How big is Yireo?
Often I get the feedback that people thought Yireo was much bigger. I felt that it was time to play open card on the size of Yireo. And to start with the most essential part, which already answers much: Yireo is a sole trader. In other words, the company officially consists of only one person. But there's more.
Yireo is a sole trader. Well, that's me. I founded Yireo years ago. The company name, in short, starts with the first letter of my name, but then included a reference to the word video as well, because it was the idea to offer video tutorials from the early start. Well, that idea is still on my todo list.
The extensions are created by me, the trainings are given by me and I'm the one writing blogs like these. I'm not a CEO, not a CTO, not a founder. I'm just a Dutch boy who made his hobby his work. In essence, the company is not bigger than me. However, in practice, the company is bigger than me.
Yireo is busy in many different fields: Extensions, training, events, meetups, blogs, educational initiatives, open source projects. And there is the usual business stuff: Sales, leads, acquisition, bookkeeping. This is Janet comes in. While she is a freelancer, she is completely part of the Yireo team. And she is vital for the success as well. She makes sure deadlines are met, tasks are completed, schedules are doable, practicalities are dealt with. I often refer to her as an office manager, even though the office is only virtual: Yireo wouldn't fare well without her.
Plus, when Yireo organizes events (and this has only happened in the last 3 years for just, I don't know, 6 times, bazinga), Janet is the driving force that makes sure the organizational stuff is sorted, so I can focus on the buzz. The coolest part is that Janet is not just busy with her Yireo tasks. She is an enterpreneur on her own, hiring her own people, exploring new opportunities. She's on fire.
Another important role is picked up by Ruben. The Yireo design, the graphics of the brand, but also the look & feel of the events Magento 2 Seminar, MageTestFest and Reacticon - they're all his excellent work. Maybe I give Yireo its technical touch, but Ruben definitely makes it sophisticated. Not only is the visualize baseline of Yireo awesome thanks to his artistic touch, he and I are good friends as well, getting drunk on occassion and that's when good things happen: Magento 3 Certified Developer shirt, MUG mug, MageTestFest humor, Drunk Developer shirt, Don't Be A (headless) Chicken PWA shirt. This has shaped the brand of Yireo - humoristic brainfarts turned into rocksolid design.
Ruben is not just a graphical designer. He is also busy with art, paintings where the paint actually comes off the canvas, masochistic abuse of sponges, beautiful quotes combined with graffiti and drawings. I'm humbled that an artist of his magnitude helped grow the Yireo concept from nerdness to greatness.
Ruud van Zuidam & Sean van Zuidam
Good things come in pairs. Ruud and Sean (father and son) are not only good personal friends, but also fellow developers and buffalos when it comes to getting things done during events. When an Yireo event needs to be pulled together, Ruud & Sean jump in and help out with whatever needs to be done. For instance, their hard work during MageTestFest Florence (this year) allowed for that event to be a great success.
Once the sweat is wiped off, the nerdness kicks back in: Regularly, Ruud, Sean and I meet to work on various cool concepts, involving tech like Node, React, GraphQL but also PHP code of Magento 2 or alternative frameworks. It pays off - thanks to them, there is an important feedback loop and experimenting going on, needed for training purpose.
What is Yireo?
So, there you go, Yireo is not a big company. But it is not a one-man show either. It involves a team of freelancers and freeloaders that help putting down great things. We refer to Yireo in the third person, because Yireo is more than the sum of the people: It is fun, it is innovative, it was what you get when independent people are working together.