As an open-source content management system fit for users of different skill levels, Drupal benefits greatly from its community. What’s more, apart from building a strong product, Drupal community offers support to its members and an opportunity to dive into the great pool of collective knowledge.
“I’m always amazed by the vibrant community that makes Drupal so unique” – Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.
And a community is not only a number of people who use certain products daily but it’s also the people who work to make those products better. But, some argue that Drupal Community is currently in stagnation.
Regardless of your skill sets, there are many ways you can help this community grow. There is a role for everyone.
We talked to 33 members of Drupal Community from all around the world to find our the ways one can contribute.
These are their opinions on how we can help the community grow in 2020 (in the order we received them):
#1 Ruben Teijeiro
“I think the only way to grow is to embrace other communities and individuals becoming more open, diverse and inclusive.“
He spends a lot of time in Conil (Spain) working for 1x Internet, running Youpal, his digital agency, contributing to the Community, mentoring other DrupalHeroes and speaking about Drupal around Europe. You probably have met him already, if not you should. Follow his project Drupal Heroes to stay tuned and find out the latest info about Drupal.
#1 Offer a list of topics. “In search of someone to present how to …” It’s difficult to know if your idea is going to be well received. Or, it’s difficult to come up with an idea. Give them an idea and if they don’t know, they can research and submit.
#2 State “In search of new Drupalers to share”. Then select some whose Drupal Organization years is short. Need their DO name I suppose. Or trust them.
#3 Send word to Drupal meetups for folks to listen for the hidden nugget. Provide a way/place for folks to say, “I just heard this guy speak about … And it was great.” Then, invite him to submit.
Drupal author, planner, builder, tester, trainer since Drupal 4.5
#1 Create stronger ties between the Drupal association and Drupal event organizers and local associations.
#2 Expand Evolving Web’s training programs to get more developers learning Drupal around the world.
#3 Work on the Promote Drupal initiative to help agencies around the globe expand the market for Drupal, by creating a common set of marketing materials
She runs Evolving Web where they specialize in building Drupal websites with a strong content strategy and UX. Suzanne is also on the board of the Drupal Association and involved in the Promote Drupal initiative. She does research into how content editors use Drupal.
#4 Kevin Thull
The current focus is — and rightly so — under-represented groups and junior developers, though we do have a long way to go in this regard. I also think a large untapped area of potential new community members are agency clients that use Drupal. For the people and companies that directly build with Drupal, our source of truth is Drupal.org, so we generally are involved and know the importance and dynamic of the community. For companies that hire an agency to build their site, I’d suspect they do not. And as primarily end-users of Drupal, they represent a point of view that we likely are missing as builders. Aside from that, we could do a better job at reaching the communities on the periphery of Drupal: PHP, JS, Symfony, Project Managers, Content Marketers, etc.
He pushes pixels, moves type, makes media, plans camps, chases food trucks and like #eggoneverything. Sponsor my travel and I will record and post your camp sessions!
#5 Gab (gambry)
#1 Review – or renew (!!) – groups.drupal.org as platform.
#2 Promote local events more. For example, add quick links on Drupal.org homepage for global community events and camps
#3 Improve and promote events templates, to help new local community. These templates already exist, they’re just not the easiest to find!
#4 Create and promote courses templates. How to begin with Drupal as a site-builder or developer.
#5 Create and promote specific programmes helping facilitate the adoption or learning of Drupal on different environments – High schools (and education facilities in general), detention centres, immigration or job centres, etc.
Gab has been working Drupal magic at Manifesto since he joined in 2015. Dedicated to giving back to the open-source digital experience platform, he created (and continues to improve) the Chatbot API for Drupal 8 and he is an active contributor on Drupal.org. As an organiser of Drupal London Developers, he’s working on ways to improve collaboration and sense of community between the UK’s various Drupal groups.
#6 Mario Hernandez
I have been working with Drupal for over 10 years and I am seeing first-hand how the various Drupal events I attend are getting smaller and smaller, and even going away. I doubt the Drupal community will ever grow to the numbers we used to see 5 years ago. As much as this hurts me, this is the reality.
However, this does not mean we can’t continue to provide valuable and critical resources for Drupal in the way of code and events. Drupal is still one of the best CMS out there and we need to make sure it stays that way. We may not get the numbers we used to see in the past but there will always be a need for what Drupal offers. For this reason our job in the Drupal community should be to ensure Drupal continues to be great, that it is easier to adopt and that there is no other CMS out there that can do what Drupal can. We need to become fans again and despite the shiny and popular frameworks out there, Drupal has never been better than it is now.
Mario is the Head of Learning at Mediacurrent with over 10 years of public speaking and training experience. He is a regular speaker and trainer at tech conferences including Drupal Camps in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, and others. Mario is a co-host of the Mediacurrent podcast.
By staying innovative and moving all the great initiatives forward.
User experience designer working on making Drupal looking sexy. Co-organiser of Front Conference in Zurich. He helps support and grow the Drupal community with the Drupal Association.
I think that the best way is to promote and sponsor local Drupal meetups/camps around the world.
Goran is the author of several Drupal modules. Besides PHP and Drupal, He also enjoys working with React JS. His whole toolset is open source, and that is why he likes contributing back to the community.
#9 Floris van Geel
Join Contributiondays 2020. After the great success of Contribution Days 2019 there will be a week of community retreat in Conil de la Frontera, Spain (10 – 16 May, 2020). This will happen after drupaljam.nl and drupalcamp.es where cross Open Source contribution meets Security Awareness and drupal.surf with yoga in Spain.
More info soon on https://contributiondays.org
Drupal entrepreneur since 2010. Enthusiastically joining up all the best camps in Europe and beyond. He is one of the founders of Drupal Europe.
#10 Rachel Lawson
#1 Clarify the benefits and expectations of getting involved and guide people into the roles in our community that help them grow. As it happens, a few of us are looking at was to improve the Getting Involved Guide right now!
#2 Look to increase the introductory type of sessions at camps – we have become too specialised. It should be possible to walk in the door and run Drupal for the first time at any camp.
#3 Find ways to collaborate and coordinate how we teach Drupal, globally. Actively go out to education with an attractive offer
#4 Go where the people are. We need to coordinate people to go to non-drupal tech events and evangelise. Needs to be on behalf of Drupal, not a particular agency
She is the Community Liaison for the Drupal Association and has been a Drupal contributor for about 12 years.
#11 David Pacassi Torrico
I think we can collaborate more with other communities. Like having more events about Drupal + AI/ML or Drupal + Flutter or Drupal + any other frontend framework.
Drupal has become very powerful and with the API first initiative, it can be used as a backend data server for any frontend/App very easily. Also, we can be more present at university/student events to get the young academics into our community.
CEO and Founder of Epsilon Labs and PriceHunterApp. Board Member of the Drupal Association Switzerland.
#12 Gregg Marshall
#1 Recognize the community is evolving from Drupal fanatics that found employment doing Drupal to many more full time developers that happen to be using Drupal. I have a feeling the needs and motivations are different (not 100% sure what that means to the community)
#2 Work on making and promoting Drupal Global Training Days, including perhaps a syllabus/materials for a full day Drupal 101 class (similar to the promote Drupal slide deck is for marketing, something for training), and shared ways to organize and promote DGTD events to lower friction to hosting them.
Acquia Certified Developer, experienced Drupal developer and architect, Gregg Marshall has been building websites since 1996. Gregg enjoys skiing until June at Arapahoe Basin.
#13 Mikko Hämäläinen
Drupal is not an island. Maybe try to attract new event visitors from neighbouring communities by having more talk topics about agility, Symfony and React just to name a few.
CEO of Druid and an agile enthusiast. Drupalist for almost 10 years. He developed a tool for managing developer resources.
Valuate contributors more.
Drupal agency co-owner and Drupalist for years. A regular speaker at Drupal events. He contributed Drupal modules, translations and to Drupal issue queues.
#15 Luis Nicanor
Encourage local events that have speakers from all over the world. Promote the learning of Drupal in schools through training programs since new generations are unaware of the platform and most of all the community.
Luis has over 10 years of experience as a Web Application Developer spanning various technologies. He is primarily a Back-end developer but has experience working with Front-end.
#16 Baris Wanschers
We need to inform young talent about what Drupal can do. This starts at schools. Drupal agencies should all attract a few interns and educate them about Drupal, so they can spread the word about their education. We as agencies should reach out to schools more and give lectures about Drupal and open source. Also, Splash Awards are a good way to communicatie with the world what Drupal is capable of.
Managing director and founder at LimoenGroen. Also founder of the Dutch Drupal Association in 2010.
#17 Zsofi Major
I would love to see more women attending Drupal events. Also it would be great if Drupalcamps/events would feature talks that are not textbook talks, but take experiences and share failures and solutions as well. I personally (and many of my friends who are currently not interested in attending events) would be very much interested in that.
She is a project manager at 1xINTERNET, has been involved in organizing local and international Drupal events and has been track chair of two Drupalcons.
#18 Tim Lehnen
Focusing on initiatives to increase ease of use for beginners, such as the UX work on the new admin interface and the new front-end theme, as well as things like Automatic Updates.
In addition – focusing on ways we can reach Drupal users who have not yet joined the community, such as the ‘Project Messaging Channel in Core’ initiative
Tim has been a Drupalist for more than a decade and currently serves the community as the CTO of the Drupal Association.
#19 Maria Totova
#1 Work closely with universities and high schools. Students simply love Drupal and grow fond of it very quickly. It’s not hard to attract more people to Drupal but it is very tough to keep them. That’s why we need more opportunities for junior devs, a way to provide practical experience. University internship programs are one way to do it for a start, but then we need real job opportunities. We have to “push” the business in that direction: hiring juniors and building seniors out of them. Everybody should understand the importance of mentoring for all the parties involved: for the trainers & trainees as well as the business & community. Even simply talking about this at conferences, or in the form of articles and interviews can help a lot to raise the awareness of the companies and make a difference.
#2 Organize regular local Drupal meetups, let people bond and feel the community spirit. It helps a lot if more recognized members of the community can visit sometimes as special guests – it raises the enthusiasm of the attendees in a way that they feel closer to the community and become part of it.
#3 Better docs: Concise practical examples on the docs pages (like CodeIgniter documentation), demo sites that cover different use cases (like the Search API demo site: https://drupalsear.ch/, or the Umami demo profile). We need practical examples for the newcomers. If they see the beauty behind Drupal, they will get involved for sure!
Maria Totova is a Drupal developer at Trio-Group, a core engineer, education manager & instructor at Coding Girls, a co-founder of Drupal Girls and a board member of Drupal Bulgaria. She enjoys programming and teaching and goes to work with a smile every day. When Maria is not glued to a computer, she loves travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
#20 Mark Conroy
I don’t think many people are accidentally discovering Drupal these days. I think most people new to Drupal are discovering it because it is being used in a company that they work for/have joined.
Because of this, I have a feeling that Drupal is becoming more of a job and less of a hobby. If that’s the case, we need to bring the fun back to the community. Perhaps we can do this by encouraging companies that use Drupal to send their employees to Drupal camps and DrupalCons and to contribute more to the issue queues.
In a lot of (European) countries, Drupal Associations and camps/meetups seem to be getting very small. If we could grow those again, I think they are a great way of spreading community.
There has always been a huge focus on Drupal as a piece of code. That’s very important, but we also need to put a huge spotlight on communities and initiatives and people that are doing great work for Drupal. I mean those that are creating side-projects with Drupal, SaaS products from Drupal, awards shows (Splash awards, etc) for Drupal, evangelising Drupal, etc. All the ancillary parts to Drupal that are not “drupal” itself.
Director at Annertech. Drupal Core Maintainer for Out of the Box Initiative.
#21 Syed Muhammad Azmat Shah
#1 Drupal Association has to play a vital role in this. They should keep on sending “Why Drupal is great” sort of promotional emails world wide, invite developers of other communities to interact with Drupalers.
#2 One suggestion which Drupal Association should seriously think about is helping small Drupal firms get projects for their sustainability. There are small Drupal shops world wide with team members less than 10 or 5. If they don’t get Drupal projects regularly as they should, their businesses will seize to exit. Getting Drupal projects from freelance markets is tough, so what Drupal Association should do is to play a centralized role of connecting Drupal Association Organization members with prospective clients. In this model, Drupal association should benefit also as more and more organizations will become members of DA, and also say 10 or 20 % of the Project amount be it of any magnitude go to DA as well, which will help it grow in itself.
The second part is the most important one.
Founder & CEO of Drupak, a Drupal Web Development & training company based in Peshawar, Pakistan. He is both Drupal 7 & 8 Acquia Certified Drupal Developer living with an aim to popularize Drupal in Pakistan
#22 Anya Abchiche
#1 I believe that growing a community, should be done from bottom to up, which means that it is the responsibility of the local Drupal associations and local drupal agencies to be involved in attracting more and new generations to the community.
#2 Create quarterly online/offline conversations about the topic with local community managers to get their insights and discuss creative and useful ways to continue nurturing the community and share good case practices.
#3 Dig into a younger generation (Y & Z) and show them what they can get from attending these events. Most of the time people who are attending conferences/camps are going because of their jobs, or as representatives of their companies, but if we attract university students for instance, through university collaboration and special offers for students, it will help attract more people in our community.
#4 Organize smaller formal & informal events over the year (before the camp/conf) such as meetups, coding challenges, DGTD etc. This will make the participants get used to the community around them. Once they come to the small events and they feel the sense of belonging, they will be more open to attending bigger events.
#5 Review the sense of belonging to the Drupal community. I believe if we understand why people want to be part of the Drupal community and why it is important for them to attend the events, we could reach their expectations.
#6 Understand the differences and culture of conferences/camps in each region. Some regions have a strong culture around attending tech conferences, and others not. If we understand how and why certain countries/regions have fewer attendees (due to their beliefs or culture) it can help to come up with some valuable ideas on changing their mindset.
Anya Abchiche is passionate about IT, education and new innovative technologies, she is currently CEO of the Drupal Moldova Association with the mission of promoting the Drupal Content Management System, and Open Source technologies in general, on both local and global scales, initiate and organize Drupal related events and support the local Drupal Community.
#23 Mladen Đurić
Casual meetups and a mini conference in spring. Then to continue with these activities on regular basis. Ready to co-organize. Let the light motive of the first meetups be “Are you ready for Drupal 9” and “State of Drupal”.
“Since 2007 trying to get a grip on Drupal but the more I learn, the more it tries to drift away but barely manages to do so ;)” In 2016 he realized that there is a strong demand for Drupal developers and professional approach to development so he started Koder, Professional Development School. IHis aim is to help developers acquire the required knowledge, not only to get employed but to actually enjoy developing for living.
Drupal focused Organisations can do the following:
#1 Bring in more college people via programs like internships.
#2 Allow their existing employees to give a dedicated time for drupal contributions.
#3 Along with Sponsoring time, sometimes it encourages people to travel to new camps, cons etc., if they get support from their Orgs.
#4 Create an internal drupal contribution environment, where people are encouraged for contribution.
#5 Sponsor local camps etc.
Drupal Local Community groups can do the following:
#1 Run a campus ambassador programme similar to https://www.drupalcap.org/
#2 Run regular meetups, code sprints.
#3 Allow non-drupal contributions like documentation, design.
#4 Bring in any influencer which motivates & collaborates with the local community.
As an Individual:
#1 Mentor any new person who needs guidance.
#2 Participate in discussions in D.O issues threads.
#3 Understand the true sense of Collaboration vs Competition
#4 Volunteer yourself to help organize a camp/meetup etc.
#5 Have a growth plan for Drupal contribution.
Jay has Been in Drupal world for about 5+ years. He Loves to talk about Drupal & Community. Open to learning new things.
#25 Yauhen Zenko
Growing global Drupal Community can originate from growing local ones. To facilitate this we need to change the approach to building communities: the focus should shift from technical orientation to people-first, aimed on creating connections between people, taking care of their feelings of acceptance, comfort, inclusion.
The definition of the community that is appealing to me is: Community = a group of people that care about each other and feel they belong together.
By building such communities we can retain existing members and make sure newcomers do not leave.
The second question, which originates here: where to get newcomers? I believe that local communities/associations should start working more actively with the young talents, students, universities and people, willing to convert from non-IT career to IT career. Unfortunately we cannot compete on hype, but we can compete on taking care of people. Drupal Community will grow if we are able to create “Come for community, stay for technology” feeling.
Technical lead dreaming of a better world. Drupal Belarus coordinator, Drupal Camp Belarus, and Frontend United 2020 co-organizer.
Just back from a local camp here in India – Drupal Camp Chennai! It was just amazing to see the impact created. Just want to place 3 key areas of focus to grow Drupal community in 2020:
#1 Go local and empower local communities to meet frequently
#2 Make Camps happen in new places
#3 Bring in local culture into the Camps
Passionate about harnessing Open Source technologies for building enterprise solutions that are practical and effective. Specializing in Drupal – an Open Source Platform for Content Management. Heading Unimity Solutions, a Drupal Shop in India, Leading Drupal India Association
#27 Miki Stojković
So there are multiple factors that are directly and indirectly affecting state of Drupal community.
In order to be more competitive in multiple areas we need to address:
#1 content editing UX – Layout Builder is great new feature and we need more features similar to this
#2 multimedia – this is still not great and probably needs more work and input from all of us
#4 API first – must have for the modern projects
#5 Drupal 9 – we need more marketing around the fact that we no longer have revolutions like we had with Drupal 8!
#6 Pass on knowledge and everything else to younger people – very important, I’m judging this on my example. In the last 5 years I do not have same amount of free time and energy to spend on Drupal community as I did 5 years before that. Both personal and professional life is affecting this. Everybody in this situation has to work on getting new passionate people.
In the end, realizing there is a problem is a first step to solution. Working on it will probably bring a solution over time. Drupal is awesome and Drupal community is super awesome!
Web developer and Project Manager in various online projects including CMS systems and e-commerce websites. He is always aiming to deliver websites that are simple to use and maintain, following clients’ needs and business logic. Specialties: Project planning, project specification, user experience, compatibility
Well, I think if we assume that Drupal community is in stagnation, then we should ask ourselves several questions. From my point of view, key questions are:
– Why isn’t more traction being generated?
– Why isn’t more motivation being built?
At first they may seem somewhat abstract, but we can concretize them. I am David Rodríguez, a person who works with Drupal and lives in Andalusia (the south of a state in southern Europe).
From my position as a local agent and part of a very small community (Drupal Sevilla), I believe that at street level, there are three important factors that influence the relationship between people linked to Drupal in their daily lives and the large international Drupal-related events (that is, the possible keys around the question “the same people are visiting and speaking at Drupalcamps or Drupalcons”):
#1 Communication: the majority of people in my environment who work with Drupal do not even know that big events take place annually, where they are or on what dates.
#2 The language barrier: the majority of people in my environment who work with Drupal do not feel safe communicating in English or following talks or activities 100% in English, for several days.
#3 The economic barrier: most people in my environment who work with Drupal cannot afford to attend an international Drupal event. I know people with four years of experience in Drupal who earn 12K € / year in some companies. Thinking about attending a DrupalCon it’s just crazy. In an environment like the European, wage differentials are simply overwhelming.
I believe that in these micro contexts, international encounters lose traction: they seem finally profiled for a more central European target, white, men (more free from the culture of care that prevents devoting an entire week to an event) with high salaries and already involved in the Drupal community on the international plane from various points of view.
For us, the inhabitants “of the periphery”, of a periphery, of all the peripheries, it becomes very important to build local community at the micro level. For example: until we reach the previous barriers, we are lucky with Drupal Day Spain (more than one hundred people in 2019) and Drupal Camp Spain. They are low-cost meetings, in a state area, with a mostly common language. This is important.
In general terms, we need more diversity, more facilitation, more funding, more integration and a better community.
(Drupal) – Centers Leader Specialist in Everis. Software Architect for Drupal-based projects. Drupal / PHP Backend.
#29 Nico Grienauer
Currently we are working on a new drupical and a map for the Drupal backend to see drupal events around your location…
#1 Organize more cross over meetups with other CMSs meetups etc.
#2 Create a course at an university like we do 😉
#3 Translate the Drupal press releases in your language an try to get them into appropriate media.
#4 Make it easier for newcomers to learn Drupal or set it up (drupalgardens 2.0)
DrupalCamp organizer, Drupal Austria Association Board member, Open minds Award and Open Source Ball initiator, CodeWeek Europe Ambassador.
#30 Miloš Bovan
#1 Better integration and faster adoption with other technologies (React/VueJS in DrupalCore, deeper Symfony integration) in order to attract new talent
#2 Promote Drupal community to clients and motivate them to visit Camps and Cons
#3 Introduce paid support/paid features in the issue queues (Drupal.org) to support Drupal contributors
Software engineer who is passionate about open source. Actively participates in the community by contributing, speaking as well as volunteering and mentoring at Drupal events.
#31 Akanksha Singh
#1 Focus more on inclusion – a good starting point would be to make sure that more diverse people are at influential positions within the community.
#2 Involve new talent – I think better outreach is needed to get college students interested in Drupal. More focus on summer of code and season of docs.
#3 We also started a campus ambassador program for a local Drupal camp here which attracted a lot of new folks. Another great way to get developers from other open source communities to get interested in Drupal is to invite influencers from those communities to speak at Drupal camps, cons etc.
Drupal Engineer at Axelerant. Organizer for Drupal Camp Delhi. Voracious bibliophile. When she’s not working, she reads; when she’s not reading, she works. 100+ books annually, eight-plus monthly, two weekly — cover to cover, no excuses. Passionate about diversity, inclusion and good code.
I would say start from the ground level.
#1 Organize Drupal workshops in colleges to educate fresh minds about the opportunities and possibilities of a career in Drupal.
#2 Assist colleges to get their pass outs to hire in reputed agencies working in Drupal. This brings in another aspect that agencies should also be willing to hire fresh talents and provide them the necessary training to build their profile.
This will bring in more people in the community and make it stronger
Parvateesam is an active participant in Drupal community events like Drupal cons, camps, and meetups as a speaker volunteer. He often speaks at these events and camps in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa etc. He organized Camps / Meetups in Bangalore, Hyderabad. So far, his talks included getting started with Drupal, Symfony, beginning contributing to Drupal and conducting Drupal pieces of training to beginners.
#33 Adam Bergstein
Acquia Grand Master. Technical architect/engineer/project manager with a masters in application security. Work experience in higher education, government, and consulting sectors. Interested in development, DevOps, continuous integration, solutions architecture, and Drupal 8.
So, how can we help Drupal community grow?
In 2020, our initiative would be to first clarify the benefits of becoming a member. Being a member of any community involves being actively engaged and sharing knowledge.
All agree that we need to promote Drupal through various training programs and colaborate with educational institutions.
This is a good way to inform young talent about what Drupal can do.
Stronger bonds between the Drupal association, event organisers and local associations would open more opportunities for members, companies that work with Drupal and all enthusiasts interested in learning and contributing to Drupal.
Better promotion of local Drupal events leads to bigger and stronger local communities and growing of local communities will undoubtedly lead to growing on a global level.
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