Myself & Ashwin , my partner first got introduced to Mambo while working on a community 'Eco Portal' that we built & maintained for a non profit organization that we were part of then. This was built on a cms called as PHP Nuke. I remember those times when we worked with Dial up connections ( believe it or not with speeds as low as 28kbps !) & creating anything was horribly slow. We were still studying back then for our Engineering degree when we first came upon Mambo.
After PHPnuke where installing any extension needed you to modify like a zillion files, Mambo was a breath of fresh air. We were amazed ! What you can simply point the browser to a zip file & install something as complex as a forum system ? Man were we hooked after that ! We ended up migrating the ngo project entirely to Joomla.. though i must admin it took us way too long then :) .
Initially we were overawed with the administrator menus but soon got the hang of it. Now both of us were studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering & simultaneously running a small business of designing & developing some basic HTML sites with a little PHP. Joomla / Mambo came like wind & swept us off our feet. It was like getting super human powers ! Now we could suddenly look at creating large scale portals & that too with ease.
Our company ( We used to call ourselves "WebSpace" back then) could now look at greater horizons. We soon started looking into creating Joomla templates & soon came to modules . Plugins & components took more time. This was mainly because we could find almost anything that our clients needed already built for Joomla. Requests from initial clients pushed us to delve deeper into the code & start developing our own extensions & also modifying existing ones.
Then came the Mambo Joomla split & we followed developments closely. We were pretty concerned since we had a couple of client sites running on Mambo then . But then Joomla came & everything started changing rapidly. Though Mambo was decent for its time, the development pace was nothing compared to the way Joomla advanced. The best thing Joomla did was that it was by the community & for the community. A huge community of users, developers, template designers began to form around it & there was no looking back ever since !
When we formed this company, Joomla was always our main focus. Keeping this focus for over 5 years helped us get close with the code & the community & it has been a most fulfilling experience. During this time we have worked with a variety of Open Source CMS like Drupal & Wordpress as well as some enterprise onces. This exposure has helped us decide what fits well & when. But to date, we haven't had a single inquiry that cannot be developed in Joomla! Yes as we proudly say, we have developed everything from a simple 10 page site to enterprise level applications in Joomla today . With Joomla Anything is possible..
We have loved working for the Joomla community when possible & believe me it gives the greatest satisfaction of all ! Be it our short stint in the Joomla Bug Squad or mentoring students for last years GSOC its been a very enriching experience.
We have grown in size & experience over the years & last year we launched 'Techjoomla' our Extension shop & training division specifically focused on Joomla. We have got a great response from the community & will hope to keep receiving their support.
Thanks for reading this. I hope we didnt bore you with our nostalgia ! Do you have a Joomla story to share ? Go ahead ! Joomla is all about sharing !
Thanks to Harshal for creating the nice Joomla Birthday image :)