Putting the Band Back Together

The separation of MODX and SiphonLabs has freed us to focus and deliver upon our core purpose—to "help create amazing web experiences". We're going to work with and for the Community and users alike. Meet the new team leading off the charge and join us as we take MODX to new heights in 2013 and beyond.

By Ryan Thrash
April 10, 2013
Putting the Band Back Together

Having SiphonLabs spin out of MODX is incredibly liberating. It allows us to focus and deliver upon our core purpose—to live it authentically and proudly: Help create amazing web experiences.

To be succinct and transparent, we spent a lot of time and energy on Cloud, and it is absolutely a killer tool for MODX site developers. But MODX as a platform stagnated as a result, and I openly acknowledge and sincerely apologize for that.

It won’t happen again.

What our purpose means

“Help create” is a carefully chosen phrase. It means the team behind MODX is a part of the process, the Community and MODX users being the other; MODX can’t do it alone and remain relevant. So we’ve made deliberate efforts to involve the Community and empower them as a key part of the process, as promised at MODXpo EU last November. We’re going all-in on this, big time.

Examples of our commitment in action include Evo’s revival—thanks to an amazing Community-led dev team, and Jason getting Revo back on track with an awesome release in 2.2.7. We’re actively looking for Community members to help build the future of Revo, too. (Both Evo and Revo will again see releases in the coming weeks—not months or quarters—with 1.0.10 for Evo and 2.3 for Revo.)

Similarly, “amazing web experiences” means MODX itself has to deliver. Not just in a “meh” sort of way, but in a way that truly wows users and developers alike. That means the entire UX is going to get a ton of attention going forward, and both the adoption and business ecosystem around MODX will be unparalleled. If you’re not on board with MODX yet, you should be.

What it takes to succeed

MODX itself must grow and thrive, not just get by, as an Open Source business. There is a tremendous amount that goes into successful Open Source projects, and the ones that change the world are almost always backed by an organization. Drupal has Acquia for example, and for MODX … well, that’s MODX. (For insight into part of what it takes, read the Drupal Association annual report. I personally can’t wait to see their one for 2012.)

To that point, key people playing critical roles are the single biggest asset that MODX can have, and it’s where the title of this post comes from. Here’s the basis of the “new” MODX as we prepare for growing soon. ;)

Technology

Jason Coward (opengeek) has returned to MODX, full time. As my co-founder of MODX and the brains behind the current and future code, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Interesting fact about Jason: most companies advertise for “rock star” developers, but Jason actually is one. He’s toured with bands as a drummer and I promised him I would convince Pearl to be the official percussion sponsor for MODX. Oh, he could play pool professionally, too.

Commercial Support & Education

Similarly, YJ Tso (sepiariver), is back on board. Yee Jee will continue delivering excellent service to the commercial support clients, and help create a ton of great learning content for MODX.

Interesting fact about YJ: he’s been in over 60 film and television episodes, most notably in Dr. Who as Chang Lee, Stargate, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica and Antitrust. What other Open Source company comes with geek-cred like that!?!

Content, Marketing, Bizdev, Community & Events

Jay Gilmore (smashingred) and I (rethrash) have worn 6 of 7 hats for years. While we continue to plan big things, we recognize its time to bring in help to ensure MODX is one of the world-changers. Our MODX Professionals are a key part of this. With multiple MODXpos due to happen in the fall, we’ve got a busy time ahead of us and we’re looking for great people to join the team either full time or as volunteers.

Interesting fact about Jay: not only has Jay taught location sound engineering, but he’s also spent over 8 hours straight on a giant ferris wheel at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition during a location shoot. Jay has interviewed dozens of celebrities in his time, the names of whom he refuses to drop—no, YJ is not one of them.

Then there’s me: I’ve worked in or helped build online Communities for almost 30 years, starting with BBSes in the 80s, through pre-Internet Photoshop chats on AOL, and then on to other Open Source projects including OSCommerce and Zencart. I also love cooking over natural lump charcoal, just like I spontaneously did for about 30 MODXers after the first MODXpo in Dallas a few years ago.

It’s Go Time

To borrow a phrase from Andrew Smith, the MODX team is incredibly excited about building awesome. If you want to get involved, get in touch by emailing hello [ [at] ] modx.com or commenting below.