Today is a special day for Moodle – it is 8 years old (well, 11 actually from the very first trial)! A lot has been written about Moodle, less about its founder and lead developer Martin Dougiamas or ‘Moodler‘ as he likes to nick himself. I work with the guy and I thought I’d share a few things about him (no, I am not trying to suck up to my boss, he’d spot it and wouldn’t like it anyway).
With my teaching DNA I can’t avoid an analogy. If he were a school teacher, kids would really like him. He knows his stuff, he is fair, modest, doesn’t fuss and knows how important people are.
Martin has overseen something incredible over the past 8 years and the constant highs and lows have gotten bigger. Of the highs, the huge growth of Moodle users, and the vibrant, healthy community doing exciting things and supporting, caring about, developing something that was once just an idea in Martin’s head is no doubt incredibly pleasing but probably quite overwhelming at times. On the lows, he has endured a lot over the past years. First the hordes of ‘this won’t work’, then when it did start to work well, the hordes of ‘this is so yesterday’, then the hordes of ‘is 2.0 out yet?’ and more, all while juggling a growing number of balls. No one here at HQ has been under more pressure or cared more not just about the beautiful beast of Moodle 2.0 but the entire Moodle project and its multiple aspects over the last few years than Martin.
He is passionate about and deeply respectful of the community of Moodle users, developers and Moodle Partners. As the anecdote goes, when offered ten of millions of dollars for Moodle by the largest commercial competitor, his immediate reply was: How do you buy a community?
To many he is a rock star (and with his drumming skills he probably could be one). To us who work with him every day, and anyone who has probably chatted to him at a Moot or other places, he is a calm, fair, relaxed, smart and quick-witted boss, colleague, family man and a friend who knows his stuff, drives a 15 year old bomb of a car, mucks around with iPhone apps, makes a mean mojito and for whom Moodle, the stuff millions around the world use today, is the stuff of life.
Happy 8th Martin & Moodle. Here is to many, many more!