Whenever I say to a circle of friends that I am a Joomla! developer, the dreaded question always pops up: “Hey, I’ve heard that this Joomla! thing is good, can you help me build my own site?”. This usually makes me frown because a. the person who asks is a complete newbie to Joomla! and/or web sites and b. they don’t want to hire a web developer – like me, for example – to build their site. If I respond positively to such an inquiry I will end up building a site, explaining step-by-step how I do that, do a lot of training and not get paid for my time (no, buying me a coffee doesn’t make up for 80 hours of lost time, sorry). If I respond negatively I am usually accused of elitism, or even confronted with the equally dreaded “Oh, come on, you’ll just teach me the basics, I don’t want to steal your job”. Awh… What can anyone do in such an awkward situation?

Whenever I say to a circle of friends that I am a Joomla! developer, the dreaded question always pops up: “Hey, I’ve heard that this Joomla! thing is good, can you help me build my own site?”. This usually makes me frown because a. the person who asks is a complete newbie to Joomla! and/or web sites and b. they don’t want to hire a web developer – like me, for example – to build their site. If I respond positively to such an inquiry I will end up building a site, explaining step-by-step how I do that, do a lot of training and not get paid for my time (no, buying me a coffee doesn’t make up for 80 hours of lost time, sorry). If I respond negatively I am usually accused of elitism, or even confronted with the equally dreaded “Oh, come on, you’ll just teach me the basics, I don’t want to steal your job”. Awh… What can anyone do in such an awkward situation?

Well, being caught in such an impossible position calls for a diplomatic answer. The quite simple “I’m sorry, but I don’t really have much time available” doesn’t cut it. What I always wanted to say is “I’m sorry, but I don’t really have much time available – however, I heartily suggest reading some-really-good-book-title-here and getting back to me if you still have questions”. Major pitfall: finding a book so good that leaves few, if none, questions unanswered. After a long time, I think I found it!

Being a regular customer of Packt Publishing has its benefits. One of them is that I convinced myself to subscribe to their newsletter. The other day a message in my inbox informed me of the release of a new book called “Joomla! 1.5: Beginner’s Guide”, written by Eric Tiggeler. The title alone intrigued me, as I was looking for a book to suggest to newbies. After reading the sample chapter and browsing through the contents I had my “a ha!” moment. I had finally found a Joomla! book for newbies that I liked, it was easy to read and contained everything I would teach to a newbie, anyway. Not to mention that it seems to cover all subjects in an illustrated, step-by-step tutorial format which is so suitable for newbies. In fact, I don’t think you really need to know much about Internet to read this book, except how to get on-line. It’s that easy to read!

I immediately felt that I had to contact Packt to ask them for permission to publish a review of this book on my site. So I did, and the results surpassed my expectations. Not only I got their permission to review the book, but they also agreed for me to host a raffle with my review. So, get ready! In a couple of weeks I’ll have read the book in its entirety, write a thorough review and host a raffle for one of you to win a copy of the book. Plus, I get to finally be able to tell wannabe webmasters “I’m sorry, I don’t really have much time available – however, I heartily suggest reading “Joomla! 1.5: Begginer’s Guide” by Packt and… it will just answer all of your questions!”.

Published by Nicholas Dionysopoulos

PHP developer, author of Akeeba Backup and Admin Tools. Father, husband, cat herder and geek. Proudly uses all major Operating Systems on desktop and mobile.