapidly almost every day. I am very thankful that PLT is responding to those changes and lead the software development the right way. I am also trying to avoid comparing Joomla! to Wordpress or any other CMS. I see place for all those CMS'es in the current world. What is important for me that more than 90% of all websites worldwide are created with pure HTML. This is the market we should target. There is enough space for improvement for Joomla! and Wordpress or Drupal. And also many others. We all are trying to evangelise Open Source software and the ideals of free software. This is what counts for me in the first place. Considering those facts I am very sure that Joomla! will increase its markets share. I just don't care if we would have more users than Wordpress or less.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Sure. I would like to use this opportunity for few appeals to the Joomla! community.

  • If you are developer or template designer please help us to test Joomla!. There are always pre-releases of Joomla! (alphas and betas) which allows you to test the upcoming version with your software. I am really very sad when I hear how some developers complain that the new Joomla! release "broke" something in their software. There is a very simple way to avoid this situation.
  • Get involved in the project please. There are so many ways to be involved. This is our all community. It’s our all project.
  • Join a Joomla! User Group or create one if there is no such group in your area. Try to meet other Joomla! users and talk with them.
  • Attend Joomla! events. JoomlaDay, J and Beyond or Joomla! World Conference. This is really a great experience.

Thank You very much.


Thank you very much for this interview Radek. I'm sure it will be very interesting for all our readers and for all Joomla fans out there :)

We wish you a lot of success with SobiPro and with the Joomla! Project!

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  • Last modified on Monday, 29 September 2014 17:12
Ivo Valkov

I'm a front end developer. I love creating things, playing football, snowboarding and so on. I also hope you like all our stuff. We started using Gantry for our projects and honestly, we love it!