For core team member Coleman Watts, it all started while working for an environmental & peace education center that needed a database. Trying out CiviCRM, he soon discovered its power to unite different facets of the organization into a coherent whole. Using a holistic database transformed a weakness (running many programs meant piles of spreadsheets and disorganization) into a strength (a person's engagement with multiple aspects of the organization could now be tracked, facilitating collaboration between departments).
After attending a CiviCRM developer training, Coleman began extending the system and adding custom features for his organization. Inspired by the open source community he reworked his custom form code into something others could use as well, and the Webform-CIviCRM Integration module was born, which is now used by thousands of organizations. Since joining the core team in 2012 he has turned his attention toward making CiviCRM as robust and user-friendly as it can be, and he encourages everyone to contribute to the project in whatever ways they can. "CiviCRM is a small community and everyone's participation make a big difference," says Coleman. "Whether it's writing documentation, sponsoring improvements, fixing bugs, or joining as a member to show your support, what you do really matters."