Thomas Schedler
Thomas Schedler
Co-Founder & CEO – Sulu GmbH
Sulu's technical Master Blaster. Tries to keep our code on it's toes and to master Heston Blumenthal recipes on his very seldom free days.
@chirimoya
2020-12-16

Wishing the Sulu community a peaceful break

This year has been challenging for almost everyone, and it has unfolded in a way we couldn’t have imagined back in January. When the pandemic struck, and Europe went into lockdown, we were keen to signal our resilience: fortunately, we are all capable of working remotely (and many team members even prefer it), so in principle, nothing was keeping us from ploughing on with our existing plans.

Time to think during the lockdown

However, just like any business, we were concerned about the knock-on effects of the economic downturn for our industry, as social and commercial life ground to a halt. We’re still navigating by sight. This has prompted the rest of the Sulu team and me to think about how we keep Sulu on a sustainable business footing so we can carry on maintaining Sulu long into the future.

We experienced a dip in incoming client projects, which had two effects. First, we had more time to spend on product development for Sulu; we added features and ironed out bugs and technical debt. Second, we had some headroom to think about the future. We have long aspired to invest more of our capacity into Sulu alongside client projects and this was accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis.

We delivered what we promised despite difficult circumstances

But not everything has changed. I’m proud that the team managed to stay the course we had planned for the year despite the circumstances.

  • We listened to feedback from the community by running a survey — thanks to everyone who responded for helping us prioritize our content.
  • We’ve launched several guides. This is part of our drive to talk more about Sulu and the thinking behind building it the way we do. Improved understanding will help Sulu users build great products.
  • Sulu is growing in popularity, as the download statistics on Packagist show.
  • We upheld our release cycle, with versions 2.1 and 2.2 delivered on time. Headline improvements include the Block-in-Block feature and Symfony 5 support.
  • We’ve kept up our commitment to update dependencies so we don’t have a big legacy code base.

Big plans for 2021

I look with cautious optimism towards 2021. I hope the economy will continue to pick up as we emerge from the crisis. I’m in no doubt that our resilience as a business and a community will carry us through.

We’re going to turn thinking into action by promoting more revenue streams besides client projects and our knowledge-sharing services. These will include our partner program early next year and sponsored features. Keeping Sulu on a steady financial footing means we ensure it will go from strength to strength in the years to come.

I’m hopeful we will be able to take part in more offline meetings as the threat posed by COVID-19 recedes. Usually, the Sulu and Symfony community is busy with meetups, camps, and conferences — we’ve really missed them this year. A lot of Sulu’s adoption is thanks to word of mouth at in-person events. I love meeting with the Sulu community and having conversations with you all.

Happy downtime

For 2021, I wish you exactly the same that I wish myself: good health and continued resilience. Enjoy some days off—I hope you can find time for whatever updates and system maintenance you and your family may be needing right now.

Festive regards,

Thomas Schedler on behalf of the Sulu team.