TYPO3 Talk with Rachel : TYPO3 Association Board Member

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series! Check out the Interview with Rachel 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 Rachel : TYPO3 Association Board Member

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 16!

We have Rachel Foucard with us this week for interesting TYPO3 Talk! Rachel is TYPO3 Association Board member, TYPO3France committee leader, and CTO at wseils.

TYPO3 talk with Rachel is interesting, so grab the cup of coffee to explore Rachels's insights about her views, history and potential of TYPO3 and open-source community, and how we can build a better TYPO3 Eco-system together!

Let’s explore her journey with TYPO3 back from times till today, and a lot more!

  • Interviewee : Rachel Foucard
  • Company : W-Seils
  • Designation : TYPO3 Association Board Member
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system

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

I live near Nantes, France, where I co-lead W-Seils, a French Web agency. I am also responsible for events in the TYPO3 Association Board, I am the TYPO3 French community lead, and co-lead of the TYPO3 Structured Content Initiative.


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

I "met" TYPO3 15 years ago (already!). My job as an office software trainer did not bring me any future perspective. I decided to start all over again, and become a web developer. I discovered this profession with the CMS TYPO3, and never left it, it was really love at first sight! I then went from developer to project manager and today CTO.


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

My weekly schedule includes "community" time to actively participate in the TYPO3 project. Whether it is for technical tasks or community tasks. This time is very important for our personal development, but it is also common sense when an agency works exclusively with Open Source products.

Besides doing TYPO3 core development I also help TYPO3 agencies. Sometimes by providing development capacity, sometimes just by sharing knowledge with training or consulting. One of the things I love to share is my experience in making companies more aware of the sustainability you could get by using and sharing open-source. If you do it the right way, I’m sure this will help every company. Both agencies as clients!


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?

There was a complicated moment for small and medium web agencies when TYPO3 went from TYPO3 4 to TYPO3 6. They had to face the great fears of change, reassure their developers who were experts and had to relearn new standards. You know, change management... But after passing this step, the TYPO3 agency teams became masters of agile change: The lifecycle of a TYPO3 major version is one year and a half, thanks to this rhythm, TYPO3 gradually and continuously includes in its product the latest technologies at the right time.

This implies that a TYPO3 developer will have to be always up to date with this knowledge, and should not be afraid to implement new technologies or standards in his projects.


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?

TYPO3 has a unique community approach, and I think that's what makes its strength. 

Originally, TYPO3 was not only Open Source, it was actually run by a community organization called the TYPO3 Association. Then, the Association decided to found TYPO3 GmbH to ensure a quality level in accordance with professional standards. 

TYPO3 now has two fairies leaning over its cradle, building together a solid long-term strategy in line with community values.

The gamble was risky, but today I can say that this collaboration is a unique success story, and it gives me confidence in the future of this product.


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

TYPO3 is moving into high gear in Marketing terms, expect to hear more about it. 

UX and accessibility are priority topics for future releases, expect a more and more attractive and simple interface. 

The TYPO3 Headless and PWA initiatives are a success, expect to work on mobile application projects as well as websites with TYPO3. 

TYPO3 Community members are the focus number one of the TYPO3 Association Board, expect the TYPO3 Community to grow and diversify.


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?

I don't think comparing the number of sites is the right approach. We would have a more realistic view by comparing the sales turnover. But that would only narrow the gap, I think Wordpress would remain the leader.

Nevertheless, talking about money instead of number of sites seems important to me. We know that a multitude of small projects that bring very little income to agencies and freelancers is not a desirable goal if we are on the side of the provider community.

BUT, I do think that TYPO3 should offer an official SaaS solution at a low monthly cost, with the possibility to apply templates, add apps, etc. for small projects in order to be present at every moment of our customers' life: when they start, when they grow...

Whatever the reasons that prevented TYPO3 from offering SaaS and a low cost solution in the past, they no longer make sense today IMHO.


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

When I go to SaaS solution websites for newsletters, push notifications, Marketing automation, or applications of any kind that propose web service implementation in a website, there is always a plugin ready to use for other CMSs like Wordpress, Drupal, etc. and rarely for TYPO3.

I would like to see the TYPO3 logo appear wherever it should be: right next to other known CMS on the market.

I wondered why this is not the case today: Making a TYPO3 plugin that inserts a few lines of javascript, or that uses an external API requires too much time investment.

The current system of extensions is perfect for elaborated features, packages, libraries, etc. but I think it lacks a simpler and faster system to implement external web service integration apps. This system should not even require to be a TYPO3 developer.


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

Becoming more international, less European. 

It's in progress, and it may seem strange, but these last few months of forced confinement that has prevented us from organizing our annual on-site events have given us many opportunities for international communication. 

This has broken down a lot of stereotypes, and I must admit that I am very proud to work and share my passion with people from the US, Germany or Australia. The only challenge is to deal with jet lag :)


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?

T3Planet is doing what everyone was waiting for but hasn't dared to do: Market Place, SaaS hosting, etc. It's a great thing, and you're doing it very well.


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 don't know, and maybe it didn't have any impact. The language of a solution does not seem to me an adoption factor. On the other hand, if a solution is based on "exotic" and immature language, it could be a good reason for rejection.


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

Real multilingual and multisite, I mean : in the same platform and not with multiserver workaround like the other CMSs. Yes, it is a big key feature.

I often quote these key points as well : maintainability, security, long-term vision and scalability.


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 think you've interviewed almost all of them already!


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?

T3Terminal's blog is loaded with all kinds of information, not just technical information.  Otherwise I follow the news on typo3.org and typo3.com of course. Also, when you are a member of the TYPO3 Association, you receive a newsletter with the main news of the TYPO3 ecosystem. Finally, I'm quite fond of twitter, where the TYPO3 community is quite active, and which brings up all kinds of TYPO3 related articles coming from various blogs.


Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing.

The community is already very active, and many TYPO3 members are already working in the right direction, I think we just need to give it some time.


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

Spend time with my loved ones, watching Netflix series, playing mobile puzzle games, learning piano, and I hope that very soon I will be able to travel again to meet the other TYPO3 enthusiasts in person.

Heartily thanks Rachel for taking the efforts and time to conduct these interviews and sharing your views with insights. 

If you too want to share your views regarding the TYPO3 Eco-system, 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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    Jürgen Braun 2021-04-13 at 7:07 am
    I love this TYPO3 Interview series. TYPO3 mentors share thoughts, ideas and knowledge which are very helpful and inspiring to us.
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    Paul Naumann 2021-04-13 at 7:06 am
    Interesting conversation between two veterans. It is not just a TYPO3 Talk it is such an inspiration for newcomers in the TYPO3 worlds.