May 14 2016
May 14

My first day on the job, I got on an airplane and flew to Australia to attend DrupalCon Sydney. As first days on the job go, that’s gotta be up there as one of the best. It definitely set the tone for life in the Drupal community - it’s been an exciting adventure every single day. I’ve traveled around the world, worked with incredibly smart people, and learned four or five Git commands (thanks Cathy!).

So it’s not without some sadness that I share that my last day on this job will be June 3. Why am I leaving? Simply put, because I can. Drupal 8 is out and thriving. The Association is doing more and doing it better than it ever has. Now is the time for me to take a step back, eat some cake, and then find something new to jump into (after a nap, and probably some more cake).

Luckily, the Drupal community has an amazing individual ready to step in to lead the Association. I’m proud beyond words to see Megan Sanicki take on these challenges and work with you all as the next Executive Director of the Association. I know she will continue to build an Association that operates from its values for and with the Drupal community. We’ve been working together on this transition for a little while now, and I can’t wait to see what she does.

I just want to share a couple of thanks before I go. First, I’m deeply proud of the team that we have built at the Drupal Association. The Drupal Association staff are the rainbow unicorns of teams. They are honest about their opinions, but kind in their delivery. They are fierce in their loyalty to the community, and even more so in their loyalty to each other. They genuinely care about every interaction, and even when things go sideways, you can trust that their intentions were nothing but good. I learned from them. Every. Single. Day. I owe them a heck of a lot more than this thank you, but I wanted to get it out in the world. They are the best. Treat them well.

Secondly, I want to thank the dozens of community members who have gone out of their way to support me in this role. I’ll be following up personally with as many of you as I can, but I wanted to call out a few of you in particular. Angie taught me that introverts can learn to like hugs. George and Tiffany taught me to take my time and find the exact right words. Paul taught me that you can’t have too many passion projects. Donna taught me that it’s not summer everywhere. Cathy taught me Git (well, four or five commands that I can remember). There is so much generosity in Drupal.

The Association board and Megan will be working hard over the next few weeks on this transition to make sure that we continue to grow our support of the community, keep producing amazing DrupalCons, and ensure that Drupal remains the best darn CMS out there. I’ll be over here rooting for all of you. You’ll find me next to the cake.

Mar 30 2016
Mar 30

At the Drupal Association, we love to highlight that contribution comes in all forms. We are extremely grateful to the Association board members who contribute an enormous amount of time and are so generous with their knowledge and contacts in building a stronger Drupal community. Anyone who has ever served on or worked with a board knows that it's important, hard, and sometimes fun work. 

We're thrilled that two more folks are joining us on the board. Help us welcome them both:

Steve Francia, Class Director

Steve Francia was just nominated and elected to a Class Director seat on the board, a three year term. Steve Francia is a very active member of the open source community. He has been responsible for two of open source's largest projects as the Chief Operator of the Docker project and the Chief Developer Advocate of MongoDB, as well as creating some of the top community-based open source projects: Hugo, spf13-vim, Cobra and Viper. He has spoken all over the world delivering inspiring talks and workshops and has even organized a few conferences. He's written books for O'Reilly, blogs at http://spf13.com and tweets as @spf13. He's used Drupal since Drupal 4. He lives outside NYC and enjoys having fun outdoors with his wife and four children.

Shyamala Rajaram, At-Large Director

Shyamala Rajaram is the newly elected At-Large Director. With over a decade of experience in designing and developing solutions using open source platforms, Shyamala has acquired a rich and varied expertise in many different technologies related to web, mobile and cloud. She is a co-founder and Director of Social Media Solutions at UniMity Solutions based in Chennai, India. Shyamala manages and builds the Drupal Solutions Practice at UniMity, including their hugely popular Drupal-based Social Workspace platform. Shyamala is an active participant in the Drupal community and has made contributions to the enhancements, usage and adoption of Drupal (Drupal.org redesign and Drupal 8 Mobile initiative being the main ones). She is an Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras—one of India’s premier technology institutions.

Mar 23 2016
Mar 23

Everyone on the staff and Board of the Drupal Association would like to congratulate our newest board member:

Shyamala Rajaram.

In addition to congratulating Shyamala, please join me in thanking the 22 other candidates who put themselves out there in service of Drupal and volunteered for election. It's brave and generous to nominate yourself for this work, and we should all be very grateful that our community has so many people willing to contribute this way.

This was the fifth election we've held for at-large board seats at the Drupal Association. This year, we had two specific goals for the elections:

  • More candidate diversity - We had four female candidates this year, representing 17% of the field. This was a big improvement over last year, when there was one female candidate. We also had 23 candidates, from 12 different countries—including South American and Asian countries. 
  • Increase voter turnout - This year, 2,126 of you voted in our election. Our pool of eligible voters was 135,747, so that means our voter turnout was 1.56%. This is still low, but a vast improvement over the last election, which saw a .89% turnout. 

Our next steps will be to reach out to the candidates for their evaluation of the elections experience. We also want to hear from you. Please tell us about your experience with the elections process in the comments below so that we can include them in our planning for the 2017 elections.

And finally, you may recall that after some public conversation last year we also changed our self-nomination process in 2016 to ask candidates to opt-in for sharing their election voting data. We use IRV voting and are glad to share that data with you. We've redacted the names of candidates who did not opt-in to share their voting data, though vote counts are still represented.

Voting Results

Counting votes using Instant Runoff Voting. There were 23 candidates competing for 1 seats. The number of voters was 2,126 and there were 2,126 valid votes.

The bar charts below show the vote counts for each candidate in each round. Place the mouse over a bar to see the number of votes.

  • Yellow — Votes carried over from the previous round.
  • Green — Votes received in this round.
  • Red — Votes transferred away in this round.

A candidate's votes in a round is the sum of the yellow and green bars. Since the green and red bars represent votes being transferred, the sum of the green and red bars is the same.

The exhausted bar represents votes where the voter did not indicate a next preference and thus there were no candidates to transfer the vote to. The threshold bar (where shown) indicates the number of votes that ensures that a candidate will win a seat.

Round 1

(next)

Count of first choices.

Round 2

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating tolabs and transferring votes.

Round 3

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating shehrevar and transferring votes.

Round 4

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating Kenndillard and transferring votes.

Round 5

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating krylov and transferring votes.

Round 6

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating knibals and transferring votes.

Round 7

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating Redacted and transferring votes.

Round 8

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating tomgrandy and transferring votes.

Round 9

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating Redacted and transferring votes.

Round 10

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating Gemdev and transferring votes.

Round 11

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating TheJustinRhodes and transferring votes.

Round 12

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating voidberg and transferring votes.

Round 13

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating drupalviking and transferring votes.

Round 14

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating Redacted and transferring votes.

Round 15

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating jpamental and transferring votes.

Round 16

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating davidhernandez and transferring votes.

Round 17

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating johnkennedy and transferring votes.

Round 18

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating rachit_gupta and transferring votes.

Round 19

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating svettes and transferring votes.

Round 20

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating danigrrl and transferring votes.

Round 21

(prev) (next)

Count after eliminating MatthewS and transferring votes.

Round 22

(prev)

Count after eliminating -enzo- and transferring votes. Candidate Shyamala is elected.

Winners

Winner is Shyamala.

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Mar 11 2016
Mar 11

The Drupal community is diverse. We're from different places. We speak different languages, code in different languages, and use Drupal in different ways. But the one thing we all have in common is that we care about the fate of Drupal. We invest our time, intellect, and emotions into this project. And we want that investment to make the project successful.

We have a lot to be proud of. In the last few years, Drupal use and community contribution has grown tremendously. Some metrics—like comments and commits created each month—are available at drupal.org/metrics. We share project usage and track BuiltWith statistics. We've also started reflecting company contributions in the marketplace and on the organizations list.

The Association's mission is to unite a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. One of its 3-to-5 year goals is to ensure the sustainability of our project and community. To meet that goal, we need to get much better as a community at answering the question: Is Drupal healthy? But that's not an easy question to answer.

In the last board meeting, board members and staff talked about what kinds of metrics show health. In this post, I share some of that thinking, and ask for your ideas. But before we get into recommendations, let’s start at the beginning.

What's project health?

Association staff and board members use “project health” as shorthand for project success. "Health" is robust. Think about your own health. You might think first about physical aspects (Do I have a fever?). But you also might think about emotional aspects, like depression or stress. You may even think about social aspects (Do I have the right people around me to support me and keep me focused on the right habits?). Health isn't binary. Health is multi-dimensional.

So, too, is the health of an open source project. It's easy to take the temperature of a project with metrics like usage or number of committers. But to understand the complexity of our project's health, we need broader measurements. In our work on staff, we've defined four dimensions of product health1 we think we need to explore:

  • Product: whether the business of the Drupal product (the software) is sound. Examples of areas to explore: marketshare; Drupal businesses' revenue.
  • People: whether we have the right kinds of people contributing the right kinds of things. Examples of areas to explore: number of contributors; kinds of contributions; contributors' skills.
  • Process: how the way we do things contributes to the project. Examples of areas to explore: ability to meet published release dates; succession planning.
  • Systems: whether we use the right tools. Examples of areas to explore: testing times for DrupalCI; amount of documentation edits; responses to posts in forums; issue resolutions; commits and integrated repositories.

Acknowledging our limitations

There's the ideal, and then there's reality. We know we won't be able to track everything we want to. So, we'll have to make choices. We'll have to choose metrics that give us directional, even if not precise, accuracy. So, what are some of our limitations?

The future of the project

Knowing what categories of metrics we need to track is necessary, but not enough. Setting metrics also requires knowing where we want the project to go. Taking your temperature is only helpful if you know what you want it to be (and what it means if it's not).

This is a challenge Association staff discussed with the board. The Association doesn't set the software's future. It does, though, need to know where the project is going. To support the project's journey, it needs to know its direction. For example, maybe headless Drupal is the future. If so, we might measure “People” success by how many JavaScript developers contribute. But it’s not 100% clear what the future holds for Drupal. We have work to do before we can identify the best metrics.

Resources

Tracking project health is an Association priority, but it’s not its only mandate. It has to consider the time and expense invested in DrupalCons and Drupal.org too, for example. Unfortunately, budget limitations mean not hiring analysts or consultants to help. For the most part, they mean working with the (wonderful) people already on staff.

So, for example, measuring contribution only by code or comment attribution isn't enough. People contribute in so many ways. (There's even an issue open on this topic already.) Will measuring contribution expand to include other things? Yes. But will it also likely still not give some contributions the attention they deserve? Unfortunately, yes. Hard choices will mean we'll all have to accept some less than ideal outcomes.

Balancing competing frames and other fun factors

Once we know what outcome we want and have found things we can actually measure, we'll still need to do more. Any metric we choose has to also align with the project's mission and our community’s values. We also can't be too dependent on internal metrics. We'll have to measure our success with external indicators too. (See? There's a lot to think about here!)

Examples, please

There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that we are definitely not alone. Many software projects—including open source projects—have worked on these same issues. There are resources all around us. We've created lists of some of them already.

Bitergia dashboards

Open source projects on GitHub

Project-run dashboards

So what should we track?

There's a lot to consider when we think about the health of the Drupal project. We've just begun this conversation and want to make sure you're part of it from the beginning. So, now we turn things over to you.

Which metrics are indicative of Drupal project health? Share your ideas in the comments section. We'll include your feedback in a document we'll share with you.

1 We borrowed these concepts from Product Lifecycle Management.

Flickr photo: Thomas Haynie

Mar 07 2016
Mar 07

Voting is now open for the 2016 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association! If you haven't yet, check out the candidate profiles and review the Meet the Candidate sessions (we ran three) that we held. Get to know your candidates, and then get ready vote.

Cast Your Vote!

How does voting work? Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see the this video.

Elections will be held from 7 March through 18 March (midnight UTC) 2015. During this period, you can still review and comment on candidate profiles.

Have questions? Contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross.

Mar 07 2016
Mar 07

Voting is now open for the 2016 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association! If you haven't yet, check out the candidate profiles and review the Meet the Candidate sessions (we ran three) that we held. Get to know your candidates, and then get ready vote.

Cast Your Vote!

How does voting work? Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see the this video.

Elections will be held from 7 March through 18 March (midnight UTC) 2015. During this period, you can still review and comment on candidate profiles.

Have questions? Contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross.

Mar 02 2016
Mar 02

Huh? What are we Electing?

In case you missed it, the Drupal community is electing one candidate to serve a two-year term on the Drupal Association Board of Directors. There are two At-Large (community elected) seats on the Board. The other seat is currently held by Addison Berry. We've got a really global slate of candidates to consider, and we encourage you to get to know them by listening to the Meet the Candidates sessions and asking them questions on their candidate profile pages. 

Who can vote?

Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations opened and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process

Voting will be held from 7 March, 2016 through 18 March, 2016. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org.

Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well in the past!

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Feb 26 2016
Feb 26

DrupalCon Asia group photoI spent most of last week on the campus of IIT Bombay for the first DrupalCon Asia. Frankly, it changed my Drupal life, and I'd like to share why.

Knowing is only half the battle

Last May we released issue credits and comment attributions on Drupal.org. At that time, I suspected that this would tell us two things: that contribution to Drupal is funded more by companies than pure volunteerism and that the diversity of contributors would be greater than we are able to see in Drupal Cores (not that Drupal Cores is not awesome, it just does only what it does). The jury is still out on my first point: we are just getting the right quantity of commits with this data and we haven't done a real analysis. But the second point proved to be true very quickly. Especially when it comes to India.

In preparing for my #Driesnote intro at DrupalCon Asia, I asked Josh to pull some stats for me. Based on his reasearch, we learned some really interesting numbers:

  • India is the second largest region of users for Drupal.org—behind only the United States in traffic. In 2014, India represented 9.6% of our traffic (that's 4,691,785 sessions)." For 2015, the percentage of traffic from India has gone up to 10.48%—still second largest.
  • As of February 2nd, 1,290 credits were awarded to users who from reported timezones in Asia. (Out of a total of 8819 credits awarded.) That is 14.6% of issue credits!
  • 1815 of total credits (Nov-Jan) were for Drupal core. 279 of those credits were from Asia. (15.4% of credits awarded.)
  • 47 organizations from Asia are listed in the Drupal Marketplace. 9 are Drupal Association Supporting Partners.

So, I knew going in that Asia, and India in particular, was having a really big impact on the project, approaching the US and a combined Europe for participation in code. We also knew that India had a huge camp scene, with many camps of several hundered, and one above 1,000, attendees.

Asia, by the Drupal numbers, is truly impressive. But numbers are only half the story.

When I was pregnant, my friends and relatives would all give me lots of advice. One thing I heard all the time was "Sleep when the baby sleeps. You are going to be exhausted, let the house chores go and let yourself rest instead." At the time, I thought sleep was something you did when there was nothing left to do with your day, but I tried to internalize that and planned for it in my maternity leave. I knew I was going to be tired. Then I actually had the baby. I was tired. TIRED. And I went from intellectually understanding that I would need more rest to knowing it with every cell of my body, because I was living it.

DrupalCon Asia was like that for me. I knew intellectually (because of the numbers) that this was a vibrant, active community. It was not until I saw that community in action that I realized just what that really meant. I saw them organize Bollywood style flash mobs and create intricate replicas of the conference logo with sand. (SAND!) I listened to and talked with hundreds of people who wanted to share their Drupal experience. I posed for a lot of selfies. A LOT OF SELFIES.

Working in the future

I loved joking with colleagues back in the states that I was tweeting from the future becasue time zones are fun that way. I even made the joke from the main stage. It ocurred to me later that (time zones aside) it really is true. In many ways, Asia is the future of Drupal. We still have lots of room to grow project adoption and contribution in the US and Europe, but Asia is probably smack dab in the middle of its hockey stick moment. We're going to see a lot more users, a lot more contribution, and a lot more adopters from that continent in the next 5 years. Given that there are about 1.2 billion people in India alone (the country leading the growth in Asia), simple math tells us that this region will easily eclipse every other region in our community if it can stay the course.

The work coming out of Asia is also future forward. With companies like TCS, Cap Gemini, and Accenture heavily invested in the success of the project, we are seeing more and more name brand and enterprise adoptions of Drupal coming out of Asia. We also have an Asian Drupal shop community that is pushing the boundaries of Drupal away from strictly CMS and into the app server and other headless use cases. Axelerant, Blisstering Solutions, and Srijan are just a few of the companies I talked to at the Con, and I learned that they are all investing heavily into the future of Drupal that Dries keeps referencing.

Embracing the future

I filled in for Megan Sanicki on a panel at the Con discussing contribution in India. One of the main questions we explored was what Indians needed to do to make a bigger difference for Drupal. There were lots of great ideas about how and where to contribute to get more recognition and responsibility within the community. But most importantly, I think Drupal leadership—in the project and in the Association—need to be proactively searching for the leaders from Asia who can serve in visible leadership roles. If Asia is going to increase in importance to the project, we need to embrace that future now.

I am really terrible about prognosticating, but I know one thing is true: Drupal five years from now is going to look radically different from Drupal today. The code, the product, and the community will not be the same. In many ways, that's exciting: the future holds new possibilities, new people, and new fun! In other ways, it's sad: old traditions and long-time community members lost. In other ways, it's scary: you wonder, "what will my role be? Will I matter to the project then?" But change IS coming, so we're going to have to do our best to tackle all those feelings using our community values and lots of communication.

When it comes to our future, I am certain of this though: the Asian community is ready for it. And if the wider Drupal community is smart, we'll be ready for them.

Flickr photo: Michael Cannon

Feb 20 2016
Feb 20

Nominations are now closed for the single At-Large seat on the Association Board of Directors. We have an astounding number of candidates from all over the world running for this seat. We're thrilled that so many of you are so invested in our community that you're taking this step. As with any election, we want to have an informed electorate. So, we invite you to get to know these candidates in a couple of important ways.

Learn about the candidates online

Check out the slate of candidates and read what they had to say about their backgrounds and interest in serving on the board. Each candidate page also features a comments section where you can ask about their plans, hopes, and views for the Association and the project. We only ask that you use this comments section as a place to ask questions, not endorse candidates please. 

Join a Meet the Candidates webcast

In addition to the candidate profiles, we're hosting three live question and answer sessions where you can chime in and hear from the candidates directly. Not all candidates will be on each call, but don't worry! If you aren't able to connect with a candidate in one of the sessions, we'll be recording them, so you can check them out later. Here are the sessions (register at the links):

Session One

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 15:00 UTC

  • 7 AM PST, US and Canada
  • 10 AM EST, US and Canada
  • 1 PM, São Paulo, Brasil
  • 3 PM, London
  • 11 PM, Beijing
  • 2 AM, Wednesday, February 24, Sydney, Australia

Session Two

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 20:00 UTC

  • 12 PM PST, US and Canada
  • 3 PM EST, US and Canada
  • 5 PM, São Paulo, Brasil
  • 8 PM, London
  • 4 AM, Thursday, February 26, Beijing
  • 7 AM, Thursday, February 26, Sydney, Australia

Session Three

Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 00:00 UTC

  • 4:00 PM PST, US and Canada
  • 7:00 PM EST, US and Canada
  • 9:00 PM, São Paulo, Brasil
  • 12:00 AM, Friday, February 26, London
  • 8:00 AM, Friday, February 26, Beijing
  • 11:00 AM, Friday, February 26, Sydney, Australia

I hope we'll hear from you during this important part of the elections process. And mark your calendars: voting begins on March 7!

Jan 19 2016
Jan 19

ViteOverview

It’s a great time to be part of the Drupal Association. We’ve done some amazing work in the last few years, and we’re in a great position to work with the community to continue to improve and grow fully into our mission. As a Drupal Association At-Large Director, you’d be in the center of the action. The At-large Director position is specifically designed to ensure community representation on the Drupal Association board and we strongly encourage anyone with an interest to nominate themselves today.

Nominate Yourself Today

The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day to day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc. You can learn more about what’s expected of a board member in this post and presentation.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend two in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required). All board members agree to meet the minimum requirements documented in the board member agreement.

Today we are opening the self-nomination form that allows you to throw your hat in the ring. We're looking to elect one candidate this year to serve a two-year term.

How to Nominate Yourself

To nominate yourself, you should be prepared to answer a few questions:

  • About Me: Tell us about yourself! Your background, how you got into Drupal, etc.
  • Motivation: Why are you applying for a board position? What initiatives do you hope to help drive, or what perspectives are you going to try and represent?
  • Experience: What Drupal community contributions have you taken part in (code, camps, etc.)? Do you have experience in financial oversight, developing business strategies, or organization governance?
  • Availability: I am able to travel to three in-person board meetings per year (either self-funded, or with financial sponsorship)
  • IRC Handle
  • Twitter Handle

?We've also made a few changes to the process based on community feedback from the 2015 election:

  • We now display your username, not your given name, on your candidate profile to address privacy concerns that had been raised. Nominees should note that given names are required on legal documentation such as our 990 IRS filings, but we will do our best to preserve your privacy where we can. 
  • Updated sidebar block has more information about the elections, making it easier to the information you need. 
  • When you nominate yourself we will ask if you would like to opt-in to share your election results data. Last year was the first time we published full results from the vote data. Candidates that opt-in will have their name displayed next to their vote counts, as in this example from 2015.

We will also need to know that you are available for the next step in the process, meet the candidate sessions. We are hosting 3 sessions: 

Meet the Candidate Web Conferences:

Session One
Tue 23 Feb 2016 at 16:00 UTC

  • 7 AM PST Tue 23 Feb, US and Canada
  • 10 AM EST Tue 23 Feb, US and Canada
  • 1 PM Tue 23 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 3 PM Tue 23 Feb, London
  • 11 PM Tue 23 Feb, Beijing

Session Two
Wed 24 Feb 2016 at 21:00 UTC

  • 12 PM PST Wed 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 3 PM EST Wed 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 5 PM Wed 24 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 8 PM Wed 24 Feb, London
  • 4 AM Thu 26 Feb, Beijing
  • 7 AM Thu 26 Feb, Sydney Australia

Session Three
Thu 25 Feb 2016 at 01:00 UTC

  • 4:00 PM PST Thu 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 7:00 PM EST Thu 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 9:00 PM Thu 25 Feb, Sau Paulo Brasil
  • 12:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, London
  • 8:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, Beijing
  • 11:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, Sydney Australia

The nomination form will be open February 1, 2016 through February 20, 2016 at midnight UTC. For a thorough review of the process, please see the elections home page.

If you have any questions, please contact Holly Ross, Drupal Association Executive Director.

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Jan 05 2016
Jan 05

Last month we held our last board meeting of 2015, where we shared our recap of the Drupal 8 launch and then adjourned to the executive session. As always, you can review the materals, minutes, and recording of the meeting, but I would like to dive more deeply into some of the board business than was discussed.

Board meetings in 2016

For the last several years, we have held monthly public board meetings and taken great pains to ensure that anyone can attend or at least review materials and recordings. The purpose of these meetings has been two-fold: to conduct board business, and to inform the community because we value transparency. For a time, these two needs aligned very closely. As the Association was building its internal capacity and increasing our operational effectiveness, it made sense for us to report a lot of detail to the board as much of their focus was operational.

Now that our staff has grown and our operations have solidified, there is less need for the board to step into operations. The board is naturally shifting to more strategic topics. For example, rather than discussing in which city a DrupalCon should be held, the board is discussing which kinds of audiences we need at future DrupalCons to better grow the project. Strategic discussions have a longer time frame, and they just don't need to happen as frequently as operational conversations. So, we are going to scale back the board meetings to five times per year: remote in March, at DrupalCon North America, remote in July, at DrupalCon Europe, and remote in November.

Though we are reducing the number of board meetings that are held each year, we remain committed to the community value of transparency. Our teams here inside the Association will continue to produce monthly updates on their progress. Previously, these were documented in the monthly board packet. In the future, these updates will be shared via the Association blog, which is then also republished on Drupal Planet. We will also continue the practice of making all board meeting materials available to everyone, whether or not they can attend the board meeting in person.

As always, we welcome your questions and your concerns, whether you want to share them with our staff directly, via twitter, or even by snail mail (if you're into that sort of thing).

Board term renewals

In between meetings we also used email to confirm the re-election of several board seats. Congratulations and thank you to:

If you'd like, you can read about all the board members and their terms.

Flickr photo: Chris Messina

Dec 15 2015
Dec 15

Drupal 8 is out in the world and the future of Drupal has never been brighter. That means it's a great time to be a part of the Drupal Association, where we are making sure the Drupal community and project has what they need to realize that bright future. 

We have two At-Large positions on the Association Board of Directors - positions that are self-nominated and elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is specifically designed to ensure community representation on the Drupal Association board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and be prepared to nominate yourself between 1 February and 19 February 2016.

How do nominations and elections work?

Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.

What does the Drupal Association board do?

The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day to day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required). You can learn more about what’s expected of board members by reviewing the board member agreement. You can also check out the presentation and summary we shared last summer.

Who can run?

There are no restrictions on who can run, and you don't need anyone to nominate you.

What will I need to do during the elections?

During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. They'll post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org and to the public Drupal Association group at http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-association. We'll also organize three all-candidates meetings (which will be announced on the Drupal Association group and blog), where community members and candidates will be able to ask questions and share information. The more you can participate, the more Drupal community members will be able to find out what you would bring to the Drupal Association board.

How do I run?

Candidates needed! If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete a self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 February, 2016 through 19 February, 2016 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members.

Who can vote?

Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process

Voting will be held from 7 March, 2016 through 18 March, 2016. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. We'll also be scheduling and announcing three phone-in all candidates meetings, where community members and candidates can ask questions and get to know each other.

Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well last year!

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

Nov 05 2015
Nov 05

Did you hear the news? Drupal 8.0.0's release date will be November 19, 2015.

Translations needed for the Drupal 8 release

We’re excited to see Drupal 8 out in the world, but that also means there is not a lot of time left to get ready to share it with the world! We are working on both the release announcement and the press release in English. We are looking for volunteers to help translate it to your language. The final translations will be posted on Drupal.org at the time of release.

One of the hallmarks of our community is the hard work we put into making sure that everyone around the globe has access to Drupal in their own language. Since we're focused on translation leading up to the D8 release, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the work of our Friends at the French Drupal Association. To celebrate RC1, they translated some key drupal.org pages in French:

To these amazing volunteers, we say Merci Beaucoup. Thanks for leading the way for a truly global release of Drupal.

Want to help in other ways? Here’s how:

If you can help promote the release on Twitter in your respective time zone, Paul Johnson is looking for you. We also suggest you follow @celebr8d8.

We also need you to throw a party! Organize a local meetup on the week (or even better the exact date) with sweets, sessions, shirts, stickers or whatever fits to spice it up. Make sure to tweet about your party with the #celebr8d8 hashtag and let the community know, so it shows up on our world map on Drupical.com.

Oct 20 2015
Oct 20

Earlier this year the Drupal community lost one of our most porlific community members, Aaron Winborn. In addition to the code that Aaron contributed, he was a friend to everyone he met in the Drupal community. Aaron was the epitome of our unoffical motto: "Come for the code, stay for the community." To honor Aaron's memory, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association, established the Aaron Winborn Award, to be given annually.

The Community Working Group accepted nominations over the spring and summer, with community members nominating dozens of their colleagues who represent the integrity, kindness and commitment to the Drupal community that Aaron did. From these nominations, the Community Working Group members and Hans Riemenschneider (who originated the idea) selected our innaugural winner: Cathy Theys

It's hard to imagine that there is anyone in the community who has not crossed paths with Cathy. She has been a champion for new contributors for as long as I have been part of Drupal, hosting office hours in IRC and helping to coordinate mentors at every DrupalCon sprint and beyond. She has personally sat by my side and used the socratic method to talk me through Git commands. She is a model of generosity and curiosity, and is a tremendous asset to the Drupal Community.

Cathy's reward is a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon next year, as well as a very lovely Drupal trophy. We got the the chance to celebrate Cathy's award on stage at DrupalCon Barcelona, but I hope you will join me in congratulating her again now.

Oct 20 2015
Oct 20

Earlier this year the Drupal community lost one of our most porlific community members, Aaron Winborn. In addition to the code that Aaron contributed, he was a friend to everyone he met in the Drupal community. Aaron was the epitome of our unoffical motto: "Come for the code, stay for the community." To honor Aaron's memory, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association, established the Aaron Winborn Award, to be given annually.

The Community Working Group accepted nominations over the spring and summer, with community members nominating dozens of their colleagues who represent the integrity, kindness and commitment to the Drupal community that Aaron did. From these nominations, the Community Working Group members and Hans Riemenschneider (who originated the idea) selected our innaugural winner: Cathy Theys

It's hard to imagine that there is anyone in the community who has not crossed paths with Cathy. She has been a champion for new contributors for as long as I have been part of Drupal, hosting office hours in IRC and helping to coordinate mentors at every DrupalCon sprint and beyond. She has personally sat by my side and used the socratic method to talk me through Git commands. She is a model of generosity and curiosity, and is a tremendous asset to the Drupal Community.

Cathy's reward is a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon next year, as well as a very lovely Drupal trophy. We got the the chance to celebrate Cathy's award on stage at DrupalCon Barcelona, but I hope you will join me in congratulating her again now.

Oct 07 2015
Oct 07

Drupal 8 is now available as a release candidate (RC). An RC is like a sneak preview you can use. It's not a final release—that’s coming soon, and there may be another release candidate before then. But its code and interface should feel stable now. You can install it, start designing for it, create and build with it, and extend and improve it. That means you can start putting Drupal 8's more than 200 new features and improvements to work today.

Get Drupal 8 RC1

A first look at Drupal 8's features

With Drupal 8, the world's best content management framework just got better. Every built-in theme is responsive. Every single component is translatable out of the box. More elements have configurable fields and there are new field types for better content modeling.

It’s built people-first. The authoring experience is better, with features like in-context editing and enhanced previews. It's easier to add people-friendly meaning via native schema.org markup. There's extensive support for accessibility standards.

Drupal 8 also has all the geekery you can Git. All-new configuration management (full exports, easier transitions between environments) means safer, faster site development and maintenance. REST-first native web services enable 3rd-party integrations. And adding Twig is the most complete transformation of Drupal theming in a decade. It allows friendlier syntax, better security, and a separate presentation layer.

Organizations are using Drupal 8 now

There are thousands of Drupal 8 installations already up and running. Goal Gorilla, Amazee Labs, Gravity R&D, and DrupalNorth joined drupal.com as some of the earliest Drupal 8 adopters. France Télévisions, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and CH2M have chosen Drupal 8 too. The list of sites built with Drupal 8 is growing and growing.

Companies and organizations around the world rely on Drupal 8 right now. Your organization could be next. Have questions before getting started? Check out answers to some frequently asked ones, and read the RC’s release notes.

Feedback welcome

Sharing feedback is important. It's part of the open source spirit. It's what pushes the Drupal community forward. And it's what will get Drupal 8 from RC to a full version release. If you find bugs while using this RC, let the community know.

To join the social conversations about this RC, use #drupal8rc. To mention and find conversations about work already made with Drupal 8, use #madewithd8.

A great big thank you

This RC wouldn't have been possible without our community. Its contributions, its diligence, and its patience created something special. To everyone who’s helped and will help, even if you're not in the Drupal 8 hall of fame, thank you.

Drupal 8: make something amazing, for anyone.

Oct 07 2015
Oct 07

Drupal 8 is now available as a release candidate (RC). An RC is like a sneak preview you can use. It's not a final release—that’s coming soon, and there may be another release candidate before then. But its code and interface should feel stable now. You can install it, start designing for it, create and build with it, and extend and improve it. That means you can start putting Drupal 8's more than 200 new features and improvements to work today.

Get Drupal 8.0.0 RC2

A first look at Drupal 8's features

With Drupal 8, the world's best content management framework just got better. Every built-in theme is responsive. Every single component is translatable out of the box. More elements have configurable fields and there are new field types for better content modeling.

It’s built people-first. The authoring experience is better, with features like in-context editing and enhanced previews. It's easier to add people-friendly meaning via native schema.org markup. There's extensive support for accessibility standards.

Drupal 8 also has all the geekery you can Git. All-new configuration management (full exports, easier transitions between environments) means safer, faster site development and maintenance. REST-first native web services enable 3rd-party integrations. And adding Twig is the most complete transformation of Drupal theming in a decade. It allows friendlier syntax, better security, and a separate presentation layer.

Organizations are using Drupal 8 now

There are thousands of Drupal 8 installations already up and running. Goal Gorilla, Amazee Labs, Gravity R&D, and DrupalNorth joined drupal.com as some of the earliest Drupal 8 adopters. France Télévisions, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and CH2M have chosen Drupal 8 too. The list of sites built with Drupal 8 is growing and growing.

Your organization could be next. Have questions before getting started? Check out answers to some frequently asked ones, and read RC2’s release notes.

Feedback welcome

Sharing feedback is important. It's part of the open source spirit. It's what pushes the Drupal community forward. And it's what will get Drupal 8 from RC to a full version release. If you find bugs while using an RC, let the community know.

To join the social conversations about the RC phase, use #drupal8rc. To mention and find conversations about work already made with Drupal 8, use #madewithd8.

A great big thank you

This RC phase wouldn't have been possible without our community. Its contributions, its diligence, and its patience created something special. To everyone who’s helped and will help, even if you're not in the Drupal 8 hall of fame, thank you.

Drupal 8: make something amazing, for anyone.

Sep 30 2015
Sep 30

This month, we got to hold our public board meeting, well, in public. Mostly all together in Barcelona, we met in the middle of DrupalCon to share some updates with the board and community. As always, if you want to catch up on all the details, you can find everything you need to know about the meeting online, including minutes, materials, and a video recording. If you're just here for a summary view, read on!

Drupal 8 Accelerate is fully funded

Early in 2015 we set out to do something that we have never done before: raise $250,000 to get the next release of Drupal out the door. I am thrilled to share that we met that goal at DrupalCon Barcelona, with the last donation coming in from Exove just before Dries took the stage for his keynote. Drupal 8 Accelerate allowed the Drupal core maintainers to identify issues that needed immediate attention and pay contributors to make their time available. Additionally, community members were able to propose sprints and other initiatives to help crush D8 release blockers. We've made over 50 grants around the globe through the program, resolving hundreds of issues. We want to thank everyone in the community who donated and helped spread the word about the campaign, including our anchor donors, Acquia, Appnovation, Palantir.net, Phase2, Wunderkraut, PreviousNext, and Drupalize.me.

D8 release candidate communications plan

We all heard some very exciting news during the Barcelona #Driesnote. Unless we come across any major unexpected hiccups, we'll have a Drupal 8 release candidate ("RC") on October 7. At the Association, we're gearing up to work with the community to shout the RC news, and then the full release news, from the rooftops. We shared the plan at the public board meeting, and are asking the community for help in two specific areas. First, we need your help educating people about Drupal 8 features and how they can be used. We also need your help sharing how Drupal 8 will meet the needs of specific audiences. We'll be updating the Drupal 8 landing page over the next few weeks and want to fill it with all of your great work. Here's the kind of content we're looking for:

Here's how you can share in the D8 release fun:

  • Planning on hosting a release party? Share the details and we'll help spread the word about your event.
  • Are you already building sites with Drupal 8? Share a link in social media and tag it #madewithdrupal8. You can also add it to the list on groups.drupal.org.
  • If you have demos, white papers, blog posts, or some other materials that talk about the virtues of D8, share it on social media and tag it #drupal8rc.

2016 at-large board elections

Every year the Drupal commmunity nominates and elects one individual to serve a 2-year term on the Association board of directors. If you're interested in what the board does and why you might want to consider running, you can check out this blog post and presentation from last year. We'll be holding the next elections in the first three months of 2016, so we took some time in Barcelona to talk about the process. You can review the presentation from the meeting, and here are the key dates for the next election:

  • Nominations (February 1-19, 2016)
  • Meet the candidates (February 22 - March 4, 2016)
    • February 23 session at 7am Pacific
    • February 24 session at noon Pacific
    • February 25 session at 4pm Pacific
  • Voting (March 7-18)
  • Ratification and communication (March 25)

Cake for Angie

We also took a moment to thank long-time board member Angie Byron (webchick) for her service on the board. Angie's term ends in November, and she is stepping down from her board role to focus on making the Drupal 8 release as big as possible. One a personal note, I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Angie so closely for so long. Her ability to be honest and kind at the same time is something that I have tried to learn from every time I interact with her. Thank you Angie for everything I have been able to learn from you.

Aug 24 2015
Aug 24

One of our key values at the Drupal Association is communication:

We value communication. We seek community participation. We are open and transparent.

One of the ways that we try to live this value is by making our numbers -- both operating targets and financial -- available to the public. The monthly board reports share basic financial numbers and all our operational metrics. Once a quarter, we release full financial reports for the previous quarter. You can access all this information at any time on the Association web site.

At the close of each year, we take the opportunity to have our financials reviewed (and sometimes audited). The review process ensures that we've represented our financials properly. This work takes some time. Though our fiscal year closes on 31 December, it takes six to eight weeks to get the final bits and pieces handled in our financial systems. The independent review or audit adds another 8+ weeks to the process of closing out our year. Then we have to review the findings with the Finance Committee and the full Board before we share them publicly. That's why it's August and we're just now sharing the 2014 reviewed financial statements with you.

In 2014 we also began tracking our progress towards several operational goals for the first time. Though we share those numbers every month in the board report, we pulled some of our favorite stats and stories together into an Annual Report to share the work that our financials represent.

What happened in 2014?

2014 was an investment year. Per our Leadership Plan and Budget for the year, our key focus was building an engineering team to first address technical debt on Drupal.org and then take on actual improvements to the site. We purposely built a budget that anticipated a deficit spend in order to fully fund the team. The intent was to also build some new revenue programs (like Drupal Jobs) that would ramp up and eventually allow us to fund the new staff without deficit spending. And that's what we did. We went from two full time staff focused on Drupal.org to ten.

The investment has been paying off. We spent a lot of 2014 playing catch up with technical debt, but also managed to improve site performance markedly while also increasing the portability of our infrastructure. On top of that, staff worked with community volunteers to release new features related to commit messages, profiles, and Drupal 8 release blockers. Most importantly, staff and the working groups prioritized upcoming work and published a strategic roadmap for improvements to Drupal.org.

We held two huge DrupalCons, one in Austin and one in Amsterdam, and planned for a third. Our very small team of events staff and a crew of remarkable volunteers hosted over 5,500 people across our two events, all while planning our first Con in Latin America. We had some stumbling blocks and learning opportunities, and have been applying what we learned to the three 2015 DrupalCons.

We launched Drupal Jobs. This was something the community asked for very clearly when we conducted a 2013 study. We’ve seen steady growth in usage since our quiet launch and will continue to refine the site, including our pricing models, so that it is accessible to Drupalers around the world.

We diversified our revenue streams. DrupalCons used to be 100% of our funding. Not only is this a risky business strategy, it puts undue pressure on the Cons to perform financially, leaving us little room to experiment or make decisions that may be right for attendees, but could negatively impact the bottom line. As we increase the funding sources for the Association, we can make more and different choices for these flagship programs and also grow new programs with the community.

We introduced branded content including white papers, infographics, and videos. These materials have been widely used by the community and have helped us understand the Drupal.org audience in a better way. You can see a lot of this work on the Drupal 8 landing pages, where the key content pieces were downloaded thousands of times in 2014.

We released new vision, mission, and values statements for the Association. These tools are really useful in defining the focus of the organization and helping to guide how we get our work done. Working in a community of this size and diversity is extremely challenging. There is no choice we can make that will include everyone’s ideals, but our values help us make those decisions in a way that allows for transparency and open dialogue with the community. It’s something that we try to honor every day.

What about money in 2014?

As anticipated, we ran a deficit in 2014. However, we did manage to grow our overall revenue by about 6% from 2013 to 2014. This trend has continued into 2015, though not at the rate we had hoped. Still, we are now on track to support the investment we made in 2014 into the future. Another key win in 2014 is that we grew non-DrupalCon revenue to 21% of our total revenue. Diversifying our revenue streams reduces our financial risk and takes the pressure off of Cons, allowing us to experiment more.

I want all the details

Excellent! You can check out:

Aug 05 2015
Aug 05

Flickr photo: Boris BaldingerDrupal is a lot of things. It’s a platform, a CMS, software, and code. But here’s what Drupal is most of all: community.

That’s why DrupalCon has had community content baked in, first as a stand alone track across the entire event, then as a summit on the Monday of the Con. Now, we’re ready to double down on community starting at DrupalCon Barcelona. Together with Drupal’s Community Working Group, we’ve taken your feedback and devised a brand-new approach to community at the Cons.

You can skip the details and check out the new Community Content at DrupalCon Barcelona.

What We Heard from You

We started with a survey to find out who’s participating in the Community content at DrupalCons and what you were hoping to achieve. You can review the full survey results, but here are a few key findings that we identified.

Meeting each other to build your network of support is the most important thing we can help facilitate. That’s followed by skills building, and then by actually getting specific work accomplished.

There is strong demand for a wide variety of skills training. We haven’t really provided this kind of content in a structured way for the community before, so we are excited to address it head on.

There was strong support for community content to be integrated into the main conference. We know that one reason community content moved to the summit format was poor attendance at community sessions at previous Cons, but we think this result means that we can integrate content back into the conference, but perhaps in a slightly different way.

What We’re Planning

Donna Benjamin, Adam Hill, and I met to discuss the survey results and get a plan together for Barcelona. Our goal was to build a comprehensive community program that provides a variety of ways to interact on community issues while also addressing the community concerns raised in the survey. In short, we’re proposing that community is integrated into every part of the Con. Here’s how it will work in Barcelona:

  • Community Keynote: We did it in Amsterdam, and it was such a success, we’re bringing it back in Barcelona. Thursday’s keynote is presented by the community, for the community. Mike Bell (mikebell_) will talk about mental health in the open source world and David Rozas (drozas) will talk about the phenomenon of contributing to a community.
  • Community Kickoff: On Monday, we will hold a community kickoff event for the week. We’ll begin with an introduction to all the community content at the Con, followed by exercises designed to help you meet the people that can help support you in your community work, whether you need help maintaining a long-standing camp or User Group, or if you’re new to the community and want to know where you can get involved. Then we’ll conduct breakouts to share knowledge around specific issues, and identify good topics for further discussion in the community Birds of a Feather sessions later in the week. We’ll end the day by joining the First Time Attendee social so that we can show the new folks what our community is all about.
  • Community BoFs:Tuesday through Thursday we will hold Birds of a Feather sessions to focus on community issues. Some (maybe all?) will be determined at the Monday kickoff. These sessions should bring people together around a common theme, like User Group leaders discussing best practices for organizing a DUG. All BoFs will be asked to identify a note taker who records key takeaways from the conversation that can be shared back out with the community.
  • Community Training: You asked for help building specific skills, so these sessions will be designed to help you learn specific takeaways and give you real tools you can use back in your community. Tentative topics include Camp Budgets and Financial Management, Conflict Resolution, Sponsor Recruitment and Management, Mentoring, and Public Speaking.
  • Community Sprints: After four days sharing what you know and learning new things, you’ll be itching to put your ideas to use. On Friday, sprint tables will be set aside to work on specific community issues that are raised throughout the week. Topics could include things like building a universal camp budget template or helping to find ways to integrate community contribution on Drupal.org profiles.

You can see that we’ve tried to bake community into the Con from start to finish and address all the different needs you identified. We hope this new format will make it easier for you to get the support you need to continue to do what you do best - make Drupal great!

Where Do I Sign Up?

To help organize our space and time, we’re asking you to RSVP for both the Community KickOff and the Community Trainings. All you need to do is head over to the Community Summit Page, find the content you're interested in, and add your name to the list.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions,

Flickr photo: Boris Baldinger

Aug 04 2015
Aug 04

Flickr photo: Boris BaldingerDrupal is a lot of things. It’s a platform, a CMS, software, and code. But here’s what Drupal is most of all: community.

That’s why DrupalCon has had community content baked in, first as a stand alone track across the entire event, then as a summit on the Monday of the Con. Now, we’re ready to double down on community starting at DrupalCon Barcelona. Together with Drupal’s Community Working Group, we’ve taken your feedback and devised a brand-new approach to community at the Cons.

You can skip the details and check out the new Communtiy Content at DrupalCon Barcelona.

What We Heard from You

We started with a survey to find out who’s participating in the Community content at DrupalCons and what you were hoping to achieve. You can review the full survey results, but here are a few key findings that we identified.

Meeting each other to build your network of support is the most important thing we can help facilitate. That’s followed by skills building, and then by actually getting specific work accomplished.

There is strong demand for a wide variety of skills training. We haven’t really provided this kind of content in a structured way for the community before, so we are excited to address it head on.

There was strong support for community content to be integrated into the main conference. We know that one reason community content moved to the summit format was poor attendance at community sessions at previous Cons, but we think this result means that we can integrate content back into the conference, but perhaps in a slightly different way.

What We’re Planning

Donna Benjamin, Adam Hill, and I met to discuss the survey results and get a plan together for Barcelona. Our goal was to build a comprehensive community program that provides a variety of ways to interact on community issues while also addressing the community concerns raised in the survey. In short, we’re proposing that community is integrated into every part of the Con. Here’s how it will work in Barcelona:

  • Community Keynote: We did it in Amsterdam, and it was such a success, we’re bringing it back in Barcelona. Thursday’s keynote is presented by the community, for the community. Mike Bell (mikebell_) will talk about mental health in the open source world and David Rozas (drozas) will talk about the phenomenon of contributing to a community.
  • Community Kickoff: On Monday, we will hold a community kickoff event for the week. We’ll begin with an introduction to all the community content at the Con, followed by exercises designed to help you meet the people that can help support you in your community work, whether you need help maintaining a long-standing camp or User Group, or if you’re new to the community and want to know where you can get involved. Then we’ll conduct breakouts to share knowledge around specific issues, and identify good topics for further discussion in the community Birds of a Feather sessions later in the week. We’ll end the day by joining the First Time Attendee social so that we can show the new folks what our community is all about.
  • Community BoFs:Tuesday through Thursday we will hold Birds of a Feather sessions to focus on community issues. Some (maybe all?) will be determined at the Monday kickoff. These sessions should bring people together around a common theme, like User Group leaders discussing best practices for organizing a DUG. All BoFs will be asked to identify a note taker who records key takeaways from the conversation that can be shared back out with the community.
  • Community Training: You asked for help building specific skills, so these sessions will be designed to help you learn specific takeaways and give you real tools you can use back in your community. Tentative topics include Camp Budgets and Financial Management, Conflict Resolution, Sponsor Recruitment and Management, Mentoring, and Public Speaking.
  • Community Sprints: After four days sharing what you know and learning new things, you’ll be itching to put your ideas to use. On Friday, sprint tables will be set aside to work on specific community issues that are raised throughout the week. Topics could include things like building a universal camp budget template or helping to find ways to integrate community contribution on Drupal.org profiles.

You can see that we’ve tried to bake community into the Con from start to finish and address all the different needs you identified. We hope this new format will make it easier for you to get the support you need to continue to do what you do best - make Drupal great!

Where Do I Sign Up?

To help organize our space and time, we’re asking you to RSVP for both the Community KickOff and the Community Trainings. All you need to do is head over to the Community Summit Page, find the content you're interested in, and add your name to the list.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions,

Flickr photo: Boris Baldinger

Jul 28 2015
Jul 28

Here we go again! It's your monthly summary of all things board meeting at the Drupal Association. This month we covered board governenance (there's a seat opening up), the D8 Accelerate Campaign, and the Association strategic frame. Plus, as a bonus, the board approved the Q2 financials for publication. As always, if you want to catch up on all the details, you can find everything you need to know about the meeting online, including minutes, materials, and a recording. If you're just here for a summary view, read on!

Meeting Minutes

Related Materials

Video Recording

Board governance

Angie Byron's term on the board is going to be up this fall, and she has expressed her desire not to renew that term. We're going to be very sad to see Angie go, but thrilled that she will have one less hat to talk about when explaining which hat she is wearing at any given point during your next meeting with her. Seriously - she's brought so much thoughfulness and passion to the board. She's not leaving us yet (her term expires 10/31), but our Governance Committee will be working with the Nominations Committee to recruit candidates and help the board make the next selection.

D8 Accelerate

As I write these words there are just 10(!) release blockers standing between us and a release candidate for Drupal 8. Part of the momentum this year has come from Drupal 8 Accelerate. We've made over 40 grants, worth more than $120,000 so far. That's helped us close nearly 100 issues, addressing some really important features, like a beta to beta upgrade, security bugs, and performance. If you're curious about what's getting funded, you can always see the full list. And, we're getting close to reaching our goal - we've raised $223,000. You can help us reach our $250,000 goal by making a donation today!

Drupal Association Strategic Frame

Why are we doing the work we do? Because everyone at the Association wants to have a positive impact for Drupal. The best way for us to have an impact is to pick a few goals that we are going to focus on achieving. The Association board used their January retreat to set some 3-5 year goals for the Association:

  • To develop sufficient professionals to meet global demand for Drupal
  • To lead the community in focused, efficient, effective development of Drupal
  • To ensure the sustainability of the Drupal project and community
  • To increase Drupal adoption in target markets
  • To increase the strength and resilience of the Drupal Association

We've been working since then to select the right strategies and objectives (1 year to 18 month time frame) for our work. You can see the directions we're headed in the presentation we shared. It's important to note that we expect to revisit our strategies and objectives on a quarterly basis to adjust as we go. The world of Drupal moves fast, and we need to as well. So, although we are setting 12 to 18 month objectives, we will be adjusting the frame much more frequently, and won't be sticking with objectives that we find don't really support the work.

2015 Q2 Financials

And in the most exciting news of all, the second quarter financials were approved by the board. You can always find whatever financials have been released in the public financials folder. If you have never taken a look at the financials before, I recommend it. Although I tease about them being boring, I love financial statements! A while back, I wrote up a post about how to read our financial statements. I also like pointing out that each Con has it's own tab in our financial statements, so you can see exactly how that money coems in, and where it is spent. 

See you next time!

And that's it for this summary. But, if you have questions or ideas, you can always reach out to me!

Flickr photo: Joeri Poesen

Jun 26 2015
Jun 26

If you are interested in Drupal community and you are coming to Drupalcon, we are looking for your opinions!

Take the Community Content at DrupalCon Survey.

For a very long time, community conversations at DrupalCon took place at sessions in the community track, which ran alongside all the other content at DrupalCons. The community track allowed for presentations on topics related to our community. While it was good to be able to raise the topics, there were real concerns that the session format meant that nothing productive came from the conversation. Further, the community track was just much less attended than other sessions, with 25 or so folks in a room that holds 200.

At DrupalCon Prague in 2013, we launched the first Community Summit. Held on the Monday of DrupalCon week, it is a day-long event designed in an un-conference style to bring community members together to tackle the issues that help our community achieve more together. Morten DK, Addison Berry, and others (bless you all - you have been great collaboratrs) ran the program and led a number of very useful conversations.

For the last few DrupalCons we have run these community summits, and have heard a whole new round of feedback, including:

  • Work at the Summit does not tend to continue after the Summit, so we lose momentum.
  • We don’t always have the right people in the room to really solve some of these problems.

We also did some surveying of our community leaders at the beginning of last year and heard that they are very hungry for skills training that can help them take their camps, meetups, trainings, etc. to the next level. They want to learn about how to manage the finances of a camp, how to recruit sponsors, and how to be better public speakers. The current community summit format does not really allow for this kind of skills training either.

So - we are looking for your feedback about how we might restructure the community content at DrupalCons.

Take the Community Content at DrupalCon Survey.

Just so you know, I hit the woods with my family and no internet and no phones for one week a year, and that week is next week. I won’t be able to respond to comments or the survey while I’m gone, but I will do so when I return. If you have feelings, ideas, or feelings about ideas - stick them in the survey! I’ll share the results back out. If you have book recommendations for my trip, hit me up on Twitter.

Jun 23 2015
Jun 23

First things first - an apology. I realize it's been a couple of month since I put up a post about our Board meetings. I definitely apologize, and will try not to let that happen again. However, know that you can always see the meeting minutes, materials, and recordings on our site. And, if you ever have any questions, you can find me on Twitter, D.O, in IRC (drupalhross), or you can send me an email (you know, if you are old school). 

The June board meeting covered the month of May at the Association, which was a rather big month. As usual, we had a number of items to cover in our operational upate, and then we dove into updates from the Drupal.org Working Groups

Operational Update

  • Drupal 8 Accelerate had a great month in May, adding $55,000 to the total of over $213,000 now raised to help close D8 release blockers. Huge thanks to Catalyst IT, Open Source Developers Conference Australia, Siteground, Figleaf Software and Duo Consulting for the $1,000+ donations in May. You can see how every dollar is directly impacting Drupal 8.
  • We had a DrupalCon! We'll give you a full wrap up in August when all the details, including financials are available. 
  • Content Strategy is coming to Drupal.org. In an nutshell, we are excited to have completed a content strategy process with Forum One. With the strategy document complete, we can begin implementation. In the next few months we'll be introducing changes to the site to support the new information architecture and content governenace. When everything is in place, you will see a site that is easier to navigate and gives topic owners more flexibility in the types of content and permissioning they can use. You can see all the details in the DrupalCon LA session we hosted. 
  • As we shared in last week's post, our revenue continues to come in slower than planned. In Executive Session we shared a mid-year adjustment to the plan that we have now begun executing. Although we are not meeting our original goals, we remain excited about the possibilities for the Association - we are still growing. Especially reassuring is that all the Drupal 8 content we release is snapped up quickly.

Working Group Updates

Last quarter the Working Groups met in-person at DrupalCon Los Angeles. During the meeting, the groups discussed their role in producing the Drupal.org roadmap and began the process of re-prioritizing the work. We have definitely discovered a broader need for the Association engineering team across the Drupal ecosystem, and need a better process to allow for unplanned work to be prioritized. A good example is DrupalCI, which morphed from an entirely volunteer-run initiative to work supported heavily by Association staff. 

The Working Groups have also proposed charter changes in to the Executive Committee for review. We are looking to expand the number of community members on each group and further clarify the roles. 

Thanks and see you next month!

That's all we had for this board meeting, but more is planned for July and beyond. Check out all our upcoming board meetings and register to attend. 

Flickr photo: pdjohnson

Jun 19 2015
Jun 19

I want to share today that the Association is implementing a new financial plan to address lower than anticipated revenues in 2015. To align our spending more closely with our revenue, we are implementing expense cuts that I’m very sorry to say include staffing. Regrettably, we are losing three staff people today from operations, engineering and our community teams. This was not a decision we came to lightly, and we’re committed to helping those staff through their transition as best we can. In this post I want to share some information about how we got here, and our revised plan.

A Brief history

This is a really hard post to write because we delivered a plan to the community at the beginning of 2015, and it’s clear that we are not going to be able to fully execute to that plan. I take responsibility for that.

I started at the Association two and half years ago, at a very different time for the organization. At that point in early 2013, the Association was a handful of staff, mostly focused on the DrupalCons. The D7 upgrade of Drupal.org had been halted. Not without some good reason, community trust in the Association was low, and that’s among the people who even knew the Association existed.

When I joined, the message I heard from the board and from the many community members I talked to was that the Association had to learn to implement consistently and communicate more. In other words, we needed to build our credibility in the community by executing our work well and making sure the community knew what we were up to and how to get involved.

One thing that was clear from the outset was that Drupal.org was key to our success. If we could not begin to make visible improvements to Drupal.org with the community, we would fail. With support from the board, we decided to invest our healthy reserve in ourselves and build a team that could improve Drupal.org. Our 2014 Leadership Plan and Budget laid out hiring for a full team, including a CTO, and included a few hundred thousand dollars in budget for the working groups to spend on consultants and other projects in their areas.

During this time, our intent was to build new revenue programs and grow existing revenue streams to pay for this investment, before we spent our entire reserve. So we took the little data we had about our existing revenue streams, made some best guesses about revenue programs we had not yet launched, and we built some models. I want emphasize this - we modeled all of our revenue, but a model is only as good as the data that fuels it.

By April of this year, it was clear that our models were overly optimistic and we began the work of remodeling based on current trends.

Where are we now?

Today, it feels to me that the Association is in a completely different place. I used to break out in a sweat when I posted to our blog or on the queues. These days, the number of people that find me at a Con to say thank you far outnumber the folks that come to complain. (Side note - I actually love it when you complain nicely. It’s hugely important to me that people voice their concerns because we can’t fix what we don’t know is broken.)

The Association itself has grown tremendously in the last 2 years. With over 30 staff, we’re able to execute on a lot more with the community. As our CTO Josh Mitchell pointed out in his anniversary blog post, we’ve done a LOT on Drupal.org. We’ve also made great strides in DrupalCons, introducing more first-time attendee support, providing more resources to all the sprints, and adding the third Con in global communities that are so eager to have us there. Our marketing team has helped create some key content for Drupal 8 and we’ve even raised over $210,000 to help fund the completion of D8 release blockers.

The revenue we generate to do this work has also increased, and diversified. We’ve grown the supporting partner programs, launched Drupal Jobs, and rolled out Try Drupal. You can see, even with our revised expectations for 2015, that things are still growing. One of our key programs, Supporting Partners, is up 26% over this same time period last year, for example. Growth of this program was only 4% in 2014.

So lots of amazing things are happening, but we have to address that we overestimated what was possible for revenue. We have to adjust our plan to meet reality.

Changing the Plan

Addressing our situation is not work we took lightly. We set several goals for the process that guided our thinking throughout:

  • Solve for short-term revenue shortfalls while retaining resources we need to succeed long-term
  • Minimize staff impact
  • Do this once - find the scenario we can truly sustain, and then grow out of
  • Retaining credibility with staff and ensuring we communicate how valuable they are for our future
  • Maintain community confidence

The strategy we used was two-fold. First, we strove to preserve our core services to the community and our ability to fund our own work. Second, we decided to take action as quickly as possible because the sooner we made changes to the plan, the greater the long-term benefit to the organization. We know that this second strategy makes some of this seem like it’s out of the blue, but it means that we impact as few people as possible.

Our leadership team looked at three approaches to addressing our cash flow issues:

  • Incremental revenue: Our new forecast extends actuals from the beginning of 2015 out through the end of the year. We believe that it is possible for us to improve upon this forecast slightly because, although our primary mistake was overestimating revenue, we also had some staffing change-ups (a retirement, hiring new reps) on the team at the beginning of the year that adversely affected the numbers. There is some room to modestly improve our revenue from the forecast.
  • Non-labor expense: We looked at travel, consulting fees, hardware and software, among other places in the budget where we had built in buffers or non-essential expenses. Eliminating these now, and not carrying them into 2016 was a key part of our process.
  • Labor expense: This was the last option we looked at because at the end of the day, not only do all our staff give the community everything they’ve got, we really like each other here. I care deeply for the well-being of everyone at the Association. There is also lot of discussion in the business community about the long-term negative impacts of layoffs on organizations. We looked at lots of ways to reduce labor expense, but were not able to find a solution that did not include some layoffs.

Using this process, we were able to identify $450,000 in non-labor expense savings, and increase revenue projections $250,000 from July 1 2015 through December 31 2016. That was enough to solve our 2015 revenue shortfalls, but it did not address the issues long-term. We needed to reach deeper to ensure our long-term success. We had to consider labor reductions.

Prior to looking at any other staff, the leadership team at the Association decided that the first staff cut had to come from us. As a team, Megan, Joe, Josh, and Matt volunteered a 10% reduction, and I volunteered a 15% reduction. But we still weren’t there. Looking at the remaining labor cuts, we wanted to use our values as our guide. We know that our team believes in our teamwork value above all else, and would want to minimize layoffs as much as possible. With that in mind, we experimented with the model and determined that we could limit layoffs to three if we asked remaining staff to take a 5% pay cut across the board.

All told, here’s what measures look like:

We believe this approach meets our goals and puts us in the best position possible to continue the great work we’ve been doing.

What Happens Next?

On the financial front, we’ll be managing to our cash flow for the next 18 months, as well as modernizing our budgeting and forecasting tools to reflect an Agile methodology. This will let us see further into the future more often, and give us more opportunities to update our plans based on what’s actually happening. And, if we find we are performing favorably to our plan, our first action will be to restore salaries for our staff.

Most importantly, we’re going to be focused on our team. They all got the news earlier today, and we’re taking this time to talk things through all together, in our teams, and one on one. I am here to answer questions and hear concerns for every one of them. We’ll also implement monthly internal review of our progress to the new plan with staff so that they have transparency on a monthly basis about what’s happening. These people are the best thing we have going for us, and I won’t ever be able to make this up to any of them, but I am committed to helping them find the best path forward they can.

Thank you

Sharing this is not easy. The only thing that makes it better is knowing that the Association, like Drupal itself, has so much potential. I want to thank our Supporters, partners, sponsors, members, and the general community for everything you’ve given us so far. The only way we will realize our potential and move forward is together, and we are so happy that we get to do that with you.

May 04 2015
May 04

It was just a few weeks ago that we welcomed Addison Berry as our new At-Large board director after a very eventful elections process. Almost as soon as we announced the news, we heard feedback via Twitter and the announcement blog post comments that there was strong interest in seeing the voting data. In our transparent community, it only seemed natural to share the aggregated voting data.

We agreed, but because we had not previously shared any of that data publicly, we decided to take it to the board for discussion before doing so. One thing we did NOT want to do is discourage candidates from further community participation by exposing voting data without their knowledge. So, at the 15 April board meeting, we discussed the requests.

The board members were all in agreement that sharing the data is a good thing. The one concern was that because this issue had not been raised before, we had not asked the candidates or shared with them that voting data would be shared. It was agreed that in future elections, we will inform candidates on the self-nomination page that their data will be shared. For sharing this election's data, we went back and asked candidates to opt-in to share their voting results.

So, what we are sharing this year is a first step toward broader transparency around elections data. This year, we can only share with you an image file with data obscured for candidates who did not opt-in. The file does show you the progression of the IRV voting runoff, but we recognize that an image file is not highly usable.

However, the discussion we had around sharing voting data was really informative and actually fun (I love data!). We have already developed a number of stories for the next iteration of the elections module that we deploy, and these will allow us to potentially track and share a lot more aggregate data. It would be great, for example, to know where the votes came from geographically. It would also be great to release the data in a more usable way, like a CSV file. Feel free to share what you would like to see from future elections in the comments below. Just know that we are committed to only share aggregated data and will never drill down to share how a particular voter voted.

With that, it's time to share the voting data. Remember that we use IRV voting, so the image below shows that process - getting to a candidate with more than 50% of the votes (as opposed to a simple majority). The result is that the candidates with the fewest #1 placements are eliminated in each round until one candidate has a majority. You can see the votes of candidates being transferred in each round. Things become much clearer in the end when you can see the final 5 candidates:

  • Ani Gupta
  • Anonymous
  • Enzo
  • Michael Schmid (not named, but he is the remaining candidate when the winner is declared)
  • Addison Berry (the winner!)

Thank you again for the push to share this data and we look forward to do even more in the next election:

Mar 25 2015
Mar 25

In our March board meeting we took a look at the month of February and all the goodness that the Association and the community have managed to stir up. Spoiler alert: it's a lot. We've got lots of impressive changes on Drupal.org, some big community events to recap, and elections. If you missed the meeting, no worries! I'm going to recap some main points below, but you can always watch the recording, review the minutes, or check out the meeting materials (or all of the above, because overacheiver). Here's what we talked about:

Operational Update

  • We have three new staff starting at the Association. We'll have a new post on our blog shortly to introduce them all, but the long and short of it is this: Our DrupalCon team is now at 100% strength again, our marketing team can now get even more great Drupal content out into the universe, and adding a CFO to our team means that well be able to position the Association to better tell our financial story and project into the future.
  • There is a brand (re)new newsletter going out - the Drupal Newsletter. Those of you who have been in the community for a while may remember that the last issue went out in 2008. We recently resuscitated the newsletter subscriptions functionality on your Drupal.org profile AND partnered with Bob Kepford to bring the Weekly Drop (plus a little extra Association goodness) to you once a week. Not subscribed? Go edit your D.O profile and you can subcribe right there!
  • We are moving our dashboards into a publicly viewable/slick looking location. Up until now we've been sharing our dashboard data as tables in our monthly board update. It was better than not tracking numbers, but did not allow us to share context for our metrics and frankly, tables are really hard for mere humans to parse. We'll be moving all our metrics into SimpleKPI over time, but for now, take a look at the pretty that is the Drupal.org Dashboard.

DrupalCon Latin America

We were thrilled to be in Bogota, Colombia for DrupalCon Latin America in February. Although we are really excited about what we accomplished, it did not happen without several very real bumps in the road. First, our attendance goal was 400, but we only hit 263, and one-third of those came in during the last two weeks. Managing the budget and logistics when attendance was so up in the air was a real challenge, but the DrupalCon team managed to ensure that we beat our budget expectations, so there was no negative financial impact for the Association. Most importantly, we learned a lot and saw some great outcomes:

  • Many of the sessions offered live translation between English, Spanish, and Portugese. Additionally, the amazing Lingotek donated translations service so that more than 25 of the session recordings are also available in those languages. This experience with multiple languages will help us in future events, as well as with Drupal.org and other resources we help steward.
  • We had amazing sprint participation - 38% of attendees stuck around on the final day and battled through a 2-hour internet outage (quite happily, I might add) to make their contributions to the project. Huge thanks to the sprint mentors who help make the day so successful.
  • Overall, we think we saw a huge community lift from the event. We had several candidates from Latin America throw their hat in the ring for a board seat in the elections, and we had an increased participation in Global Training Days by Latin American shops. We hope that means that our Latin American community is more closely connected now and that this participation will carry forward and grow into the future.

Working Group Updates

A lot of the Working Groups work right now is actually rethinking how they work. There are three Drupal.org working groups - Infrastructure, Content, and Software. As the Drupal Association staff has grown and taken on real work, we've had to define how the staff and Working Groups collaborate as we go. the new wrinkle is that there are other Working Groups out there that fall under the Drupal (as opposed to Drupal.org) structure that overlap or relate to the D.O working groups. 

For example, the Content Working Group is currently working on a content strategy to completment the user persona research we did and inform an iterative reimagination of Drupal.org. Turns out, a significant portion of that strategy relates to the Documentation Working Group. We didn't figure that out until well into the process, and missed the opportunity to get their feedback and incorporate their needs from the outset. It seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time, we were working with the Drupal.org Working Groups only, which was basically our known universe.

To remedy these kinds of issues, we plan to bring many of the Working Groups together in Los Angeles and are trying to map some process that will ensure that all the right players are brought in at the right time, So, charters are being adjusted, more communication is being planned. We know it's been rough at times, but are committed to finding a path forward that works for everyone.

That's all she wrote...

Have questions, ideas, thoughts concerns? Leave 'em in the comments! I would sincerely love to hear from you. Just to know that one person read this post... these take forever to write! :)

Mar 25 2015
Mar 25

Everyone on the staff and Board of the Drupal Association would like to congratulate our newest board member:

Addison Berry.

In addition to congratulating Addison, please join me in thanking the 23 other candidates who put themselves out there in service of Drupal and stood for election. 

This was the fourth election we've held for At-Large board seats at the Drupal Association. This year we had two specific goals for the elections:

  • Increase the diversity of the candidates - Although we only had one female candidate, we saw great success by other measures of diversity. 24 candidates came from 14 different countries - including South American and Asian countries. 
  • Increase voter turnout - We fielded 1,432 votes in this election. Our pool of eligible voters was 159,758, so that means our voter tunrout was .89%. This is still low, but a vast improvement over the last election, which saw a .36% turnout. 

Our next steps will be to reach out to the candidates for their evaluation of the elections experience. We also want to hear from you. Please tell us about your experience with the elections process in the comments below so that we can include them in our planning for the 2016 elections.

Flickr photo: Kodak Views

Mar 20 2015
Mar 20

Last November we launched Drupal 8 Accelerate, a grant program designed to eliminate Drupal 8 release blockers. Through the progam, we’ve made a small number of grants that have had a huge impact. In fact, we only have about 50 release blockers left between us and release. So now the Association is going to take it to the next level. We've already pledged $62,500 of our general operating budget in 2015 as matching funds for you donations. Now we are announcing that the board has partnered with 7 outstanding community supporters to “match the match” and provide another $62,500 of the program, bringing us to $125,000 available for grants.

Now it's your turn! We're asking you to help us raise another $125,000 to make the total amount available for these grants $250,000. You can give knowing that every dollar you contribute is already matched by the Association and these anchor donors, doubling your impact. Your donations will allow us to make more grants, faster, increasing our impact and getting D8 out the door!

This is an all-out, everyone-in effort to raise $250,000 to kill the last release blockers in our way.This is our moment - together, we are going to move Drupal 8 from beta to release with the Drupal 8 Accelerate program. We already know it works. Drupal 8 Accelerate grants have already tackled release blockers issues related to menus, entity field validation, and caching. As a donor, you will always know exactly what you're funding because we're making it all public

Join us today and make your donation. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all enjoy those launch parties!

Special thanks to our anchor donors, Acquia, Appnovation, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Phase2, PreviousNext, and Wunderkraut, for making this matching campaign possible.  These seven organizations stepped up to the plate and made this entire campaign possible. Thank them on Twitter using the #D8Accelerate hashtag.

The D8 Accelerate project is designed to help move Drupal 8 from the initial beta to a full release. This directly relates to the Association's mission: uniting a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. This is a pilot program from the Drupal Association to put $250,000 of community funds toward accelerating the release of Drupal 8, due to the strategic impact this work has on the entire Drupal ecosystem.

Mar 09 2015
Mar 09

Voting is now open for the 2015 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association! If you haven't yet, check out the candidate profiles and review the Meet the Candidate sessions (we ran three) that we held. Get to know your candidates, and then get ready vote.

Cast Your Vote!

How does voting work? Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see the this video.

Elections will be held from 9 March through 20 March (midnight UTC) 2015. During this period, you can still review and comment on candidate profiles.

Have questions? Contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross.

Mar 02 2015
Mar 02

Huh? What are we Electing?

In case you missed it, the Drupal community electing one candidate to serve a two-year term on the Drupal Association Board of Directors. There are two At-Large (community elected) seats on the Board. The other seat is currently held by Matthew Saunders. We've got a really global slate of candidates to consider, and we encourage you to get to know them by listening to the Meet the Candidates sessions and asking them questions on their candidate profile pages. 

Who can vote?

Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations opened and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process

Voting will be held from 9 March, 2015 through 20 March, 2015. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. We'll also be scheduling and announcing three phone-in all candidates meetings, where community members and candidates can ask questions and get to know each other.

Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well in the past!

Flickr photo: Kodak Views

Feb 28 2015
Feb 28

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it's certainly been one of the busiest for the Drupal Association, so I apologize for taking more than a week to get this summary post up! What's been keeping us so busy? Our first ever DrupalCon in Latin America and the Drupal Association At-Large Board elections. Both of these events have been huge positive milestones for the Association, and have involved dozens of volunteers from around the globe. In the middle of all that, we managed to sneak in a board meeting on 18 February. If you missed it, you can listen to the recording, read the notes, and peruse the materials. Or feel free to skim this summary!

Operational Update

  • We have a big initiative internally at the Association to reevaluate the metrics we use to illustrate the success of our work. We are also looking at ways to better display these metrics so that you can see more context. So over the next few months, you'll see the metrics in the dashboared shift and change. Just a bit of a heads up, and let us know if you have any feedback along the way.
  • The February board packet covered our January metrics, and things look pretty good one month into the year. We are especially pleased that the Engineering team has been able to bring site performance to our goal levels. 
  • The Engineering Team also took several big steps towards key areas of the Drupal.org roadmap in January. Step 1 of the roadmap is better Account Creation and Login, and several key issues were closed out.
  • The DrupalCon Team and Engineering worked together to launch events.drupal.org in January as well. This shift means that Con sites are all on the same platform now. We no longer have to launch a site from scratch for each Con, which helps make Cons much easier to manage. Most importantly, we've been able to introduce key new features in reegistration for our community. Excited? Go ahead and register now! You can check out the new features yourself!
  • We are really lucky to work with the tireless Drupal 8 Branch Maintainers on the Drupal 8 Accelerate program. The program is picking up steam with a number of grants made and completed already. The next big grant will fund a Drupal CI (testbot) srpint in Portland at the end of March.

Content Strategy Update

Last year, the Content Working Group began a process of building a larger strategy for a reimagination of Drupal.org. Our first work was focused on User Research, and completed that work in the fall, publishing the developed personas. The next phase has focused on developing a content strategy. With over 1.2 MILLION pieces of content on Drupal.org, a strategy for dealing with that content is going to be pretty darn important. You can check out the presentation, as well as the post that's currently one of those pieces of content on Drupal.org.

Drupal.org Advertising Strategy

Finding new revenue streams is vitally important to the Association. For the entire history of the Drupal Association, DrupalCons have been the primary way we have funded other community work. We want to do more to serve our mission: uniting a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. If we're going to do that, we need new revenue streams. The bonus? If we can find new funding sources, it takes the pressure off of DrupalCons to perform financially, which means we can make choices for those events that might not fuel the financial bottom line, but make the events better for the community. 

So how are we doing it? New programs like Drupal Jobs have launched. We are also introducing advertising on Drupal.org and to Drupal.org visitors. We working to develop advertising products that are meaningful for advertisers (enough traffic, good clicks) and also deliver value to our community. We've drawn a few clear lines - we won't advertise on issue queues, for example, and will focus on users who are not logged into the site. We'll also be developing a variety of programs so that small shops can participate alongside bigger firms. 

For all the details, check out the presentation.

The End

Thanks so much for checking in on this board meeting and, as always, please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.

Feb 21 2015
Feb 21

Nominations are now closed for the single At-Large seat on the Association Board of Directors. We have an astounding 24 candidates from 14 different countries running for this seat. We are so thrilled that so many of you are so invested in our community that you are taking this step. As with any election, we want to have an informed electorate. So - we invite you to get to know these candidates in a couple of important ways.

Learn about the candidates online. 

Check out the slate of candidates and read what they had to say about their backgrouns and interest in servin gon the board. Each candidate page also features a comments section where you can ask about their plans, hopes, and views for the Association and the project. We only ask that you use this comments section as a place to ask questions, not endorse candidates please. 

Join a Meet the Candidates webcast.

In addition to the candidate profiles, we arfe hosting three live question and answer sessions where you can chime in and hear from the candidates directly. Not all canddiates will be on each call, but don't worry! If you aren't able to connect with a candidate in one of the sessions, we will be recording them, so you can check them out later. Here are the sessions:

Session One?: Tue 24 Feb 2015 at 16:00 UTC

  • 8 AM PST Tue 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 11 AM EST Tue 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 1 PM Tue 24 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 4 PM Tue 24 Feb, London
  • 12 AM Wed 25 Feb, Beijing
  • 3 AM Wed 25 Feb, Sydney Australia

Join The Meeting

Session Two: Wed 25 Feb 2015 at 00:00 UTC

  • 4 PM PST Wed 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 7 PM EST Wed 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 9 PM Wed 25 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 1 AM Thu 26 Feb, London
  • 8 AM Thu 26 Feb, Beijing
  • 10 AM Thu 26 Feb, Sydney Australia

Join The Meeting

Session Three: Thu 26 Feb at 20:30 UTC

  • 12:30 PM PST Thu 26 Feb, US and Canada
  • 3:30 PM PST Thu 26 Feb, US and Canada
  • 5:30 PM Thu 26 Feb, Sau Paulo Brasil
  • 8:30 PM Thu 26 Feb, London
  • 4:30 AM Fri 27 Feb, Beijing
  • 7:30 AM Fri 27 Feb, Sydney Australia

Join The Meeting

I hope we'll hear from you during this important part of the elections process. And mark your calendars - voting begins on March 9!

Feb 01 2015
Feb 01

It’s a great time to be part of the Drupal Association. We’ve done some amazing work in the last few years, and we’re in a great position to work with the community to continue to improve and grow fully into our mission. As a Drupal Association At-Large Director, you’d be in the center of the action. The At-large Director position is specifically designed to ensure community representation on the Drupal Association board and we strongly encourage anyone with an interest to nominate themselves today.

Nominate Yourself Today

The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day to day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc. You can learn more about what’s expected of a board member in this post and presentation.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required). All board members agree to meet the minimum requirements documented in the board member agreement.

Today we are opening the self-nomination form that allows you to throw your hat in the ring. We're looking to elect one candidate this year to serve a two-year term.

Log in first and...

To nominate yourself, you should be prepared to answer a few questions:

  • About Me: Tell us about yourself! Your background, how you got into Drupal, etc.
  • Motivation: Why are you applying for a board position? What initiatives do you hope to help drive, or what perspectives are you going to try and represent?
  • Experience: What Drupal community contributions have you taken part in (code, camps, etc.)? Do you have experience in financial oversight, developing business strategies, or organization governance?
  • Availability: I am able to travel to three in-person board meetings per year (either self-funded, or with financial sponsorship)
  • IRC Handle
  • Twitter Handle

We will also need to know that you are available for the next step in the process, meet the candidate sessions. We are hosting 2 sessions: 

Session One

  • Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at:
  • 8 AM PST in the US and Canada
  • 11 AM EST in the US and Canada
  • 1 PM in Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 4 PM in London
  • 12 AM Wednesday, 25 February in Beijing
  • 3 AM Wednesday, 25 February Sydney Australia

Session Two

  • Wednesday 25 February 2015 at:
  • 4 PM PST in the US and Canada
  • 7 PM EST in the US and Canada
  • 9 PM in Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 1 AM Thursday, 26 February in London
  • 8 AM Thursday, 26 February in Beijing
  • 10 AM Thursday, 26 February in Sydney Australia

Session Three

  • Thursday 26 February 2015 at:
  • 12:30 PM PST in the US and Canada
  • 3:30 PM EST in the US and Canada
  • 5:30 PM in Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 8:30 AM Friday, 27 February in London
  • 4:30 AM Friday, 27 February in Beijing
  • 7:30 AM Friday, 27 February in Sydney Australia

The nomination form will be open February 1, 2015 through February 20, 2015 at midnight UTC. For a thorough review of the process, please see our announcement blog post.

If you have any questions, please contact Holly Ross, Drupal Association Executive Director.

Flickr photo: Kodak Views

Jan 28 2015
Jan 28

In the first board meeting of 2015, we hit the pause button and looked back on 2014. With all the numbers in and so many projects completed, we wanted to evaluate our success (and our misses) with the board and with you. We feel really good about what we accomplished with the rest of the community. To me, it's doubly impressive because the Association spent so much of last year growing like crazy. We started the year with just about 13 staff and ended the year with 27. We're still small, but doubling your staff is never an easy endeavor. So to go through that kind of change, and to also get some much other good stuff done seems pretty remarkable to me. As always, you can check out the notes, the materials, and the recording, or peruse my summary of the meeting here.?

Operational update

?I think I can safely say that the theme of 2014 was “Let’s see what we learn from this!” We started the year with a Leadership Plan that outlined some important goals and strategies. We also defined key metrics we would track to help us understand if we were making progress on those goals. This was the first time the organization had this kind of framework to not only get a lot of stuff done, but to understand if that stuff was fulfilling its purpose.

The plan helped us identify lots of things to experiment with, and throughout the year we learned a lot about our plan itself. Metrics didn’t always point to the outcomes we thought they did. Some goals that we set were impossible to meet because of outside influences. But having the plan - that was important. It forced us to think about our work before, during, and after every project. So where did all our experiments take us? A lot of places. Here is a short, incomplete, and grossly over-simplified list of what we accomplished in 2014:

  • We set the proper frame. We developed a vision statement, revamped the mission statement, and created a values statement for the Association.
  • We rebranded, developing new logos for the Association and our programs that reflect our maturity as an organization.
  • We diversified our revenue, by a lot. Introducing new programs and services we were able to make a dent in the ration of Con related revenue to non-Con revenue. This is important for the financial health of the Association, but also because if Cons are our primary source of revenue, we can’t innovate and evolve them with as much courage for fear of undermining our total revenue.
  • Speaking of DrupalCons, we held two really big ones. Lots of things went right - they are well run, with great speakers and great community. We also collected a lot of data about the Cons and identified lots of places to work on for 2015 and beyond. (We promise we heard you about the food in Amsterdam!)
  • The marketing team is creating lots of technical marketing and other branded content that is starting to get great traction in the field. Resources like “Managing Media in Drupal” allow us to showcase the best that Drupal has to offer, regardless of version.
  • The launch of Drupal Jobs was a big milestone for us. We had not launched a product before, and were thrilled to get something out there that the community has repeatedly asked for. It’s still new, and we’re still learning, but we are overall very excited about the steady growth that we have seen.
  • Testbots is an area I have heard about on a weekly basis since I started at the Association. In 2014 we were able to forge a great partnership with the testbed volunteers. The Association is now managing the ongoing operation of the existing testbed infrastructure while the volunteers get to work on the next generation. We’ve seen massive improvements in performance as a result - wait times have dropped from almost 120 minutes to about 20 minutes on average. During the recent Global Sprint Weekend, we went from our usual 4 AWS instances to 20!
  • Drupal.org profiles have also seen a tremendous change in 2014. Again, thanks to the work of some amazing volunteers, we were able to introduce small targeted changes frequently, beginning with profile pictures. The work is not done and there are more changes to come, but profiles are becoming better and better online resumes and community connectors for the community.
  • We managed to be our projected deficit spend for the year. This sets us up well for 2015

I would like to point out that I am extremely proud of the Association staff who endured a lot of growing pains while churning out really good, quality work. In addition to being awesome at what they do, they are hilarious and smart. I owe the a huge debt of gratitude. HOWEVER, all of the bullet points above represent a significant contribution from the volunteers in the community as well. We don’t do our work alone, and we are so grateful to the hundreds of you who have prototyped, tested, coded, documented, trained, mentored, and made puns. Your leadership in the community is noticed and appreciated. Our greatest hope is that we are making your Drupal life a little better.

Marketing Team 2015 Update

The marketing team built a very solid base in 2014 and is prepared to declare 2015 the year of content. Here are a few key initiatives that you can expect this year:

  • More branded content, better presentation. We’re going to turn Drupal.org into the best site out there to discover all you can do with Drupal. We’re currently developing a content strategy that will help us discover all the great content that already exists, but gets lost in the one million+ nodes on the site. Then we can combine that with the great technical content we are also crafting to create more resource centers covering everything from media to search in Drupal.
  • A Drupal.org blog. We are in the middle of a content strategy process led by staff with the Content Working Group and Forum One Communications. It’s clear that we need a better channel to expose the folks who want Drupal news, but who aren’t ready to drink from the firehose that is Drupal Planet. The blog will allow us to reach those folks, and we hope we can use it to highlight the best writing about Drupal that is already being produced.
  • Drupal newsletter. In 2008, we stopped sending a regular Drupal newsletter to the tens of thousands of subscribers on Drupal.org. We’re bringing that back in 2015, with a model similar to that of the blog - the best community content. This newsletter will differ from the Association newsletter in that all the content will be focused on Drupal itself.
  • A challenge will be localization - translating content for our global audience. With the release of Drupal 8 nearing, and its emphasis on localization, we want to meet this need. We’ll be working on strategies to make translation happen on key content.

Of course, there is more to the update than this summary, so I encourage you to check out the presentation.

And then we ran out of time

We were also scheduled to vote on a slate of candidates for the newly formed Licensing Working Group. Unfortunately, we ran out of time. The Executive Committee of the board will be discussing next week to see if we can vote electronically on this topic.

Thanks for a great 2014. Here’s to an even better 2015

Again, thank you for the support, the work, the encouragement, the ideas, and even the complaints. All of it makes us better as an organization, and we hope that when we’re better, Drupal is better. ?

Flickr Photo: DianaConnolly101

Jan 06 2015
Jan 06

During the holidays I met some folks who used to work at other open source projects. One of them asked me, "What's your favorite part of your job?" Lucky for me, I have a lot of great things to choose from, but the thing that always stands out is the global nature of our community. All the customs, cultures, and values are tough to navigate, but I love learning about the variety of perspectives you all bring to the table. I sincerely believe that this diversity of experience makes our community that much stronger.

That diversity is also why we have two At-Large positions on the Association Board of Directors - positions that are self-nominated and elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is specifically designed to ensure community representation on the Drupal Association board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and be prepared to nominate yourself between 1 February and 20 February, 2015.

How Do Nominations and Elections Work?

Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.

What Does the Drupal Association Board Do?

The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day to day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required). You can learn more about what’s expected of board members by reviewing the board member agreement. You can also check out the presentation and summary we shared this summer.

Who can run?

There are no restrictions on who can run, and you don't need anyone to nominate you.

What will I need to do during the elections?

During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. They'll post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org and to the public Drupal Association group at http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-association. We'll also organize at least two all-candidates meetings (which will be announced on the Drupal Association group and blog), where community members and candidates will be able to ask questions and share information. The more you can participate, the more Drupal community members will be able to find out what you would bring to the Drupal Association board.

How Do I Run?

Candidates needed! If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete a self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 February, 2015 through 20 February, 2015 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members.

Who can vote?

Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. These individuals' accounts will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and they will have access to the voting.

To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.

Elections process

Voting will be held from 9 March, 2015 through 20 March, 2015. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org and engage all candidates through posting to the Drupal Association group. We'll also be scheduling and announcing two phone-in all candidates meetings, where community members and candidates can ask questions and get to know each other.

Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross. Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well last year!

Flickr photo: Kodak Views

Dec 19 2014
Dec 19

This week we held our last board meeting of the year, and we covered a lot a of ground. Unlike November, where we had a relatively short public meeting, this session took the full two hours to get through. We covered a lot of topics, from DrupalCon Amsterdam to updates from the Working Groups. As always, you can review the minutes, the materials, or the meeting recording to catch up on all the details. Here's a summary for you as well.

Operational Update

The month of November was short given the US holiday (Thanksgiving), but we still have a number of initiatives that we managed to push significantly forward. Among them:

  • Licensing Working Group: We recently put out a call for volunteers for the Licensing Working Group, whose charter was approved at the November board meeting. If you are interested in licensing issues, we hope that you will consider applying. The Licensing Working Group will play a pivotal role in helping contributors navigate what is and isn't allowed quickly and in keeping our code GPL compliant and safe.
  • Social capital and the Driesnote: In Amsterdam, Dries laid out a vision for the future of contribution in our community. We also began sharing a plan for Drupal.org in 2015 at DrupalCon Amsterdam that aligns with that vision. We have been laying the groundwork over the last few months, working on commit messages and profile improvements that will make it possible to illustrate not just code contribution, but the many kinds of contribution that individuals (and soon, organizations!) make in the Drupal community.
  • 2015 workplans: Association staff have been very busy preparing workplans for 2015 as well. The DrupalCon team has been rethinking food and fun at DrupalCons based on recent survey feedback. The Drupal.org team has been working on the roadmap. Our revenue team has been planning for solidifying the new revenue programs we launched this year (like Drupal Jobs) and planning for new opportunities as well.
  • DrupalCon Latin America: We are all very excited to get to Bogota for DrupalCon Latin America next February. Everything is on track for this event from a logistics standpoint. We have speakers and space and now all we need are more people. We are planning for 400 people to be there and have about 90 registered so far. Normally, we would have a much higher percentage of tickets sold at this point, but with a very minimal price increase between rates, and with the holidays, we suspect we will see more registrations closer to the date of the Con.

Marketing & Branding Committee Update

We're coming up to a pretty pivotal time for Drupal marketing. As we near a Drupal 8 release, the Marketing and Branding Committee can help lead the community in making this the biggest Drupal release ever. In the meeting, the Board voted to approve the appointment of Gina Montoya of Blink Reaction as the new Chair of that committee. Congratualtions and thank you Gina!

DrupalCon Amsterdam Wrap

Over the last few Cons, we have worked hard to collect more data about our attendees and their experience and to analyze that data to understand what's working and what's not. We looked at a LOT of data for DrupalCon Amsterdam, and shared what we learned and what we will be applying to future Cons. In short - the Con was very successful financially, but we continue to struggle to collect session evaluations and, frankly, the food was terrible. We are very sorry about that. Basically, until the last two weeks before the Con, ticket sales looked slow, so we modified the catering order to mitigate the budget loss we were facing. When the upsurge in ticket sales began, it was too late to change our box-lunch order. We will definitely be rethinking food overall. It's one of the single biggest expenses at DrupalCons, and we know it's one of the best ways to keep attendees happy. Check out the complete overview.

2015 Budget and Leadership Plan Highlights

The board approved the 2015 Budget and Leadership Plan in executive session at the previous board meeting. We reviewed the highlights this month in the public board meeting. If you're interested in even more details, you can watch the recording of the webcast that we presented on Thursday, 18 December.

Governance Updates

Board Term Limits

The Board of Directors operate under a set of rules that govern issues like how the board is structured, the length of terms, etc. This set of rules is codified into the organization's Bylaws. Like any good governance document, and like any good governance group, it makes sense to review how the group operates and what rules might need to be changed in order to provide a better framework for governance. The Governance Committee of the board is charged with ensuring that the board is operating at its best, and making recommendations when things could work better.

In the original bylaws of the organization, terms for Class Directors (nominated and approved by the board, not community-elected seats), are set at 3 years, with a limit of 3 terms. That means that any Class Director could serve a total of 9 years on the board. This is not absolutely a problem, but we do know that board operate best when members are energetic and fully committed, and when new ideas and perspectives can be added to the mix. Nine-year terms work against both of those concepts. To solve for this, the board voted to change the bylaws and limit service to two 3-year terms, or 6 years total. A board member does have the option of taking a year off at that point and could be re-appointed after a year of downtime. We are currently updating the bylaws document to reflect this vote and will update the Association site when this work is complete. 

Community Elected Candidates

One other issue that has been raised by the board is preparing community-elected board members for their service on the board. This class of directors exists to provide a balance of perspective on the board, and everyone understands that many community-elected board members will likely have little board experience prior to their service. The board wants to ensure, however, that these members can jump into their term easily and figure out how to advocate for their agenda quickly. To that end, the boad agrees that it makes sense for candidates to at least have some experience with the mechanics of the Association Board. The Governence Committee recommended that a requirement of board meeting attendance would be a low-threshold to meet, and would expose candidates to how the board operates. The proposal was that, starting in the 2016 elections, candidates will need to attend a minimum of 3 board meetings, which can be tracked by Association staff.

This proposal was voted on and adopted by the board. However, I do want to note that it was not a unanimous vote; we had 2 nay votes. The point was made that currently, all board meetings are held at noon pacific on the third Wednesday of the month. That time slot is during waking hours for the US and Europe. It's early in Australia, but doable. However, anyone in Asia, in particular, can't participate in those awkward hours. The suggestion was made that we shift some of our meeting times to accomodate these other time zones if we are going to make attendance a requirement for running. There was general agreement with this sentiment, but no clear conclusion about how to actually make that happen. The board decided to call the proposal to vote now and work out the logistics of shifting board meeting schedules at a later date.

Working Group Updates

Lastly, we got updates from all of the Drupal.org Working Groups: Software, Content, and Infrastructure. In addition to the work they are pursuing related to the Drupal.org roadmap, Working Groups are also reviewing their charters. With more than a year of operations under their belts, and with a full tech team on staff at the Association, it's important to take a look at how things have changed and ensure that charters are still in alignment.

Goodbye 2014!

It has been a big year for the Association and the Drupal community. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Drupal community for all your support for the Association. It's a joy to come to this job every day and work together to take on the challenges and opportunities we face. Your generosity, smarts, and sense of humor makes it all that much more rewarding. I can't wait to see what we tackle together in 2015!

Flickr photo: Matt Westgate

Dec 05 2014
Dec 05

We are thrilled to announce that, in collaboration with the Drupal 8 branch maintainers, the Association is launching a brand-new program: Drupal 8 Accelerate. Modeled after our Community Cultivation Grants program, Drupal 8 Accelerate is a $125,000 fund to help solve critical issues and accelerate the release of Drupal 8.

The Drupal community is filled with a plethora of opinions and ideas, but there’s one thing we likely all agree on; we’re ready for Drupal 8 to be released! This anticipation is underscored by the record number of contributors to D8 - over 2400. Now it’s time for the Drupal community to rally and finish the job. The Drupal Association wants to help you make that happen. After all, our mission is to unite a gobal open source community to build and promote Drupal.

The Drupal 8 Accelerate Program is a $125,000 fund provided by the Drupal Association (and by extension, all the Association members and Partners who fund our work - so thank you). Grants will be made in two categories: branch maintainer requests and community requests. This two-branch system means that funds can be directed by the people most intimately familiar with the project needs while still allowing for our amazing community to come up with innovative ideas that have a big impact. The Association will also be providing logistical support to the branch maintainers throughout the process.

While the Association is providing the funds and the support, we are not deciding WHAT gets funded. This gets handled by the branch maintainers, keeping the Association on the right side of the “we don’t direct the project” line. The Drupal 8 Accelerate program is a fantastic opportunity for the Association to support and amplify community efforts. All of our favorite work at the Association follows this model - DrupalCon session selection, Community Cultivation Grants, Global Training Days, and DrupalCamp Fiscal Sponsorship to name a few. We’re here to make it easier for you to innovate, and this program is yet another example.

Of course, this is the first time our community has tried anything like this, so we expect that we’ll be learning a lot as we go. As always, we are looking for your feedback and help so that we can improve.

How can you help? Let me count the ways:

  • Help promote the program. Share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, and other places your Drupal friends hang out online.
  • Apply! Take this program back to your user group, company, or friends and dream big. If you have a great way to help push Drupal 8 to release, we want to hear about it.
  • Help fund the grants. The Association has pledged $125,000 because we think this program is THAT important. But we’re looking for community support to help make this investment. You can become member, a partner, or talk to us about making a contribution directly to the fund.

A huge round of thanks goes to Angie, Jess, Gabor, Cathy, Nate and the other branch maintainers who helped develop and review this program. We’re excited to see what happens next!

Dec 03 2014
Dec 03

During the last Drupal Association meeting, the board approved the 2015 Leadership Plan and Budget. We are very pleased to make the related documents available to you in their entirety:

However, these documents can be a lot to parse on their own, so let me provide some context and summary here in this post as well.

In short…

With a full engineering team and a bigger staff overall, 2015 presents more opportunities for the Association to directly impact the community. There are still far more projects and services that we could pursue than we can pursue, so we will use a couple of strategies in our work that will help us find the right approaches quickly and in collaboration with the community. Can we do everything that needs to get done? No. But we can and will do more in 2015.

2015 Imperatives

As mentioned above, there are plenty of things we can be doing in 2015 to serve the community. Because we can’t do them all, we’ve identified three areas that are imperatives - if we succeed in these areas, we’ve set ourselves up to grow and do more for the community in the future. Our three imperatives are:

  • Drupal.org: We spent most of 2014 focused on paying off technical debt, making the site and services more portable while improving performance and stability. In 2015, we plan to make many more visible changes, aligned with the roadmap (https://www.drupal.org/roadmap) that was developed with community input and published last month. Drupal.org is the heart of our community and we have a heavy lift to make it the useful tool it could be and to help the tools on Drupal.org better reflect our comunity processes and values. If we do this well, we will see a more engaged and growing community of developers and contributors.
  • Drupal 8 Release: We know you want Drupal 8 to be released just as much as we do. Additionally, there is a lot of opportunity during a product release that we want to take advantage of with the community. We’ll be looking to capitalize on the release to gain positive attention for the project that will result in more market share for Drupal and a growing developer community.
  • Operationalizing Revenue Programs: We’re still in a situation where most of the revenue we use to fund Drupal.org support and development, Community Cultivation Grants, and our other programs comes from the DrupalCons. Having a single major source of revenue is risky for any organization, but it also means that we are limited in terms of what we can do to improve upon or change DrupalCon formats. We are working on diversifying our revenue streams, with several new products introduced in 2014. In 2015, we need to operationalize and grow these revenue streams.

What does this mean?

That’s the work we want to focus on in 2015, but how will we do it all? The Leadership Plan and Budget lay this out in pretty complex detail, so here is a summary of our thinking and what this all represents:

  • You may recall that our original 2014 budget predicted a $750,000 deficit spend so that we could focus on building out a technical team to support our primary imperative - Drupal.org. As it turns out, we were unable to hire that team as quickly as we had hoped and we also did not utilize as much money for contractors on Drupal.org as anticipated (because it’s tough to manage contractors when you don’t have the staff). The result is that we will have a much smaller deficit in 2014.
  • It also means that we still have a lot of work to do on Drupal.org and 2015 is the year that we will actual feel the financial impact of all those engineering hires. Additionally, we need to invest in our revenue team to build out our funding streams so we can sustain the team long-term.
  • Another investment we need to make is in Drupal 8. Not only do we want to support the release, we want to help ensure that the release happens as quickly as possible. Working with the Drupal 8 branch maintainers we are developing a grants program modeled after the Community Cultivation Grants to help fund Drupal 8 development. As with the CCG program, the program is a true partnership with the community. Our role will be to provide the funds (up to $125,000) and logistical support. The branch maintainers will evaluate the proposals. We’ll have more details ready to be released next week, so stay tuned!
  • Continuing the shift we began in 2014, the Drupal.org investment in 2015 will be over $1 million - on par with the DrupalCons in terms of total expense. The bulk of this expense is in staffing, but we will make some small investments in hardware and services and a larger investment to develop a design system that will complement the user research and content strategy to fuel an iterative redesign.
  • When you put it all together, we are expecting another deficit spend, primarily to address the investments that were delayed in 2014. Though we did not have a third DrupalCon in 2014 and we did not make any new investments in revenue related staff until the fourth quarter of the year, we will still have managed to grow our gross revenue over 2013 by several hundred thousand dollars. This gives us great confidence that we can make up this deficit and support a revenue neutral or positive budget for 2016.

A word on strategy

In 2015 we’re going to tackle everything we took on in 2014 and then some. Defining our imperatives helps us understand what work to focus on, but defining our strategies allows us to understand how we will do our work and ensure that it aligns with our values.

We have two main strategies for 2015: work with and highlight community contribution and treat every project as an opportunity to run a small, fast experiment. Our best work is done in partnership with the community. A great example is testbots. In 2014, the Association took on the upkeep of the primary testbot infrastructure so that community volunteers can focus their time on a new, more modern implementation. In all of our work, we will find the right ways to leverage and celebrate these kinds of partnerships.

We also know that in a community this large and complex, giant, comprehensive projects rarely succeed. No one can anticipate every need or use case, and no individual or small group can engineer the “right” solution for every facet. Our teams will instead break big projects down into small components and test solutions, from new ideas for Cons to new UX components. We’ll implement, gather data, and iterate - repeatedly.

Join us for more conversation

The Association staff and board are very excited about the potential this budget represents for progress in areas that matter most to all of us in the Drupal community. We invite you to join us for a community webcast on 18 December at 8am Pacific (that's 11am Eastern and 4pm in London) to discuss the plan in more detail. We’ll also make a recording available for anyone who can’t join us live.

Join the Webcast

Nov 26 2014
Nov 26

It is hard to believe, but we just finished our second-to-last board meeting of the year. The Association has grown and changed so much in 2014 and the November meeting was a great chance to talk about some of those changes and what we are planning for 2015. It was a somewhat short public meeting as we spent the bulk of our time in Executive Session to review the financial statements from the last quarter and the staff's proposed 2015 Leadership Plan and Budget. As always, you can review the minutes, the materials, or the meeting recording to catch up on all the details, and here's a summary for you as well.

Staff Update

DrupalCons: DrupalCon Amstedam is over, and we are now focused on evaluation of the event - reviewing all the session and conference evaluations as well as closing up the financials for the event. We will have an in-depth review of the event at the December board meeting. Next up is DrupalCon Latin America, which is progressing nicely now with sessions accepted and registration open. One final DrupalCon note is that DrupalCon Los Angeles session submissions should open in January, so mark your calendars for that.

Drupal.org: Drupal.org has been our primary imperative at the Association this year. We've spent 2014 building a team and really working to pay off a mountain of accumulated technical debt while also balancing the need to release new features for the community. We are very pleased that, with the working groups and community feedback, we've been able to release a Drupal.org roadmap for 2015. We also released a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy after extensive edits based on community feedback. We'll continue to respond to questions and ideas about these documents and make notes for future releases. We have also finally been able to deploy and use a suite of over 400 tests on Drupal.org. This is work that was initiated by Melissa Anderson (eliza411) and she was extremely helpful in getting those tests up and running again. We're thrilled to be using this contribution after all this time and are extremely grateful to Melissa.

Community Programs: We just held our final Global Training Days for 2014 with over 80 companies on every continent but Antarctica (c'mon penguins!). This program has continued to evolve with new partnerships and currciulums used this time around, as well as a plethora of great photos and tweets sent our way.

Marketing and Communications: Joe Saylor and our team have been working with the Security team to develop a follow up to the recent security announcement focused on the lessons learned and changes our community has made in response to the situation. It's another great example of an Association and community volunteer partnership.

Licensing Working Group

As we discussed in the August board meeting, some community members have expressed concern over the slow and sometimes inconsistent response to licensing issues on Drupal.org. In response, a volunteer group came together to draft a charter which was published for comment just after DrupalCon Amsterdam. Some of the main points from the charter include:

  • All members (chair + 4-5) appointed by the Board?
  • Scope is limited to licensing of code and other assets on D.O only, not other sites, and not determining WHICH license is used?
  • Group responds to issues, does not police for issues?
  • Will maintain the whitelist of allowable assets

The Association board voted to adopt the charter, so our next steps are to recruit members, create a queue for licesning issues, and then provide some legal training for our new Working Group members. If you are interested in participating, you can nominate yourself for the Working Group. We are planning to present a slate of candidates to the board for approval in the January 2015 meeting.

3rd Quarter Financials

Once per quarter, the board discusses the previous quarter's financial statements and then votes to approve and publish them. In the November meeting the board approved the Q3 financials:

I recently wrote a post highlighting how to read our financial statments, but will summarize here for you as well. Generally speaking, we are performing well ahead of our budgeted deficit spend. Though we had planned for a -$750,000 budget for 2014, a combination of slow tech team hiring, savings on Drupal.org contractor expenses, and some better than budgeted revenue means that we will not operate at nearly that level of loss for 2014. Instead the burden of the staffing investment we've made will really be felt in 2015. We'll see more of this and have a larger discussion when we release our budget and leadership plan next month.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or share your thoughts in the comments.

Flickr phtoo: steffen.r

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About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
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  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web