I have been building websites with Joomla for the last four and half years. It started of with my desire to provide my clients with a solution that was flexible enough to grow with them and have the functionality available to become what every they needed it to be. many designers and developers told me to learn a hand full of content management systems (CMS) so that I could provide every possible solution. My take on that was "yes I could do that" but then how strong would I actually be with each one? I decided to go on the hunt to find the one system that could be turned into the widest variety of websites possible. This would give me the opportunity to learn the code inside out, to know every possible solution that was available for it and to know exactly what its capabilities and limitations were.
When I found Joomla I had already tested nine other platforms with some success finding the perfect fit. I first thought Joomla was a bloated confusing CMS with very little potential. I decided to stick with what was easy and quickly found out that as with most things easy was not a solution that would get me very far. I again looked at Joomla, taking into account the hundreds of thousands of people and professionals using it. I decided it was worth the time investment to really dig in and learn this beast.
Little did I realize that it would not only be my time that I threw into it but a serious load of cash and asked myself "how this could be?". Everything I had read told me this was a free system that I could offer my clients free of charge with the only out of pocket being the domain and website hosting. What I quickly realized was that although Joomla was in fact the most functional CMS available its downfall was in fact what made it so strong, its community. As with anything else where there is a need there will always be those who want to capitalize on its popularity. Well honestly there is nothing wrong with that in itself and should be accepted. What I did not accept was the huge repository of crap ware that was being sold under the title of a must have extension if I wanted to do....
The upside to my stressed cash flow learning Joomla did not become apparent until I had just about had enough of this. Then it hit me, yes I had wasted a ton of cash on extensions and templates that were worthless and in some cases threatened the security of the website and the server. I realised that by using these bogus tools I now knew that I could honestly provide my clients with exactly what I had set out to do in the first place. I was now able to provide them with the highest quality extensions available and not waste time with the ones that would either waste time working with, not do the job intended or circumvent the sites security.
I have reached a point with Joomla that if you tell me what you need I can in most cases tell you instantly if Joomla is capable of handling the job. Had I taken the advice of my peers and tried to learn a dozen different systems. There would be no way to truly know the power that Joomla possess. So be wary of a developer that says they know Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Moveable Type... well you get the picture. By them saying they know all these systems means they don't know any of them well enough to deliver the highest possible solution for your needs.