Jun 20 2018
Jun 20

At the end of June 2018, the third edition of the Drupal Business Survey will be launched by One Shoe and Exove in collaboration with the Drupal Association. You can read the results of the 2017 survey in this previous blog post.

With this worldwide survey, new insights into key issues that Drupal company owners and business leaders face, can be discovered. The purpose of the survey is to provide information on how Drupal agencies are doing worldwide and how Drupal fits in business-wise.

Seeking your input

Therefore, the initiators of the Drupal Business Survey 2018, call for input from the Drupal Community. Any Drupal business related topics, ideas or suggestions you wish to see investigated, are more than welcome.

This year’s Drupal Business Survey will focus on the health of Drupal companies and the obstacles and enablers for Drupal’s business success. The initiators also hope to gain information on how to further improve the demand for Drupal projects.

You can send your questions to Janne Kalliola ([email protected]) or Michel van Velde ([email protected]) before the end of June. The Drupal Business Survey will become available for participants soon after. The results of the survey will be officially published at this year’s Drupal Europe in Darmstadt, Germany.

Jun 20 2018
Jun 20

Drupal Association logo with added Pride

You may have noticed today that we have added a little color to our Drupal Association logo on social media. The changed logo will be around until the end of June, which is traditionally Pride Month.

The Drupal Association is an educational non-profit and does not advocate policy. I personally wanted to make this happen simply to say thank you to everyone at the Drupal Association who have made this LGBTQIA woman feel extraordinarily welcome and empowered this year.

For all LGBTQIA people and their allies, I’d also like to take the opportunity to draw their attention to the Drupal Rainbow Group on groups.drupal.org.

Could we, as a community, do more for Pride Month next year? Let me know - and let’s organise ourselves in the Drupal Rainbow Group.

Rachel

Jun 13 2018
Jun 13

Did you know you have a say in who is on the Drupal Association Board? Each year, the Drupal community votes in a member who serves two years on the board. It’s your chance to decide which community voice you want to represent you in discussions that set the strategic direction for the Drupal Association. Go here for more details.

Voting takes place from July 2 until July 13. Anyone who has a Drupal.org profile page and has logged in to their account in the last year is eligible to vote. This year, there are candidates from around the world. Now it’s time for you to meet them.

Meet The Candidates

We just concluded the phase where nine candidates nominated themselves from six different continents for the board seat. From now through July 2, we encourage you to check out each person’s candidate profile, where they explain which board discussion topics they are most passionate about and what perspectives they will bring to the board.

This year, we asked candidates to include a short video - a statement of candidacy - that summarizes why you should vote for them. Be sure to check them out. Videos are found in the candidate’s profile as well as here:

What To Consider

When reviewing the candidates, it is helpful to know what the board is focusing on over the next year or two, so you can decide who can best represent you.

Here are the key topics the board will focus on.

  • Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability. The board discusses how the Association can improve its financial health while expanding its mission work.

  • Understanding what the Project needs to move forward and determine how the Association can help meet those needs through Drupal.org and DrupalCon.

  • Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels.

  • Developing the strategic direction for DrupalCon and Drupal.org.

There are certain duties that a candidate must be able to perform as a board member. The three legal obligations are duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • overseeing Financial Performance

  • setting Strategy

  • setting and Reviewing Legal Policies

  • fundraising

  • managing the Executive Director

Hopefully providing this context gives you a helpful way to assess the candidates as you decide how to vote From July 2 until July 13.

We encourage you to ask the candidates questions. Use comments to leave a question on their candidate profile page.

Jun 06 2018
Jun 06

GDPR took effect last month, and many organizations sent policy updates to your inbox. We took action on our email lists to acquire explicit consent from all subscribers. You can read about other action we took to prepare for GDPR, but this post is all about what we communicate about through the Drupal email list.

The Drupal email list had almost 64,000 subscribers receiving various newsletters from our programs, and we knew running a re-consent campaign would have an impact on the number of subscribers in each of our newsletter groups. It seemed worth the potential loss, because numbers don't always tell the full story of the impact communications can, and do, make for an organization.

There were two problems with our list that kept us from delivering tailored messages with the Drupal community: old or insufficient data on subscribers and limited newsletter options. To make the list more effective, we changed the structure of our subscriptions to focus on the type of message we're sending, rather than being aligned with Drupal Association programs.

By using Mailchimp's GDPR tools and suggestions to run a re-consent campaign, we asked for explicit consent to this new subscription structure. We enabled the Marketing Preferences section provided by Mailchimp, and now in order to get email, you must select Email within that section of the form. This has been confusing for some people. Here is an easy way to look at it: The top section, where you choose your lists, is simply choosing the topics that interest you; the bottom section, where you click “email” in marketing preferences gives us explicit permission to email you about these topics.

The impact of running the re-consent campaign has been a loss of a vast majority of our list. Is this a problem? It depends. Ideally, only people who want to read our news are now subscribed and we will see an increase in open rates. And hopefully community members won’t be hearing about updates or announcements from other sources, rather than from our newsletters first - if you do, please let us know.

Please take a moment and check that your subscription settings are how you want them. If you want to receive news, check the Email box under Marketing Preferences. (Enter your email address in this form and you'll get a message to update your subscription)

Screenshot of mailchimp sign up form showing the news options as What you want to hear and the Marketing Permissions as How you want to hear about it.

If you are in any way interested in Drupal, you don't want to miss our messages. In particular, Bob Kepford (kepford) does a fantastic job of curating content for the Drupal Weekly Newsletter. There's something for everyone, every Thursday. Likewise, the special offers messages from our partners can help you learn about and save money on services. Thanks for keeping informed!

Header of the Weekly Drupal Newsletter

There are some communications which are not impacted by our subscription structure change. These include security notifications, blog post notifications, Drupal.org system messages, and any transactional messages - for instance, if you register to attend DrupalCon, we will still email you about DrupalCon.

May 29 2018
May 29

Donate today

The Promote Drupal Initiative is your opportunity to make Drupal - and your business - known and loved by new decision makers. Donate to the Promote Drupal Fund today. Help us help you grow your business.

Together, let's show the world just how amazing Drupal is for organizations.

We are 70% to the $100,000 goal. Help us reach the goal.

Donate to the Promote Drupal Fund today. Invest $1,000 or more and be highlighted in:

  • Dries’ blog post once we reach 75% of goal

  • Dries’ presentation at Frontend United

Invest today!

To learn more go to: https://www.drupal.org/promotedrupal or watch the Driesnote.

Donate today

May 14 2018
May 14

Too long?

One of the things I love the most about my new role as Community Liaison at the Drupal Association is being able to facilitate discussion amongst all the different parts of our Drupal Community. I have extraordinary privilege of access to bring people together and help work through difficult problems.

The governance of the Drupal project has evolved along with the project itself for the last 17 years. I’m determined in 2018 to help facilitate the next steps in evolving the governance for our growing, active community.

2017 - A Year of Listening

Since DrupalCon Baltimore, the Drupal Community has:

  • Held a number of in-person consultations at DrupalCon Baltimore around the general subject of project governance

  • Ran a series of online video conversations, facilitated by the Drupal Association

  • Ran a series of text-based online conversations, facilitated by members of our community across a number of time zones

  • Gathered for a Governance Round Table at DrupalCon Nashville.

This has all led to a significant amount of feedback.

Whilst I highly recommend reading the original blog post about online governance feedback sessions for a full analysis, there was clearly a need for better clarity, communications, distributing leadership, and evolving governance.

2018 - A Year of Taking Action

There are many things happening in 2018 but I want to concentrate for now on two important activities; how we continue to develop our Values and how we can continue to develop Governance of our community.

So, why am I separating “Values” and “Governance”, surely they are connected? Well, they are connected, but they are also quite different and it is clear we need to define the difference within our community.

In the context of the Drupal Community:

  • “Values” describe the culture and behaviors expected of members of the Drupal community to uphold.

  • “Governance” describes the processes and structure of interaction and decision-making that help deliver the Project’s purpose whilst upholding the Values we agree to work by.

Values

What’s happened?

Quoting Dries:

Over the course of the last five months, I have tried to capture our fundamental Values & Principles. Based on more than seventeen years of leading and growing the Drupal project, I tried to articulate what I know are "fundamental truths": the culture and behaviors members of our community uphold, how we optimize technical and non-technical decision making, and the attributes shared by successful contributors and leaders in the Drupal project. 

Capturing our Values & Principles as accurately as I could was challenging work. I spent many hours writing, rewriting, and discarding them, and I consulted numerous people in the process. After a lot of consideration, I ended up with five value statements, supported by eleven detailed principles.”

The first draft of the Values & Principles was announced to the community at DrupalCon Nashville.

What’s next?

Now that we have the first release of the Values & Principles, we need a process to assist and advise Dries as he updates the Values & Principles. After hearing community feedback, Dries will charter a committee to serve this role. A forthcoming blog post will describe the committee and its charter in more detail.

Community Governance

What’s happened?

At DrupalCon Nashville, many useful discussions happened on governance structure and processes.

  • A Drupal Association Board Meeting, with invited community members, met to talk with existing governance groups to find out what is working and not working. We realized that governance of the Drupal Community is large and it is difficult to understand all of the parts. We began to see here a possibility for further action.

  • The Community Conversation, “Governance Retrospective”, helped us to see that improving communications throughout the community is hugely important.

  • The Round Table Discussion, around community governance, brought together Dries, staff of the Drupal Association and Drupal Association Board, representatives of many of our current community working groups, representatives of other interested groups in the community and other community members. This group looked at both Values & Principles but also looked into how we are currently governed as a community and how can improve that.

All these things lead to one of the very best things of the DrupalCon experience; the “hallway track”. More and more throughout DrupalCon Nashville, ideas were formed and people stepped forward to communicate with each other, about how we can improve our governance. This happens all the time when we discuss the code of Drupal; I’m very excited to see it happening in other aspects of our project, too.

What’s next?

A structured approach is needed to ensure all in our community understand how decisions are being made and could have input. Speaking with a number of those involved in many of the discussions above, a consensus developed that we can start putting something into action to address the issues raised. Dries, as Project Lead, has agreed that:

  • A small Governance Task Force would be created for a fixed period of time to work on and propose the following:

    • What groups form the governance of the Drupal community right now?

    • What changes could be made to governance of the Drupal community?

    • How we could improve communication and issue escalation between groups in the community?

  • Task Force membership would be made up of a small group consisting of:

    • Adam Bergstein

    • David Hernandez

    • Megan Sanicki

    • Rachel Lawson

  • This Task Force would discuss whether or not it is beneficial to form a more permanent Governance Working Group, to handle escalated issues from other Working Groups that can be handled without escalation to the Project Lead.

  • This Task Force will propose a structure, processes needed to run this new structure, charters, etc. by end of July 2018 to the Project Lead for approval.

The Governance Task Force begins work immediately. The Charter under which we will work is attached.

I will help to facilitate reporting back regularly as we progress. I look forward to 2018 showing progress on both of these initiatives.

I am, as always, very happy to chat through things - please say hello!

tl;dr

We are going to create two new committees:

  1. A Values Committee
    • to continue work on the Values & Principles
    • Still to be created and chartered - more soon in a later blog post.
  2. A Governance Taskforce
    • To look at the mechanisms of governance - how groups communicate activity, escalate issues etc
    • Will propose mechanisms of governance changes to Project Lead
    • Has a fixed lifetime of approx two months
    • Membership formed and chartered.
May 04 2018
May 04

Donate today

Drupal has so much to be proud of:

Together, let's show the world just how amazing Drupal - and your business - is for organizations.

Invest today in the Promote Drupal Initiative.

The Promote Drupal Initiative

The Promote Drupal Initiative is your opportunity to make Drupal - and your business - known and loved by new decision makers. Led by the Drupal Association, we will work with the Drupal business community to hone Drupal’s messaging and create the promotional materials we can all use to amplify the power of Drupal in the marketplace.

Step one is lining up the resources to make this initiative impactful and long lasting. 

Donate to the Promote Drupal Fund today. Help us help you grow your business.

$100,000 - the Promote Drupal Fund

We need your support now to get started.

To launch the Promote Drupal Initiative, the right resources need to be in place. $100,000 will support:

If we all give a little, we can make a big impact promoting Drupal, together.

Donate today

May 01 2018
May 01

Now that Drupal 8 is maturing, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. With Drupal always evolving, the Association must evolve with it so we can continue providing the right kind of support. And, it is the Drupal Association Board who develops the Association’s strategic direction by engaging in discussions around a number of strategic topics throughout their term. As a community member, you can be part of this important process by becoming an At-large Board Member.

We have two At-large positions on the Association Board of Directors. These positions are self-nominated and then elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is 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 nominate yourself between 1-11 June, 2018.

What are the Important Dates

Self nominations: 1-11 June, 2018

Meet the candidates: 12-29 June 2018

Voting: 2-13 July, 2018

Votes ratified, Winner announced: 25 July, 2018

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 for serving the Drupal Association’s mission, which we achieve through Drupal.org and DrupalCon. Our mission is: Drupal powers the best of the Web.  The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.

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).

Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:

  • Overseeing Financial Performance

  • Setting Strategy

  • Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies

  • Fundraising

  • Managing the Executive Director

To accomplish all this, the board comes together three times a year during two-day retreats. These usually coincide with the North American and major European Drupal Conferences as well as one February meeting. As a board member, you should expect to spend a minimum of five hours a month on board activities.

Some of the topics that will be discussed over the next year or two are:

  • Strengthen sustainability

  • Grow Drupal adoption through our channels and partner channels

  • Evolve drupal.org and DrupalCon goals and strategies.

Please watch this video to learn more.

Who can run?

There are no restrictions on who can run, and only self-nominations are accepted.

Before self-nominating, we want candidates to understand what is expected of board members and what types of topics they will discuss during their term. That is why we now require candidates to:

What will I need to do during the elections?

During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. You can post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org.

In the past, we held group “meet the candidate” interviews. With many candidates the last few years, group videos didn’t allow each candidate to properly express themselves. We replaced the group interview and allow candidates to create their own 3 minute video and add it to their candidate profile page. These videos must be posted by 11 June, the Association will promote the videos to the community from 12 -29 June. Hint - Great candidates would be those that exemplify the Drupal Values & Principles. That might provide structure for a candidate video?

How do I run?

From 1-11 June, go here to nominate yourself.  If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 June, 2018 through 11 June, 2018 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. We will announce the new board member at the 25 July, 2018 public board meeting and via our blog and social channels.

Reminder, you must review the following materials before completing your candidate profile:

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. If you meet this criteria, your account will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and you 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 2-13 July, 2018. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org.

Finally, the Drupal Association Board will ratify the election and announce the winner on 25 July.

Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson.

Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!

Apr 26 2018
Apr 26

You may have noticed that the Drupal.org front page has a new look. It’s just the start of our Promote Drupal Initiative that focuses on getting new decision makers to fall in love with Drupal. We started this work with the front page redesign, which is detailed below. 

We will accelerate this initiative and do so much more once we reach the $100,000 goal of the Promote Drupal Fund. This allows us to put the staff and resources in place to coordinate a multi-prong Drupal promotion with community members. 

Good news! We are more than halfway to our $100,000 goal. Thank you early supporters for investing in this fund. 

Together, let's show the world just how amazing Drupal is for organizations.  

Invest in the Promote Drupal Fund today!

About the New Drupal.org Front Page

Come for the software; stay for the community is Drupal community’s long time tagline and remains at the heart of the project. It resonates because so many of us chose Drupal as our CMS and then we fell in love with the community. We want more people to take this journey and it starts with getting more people to adopt Drupal. 

That is why the Drupal Association updated the Drupal.org front page. Today, it is oriented to serve the various types of decision makers and influencers who are considering Drupal for their organization – and who will hopefully be our new community members. You may have heard about this project in our public board updates, Supporting Partner updates, or other channels. If not,  this post should provide ample insight. 

The research

Over the last two years, the Drupal Association iterated to improve the front page to better communicate with the audience who comes to the front page – evaluators. We could tell they were evaluators because they click on the content that someone needs to evaluate Drupal: Case studies, Try Drupal, etc. While there are roughly 2 million unique visitors to Drupal.org each month, about 350,000 of those uniques are visiting the front page. 

With 93% of Drupal.org traffic being anonymous, what we didn’t know was “who were these evaluators and what did they need to fall in love with Drupal faster?”

Over the last six months we set out to answer those questions in order to inform a front page redesign. Research included:

  • Cross reference traffic with audience insight tools to know who is coming to the site (using our own implementation of Do-Not-Track to ensure user privacy is respected)
  • Industry research to understand who the CMS buyers and influencers are now
  • Interviews with agency owners to understand who they sell to (job function)
  • Persona research, especially front page user research about the key personas coming to evaluate Drupal

Identifying  our evaluators

What we found was that the majority of Drupal.org front page visitors have technical positions (developer to C-level) and they work for end users (like corporations, governments, universities, etc.) or agencies.  These were not surprising findings. 

What was notable was that a significant amount of visitors worked in marketing and communications. This persona is the marketer and they are the people who use a CMS to generate leads for their business, gain engagement around their company’s brand and content, and drive online sales conversions. 

The lead marketer is the Chief Marketing Officer and they are a new business decision maker for CMS. Many agencies are now selling to the CMO in addition to the CIO. When looking at industry reports, this isn’t surprising. Gartner and other industry reports show that the CMO spends nearly the same amount on technology as the CIO. It’s more and more the CMO or marketing technologist who determines what MarTech tools their team uses to drive their business. This includes their CMS, personalization, analytics, social, and more. 

Based on this initial research, we knew the Drupal.org front page had to serve three evaluator personas: developer, agency, and marketer.  The next question to answer was: “How do we design the evaluator experiences for these different audiences”?  This started our persona and user research. 

Understanding our evaluators

We used the research listed above to understand what these evaluators think, feel, and need when choosing Drupal. Below is a summary of our findings and how they informed the evaluator experience we created for the three personas. Note, there are many evaluation paths. Below provides a simple and consolidated view. 

End user technical decision maker and influencers

The technical decision maker is the CIO or Director of Engineering for an end user organization (e.g. corporation, government, university, etc.). They ultimately decide if the organization is going to standardize on a platform. Our interviews showed that they care about performance, security, maintenance, etc. A common theme showed they have a criteria scorecard. With or without a committee they shortlist CMSes. Then, they send their developers to get information and bring it back. These developers are influencers – very important people for us to cater to. 

If open source was one of the CMS criteria, then Drupal is often short listed. The developer goes to the Drupal.org front page to get information that the CIO requested such as case studies (to find out if their peers or companies of similar size use Drupal), analyst reports, and comparison sheets (e.g. Drupal vs Sitecore). Plus, this developer wants to Try Drupal so they can see how it works and decide if it is  a tool they want to work with.  From this point, there are many other steps like finding an agency in the Drupal.org marketplace to work with. 

The user research showed that the front page needs to amplify more recognizable brand name case studies and give more detail about the power of Drupal by industry. The research as well as Matthew Grasmick’s blog shows that we need a better Try Drupal experience. Plus, we need to provide a comparison sheet that that speaks to a technical person. 

While there was a need for Drupal to show up in analyst reports, there is also the understanding that Gartner and Forrester will only include software that generates income (via proprietary software license fee). Drupal being open source is not considered by these analysts (yet). So – no analyst report for now.  

Marketing decision maker and influencer

To understand this persona, we talked to CMOs and marketing technologists – the marketing people who select and maintain their marketing tools. What we found is that they want to hear how a CMS can help them achieve their business goals around lead generation, brand proliferation, customer engagement, and sales conversions. They want their team to have tools that are easy to use so they can make a fast impact doing things like pushing out press releases or new marketing campaigns. Plus, they want their teams to have autonomy so they can make the changes they need all on their own and without IT. The marketing decision makers’ needs are very different from the technical decision maker. 

The CMO or marketing technologist’s decision making process starts with the need to drive business and have the right tools to do this. Often they bring in a marketing consultant to provide a brand or business strategy. As part of the strategy implementation recommendation, the consultant may recommend a new CMS or other MarTech tool

In the absence of bringing in a business consultant, the CMO / marketing technologist will do their own research, coming up with a scorecard focused on the marketing team’s needs (content authoring experience, ease of use, impact, business ROI). They will read technologist blogs that provide product comparisons. Then, they go to the product websites to get product comparison sheets that have a marketing/business focus, watch videos known as sizzle reels and they watch videos that show what it is like to use the tool from the marketing team’s perspective. They also want to see case studies, but they want to read about the product’s business impact. They do not want to read about which modules were used. Plus, they want to learn about how a product is used in their industry. After their interest is peaked, they want to talk to someone who can answer their questions and give them a demo. 

The CMO or marketing technologist also gets recommendations from their influencers; individuals on the marketing team. They ask if anyone used the tool and if they liked using it and want to use it again. These individuals on the marketing team have a lot of power in deciding if a tool is selected or if a tool remains in their department. If they can’t use the tool well to make the business impact they must make, then they will replace that product. 

As you can see, these two decision makers within an end user organization have different evaluation paths and are choosing software based on different criteria. This means we need to offer them unique paths with different value propositions and resources that resonate with each one. 

Agency evaluator

We love when an agency choses Drupal. They provide an adoption multiplier by getting more clients to use Drupal. Plus, they are the ones who decide to have a contribution culture and encourage their staff to contribute back. 

It is often the organization’s tech lead who decides which CMS to use for their clients. That title can range from the CEO to the solution architect. This persona has similar evaluator needs as the technical end user. What is different is that they also keep in mind what their clients are asking for in terms of technology choices and functionality. 

General Drupal.org user research

Whichever persona we interviewed, there were some common themes that came up. They are:

  • There are way too many calls to action. “I don’t know what you want me to do first.”
  • The page is trying to serve too many types of people. “It’s not clear what is the page’s goal.”
  • The language on the page makes me feel like this site is not for me
  • When I click on things I don’t get what I expect to get
  • The main navigation is confusing
  • The page feels very 1990s and needs to be modernized and have a personality (not corporate, please)

Turning feedback into a redesign

After all that research and feedback, it was clear that the time was now for redesigning the Drupal.org front page. 

With all this research, we decided to

  • Modernize the look and feel, which was done by the amazing sixeleven who donated their services.
  • Streamline the front page to reduce the calls to action
  • Add evaluation paths for developers, marketers, and agencies that take them to landing pages that are tailored for their evaluation needs.
  • Highlight more big name case studies
  • Expand the industries pages
  • Use community marketing assets like the Acquia video to provide a better evaluation experience for marketing personas.
  • Update the main navigation so it is user-centric for those evaluating Drupal, Building with Drupal, and participating in the community.

What this redesign doesn’t do

We knew that we alone could not create all of the resources that are needed to effectively support each evaluation path. While we did use resources from the business community, there are many gaps such as videos that show the content authoring experience. 

Promote Drupal Fund

We will complete this work via the Promote Drupal Initiative. We can begin once we reach our $100,000 goal for the Promote Drupal Fund. Funding will allow us to put the staff and resources in place to coordinate a multi-prong Drupal promotion. Contribute today!

What About The Sponsored Content

Yes, Drupal.org is funded by placing relevant and contextual content in the evaluation path. Try Drupal is a great example. We also highlight great case studies from our Premium and Signature Supporting Partners.  Evaluators can still find our community case studies and we will amplify strong ones on the front page, too.  We started this approach in 2014 and will continue to find ways to highlight the power of the community’s work while also finding ways to generate income through sponsored content so we can grow our Promote Drupal investments.

What about the Community Resources?

Come for the software; Stay for the community – as we improve the evaluation path, we need to make it easy for these new users to find their way to the community – to understand the power and passion of our community as well as join us in our efforts. Our Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson, will begin to work with a community group this year to improve drupal.org/community<https://www.drupal.org/community>. Much of the improvements will be guided by the feedback from the community governance group and their very useful discussions and insightful recommendations.

Apr 13 2018
Apr 13

Drupal Global Training Days had a great start in 2018. And it keeps that fast pace. The March wave of events featured 13 GTDs in such countries as Rwanda, China, Japan, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Mexico, the USA, Nicaragua. Some of the trainings were delivered online and were accessible for everyone from around the globe.

Drupical.com shows training events around the world

Highlights from the organizers

We contacted several GTD organizers and asked them to share some insights on their events and local communities. Thank you Miriam, Suzanne, and Strahinja for participating. I share my story below too.

Miriam Torres (mtorresn) from Monterrey, Mexico

GTD event in MonterreyHow did you get started with GTD?

In Mexico there is a lot of talent in the IT area, which is why we started to organize GTD in Monterrey, Mexico several years ago with the intention of both growing the Drupal community in Monterrey, and discovering talents to which we can offer job opportunities.

GTD event in MonterreyWho helped to make your training happen?

Many talented people have supported this training and Accenture has been our sponsor for several years. However, Eduardo Santiago has been our main organizer, who has been present at all our events. In our March event, 8 speakers shared with us a little of their knowledge in very diverse subjects (Gerardo García (jerrygarciab), Omar González, Luis Nicanor (luisnicg), Reinaldo Araque (jr-araque), Omar Aguirre (omers), Aldo Velasco (aldovelco), Eduardo Santiago (lalosg) and Miriam Torres) and 6 staff members made our event possible (Magdalena Lozano (Magdalena.Lo), Adrián Briano (AdrianBrianoG), Ruth Medina, Karla González, Ricardo Bolio and Ramiro García). We also had the support of Tec Milenio University who gave us access to their campus and helped us spread the word about the event.

GTD event in MonterreyHow many attended your March 2018 event and what did they say they wanted?

In GTD of March 2018, we had a total of 49 attendees, most of whom wanted to learn a little more about frontend development, but we had people with special interest in backend development and testing in attendance too.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

On March 16, we held a meetup with 5 talks: "Reactive programming" (Gerardo García), "SCRUM: An agile framework" (Omar González), "Organizing Drupal Teams" (Luis Nicanor), "Docker + Drupal, Practical applications and its integration with Drupal" (Reinaldo Araque) and "Component-Driven design using Pattern Lab" (Omar Aguirre), and on March 17, our attendees took a training, choosing between 2 different topics: Site Building with Drupal 8 (Eduardo Santiago) and Angular + Drupal REST. (Aldo Velasco, Gerardo García and Miriam Torres)

Suzanne Dergacheva (pixelite) from Montreal, Canada

Suzanne hosts a Drupal training eventHow did you get started with GTD?

We started our Drupal training program at Evolving Web in 2012 by giving a free training at DrupalCamp Montreal. Since then, we've been offering professional Drupal trainings on a wide range of topics as well as community trainings at camps. We regularly offer free trainings through Global Training Days, and have done both in-person and online trainings for GTD. Inspired by this, we're now offering a monthly free, online 'What is Drupal' session.

Drupal training in MontrealWho helped to make your training happen?

I led the training at Evolving Web. The Drupal Association helped promote the event with emails and we had lots of re-tweets from others in the Drupal community which helped spread the word.

Drupal training in MontrealHow many attended your March 2018 event and what did they say they wanted to learn?

We had around 50 participants in our online video conference. Some of them were exploring Drupal and trying to see if it's a good fit for their projects, others were Drupal 7 users trying to figure out what's new in Drupal 8.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

We offer a 'What is Drupal?' Introductory course for the Global Training Days. It introduces participants to Drupal terminology and general concepts. Participants get to follow along with hands-on exercises and explore why they would use Drupal. They see what you get out-of-the-box with Drupal and what you can customize it to do. They see the role of themes and modules. The training also introduces participants to the Drupal community so that they can see the importance of community contributions and the value of open source.

My story: Marina Paych (paych) from Omsk, Russia

GTD in OmskHow did you get started with GTD?

Initially the Omsk Drupal Community emerged in 2013 from random meetups. The first GTD happened in 2014 and was aimed to engage more people with Drupal and involve them in the community’s life. Since that time, GTD has been being organized regularly and more and more people attend this event.

GTD in OmskWho helped to make your training happen?

The greatest help comes from the company ADCI Solutions. They sponsor all the expenses connected with the organization of GTDs and other Drupal Meetups in our city. Also, they provide a venue in their office called ADCI Events Hub.

The organizers of this event put many efforts in order to make an interesting event in a warm atmosphere. Anastasia Dubina (anastasiya-dubina) was responsible for an overall organizational process such as promoting the event, setting up logistics and equipment, preparing coffee breaks, etc. And I was responsible for agenda management and speakers preparation.

We had 8 amazing speakers who delivered plenty of useful information: Denis Usov (usdv), Tatiana Shulgina (tatiana-shulgina), Artyom Zenkovets (azenkovets), Alexander Kuznetsov (bikba), Maksim Lukyanchikov (max-luckianchikov), Dmitry Chuchin (choo_choo), Iuliia Gapunenko (iuliia_g), and Marina Kardopolova (mkardo).

GTD in OmskHow many attended your March 2018 event and what did they say they wanted to learn?

There were 93 attendees at March GTD. The target audience of GTD in Omsk consists of students and recent graduates, therefore they wanted to learn about the whole web development process and how it is operated by a real company. Also, they wanted to try themselves in development. Around 60% of attendees were more interested in back end, and 40% -- in front end.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

On March, 17 attendees listened to 5 sessions aimed to explain the peculiarities of Drupal development. The agenda covered all the processes, and sessions were logically connected to each other in order to show to attendees a full idea of web development.

In the first session -- “How to create a web application architecture” -- Denis Usov narrated about each role in a web development team and how they work for a successful result. The second session “The role of a designer in an IT team” by Tatiana Shulgina clarified web designers’ responsibilities and tasks in a project. The third session “What is back end?” delivered by Artyom Zenkovets and Alexander Kuznetsov contained information about traditional and decoupled approaches and the specifics of back end in Drupal. The fourth session “How to become a front-end Jedi” by Maskim Lukyanchikov and Dmitry Chuchin included a list of tools and useful links that will help newcomers dive into the JS world.
The final session of the first day was dedicated to the Drupal Community and ways to get involved and was delivered by Iuliia Gapunenko. She also showed videos about how Drupal changed many people’s lives from her #DrupalChanges campaign.

On March, 18 there was a training where attendees could use their new knowledge in practice within a captivating coding competition. First, attendees were taught to build their first website and then - to code a custom module. The training was delivered by Marina Kardopolova.

Strahinja Miljanovic (SixZeroNine) from Novi Sad, Serbia

Drupal training in Novi SadHow did you get started with GTD?

Colleagues and I were discussing how many people they know who are using other CMS and they've never used Drupal. We heard that we have Global Training Day coming soon and we wanted to invite people to come, see, try and learn Drupal. So we created a Google Event Registration Form with questions that will help us to see how many people know about Drupal, are they more interested in Theming, Site Building or Developing custom modules.

GTD in Novi SadWho helped to make your training happen?

Vladimir Zdravkovic (botanic_spark), ramns, helped with sessions, Dragan Eror - with workshops. Radoslav Curcic (wingpaler) and Aleksandar Cvijovic (cvijo) contributed to both sessions and workshop. Miki Stojkovic (mikispeed) provided space, food, and refreshments. And I was an organizer of the event.

GTD in Novi SadHow many attended your March 2018 event and what did they say they wanted to learn?

The number of people who applied to attend the event was 23. Almost everybody wanted to learn everything, but it was physically impossible to hold all sessions and workshops one at the time, so we merged Site Building and Module development. 90% of the people wanted to learn site-building and module development more than Theming.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

Attendees from Site Building learned how to create nodes, content types, block types, views (page, block, filtering, and sorting), taxonomies, fields and basic and most common hook examples.

Attendees from Developing Custom Modules learned how to create a module, how to enable it VIA interface, Drush, as dependency and hook_install. They also learned to create configuration forms and blocks programmatically and render input data from configuration form into a custom block.

Attendees from Drupal 8 Theming learned about general themes and twig, How to create a theme and subtheme, theme suggestion, regions, libraries, adding CSS and js files, adding custom classes and adding templates.

Join the movement

That was a report on how March Global Training Days went. You still have a chance to join the movement, organize an outstanding GTD in June, September, or December, and get featured in an upcoming blog post.

If you are in doubt about whether to organize a GTD event or not, check out the GTD group where you can find the GTD Working Group if you need help. Also, follow @DrupalGTD on Twitter to stay tuned.

Apr 10 2018
Apr 10

Over the past few years, we’ve been listening to the community ask for explanation as to why we haven’t had any DrupalCon North America locations outside of the United States - after all it’s called DrupalCon North America, not DrupalCon U.S.A. This isn’t something we’ve taken lightly or ignored. DrupalCon North America is a major funding source for the Drupal Association, and in that regard, a major funding source of Drupal.org and the engineering work that keeps the code accessible and available for everyone.

We’ve looked at many North American cities over the years - a lot in the United States, but some outside the U.S. also. For our 2019 and 2020 location search we directly asked several cities in Canada to bid on this event, so that we could do financial and accomodation comparisons against U.S. options. I will give you the spoiler up front: 2019 and 2020 will not be in Canada or Mexico, they will be in the United States. The cities that bid were competitive, but in the end did not prevail due to things like dates overlapping with Passover and simply not being the most effective bid in comparison to the winners.

But with these cities in mind, and the voices of the community in our ears, we decided to go deeper and explore what a Canadian or Mexican DrupalCon would look like, based on survey feedback from the community and hard numbers from our history and bids. Here is that deeper look.

First, let me say that Drupal Association staff does not think solely about finances in making these decisions. We spend a lot of time getting to know the city, the vibe, the culture and the openness to a community that celebrates diversity and has a plethora of unique needs. It’s important to you, and it’s important to us.

Let’s also acknowledge that DrupalCon North America greatly underwrites the Drupal Association work and Drupal.org infrastructure to help keep the project going. So while money is not the only thing - it is very important.

So, let’s talk about finances. There are a lot of things that go into making a DrupalCon financially viable, and we did a pretty thorough job of outlining them all in our blog series last fall dedicated to the finances of DrupalCon Europe. I suggest you take a look at those, specifically the one on Solving The Financial Problem to get a good understanding on what it takes to make DrupalCon happen. A truncated look shows that there are three (3) main aspects and goals to DrupalCon finances:

  • Expenses: everything we have to spend to make it happen
    • Goal: produce show on a tight budget
  • Revenue, attendee tickets: how many people will show up
    • Goal: people show up
  • Revenue, sponsorship commitment: how much sponsors will spend to support the event
    • Goal: sponsorships have value and continue to support us

Expenses

In a look at expenses there are a vast array of things that we spend money on - from facilities and catering to program guides and paying the person who watches coat check while you’re sprinting on Friday. And overall, the proposals we’ve received from cities within the United States and outside of the United States have been fairly competitive for expenses directly related to the venue and infrastructure. That’s awesome!

There are some other indirect expenses we consider too like cost of hotel rooms, which can greatly affect whether people can afford to stay in the city, and generally Canadian cities - for example - tend to be a bit more expensive than some of our U.S. options. Other considerations include: whether the city is a airport hub for enough domestic and international flights to get people there easily; ease of setting up foreign bank accounts or legal business statuses in specific countries in order for us to operate there (including increased staff time to do this); cost of import/export for our production gear (this applies to sponsors as well). There are workarounds for some of these, and that's what we explore during an RFP process. Based on estimates, a DrupalCon outside the United States tends to pen out to be at least 10% more expensive than one within the United States - that’s around $100,000 - $150,000.

In general, the expenses section is a place where we can explore more work-arounds and potentially find a way to make a non-U.S. DrupalCon happen. However, because of DrupalCon team capacity during 2017 (the timeframe while we were contracting 2019 - 2020 cities) this is not something we could do for the immediately upcoming DrupalCons.

Revenue

As I mentioned above, revenue from DrupalCon North America is a driving force for the Drupal Association and Drupal.org. Ensuring attendee ticket sales and sponsorship revenue remain consistent from year to year (or grow) is extremely important to helping ensure our staff are funded and Drupal.org is kept running. In order to make certain that funding holds consistent and we’re able to keep Drupal.org healthy we need to keep DrupalCon North America profit margins around roughly 30-35% per event.

Here is where things start to fall apart for non-U.S. cities in the immediate future.

To better evaluate our current and potential revenue, we created 2 surveys and put them out to the public/community to participate.

Survey targets:

  • Past and potential attendees
  • Past and existing sponsors

Revenue, Attendee Ticket Sales

DrupalCon attendees are the main audience where we hear the cry for a DrupalCon outside of the United States. Individual ticket sales make up 62% of our event revenue.

Our survey to attendees had 1258 respondents. 92% of those people have attended DrupalCon North America in the past, and 99% have attended a DrupalCon somewhere in the world. So this sample represents people who are likely to attend in the future.

Since we’re talking about Revenue, it’s important to know who is paying for these people to attend. 79% of these attendees are funded by their employers. That’s a significant number and important to think about as we move into a business case for companies to attend DrupalCon.

Who funds your trip

Next, we followed up on that. “If your employer funds your trip to DrupalCon, are they willing to pay for you to travel outside the U.S.?” Of our 79% - 38% answered “No” (this number is adjusted from the chart percentages below because the question was “IF your employer pays”, and 120 people answered that they pay for themselves). That means, of our original sample size, now only 71% of attendees are still eligible to attend (22% self-funded + (62% of 79%) = roughly 71%).

Fund trips outside U.S.

Based on the responses, our projected revenue would decrease by roughly 29%.

Revenue, Sponsorships

Sponsors provide 38% of DrupalCon revenue, their sponsorships currently underwrite the cost of early bird tickets (that’s a whole other problem), and the event would simply not happen without them. They provide the foundation for the event in financing, they are the exhibit hall, and a large portion of our attendees are sponsor company employees. If sponsors don't come, we lose money and don't achieve a key purpose of our event: connecting new business decision makers with agency owners to grow adoption.

In our survey to them, we presented a hypothetical scenario in which DrupalCon takes place in Canada.

Our leading question for sponsors was “Do you do business in Canada?” and 70% of 44 responses said “No”. This doesn’t eliminate possibility, but it is the trend for the questions that followed.

Do business in Canada

We also asked “Would you sponsor a DrupalCon in Canada at same levels as you have in the past?” and only 39% of respondents answered “Yes”.

Would you sponsor

Of these sponsors, many wrote anecdotally that they simply could not support a business case for having an event in Canada.

To Sum it Up

While we’ve had advanced talks with Canadian cities, and two were finalists for 2019 and 2020 making it past initial RFP rounds, as of now we haven’t found solutions to enough of these issues to fit a DrupalCon North America within our required profit margin.

The numbers presented by the surveys would put profit margin for a DrupalCon North America outside the U.S. at an estimated 6% profit margin and would risk actually losing money for the Drupal Association. A situation and risk we cannot allow the Association to bear.

This is disappointing for many of us - and we know it is for many of you as well. We would love to see DrupalCon North America move beyond the U.S. borders, however it will not happen until at least 2021.

In between now and our next location RFP, we will continue to look at models that might make this possible. As we explore these challenges and talk more with sponsors and cities, we will share with the community any progress or new challenges as they become relevant. We appreciate your passion on this topic and understand the concerns with hosting DrupalCon in the United States for another two (2) years, especially based in our current climate of travel restraints in to the U.S. We wish it were not difficult for our community to come together.

We appreciate everyone who took the time to participate in our surveys and were honest about their desires, motivations and realities of their travel to and participation in DrupalCon. We're excited seeing many of you in Nashville this week, and hope many of you will join us in 2019 for DrupalCon Gedfyuikemndjfkioiujhtrj - sorry, something has happened to my keyboard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

_________________________

We invite you to share thoughts in the comments section below on how you think DrupalCon 2019 and 2020 can help provide more opportunity for community members outside the United States to participate in the event - either through direct attendance or through virtual participation of some kind. What are your ideas?

Apr 05 2018
Apr 05

Last year one of the big topics for the Drupal Global Training Days (GTD) Working Group was sorting out what exactly we can do to help with organizing these events. To that end, we sent out a survey to learn more about the kinds of events that people doing GTD events run, or have offered in the past, and how the community can help. We got 33 responses to the survey and 9 of those fine folks also hopped on a phone call with us (myself (add1sun), Mauricio (dinarcon), or Marina (paych)) to talk about the survey answers in more depth. While it's been a little while since we conducted the survey and interviews, we figure this is really interesting and useful information to share with the community.

The first section of this post covers the questions we asked and the results on the survey. The second section dives into our takeaways from the interviews we conducted after the survey.

Survey Results

What is your motivation for organizing GTD?

Far and away the most common motivation for running GTD events is to grow the local Drupal community, with over 90% selecting this as at least one reason. The second biggest motivation (39%) was to promote a company or organization, which was then followed up equally at 24% with finding new hires or new clients.

Is your company sponsoring your time to prepare and present the training?

For this question, about 60% of respondents have their company cover their time. There was also a mixed bag of people who are their own business or who freelance, where counting company versus personal time is a blurrier line, as well as people who straddle both, doing some of the work on the clock and the rest on their own time. 21% of those surveyed stated that they are not supported by a company for GTD events.

In which country (and city) have you organized a GTD?

Our list from the survey covered 36 events in 18 different countries, plus an online course with attendees from all over the world.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • India (5)
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico (3)
  • Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • United States (11)

In which languages have you organized GTD?

23 (64%) of events are being offered in English. There were 12 languages other than English in the list, with Spanish taking the number 2 slot with 6 events, which lines up with the number of events in Spanish-speaking countries.

Given the wide range of countries, it is a little surprising that there is definitely a concentration of events that are offered in English.

What materials do you use to present the training?

This was split almost evenly between those that use materials they created themselves and those that use a combination of existing materials and their own.

What topics have you covered in the trainings you have presented?

113 responses (with multiple select) indicated almost everyone covers more than 1 topic, and the vast majority of those topics are introductions to Drupal and getting started. Of the topics presented:

  • 94% cover What is Drupal?
  • 85% do Site Building
  • 70% cover the Drupal Community
  • 51% do Theming
  • 42% do module development.

From the results to this question it is clear that most GTD events do not stick with just one broad topic.

What format do you usually follow?

The most popular format (76%) is to have the instructor do a live demonstration and have the students follow along. Next in line is to only give presentations, and the least popular was to have the instructor do a live demo but not have the students work on the project. There were also a couple of people who use recorded videos and then offer Q&A and support to the students as they work through them.

How long does the training last?

  • 36% give full day workshop
  • 24% give half-day workshops
  • 30% do a mix of the 2 formats.

How many people attend your event on average?

Event size was interesting. Over 50% of events had 11-20 attendees. Smaller groups, from 1-10 came in second around 27%, and only 21% of events had more than 20 attendees.

Choose the statement that fits you most with regards to venue cost

Just over a third of respondents have given events at different free venues, while 21% have access to a permanent free venue to use. 30% have used both free and paid venues. Only 1 person has a permanent paid venue they use for GTD.

What type of venues do you use?

Most events use either a company office or a university/educational facility, with conference spaces and co-working/community spaces making up much of the rest. There were also a range of locations from coffee shops to libraries included.

What is the attendee capacity of your venue?

Compared to the class sizes mentioned above, there is certainly space for bigger groups overall, with 60% of venues capable of accepting over 20 attendees.

If you organize GTD in a paid venue, how much does it cost on average? (Use local currency)

For those who do pay for venues, the costs are all over the place, which makes sense given the huge range of locations (both world location and venue type) for these events. The most expensive came in around $400 USD or ~325 EUR.

Which of the following does your venue provide?

Most venues (88%) provide a good internet connection, and a projector with screen. 21% of the venues provide computers to use. Others noted extras they get with their venues include things like parking, snacks, and coffee.

Interview Results

We also spoke to 9 people from 5 countries to dig into what they're doing and how the community and GTD Working Group can help. While everyone has different struggles and needs, there are a few common themes that come through.

Organizing and Marketing

There was a wide variety of needs around organizing and marketing GTD events. This included things like matching up people who like to teach with people who can organize and market the event (many times people don't really want to both!), and there was definitely a repeated request for marketing materials and guidelines for groups to help promote their events. There were also some interesting ideas like creating badges for trainers and attendees, as well as having better ways for GTD organizers and trainers to share information, either through online knowledge bases or in-person events, like GTD-focused activities at DrupalCons.

Curriculum

Not surprisingly curriculum and course materials came up for a lot of people. As we saw from the survey results, a lot of people create their own materials, often through need, not because they necessarily want to. There was a common thread of requests for workshop agendas, slides, and all kinds of training materials, centrally located so that people could more easily build a workshop without investing a lot of curriculum time. A number of people also pointed out that not having materials in the local language was a problem, and is time-consuming work to translate existing materials.

Infrastructure

The last main theme that we saw was about the technical and venue needs. This ranged from funding for space to hold GTDs, having a standard way to get students set up with a local environment, and having a regular way to collect feedback on events, and be able to share that information.

While the GTD Working Group certainly can't tackle all of these things, this gives a good starting point for the biggest pain points that the community can address to accelerate GTDs and the adoption of Drupal. If there are particular topics or initiatives in here that you would like to help with, please reach out to the working group to get connected with others and see what resources are available to help.

Apr 03 2018
Apr 03

DrupalCon Nashville is right around the corner! Part of the week includes board meetings. Below is a summary of their activities and agendas. We hope you will join the public board meeting in person or virtually.

Board Retreat

The Drupal Association Board of Directors will convene over the weekend from April 7-8, 2018 to hold discussions based on the Executive Director and committee chairs’ updates. The board will also discuss funding models to pursue that will increase investments that the Drupal Association can make to accelerate Drupal adoption. We are also going to review and discuss the principles and values that Dries Buytaert is creating for the community and will be sharing in his keynote.

Additionally, the board is hosting a two hour discussion on Drupal’s governance structure. To properly inform this discussion, the board invited representatives from groups that are part of Drupal governance as well as representatives of groups who are not currently part of governance. Together, we will explore what is working and ways to evolve Drupal governance that improve support for the Drupal project.

Public Board Meeting

The Board of Directors will hold an open board meeting on Wednesday, April 11 from 11:45 - 1:00 pm CT in the Nashville Convention Center in Room 103A (lunch will be served!). We welcome you to attend in person or virtually.

The agenda will include an executive update as well as program updates from staff. There will be 10 minutes for the community to ask the board and staff questions.

Mar 20 2018
Mar 20

The Drupal Association Board is responsible for the Drupal Association’s financial health and as part of their duty, they vote to approve monthly financial statements. The board met virtually on February 27th, 2018 and voted to approve the Q3 & Q4 2017 financial statements.

Each month we compare our results against the two financial KPIs that we measure against:

  • Cash Reserve: have a cash balance of 15-30% of Total Revenue
  • Net Income Profit Margin: end 2017 with a net income profit of 10%

These two goals focus on increasing Net Income in order to build a stronger cash reserve.

Below is a summary of how we performed in the third and fourth quarters of 2017 against our KPIs. As you look at this chart, you can see that we improved on our KPI month over-month.

Prior to the start of the year, we stated that if we could achieve a 10% Net Income this would move us to the minimum percentage (10%-30%) of the cash reserve. As we move month-over-month, you can see the cash reserve build as our net income percentage increases. December has us land at a Net Income percentage of 16%, and our “money in the bank” was 11%, or $570K (not including restricted cash).

Revenue

$5.1M

Cash Balance (including Restricted Cash)

$770K

Net Income

$785K

Cash Reserve %

15%

Net Income Percent

16%

Cash Balance (excluding Restricted Cash)

$570K

Cash Reserve %

11%

Monthly Highlights

The month of July saw us move closer to our cash reserve KPI. We ended the month within 80% of that goal. As we moved closer to DrupalCon Vienna, we saw cash reserves drop because we paid expenses towards the conference. The net income goal outperformed the cash forecast due to fundraising revenue being $31k higher and membership sales coming in $11k more than forecasted. The costs for July tracked to forecast, with a small amount of trailing costs (about 4k) from DrupalCon Baltimore, and bank fees being $5k lower than forecasted.

August had supporter sales and digital sponsorships down $30k from the forecast, however this was offset by an unforecasted time and materials project for $25k. Operating expenses for DrupalCon, along with overall administration costs, stayed in line with the forecast.

September’s focus was DrupalCon Vienna. Overall, net income significantly exceeded expectations for September because of much lower than expected costs for Vienna, and a boost of an additional $46k in revenue. This increase in revenue was mostly due to fundraising ($20k over forecast) and other programs ($26k over forecast). We do expect a significant amount of trailing costs in October for Vienna that will impact the net income in the upcoming months.

Activity for October saw some trailing costs for DrupalCon Vienna, and a clear picture on how DrupalCon Vienna closed out. We were below the forecasted loss of $267k, however the trend towards a loss. Some revenue help was in trailing ticket sales and sponsorship sales, which did beat the forecast. The events team did a great job containing costs, and maximizing savings in catering, supplies and our print signage for approximately $71k of savings in those budgets. Additionally, we were able to reclaim $32k of VAT through deductions on tax returns. This moved the anticipated net margin loss from -31% to -22% on this event.

November saw trailing costs from DrupalCon Vienna, which increased the forecasted loss of $68k to $114k. (October’s predicted loss was much less than forecasted) This was due to timing issues, as these invoices were expected to come in October.

December had some variances between actual and forecasted, ending up with a $59k loss instead of the forecasted $66k. Some of the more material events were:

  • Revenue was up $50k over forecast due to VAT deductions from Vienna booked to uncategorized income at month’s end that totaled $57k.
  • Board expense came in at $4k but we had none forecast. We have updated the forecast for the recurring $4k item to be included each month.
  • IT expense in the admin section was $7k for December, but we forecasted $16K.
  • Cash ended the month (and year) at $770k, which was $119k higher than our forecasted $651k. This ends our year with our minimum cash reserve goal sitting at 10%.

With reforcasting in process, and not quite finalized, we expect cash to grow over the next four months, leading into DrupalCon Nashville in April 2018.

We will be blogging soon about our 2017 close, which includes our CPA driven financial review (a lighter “audit”), production of our 2017 990 tax return and a 2017 weather report review from our virtual CFO group Summit.

We would not be able to do our mission-driven work without the support and contributions of our community. Contributions come in many forms, through the purchase of DrupalCon tickets and event sponsorships, through our Supporters and Members, Drupal.org sponsors, recruiters who post jobs on Drupal Jobs and many other fantastic ways our community supports the Drupal eco-system. We are deeply grateful for everyone who has contributed their time, talent, and treasure to move Drupal forward.

Thank you!

File attachments:  Drupal Association - Q3 2017 Financial Statements.pdf Drupal Association - Q4 2017 Financial Statements.pdf
Feb 27 2018
Feb 27

The 2018 Goal: Growing Drupal Adoption

Drupal 8 is now more than two years old and data shows that it is prefered over Drupal 7. As Dries pointed out in his blog post, Drupal 8 is on the upswing. To lean into this growth, the Drupal Association’s primary goal in 2018 is to accelerate Drupal adoption through our channels: Drupal.org and DrupalCon and other community programs.

Levers for Growing Adoption

One might think that growing adoption is purely a marketing effort, but in fact it is much more. It requires nurturing the entire Drupal customer life cycle.

The Drupal Association primarily serves developers in the community and specifically those contributing time, talent, and treasure. To nurture Drupal adoption and to further step into our mission: to unite the open source community to help them build and promote the software, we need to pull the lense back and think more broadly, without reducing our support for the developer community.

When someone engages with a digital experience created with Drupal, like a cancer patient seeking specific information on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website or a concerned citizen of the City of London who needs community services information, that experience occurs because many types of personas worked together to create it - from decision maker to builders to marketers. To grow and ensure the longevity of Drupal digital experiences, we need to serve all of those personas.

The adoption journey consists of influencers and decision makers, who are either technical or marketing evaluators working at an end-user organization like a hospital or they are working at a service provider like a digital agency. The technical and marketing evaluators have unique ways of assessing software and we need to make it easy for each one to understand why they should choose Drupal and how to take the next step.

The user journey includes many personas ranging from the digital team who builds something amazing with Drupal to the trainers who teach the marketing department how to use the solution to the content editors and marketing campaign managers creating engagement and conversions with their visitors. Each persona needs to be a power user. Knowing how to easily make the biggest impact with Drupal helps them be heroes at work. Drupal is an extraordinarily powerful platform capable of many things, but adoption won’t grow if users misunderstand Drupal’s power and choose not to continue using it. To avoid this, we need to improve in two areas: total cost of ownership and ease of use.

The community journey includes many types of contributors: coders, camp organizers, mentors, and more. All roles are important for growing and strengthening the community while it innovates the software. The Drupal Association wants to foster a healthy, inclusive community that is focused on moving the project forward in supportive and productive ways. We want to find ways to provide more support and recognition for each community role.

Drupal Association’s 2018 Execution Plan

As you can see, growing Drupal adoption and retaining our users requires a focus on many more personas than we currently focus on today. We certainly have our work cut out for us. Given how broad this focus is, our 2018 execution plan includes near-term, high impact projects that fit within the capacity of our 17 person organization. It also takes into account that the channels we can improve are Drupal.org, DrupalCon, and our other community programs. When selecting the projects, we also kept in mind that while the Drupal Association is moving through its financial turnaround towards long term sustainability, we are not done yet, so we need to be mindful of budget constraints.

Focus areas of our 2018 execution plan

Accelerate the adoption journey of ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions

  • by inspiring & informing evaluators with case studies and other resources to help convert them into users
  • by improving Drupal (the product) to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) and ease of use

Strengthen the user journey: Continue to delight existing users and help them expand Drupal usage

Support community health

  • foster diversity and inclusion with the DrupalCon diversity speaker program
  • expand the personas we serve and increase global support
  • strengthen connection between Dries Buytaert as the Project Lead and the community at large, on and off of Drupal.org
  • support governance improvements

Build a stronger foundation of support for the Drupal Association

  • ensure organizational and financial health
  • ensure staff satisfaction
  • create better understanding, collaboration between DA & community

Let’s take a closer look at the work we will do for each of these focus areas.

#1) Accelerate the adoption journey

Understand. To begin this work, we first need to understand how Drupal is adopted and who are the decision-making personas throughout Drupal’s customer lifecycle. We also need to understand the adoption journey for both the technical and marketing evaluator so that we can provide the best paths for them to choose Drupal. These insights will inform how we evolve our programs: Drupal.org and DrupalCon.

Drupal.org Front Page - This part of the website is where evaluators learn about Drupal and take the next step toward choosing the software and / or an agency to work with. 93% of our traffic is anonymous, so the first step is knowing who is coming to this page. We will conduct user research and study other software website’s evaluator experiences to determine best practices. Then, we will revamp the Drupal.org front page to better serve evaluators, using an iterative process.

By DrupalCon Nashville, we will roll out our first revamp (an MVP), which will streamline the evaluation path and provide content that helps them move to the next stage. Due to the Association’s lack of marketing and design resources, all Drupal promotional content will be curated from the community. To get to a fully redesigned front page experience, we will need to fundraise for design enhancement. If we find that we need original promotional content on the site, we will need to fundraise for these assets as well.

Drupal.org Tools & Services - Improving Drupal’s total cost of ownership and ease of use will help grow adoption and the Drupal Association can uniquely help with new tools.

  • Total Cost of Ownership - the Drupal Association will work with Drupal core maintainers and other community members to kick off the auto-updates initiative, which will help customers especially in the mid-market. This project will take more than a year and will require funding for sprints. We anticipate re-launching the Drupal 8 Accelerate fundraising campaign to support this effort.
  • East of use - As Dries mentioned at DrupalCon Vienna, many site builders feel left behind with Drupal 8 since they often do not have command line access and are not using tools like Composer. The Drupal Association has proposed building a tool for site builders with the help of Drupal core maintainers and others. Helping this segment will contribute to Drupal 8’s growth.

DrupalCon - While DrupalCon Nashville is largely a Drupal user and community event, we are serving the evaluator by adding in more programming that amplifies the power of Drupal’s digital experiences including API-first solutions.

  • Digital Experience Case Studies - Attendees coming for business and technical content will be inspired as they learn from experts how Drupal solutions were created and have made an impact for organizations like Weather.com, Symenatic, ACLU, and the U.S. Courts. Case studies are found in almost all tracks and specifically in the Ambitious Digital Experience Track.
  • API-first - We offer a new Decoupled Summit for peers to spend one day together discussing best practices for building API-first solutions. Attendees can be further inspired with decoupled case studies as well as sessions in the Horizons Track that shows how to push the boundaries with API-first. Plus, there are many sessions as well as training and labs, teaching attendees how to build decoupled solutions.

After DrupalCon Nashville, the team will strategize to holistically redesign DrupalCon so it better serves the personas within the Drupal customer lifecycle.

Strengthen the User Journey

Understand. A million organizations use Drupal, but we don’t know who they all are. By working with Drupal core maintainers, we will use Project Updates to gain insight into Drupal’s customer base. We will use this insight to better understand things like which sectors are best served or which modules are most used - all of which can better inform the Project and Drupal Association programs.

DrupalCon - As mentioned, DrupalCon Nashville is a user and community event, which has traditionally focused on the “Builder Persona” as well as the Drupal Business Owner Persona. This year, we expand to serve a few more user personas by offering the Technical Leadership Track and the Content Editor Track.

Support Community Health

One of Drupal’s top unique differentiators is our large, global, passionate community. As the Drupal Association and community come together to work on initiatives related to Drupal.org, DrupalCon and other Drupal Association programs, we want to help the community thrive by focusing in the following areas:

Inclusion - Drupal and our community is better when we include everyone to move Drupal forward in a positive and productive way. A diverse community results in great things. The Drupal Association wants to promote inclusivity by serving more personas, acting more globally, and expanding our DrupalCon speaker diversity initiative.

Expanding who we serve:

  • Persona - as we better understand how to serve our currently under-served personas like content editors and marketing managers, we also need to find a way to bring them into our community. An example of a question that we will ask in the course of this work is “how do camps run campaigns to attract Drupal evaluators?" Imagine if we had content editors in our community to help run these kinds of camp campaigns?
  • Global - our programs need to scale globally. That is why we are evaluating a new operational model for DrupalCon, starting in Europe. If we find that we can successfully license DrupalCon to a European entity, then we will use this model in other parts of the world, giving all community members the chance to experience the magic of DrupalCon. We are also looking at other existing programs like the camp fiscal sponsorship program. We are evaluating if Open Collective can support more countries than what we can currently support - for camps, project maintainers, and other community initiatives. Additionally, the Drupal Association Board is discussing how to meet the community's request for more global representation on the board through the community elected positions. Stay tuned get ready for the 2018 community board elections this summer!
  • DrupalCon speaker diversity - The DrupalCon team continued prioritizing speaker diversity to expand the speaker line up with high quality speakers from under-represented groups. Building off the initiative created last year where 33% of speakers were from under-represented groups, the track chairs worked hard to recruit diverse speakers and the Drupal Association contributed scholarships to help them attend the event. Of the speakers slated to speak at DrupalCon Nashville, 40% of them self-selected that they identify with an underrepresented group.
  • Contributors - We launched the contribution credit system a few years ago. The algorithm first rewarded code contributors. Last year we expanded it to recognize and reward Drupal Supporting Partners and those who contribute case studies. This year, we are working on a solution so we can finally credit camp organizers who put in so many hours to create special events around the world that move the project forward. How are we doing this? With OATH. Camps asked for Drupal.org user profile data so community members don’t have to create yet another Drupal-related profile page when they sign up for a camp. OATH allows us to push this information to camps and create a better experience for the camp attendee. Plus, this integration will also pull in information about the camp organizers into Drupal.org, allowing us to give them credit.

Creating a stronger connection between the Project Lead and the community - As one of the largest open source projects, it can be hard to scale relationships with one another - especially with the founder of the project, Dries Buytaert. We will foster more interaction between Dries and the community through roundtable discussions held virtually and at various Drupal events starting at DrupalCon Nashville. It is a chance to focus on important topics and have a discussion which fosters insight, understanding and moves the project forward in positive, productive ways.

Support Community Governance - Last year the community held many discussions on how to evolve community governance and came up with next steps. The Drupal Association looks forward to the release of the project’s shared values that will inform all of us as we work together on important community guidelines like the Drupal Code of Conduct.

Providing clarity within Drupal Association channels: Drupal.org and DrupalCon. In response to the community discussions, the Drupal Association will provide the community with more clarity on what is expected behavior in general and for leaders and what are the consequences of unacceptable behavior. We have already updated the DrupalCon Speaker Agreement and DrupalCon Code of Conduct with the help from many in the community. We will also update the Drupal.org Terms of Service in a similar fashion.

Improved Developer Tooling. Last year we worked with several community members to evaluate developer tooling. We published a detailed analysis of our findings and of our prototype work with three key options: GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket (read more here). At the time of posting, there were a few key blockers to some of the options - but this situation is changing rapidly. If we find that blockers are removed and we have capacity this year, we will start the migration - and, of course, we will communicate to the community before we do anything.

Drupal Association Support

The Drupal Association can never achieve its mission without the support of the community and support comes in several forms: time, talent, and treasure. We are ever grateful for the thousands who contribute countless hours who move the Drupal project forward.

Financial Support
The Drupal Association is making strides with its financial turnaround (2017 details coming soon. It’s positive news) and we will continue to focus on sustainability in 2018. Financial success means we need to meet our KPIs: 10% Net Margin % and 15% cash reserve.

Reaching those KPIs will require a mix of focus:

  • Continue showing value to our funders: DrupalCon attendees and sponsors, members and Supporters, digital advertisers and sponsors, and Drupal job posters
  • Launching the Drupal 8 Accelerate fundraising program for key initiatives like Auto-updates
  • Identifying sponsored work for the engineering team to solve a common pain point
  • Creating a value add service for Drupal that can be monetized

Community Support

In addition to financial support, the Drupal Association wants to grow its ambassadorship. We will build a stronger relationship with the community through improved engagement and communication efforts especially through the help of our new Community Liaison.

Staff Support

Additionally, we want to focus on a thriving staff, who are supported and empowered to do great mission-driven work for the community in a sustainable way. We use OfficeVibe as one of the ways to monitor team health and our goal is to remain above our agreed upon healthy targets. 

Reduce compliance risk

Operationally, we want to reduce the Drupal Association’s risk so that nothing impacts the community programs like keeping Drupal.org online. While we do many things to reduce risk like hold event insurance, this year we are specifically focusing on having:

  • All drupal.org subsites GDPR ready by May 1, 2018
  • All commerce sites updated for reduced PCI scope by May 1, 2018, to ease the effort of maintaining compliance

Execution Plan Dashboard

Similar to last year, we use an execution plan dashboard to breakdown our projects and assign metrics and milestones to them. You can find the 2018 execution plan here.

We provide progress updates in the public board meetings and the board packet includes a full report. We release the board packet with the execution dashboard after each board meeting via a blog and we post board packets and other board relate materials here

Follow Drupal Association blogs related to board meetings if you would like to see how we are doing against our plan.

We are excited to serve the community and work with many of you in 2018. It's amazing what we can accomplish together.

Feb 07 2018
Feb 07

DrupalCon has long had a Code of Conduct that we all agree to as part of participating in the event. It was originally derived from the Drupal Code of Conduct and added sections specific to in-person events.

We are constantly striving to improve all that we offer to make DrupalCon a great event for all Drupal professionals and it is now time to make a change to our DrupalCon Code of Conduct.

Making a positive change

When I first started at the Drupal Association at the beginning of the year, I was very pleased to discover that the Association staff had already made significant progress on an updated version of the DrupalCon Code of Conduct that included clearer description of what is expected of participants at DrupalCon, where various responsibilities were held for enforcement and what consequences should be expected for falling foul of the code. As the new Community Liaison, though, it was important that I took this work to the Drupal and wider web professional community and gained further insight into producing something that worked for us all.

Consulting the community

Having spent time on the Community Working Group, I was aware that consulting the community at large is hugely important but can be a huge undertaking that can potentially become never ending. Indeed, when the original Drupal Code of Conduct was in development, the process took many months to reach a result. Whilst we wanted to involve people, we also wanted to deliver something better than the current Code in time for DrupalCon Nashville 2018.

So, my methodology was to choose eight people from different parts of our community to comment on the draft Code of Conduct, plus ask them to nominate two extra people who I should also ask to make comment. I requested that they nominate someone who they felt would have a similar outlook to themselves and someone they thought might have a different outlook. This meant we had a focused team of people from the community that could work on this over a very short period, but one that I knew wouldn’t be overly influenced by my personal choices. I was also careful to choose people from several continents.

The vast majority of suggestions and comments they proposed were accepted, either directly or with some adjustment by either Association staff or our lawyers. At the end of the day, the code has to be legal, enforceable and protect both conference participants and the project’s legal entities.

The New Code

The draft has now been reviewed by Drupal Association staff, Drupal Community members and the Drupal Association Lawyers. It is ready to go and will now be applied to DrupalCon Nashville 2018.

I do want to talk about a few of the improvements we have made, though.

Clarity

One of the challenges of the old Code was that, whilst being very positive, it failed to make it clear to all DrupalCon participants exactly what was expected of them. We have taken the time to write about what behaviors are and are not acceptable in the context of DrupalCon. You will also see that we clearly state that the expectations of leaders at DrupalCon are expected to uphold even higher standards.

Our actions have consequences

We have also added sections that detail exactly what is expected of people and how failing those requirements will be dealt with.

One of the significant changes here is we separated the responsibilities for dealing with unacceptable behavior from that of supporting participants in resolving conflicts. Who to contact in the case of each is more clearly displayed, along with exactly who will be initially handling reported incidents.

Best practices

We didn’t just make all this up. We spoke with many organisations and used well-known best practice where it was available. We have detailed where much of the best practice was found at the end of the Code of Conduct.

We are also sharing the new DrupalCon Code of Conduct under a Creative Commons license, as before. If you are organising a Drupal event, you are very welcome to make use of this and add in your own contact information.

Release early, release often

Finally, I want to talk about the future. As mentioned earlier, whilst we consulted members of the Drupal Community, we were not able to incorporate all their comments at this time. Some comments would simply not have met our objectives to protect the Community and the Project but others, whilst beneficial, require further development that would mean we would not be ready for Nashville. There are also other initiatives taking place within the overall Drupal Project, like the refreshing of the Drupal Project’s value statement and a Drupal Community Code of Conduct, that we would want to incorporate back into the DrupalCon Code of Conduct. I’m sure the aforementioned best practices will evolve over time, too, and I want a mechanism where we can take advantage of that.

Well, we already have an established (and, I feel, successful!) process in Drupal Core; which now makes releases on a regular schedule. I propose that we make an annual DrupalCon Code of Conduct release, at this time each year. I will be setting up a project to manage this. So, if you believe there are ways we can still improve our Code of Conduct, there will be a mechanism to achieve it.

Feb 03 2018
Feb 03

The Drupal Association is mapping Drupal’s customer lifecycle and defining the personas who have decision making authority throughout the adoption and user journeys. Our goal is to understand how to better serve each persona at DrupalCon and on Drupal.org, in turn growing Drupal adoption and more effectively helping those working on or with Drupal to become power users.

To start this project, we need to interview different types of people working with Drupal.

Will you donate 45 minutes of your time to participate in a user research call?

We are looking for people in the following job functions who work with Drupal.

Job Functions:

  • CEO
  • CMO, VP marketing
  • CTO/CIO/ Director of engineering
  • Chief Information Marketing Officer
  • Chief / Lead / Tech architect
  • Developer
  • Project manager
  • Marketing technologist
  • Content strategist
  • Content author / Content editor
  • Trainers of content editors
  • UX designer
  • Customer experience manager
  • Marketing campaign manager/director
  • Purchaser/procurement

If you are interested in participating in a user research call, please sign up here by February 16, 2018 and we will contact you.

Jan 31 2018
Jan 31

On December 12, 2017, the board met virtually to close out final topics for the year ranging from board governance to reviewing the 2018 operational focus. You can find the meeting minutes, board packet and video recording here.

The board unanimously voted to approve changes to the Drupal Association bylaws. The main changes were:

  • The ability to pay an Officer. This allows us to pay Adam Goodman, our past board advisor, to serve as interim chair of the Board of Directors. In response to the community’s request for a neutral chair, Adam agreed to step into this role and will continue to help the board evolve strategically and orient itself around a chair that is not the founder of the project. The nominating committee will focus this year on finding a permanent chair. 

  • Update of the list of committees. The bylaws now reflect the committees that are in place today.

  • Clarity on meeting tools. This allows the board to meet virtually using more modern tools like video conferencing rather than conference lines.

The board also voted to approve the extention of  community elected board members’ seats so their term ends in November of their last year on the board rather than January. Shyamala Rajaram’s seat was extended from January 2018 to November 2018 and Ryan Szrama’s seat was extended from January 2019 to November 2019. We made this change so that community elected board member start and end their terms in the same month as the nominated members. This will provide smoother onboarding for our community elected board members.

Now that community elected board members will join the Board of Directors in November rather than January, community elections will be held this summer.

Additionally, Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director, provided an update on 2017 staff achievements and shared the team’s 2018 goals and focus areas. The 2018 goal is to help grow adoption of Drupal 8 ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions. We will do this by focusing our efforts in the following areas:

  1. Accelerate the adoption journey of ambitious digital experiences including API-first solutions

    • By inspiring & informing evaluators with case studies and other resources to help convert them into users faster/easier

    • By improving Drupal’s TCO and ease of use

  2. Strengthen the User Journey: Continue to delight existing users and help them expand Drupal usage

  3. Support community health

    • Support diversity with DrupalCon inclusion programs and by expanding the personas we serve as well as providing more global support

    • Strengthen the connection between BDFL and community through roundtable discussions and amplifying his messages to the community

    • Support community governance improvements as needed / requested

  4. Build a stronger foundation of support

    • Ensure staff satisfaction

    • Ensure organizational and financial health

    • Create better understanding, collaboration between DA & community

Specific details of the Drupal Association’s 2018 execution plan will be shared in a future blog post.

We hope you can join us for our 2018 board meetings, which will be announced soon.

Jan 31 2018
Jan 31

The Drupal Association is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to the Board of Directors: Adam Goodman, Baddy Sonja Breidert, Ingo Rübe, Michel van Velde, Audra Martin Merrick, and George Matthes. The Board of Directors provides leadership for carrying out the Association’s mission, which is to unite a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. Our six new members will add great value to our strategy discussions over the next three years, helping us advance our mission. We especially appreciate Adam Goodman for serving as Chair of the Board of Directors.

Adam Goodman, Chair

Adam Goodman is an award-winning educator, researcher, and trusted advisor to leaders of companies, non-profit groups and other organizations. He directs Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership, which offers academic and applied leadership development programs for undergraduate and Ph.D. students, faculty and high potential staff.

Baddy Sonja Breidert

Baddý Sonja Breidert (baddysonja) is the CEO and Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET, one of the largest Drupal web agencies in Germany. Baddý completed her M.Sc. in Engineering Management from the Technical University in Vienna, where she today teaches Agile Project management and IT. She is also a European champion in Robotic Soccer - where she competed with her University in 2008. Baddý is very active in the Drupal community and organizes Drupal conferences and events both in Iceland and Germany. .

Ingo Rübe

Ingo Rübe is a computer scientist and entrepreneur with experience in a wide variety of industries. He strongly believes in the power of open source. Ingo tries to improve the world with his work and firmly believes that open source is the best possible business model for achieving his mission. As the CTO of Burda Media, Ingo initiated the Drupal distribution called Thunder CMS, an industry driven Open Source project for the benefit of publishing industry. He continues to be the project lead and head of the Thunder Coalition, an organisation where publishers and industry work jointly on improving Thunder. Today, Ingo is the CEO of a blockchain technology company where he is focused on connecting Drupal and distributed ledger systems for future business cases.

Michel van Velde

Michel is the CEO and co-founder of One Shoe, an integrated advertising and digital agency based in the Netherlands and Germany. Additionally, Michel works hard to promote Drupal adoption in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands and Germany. He is also one of the founders of the Dutch Drupal Community and SDBN, Stichting Drupal Bedrijven Nederland (The Dutch Foundation of Drupal Companies). Michel organized DrupalJams, Drupal Splashawards, Drupal CXO events and is the founder / organizer of the Drupalcafe's. Recently Michel helped set up the German Drupal Business Foundation (Drupal Business Verein and Drupalagenturen.de) and co-organize the Drupal Splash Awards. Plus, Michel is a regular speaker at the DrupalCon Business Tracks and he co-organizes the Drupal CEO dinners at the European Drupalcons and the Drupal CEO survey.

Audra Martin Merrick

Audra Martin Merrick (audra) is a digital leader with extensive experience across marketing, digital advertising, customer success, and business transformation. She has spent her career helping media companies, including The Economist and the New York Times, manage the intersection of audience, editorial, and technology. As a consultant and speaker, she helps organizations identify opportunities to grow their audience, enhance their customer relationships, and align business processes to support their goals. She is passionate about agile, open source, and storytelling and loves to connect people for creative collaboration. After bouncing around Austin, New York and London, Audra is now based in Glasgow. (Twitter: @audrainscotland).

George Matthes

George is a Technology Manager at Johnson & Johnson that plays an instrumental role with their vast number of global consumer brands around how to best architect, build, utilize, and extend platforms developed for their digital marketing needs. As a long time Drupal community member and customer/adopter for many Drupal initiatives, he spearheaded J&Js corporate program for participating in and supporting Open Source projects. Prior to his career at J&J, he was the CEO and founder of a company focused on the development of Drupal projects for enterprise clients of all sizes. In addition, he has great experience in various roles including engineering, technology team management and full stack web development, for numerous design agencies and consulting firms. George holds a degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in IT Software Engineering, and resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Go here to learn more about the Drupal Association Board of Directors.

Jan 30 2018
Jan 30

Drupal Global Training Days (GTD) is an initiative of the community to introduce people to Drupal. The first events of the year were held just last Friday-Saturday, but more on that after we reflect on last year's progress. In 2017, GTD was held in 86 locations around the world. A lot of behind the scenes work happened last year to keep the project going, including the convening of a working group of trainers who had been participants in GTD in different regions of the world.

A Drupical map showing training locations around the world
Here's what Drupical looks like when a GTD event is about to take place. So much yellow-orange!

Other noteworthy things happened in 2017 for Global Training Days. At DrupalCon Baltimore, the community included two BoFs where GTD history and challenges were discussed and progress was made to address the issues. In spring 2017 a survey was conducted to better understand the needs of the training hosts so improvements can be made in the future and 400 trainers were invited to participate. A new Twitter account @DrupalGTD was also started to keep the community informed and engaged on the project.

Highlights from the organizers

I invited three GTD hosts to answer some questions about their events to give us a view into what's happening in their local communities. Thanks Kirsten, Ildephonse, and Mauricio for participating.

Kirsten Burgard (bendygirl) from GovCon (Washington DC)

How did you get started in Global Training Days?

"We've been hosting D4G half days for several years, this year we started incorporating GTD into these events.  We were looking to get more structure into our training offerings and heard about the GTD project.  During DrupalCon Baltimore, a couple of our organizers were able to attend the Drupal Global Training Days BoF, and after that initial briefing on the project, we jumped right in. Drupal4Gov uses the GTD dates to coordinate community based training, extending our regular half-day events. Our goal is to offer a beginner session, but take advantage of the pre-coordinated space and time to offer intermediate and advanced sessions or additional topics like a Devops half day.  Drupal4Gov has hosted a training event on every GTD since attending the BoF at DrupalCon Baltimore, and we are committed to continuing that trend."

Who helped to make your training happen?

"Multiple speakers, organizers and hosts. Last year, we had National Agricultural Library (in spring), Taoti (in June), Chief (in September), and Department of Interior and Debug Academy (in December). This month, Booz Allen Hamilton and Government CIO Magazine hosted us January 26th and 27th.

Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) allowed us the use of his “Understanding Drupal” material for our very first official GTD at Taoti and since then we’ve used the free D8 Site Building training videos provided by Acquia in coordination with OSTraining.  Our wonderful community speakers provide additional training material that expand on the GTD efforts."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

Our class sizes are limited by the spaces we are able to secure and the course material we are looking to teach.

One-on-one training in Washington DCHere are the number of people that registered for our events:

2017

  • April - 78

  • June - 30

  • September - 20

  • December - 33

2018

  • January - 78 (plus speakers), 8 (including host and speaker)

We have surveyed our users and the responses are always positive.  When asked about future trainings, most attendees simply asked for more of the same and/or a continuation to build on what they just learned.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"We do a decompress at the end of our events and at the beginning, we ask how many Drupal4Gov events they’ve attended. At our April DevOps event I asked the usual, ‘How many of you are at your 1st Drupal4Gov event’ and nearly 80% of attendees had never heard of us much less worked with Drupal. This was their first ever Drupal event. They stayed the entire time and most have come back for other events over the past year. Typically, less than half are brand new to a Drupal4Gov event. My favorite comment from any event also came from that, at the end, we ask, ‘What one thing did you learn here” and one of the speakers turned to the other two speakers and said ‘I met the other speakers and I think I can incorporate parts of their work into mine’ which is seriously awesome. We bring together people who didn’t know each other and when they leave, they feel empowered to work together to make Drupal and the Web better!

It’s probably important to explain what one of our events looks like. Please note, we limited seating to 70 and had 78 in attendance., we work really hard at not turning people away even when at capacity. So, here’s an example of the highly technical DevOps event we hosted with Zivtech, Mindgrub and the US Department of Agriculture at the National Agricultural Library:

Join Drupal4Gov for another of our Quarterly Half Day events.

This time around, we will limit to 70 attendees and spend 90 minutes each with Zivtech, Mindgrub and USDA Office of Communications about DevOps. And please note...NO COMPUTER NEEDED!

Zivtech will provide an in depth training on Probo.CI which provides environments for quality assurance and testing using the LAMP stack, complete with selenium testing and Solr search.

Mindgrub will discuss the internal processes that caused them to embrace the robot overlords and start to investigate devops automation.

USDA will close us out with how USDA.gov is using a combination of PHP7, MariaDB v10.1.21, and Varnish 4 deployed on the USDA Enterprise Platform Shared Service (available to all government agencies) which leverages Salt, Rancher, and Docker. Coupled with CDNs they had around 50k/requests per minute to the backend servers.

So, join local govies, contractors, private sector, non profits and more for amazing discussion about DevOps and testing. You have options, let's explore them together."

Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) from Nicaragua

New Drupal friends at GTD in NicaraguaWho helped to make your training happen?

"For the first edition of the training, it took Lucas Hedding and myself several months to create the curriculum. We were also supported by Norman García, who let us use a lab of his computer science institute several times. Over the years, various people helped to improve the curriculum. Many of them were students who attended one of our trainings and got Drupal jobs afterwards."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

"About 70 people attended our trainings in 2017. To date, the trainings have covered intro to Drupal material for the most part. Many attendees want to continue learning and they have asked for more advanced site building, theming, and module development material. We are going to start doing that with our next workshop which will focus on Views."

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"In our trainings, we cover basic site building material: how to create nodes, content types, and fields; basic Views set up; block creation and placement; and some general CMS topics and Drupal practices. Most people who attend are completely new to Drupal or web development in general. They are generally impressed by how much can be done without writing a single line of code."

Ildephonse Bikino (bikilde) from Rwanda

Students at training event in RwandaWho helped to make your training happen?

"Our Rwanda Drupal Community is at its beginning. During 2017, I was assisted by one of my community members named Diane. The trainings were hosted by KLAB which provides an open space for IT entrepreneurs to collaborate and innovate in Kigali, Rwanda. It was initiated by the government. So they gave us space, projector and internet access at the venue."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

"This year we had one series of trainings, were we got approximately 388 participants organized in 8 groups 50 each. We expected only 50 people, but we got such large number of people interested. This story was written on Drupal Community Spotlight.

The second GTD had only around 45 participants for a half-day session. We limited the number of applications, as I didn't have time to make a series again by that time."

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"Drupal is not popular in Rwanda and 2017 was the first time we organized GTD. So the training included basics like: introduction to Drupal, Drupal installation, Drupal opportunities, and what is the Drupal community and how does it works. We used 6 hours per day for this training."

2018 is off to a great start

It's exciting to consider the momentum created at the 17 different locations that held GTD events this past weekend. Thanks to all the organizers and groups/companies who made these events possible! Here goes a lot of thanks in no particular order:

In Chisinau, Moldova, Drupal Moldova Association, Sergiu Nagailic (nikro), Anya Abchiche (anyaabchiche), Nicoleta Nagailic (afinika), Irina Basiul, Vladimir Melnic (vladimir-m), Alexei Seremet (alexeiseremet), Alex Goja (agoja), Mihaela Mirza, USAID Moldova and the Swedish Government, Adyax, and iHUB Chisinau.

Online, Wayne Eaker (zengenuity) at DrupalTutor.

Also online, David Needham (davidneedham) along with Drew Gorton (dgorton), Tessa Kriesel (tessak22), and Dwayne McDaniel (mcdwayne) at Pantheon.

In Managua, Nicaragua, Drupal Nicaragua along with Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) at Agaric.

In Eger, Hungary, Roland Molnár (roland.molnar) and Labor Association.

In Leeds, UK, Crispin Read (crispin) at Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme and Rachel Lawson (rachel_norfolk).

In Munich, Germany, Johannes Haseitl (derhasi), Jörg Matheisen (joergM), Serhad Serhad Güldürsün (D_D), Rouven Volk (rvolk), and Inviqa and undpaul.

In Porto, Lisbon, Drupal Porto, Omibee, Ricardo Marcelino (rfmarcelino), Adriana Vaz (adrianavaz), Beatriz Cunha (beatriz-cunha), João Machado (joum), and Filipe Pereira (fmfpereira).

In Tokyo, Japan, Kazu Hodota (hodota) at Gennai3 Corporation.

In Conil, Spain, Drupal Conil, 1xINTERNET and Forcontu.

In Peshawar, Pakistan, S M Azmat Shah (Drupak) at Drupak.

In Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, Vladimir Roudakov (vladimiraus) at TEstudIO.

In Boston, Kay VanValkenburgh (kay_v) and Leslie Glynn (leslieg) and the Boston Drupal Group.

In Stanford, everyone at Stanford Open Source Lab.

In Washington DC, Kirsten Burgard (bendygirl) of the Drupal4Gov team, along with Arash Farazdaghi (afarazdaghi), Virginia Nguyen (v7nguyen) (also Drupal4Gov), Eric Robbins (erobbins), Alek Snyder (alsnyder), Sara Kieffer-Hess (sarakh), Nick Massa (nxmassa), Alexandra Screven (ascreven), Heting Li, and Connor Hoehn, all from Booz Allen Hamilton. Gerardo Maldonado (g3r4), John Shortess (johnshortess), Carla Briceno (chbriceno), and Rich Allen (richardcallen2386), all from Bixal. Jerome Wiley (jeromewiley) from Government CIO Magazine. Dan Schiavone (schiavone) from Snakehill/Drupal4Gov. Matt Mendonca (mattmendonca) at NIST. Jessica Dearie (jdearie) at EPA/Drupal4Gov.

GTD is happening again in March, June, September, and December. Anyone in the community can participate, and if you want a little advice on getting started, check out the GTD group where you can find the GTD Working Group if you need help.

Jan 29 2018
Jan 29

Last year, the Drupal Association committed to not only providing more transparency into our financials, but also more clarity about where our funds come from and what they fund.

We completed our 2016 Audit and official financial reporting at the end of 2017. This post gives insight into 1) the audit 2) the 990s (our official financial report for the year) and 3) a new financial report called the “Weather Report”. 990s provide a one-year snapshot of program financials, but some of our programs have two years of expenses, like DrupalCon, so just looking at the 990s never gives the exact insight into how our events perform. The weather report provides this clarity. It will expand over time to provide clarity for more of our programs as well.

We did a financial audit for 2016

Audits are a good thing. In fact, our operations department welcomes them and appreciates the feedback.

To assist our board in their fiduciary obligations, we strive to conduct audits every other year. In the years that we don’t do an audit, we contract with our CPA firm, McDonald Jacobs, to do a financial review.

We conduct an audit for several reasons:

  • to demonstrate our commitment to financial transparency.
  • to assure our community that we follow appropriate procedures to ensure that the community funds are being handled with care.
  • to give our board of directors outside assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatements.

For our 2016 audit, our auditors focused on three points:

  • Proper recording of income and expense: our auditors ensure that our financial statements are an accurate representation of the business we have conducted. Did we record transactions on the right date, to the right account, and the right class? In other words, if we said that 2016 revenue was a certain amount, is that really true?
  • Financial controls: preventing fraud is an important part of the audit. It is important to put the kinds of controls in place that can prevent common types of fraud, such as forged checks and payroll changes. Our auditors looked to see that there are two sets of eyes on every transaction, and that documentation is provided to verify expenses and check requests.
  • Policies and procedures: there are laws and regulations that require we have certain policies in place at our organization. Our auditors looked at our current policies to ensure they were in place and, in some cases, had been reviewed by the board and staff.

The primary goal of this audit is for our auditor to express an opinion on two aspects of the financial statements of the Association: the financial statements are fairly presented, and they are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Generally accepted accounting principles are the accepted body of accounting rules and policies established by the accounting profession. The purpose of these rules is to promote consistency and fairness in financial reporting throughout the business community. These principles provide comparability of financial information.

Our audit for 2016 is complete and has been reviewed and approved by the board. The results of our audit can be found here

In short, we received a clean bill of health with one recommendation from our Auditors (which is VERY good).  It is in how we open and deposit incoming checks:

"Controls over Checks Received
With the elimination of our physical office during 2016, the control of segregating certain duties has been eliminated. The Accountant now processes checks received in the mail. In this situation where the Accountant has access to the physical asset and the accounting records, there is an opportunity to misappropriate a check and void or delete the invoice billing in the accounting system. To mitigate the risk of this occurring without detection, the following recommendations can provide additional control:

  • As part of the monthly reconciliation process performed by the outside CPA firm, a review of voided and/or deleted invoices can be done with appropriate follow up and resolution.
  • Consider using a lockbox with your bank."

While our security checks are tight, adding the bank lock box process was suggested by our auditors to add an additional layer of security to prevent potential fraudulent activity.

A lockbox is a physical post office box controlled by the bank.  Checks are directed to this post office box, or “lockbox”, and checks are opened and scanned by bank employees.  Those checks are deposited into our account, and scans of the checks are uploaded and recorded in our banking portal.  This can be accessed and seen by all members of our accounting team.  Checks are now recorded into our accounting system by a different team member, since checks are now digitized and deposited by the bank - and are no longer physically deposited by only one team member.

Tax filing: The IRS Form 990

Once the audit is finished, our CPA can complete the 990 tax return for the year.

All U.S.-based 501c3 exempt organizations are required to file a 990 each year. Additionally, this form is also filed with state tax departments as well. The 990 is used by the IRS and state regulators to ensure that non-profits continue to serve their stated charitable activities. The 990 can be helpful when you are reviewing our programs and finances, but know this is only a “snapshot” of our year.  

You can find our past 990s here.

Here are some general points, when reviewing our 990:

FORM 990, PART I—REVENUES, EXPENSES, AND CHANGES IN NET ASSETS OR FUND BALANCES

Lines 8-12 indicates our yearly revenue. Not only how much total revenue (line 12), but also where we have earned our income, broken out into four groups. Line 12 is the most important: total income for the year which ended at $5.1 million.

Lines 13-18 shows expenses for the year which totaled $6.1 million for the year.

Cash Reserves are noted on line 20 of page 1.  Our year ended with 186k in net assets. The 990 has a comparison of the net assets from last year (or the beginning of the year) and the end of the current year, as well as illustrates the total assets and liabilities of the Association.  We ended 2015 with -$92K, and with our refocus in 2016 we closed the year up, at $185k in net assets.

FORM 990, PART II—SIGNATURE BLOCK

Sign off on our 990 by our Treasurer Tiffany Farriss & CPA Representative McDonald Jacobs partner Sang Ahn.

FORM 990, PART III—STATEMENT OF PROGRAM SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

In Part III, we describe the activities performed in the previous year that adhere to our 501c3 designation.  You can see here that Drupal.org, DrupalCon and our Fiscal Sponsorship programs are highlighted noting the expenses and income for each program.  Keep in mind that this is only a year snapshot, as DrupalCons span a couple of years, ramping up and winding down.

FORM 990, PART IV -  CHECKLIST OF REQUIRED SCHEDULES

This is a checklist of schedules that must be completed and accompany the 990 filing.  Any “yes” answers checked here will produce a schedule to explain the “yes” answer in detail.

FORM 990, PART V - STATEMENTS REGARDING OTHER IRS FILINGS AND TAX COMPLIANCE

This is a place for statements about other IRS filings and tax compliance such as receiving tax deductible contributions, and noting that we have provided donors with required substantiation for their donations.

FORM 990, PART VI - GOVERNANCE, MANAGEMENT AND DISCLOSURE

This is for us to note detailed information regarding our governing body, management, and policies of our organization.

FORM 990, PART VII - LIST OF OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, TRUSTEES AND KEY EMPLOYEES

Part VII lists our board and staff who are responsible in whole or in part for the operations of an organization. These entries do include titles and compensation of key employees.

Section B—Compensation of the Five Highest Paid Independent Contractors for Professional Services
We list any of our contractors, if we have paid them more than $50,000, on this schedule.

FORM 990, PART VIII - Statement of Revenue

This is a snapshot of where our revenue comes from, what is exempt or not exempt as taxable income. For 2016, $573,247 was considered taxable.

FORM 990, Part IX Statement of Functional Expenses

This section classifies the total amount earned for the year into three different buckets; fundraising, general, and program expense. These are expenses related to running those three different types of programs.

FORM 990, Part X, XI and XII Balance Sheet

This is a comparison of our 2016 balance sheet from beginning of the year to the end of the year, along with notes about the account method we use (accrual) and independent auditor and who is responsible for oversight.

Additional Filing to the 990, Schedule A — Public Charity Status and Public Support

A tax exempt organization must meet certain public support tests in order to maintain its status as a public charity. Schedule A provides an opportunity to see the various sources of revenue have increased or declined over the last four or five years. Please be aware that the definitions of revenue for the purposes of the support schedule are not directly comparable to Part I of the Form 990.

Additional various schedules following the 990, show large contributions (5k +), activities outside of the United States (ie grants given outside of the US), assets depreciation and other various activities.

Now that our 2016 990 has been reviewed by the board and approved, we have filed it. From there we are required to post the return publicly, which we do here on our website. 

Weather Report — Review of 2016

As part of our work to ensure financial health, our virtual CPA firm Summit compiles a “weather report” monthly so we can compare particular data points and see if we are reaching to our set KPIs. 

In closing the year 2016, Summit prepared this report for the year.

Revenue —the Drupal Association creates income in four different ways:

  • Advertising, which consists of ad sales on Drupal.org.
  • Events - DrupalCon income
  • Fundraising consisting of any donations or membership sales
  • Other Income, which comprises income from digital sponsors, Supporting Partner sales and time and material projects.

The graph below shows the breakdown of revenue for 2016.

Expenses — The Drupal Association has expenses which are categorized in the following ways:

  • Production Expense:These are the costs associated directly with earning revenue (for example: paying employees who work directly with the revenue streams described above, direct event costs, marketing event costs, IT costs, etc.)
  • Administrative Costs: These are general costs associated with running the organization (for example: administrative employees, accounting fees, insurance, professional fees, etc)
  • Sales and Marketing Costs: These are costs for marketing the Drupal organization (mostly Marketing employees)
  • Facility Costs: These are costs associated with the physical office space employees work. (Drupal moved a distributed workforce in the end of 2016, so these costs will be minimal going forward.)

KPI Goals — Moving into 2017, we set the following goals for Drupal.org.

  • Cash Reserve – Have 30% of forecasted YTD revenue in the bank.  As of the end of 2016 we have $397K (27% of the goal) in the bank.
  • Net Income – Have a Year End Net Income greater than 10%.  In 2016 we achieved a Net Income margin of -1%.

Event Summary — The graphs below present the 2016 and 2015 DrupalCon events

2016 results show us in the middle of our financial recovery.  As we moved into 2017, we took deep looks into our operations and programs to ensure financial health and growth. We will have a 2017 update after we close our financial review and 990 filing for the year.

We are thankful for the great team work that went into new financial reporting process and the resulting data to help us push towards our financial goals. Additionally, and as always, we are truly thankful to our financial contributors who provide the financial fuel for us to do our mission work.

Jan 25 2018
Jan 25

As many already know, DrupalCon North America 2018 will be held in Nashville, TN. The Drupal Association puts a lot of time and effort into choosing a site for DrupalCon North America - a two to three year process that involves request for proposals, several rounds of interviews, site visits and contract negotiations. We do not take this lightly and we include both logistically important and socially relevant questions for review.

Unfortunately, sometimes things happen outside of our control, despite our great lengths of planning. In April 2016, after a 5-month RFP and interview process, we signed a contract with the City of Nashville to host DrupalCon North America 2018. A few weeks later, the State of Tennessee introduced and passed a new law that Drupal Association does not support, and as many community members have pointed out - prevents public employees from the State of California from attending DrupalCon if sponsored by their employer.

For those who have asked, the timeline of events transpired as follows:

  • April 2016: Drupal Association contracted with Nashville, TN to host DrupalCon North America 2018
  • Early May 2016: Tennessee enacted the Amendment Senate Bill No. 1556 House Bill No. 1840
  • January 2017: California enacted restrictions banning state sponsored travel to TN in response to SB1556/HB1840.

Specifically, May 2, 2016. SB1556/HB1840 as enacted, declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services will be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselor or therapist; requires such counselor or therapist to refer the client to another counselor or therapist; creates immunity for such action; maintains liability for counselors who will not counsel a client based on the counselor's religious beliefs when the individual seeking or undergoing the counseling is in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.

It is unfortunate that this bill became law. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, who we worked with to contract DrupalCon Nashville, and the greater Nashville business community including the Nashville Mayor’s office believe discrimination has no place in their home state.

In response to this bill and in anticipation of other potential discrimination bills in the future, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation became a founding and leading member of Tennessee Thrives, a business coalition of now more than 400 companies across Tennessee who believe that in order for Tennessee businesses and communities to thrive they must be diverse and welcoming for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. You can read more here about Tennessee Thrives and the Nashville Metro area’s history of social advancements, as well as a statement from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

Here is the Tennessee Thrives pledge:

We believe that equal treatment of all Tennesseans and visitors is essential to maintaining Tennessee’s strong brand as a growing and exciting home for business innovation, economic development, a best-in-class workforce, and dynamic entertainment, travel and tourism industries.

In order for Tennessee businesses to compete for top talent, we believe our workplaces and communities must be diverse and welcoming for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

As signers of the Tennessee Thrives pledge, we are committed to promoting an attractive, prosperous, and economically vibrant Tennessee. A united Tennessee is a thriving Tennessee.

Tennessee Thrives identified 12 discriminatory bills that were filed in the General Assembly in 2017, and with their efforts only two were approved.

As a further measure of welcome for our Drupal community, the Mayor of Nashville, has extended a Statement of Welcome to the DrupalCon community. They are very excited that DrupalCon has chosen Nashville as their 2018 North American location, and hope we can see past the politics of the larger state to see the welcoming intent of the City of Nashville.

In response to the Drupal community concerns with Nashville as a DrupalCon city, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation offered this statement:

Nashville is an open, welcoming city that respects and embraces the differences among us. We believe that our differences make our community stronger. A sampling of Nashville’s social advancements in contradiction to the actions of TN legislature include:

  • In 2016, the Metro Nashville Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution asking the state legislature to oppose bills opposing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. The resolution’s lead co-sponsor was Councilwoman Nancy Van Reese, who is openly gay.
  • On March 21, 2016, Mayor Megan Barry issued an executive order requiring training of all employees of the Metropolitan Government in diversity issues and sexual harassment awareness and prevention.
  • In May, 2016, Nashville hosted the International Gay Rugby Bingham Cup. Mayor Megan Barry served on the Host Committee to bring the Bingham Cup to Nashville.
  • While a mayoral candidate, Mayor Megan Barry officiated the first same-sex marriage in Nashville just hours after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is allowed in all 50 states. (During her inauguration in September, 2015, Mayor Barry invited Nashville in Harmony to perform. The group is Tennessee’s first and only musical arts organization specifically created for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people – and their straight allies. The group performed at events hosted by the previous Nashville Mayor, as well.)
  • While a mayoral candidate, Mayor Megan Barry received the Ally Award from the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 2015.
  • In 2011, Nashville extended nondiscrimination protections to employees of the city and contractors.  (Unfortunately, state government nullified the local decision.)
  • In 2009, the Metro Nashville Council passed an ordinance that protects Metro employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. (Sponsored by then Council Member-At-Large Megan Barry, who now serves as Mayor of Nashville)
  • In 2008, the Metro Nashville School Board approved sexual orientation and gender identity protections for students and staff.

For those concerned about a Tennessee Bathroom Bill, please know that Tennessee has never passed the bathroom bill, it gets killed in process every time it comes up for a vote, including this past March. There is no “Bathroom Bill” in the state of Tennessee. There are also all-gender restrooms offered at the Nashville Music City Center for use during DrupalCon. We understand people's concern with a state that submits this kind of law for consideration. We can possibly all relate to the idea that the actions of lawmakers are not always representative of the greater population, particularly in the greater population of a metro area, and Nashville shares this same concern.

At our core, the Drupal Association believes in community, collaboration, and openness. We work hard throughout the process of DrupalCon planning to be sure that not only the complicated logistics are addressed, but also an accessible space for everyone in our community to feel safe, welcome and comfortable.

In addition to our core DrupalCon programming, we also include the following services at DrupalCon for those who need it.

  • Our Code of Conduct
  • Registration grants and scholarships
  • Interpreters (for the hard of hearing)
  • Special meals: Kosher, Halal, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc
  • New mother’s room
  • Quiet room and prayer space
  • Venue accessibility and mobility assistance
  • Local AA Meeting information
  • Speaker inclusion fund
  • No-photograph lanyards and communication preference stickers
  • All-gender restrooms
  • Women in Drupal events
  • Inclusion BOFs
  • On-site contacts for incident reporting

You can learn more about all of these services on our DrupalCon Nashville website under On-site Resources.

We believe, despite the current legislative challenges that the City of Nashville is working to overcome at a state level, that we will have a safe, diverse, celebratory space for our community in Nashville this spring. We’re excited to bring DrupalCon to the city of Nashville, and we’re confident it will be an amazing event.

We want to hear about your experiences at DrupalCon and in the cities we visit. Please participate in our post-Con surveys so that we can follow with both our internal teams and host cities if there are areas where the events can be improved for attendees.

Jan 10 2018
Jan 10

This past September we gathered together in Vienna, Austria to talk all things Drupal. Over 1,600 of us came together to watch keynotes, present sessions, have impromptu conversations in the hallway, and sprint.

One of the hot topics on site was the future of DrupalCon in Europe. The community has rallied around facilitating a large Drupal event in 2018. The Drupal Association continues to focus on 2019 and beyond, and recently posted a call for proposals for licensing DrupalCon in Europe. You can read more about that in Megan's blog post.

We made some changes to the DrupalCon event format for DrupalCon Vienna, in an effort to improve its financial sustainability. While some of these changes were controversial in the run-up to the event, once we all arrived in Vienna there were a lot of highlights - meeting Dries, sprints, anything related to migration, and (of course!) the Viennese Ball! To read the full recap of DrupalCon Vienna, check out these slides.

Beyond Vienna, we have heard requests for previous years' slides. While we're working on a place to archive them on the website - for quick reference, here are the past couple years' presentations:

See you in Nashville!

Jan 03 2018
Jan 03
Posted by lizzjoy on 3 January 2018

Drupal Association programs and staff are sustained by you through memberships, partnerships, and donations. After 10 years, our system to collect funds for memberships and donations is changing. You'll now see a new tab on your user profile to access membership and donation giving history. This change will make managing donations more transparent and more cost-effective through decreasing some time spent on operations. We're also making some changes on the back-end to reduce the Drupal Association's PCI scope and to make membership easier to maintain.

What's changing

Payments will continued to be processed via Authorize.net (USD) and PayPal (EUR) and the PCI compliant forms will be hosted by Chargify. We chose Chargify in an effort to cut down on the amount of staff time needed to manage memberships. We're using Drupal's ability to integrate with third party tech to integrate with a payment processor solution. We'll be building the membership management tools right into your Drupal.org profiles.

Screenshot of Drupal Association Membership tab on user profile shows Donation button on the page
Screenshot of Drupal Association Membership tab on user profile shows donation button on the page

We're rolling the new system out first with the Drupal Association Donation page and the membership pages will follow. If you are in the holiday spirit and you want to make a donation, do it from the new tab in your your user profile. Thanks for your support.

Changing the signup experience for the better

The experience signing up for membership through Chargify will be very similar to the current one, but now when you are invited to renew membership, you'll be able to manage your type of renewal— including starting or stopping auto-renewal, changing amount of payment, or canceling membership. Before this system, you'd have to contact us for help or wait for annual renewal emails to guide you to make changes.

Screenshot of user profile showing Individual Membership details
Screenshot of user profile that will show Individual Membership details

After we've migrated member and donor giving history into the new system, you'll see more information on your user profile in the Drupal Association Member tab, including past gift dates and amounts. You'll be able to begin managing your membership renewals as soon as the migration is done. We hope these changes make your membership renewal experience better.

If you are interested in helping us test before the final updates are made, contact me and we'll walk through a test together. To provide feedback on the changes, please leave your thoughts on #2934492: Implement Chargify for memberships.

Thanks to Neil Drumm and Tim Lehnen for helping to get this work done, and thank you to everyone who continues funding our work through membership and donations.

Dec 19 2017
Dec 19

The Drupal Association’s mission is to unite the global open source community to help them build and promote Drupal. One of the most important ways that we advance our mission is through DrupalCon, Drupal’s flagship event.

At DrupalCon, community members with a technical, business, and marketing background come together to unite as a community, level up their Drupal skills, and contribute to the project. As a global event, DrupalCon breaks down walls between countries and the various personas who build, use and support Drupal, making it an accelerator of knowledge sharing, relationship building and contribution.

DrupalCon is ready to grow.  We need a model that allows the community to deliver DrupalCon globally. Our vision is to empower all regions to host DrupalCon, providing this experience to communities around the world.  As a first step, we are licensing DrupalCon to the European region.

We are excited to empower a new entity grounded in the European Drupal community to take this special event to the next level. The DrupalCon license initiative is an opportunity to re-imagine DrupalCon Europe to uniquely serve the Drupal community. The license is designed to allow for a new creative direction while enhancing Drupal’s mission, vision and values while maintaining the integrity of DrupalCon.

With the help of the DrupalCon Europe License Committee, we created a process for entities to apply for a DrupalCon Europe license by 30 March, 2018. We reviewed approaches used by other conference organizers, with particular attention to the key attributes that allow TED to scale its TEDx events. Then, we applied those learnings to our licensing process.

In short, we learned that TEDx scales because of clear “rules and tools” for the licensee (aka event organizer) and we aimed to provide the same level of guidance and support for the DrupalCon licensee. There are clear guidelines in the license agreement and the event rules and we will provide support in the form of knowledge transfer, tools, and advisory services. We also recognize that this is our first time creating such a program, so we encourage entities who are applying to contact us to discuss any areas of concern or question.

Below details how to submit a proposal for the DrupalCon license and the criteria that the Drupal Association will use to select the licensee.

We are grateful for the help of Bert Boerland, Baddy Breidert, Alex Burrows, Gabor Hojtsy, Janne Kalliola, Zsofi Major, and Stella Powers, who participated in the DrupalCon Europe License committee and contributed many hours and great insight into this process.

Table of Contents

  • Key Points
  • Who Can Apply For a DrupalCon License
  • Important Dates
  • What To Submit To Apply for a DrupalCon License
  • DrupalCon License Rules
  • Drupal Association Support
  • Decision Making Criteria

Key Points

Who Can Apply For a DrupalCon License

To be eligible to apply for a DrupalCon license, you must meet the following criteria:

  • An entity grounded in the voice and needs of the Drupal community. This can include, but is not limited to:

    • A professional event company

    • A Drupal community group

    • A collective of Drupal businesses

    • A Drupal business

    • An event organizing company that demonstrates how they will work with the Drupal community

    • An entity where someone on the team has event experience

  • Able to accept funds as a business or nonprofit

  • Must have successfully produced an event that broke even or was profitable. Or, the team member with event experience has worked on an event that broke even or was profitable.

  • Must agree to abide by and enforce DrupalCon’s policies and rules.

Important Dates

Above is a timeline of important dates to know. The call for a DrupalCon license proposal is now open and it closes on 30 March, 2018. In mid to late April, applicants will be interviewed and a licensee will be selected by the Drupal Association in May 2018.

As early as July 2018, The Drupal Association will provide an onboarding workshop to the licensee, to begin knowledge sharing, and map out how best to support the event organizer leading up to and during DrupalCon.

What To Submit To Apply for a DrupalCon License

To apply for the DrupalCon license, please submit the following items by 30 March, 2018 to [email protected]. Your application must include the items listed below in the following formats (presentation, spreadsheet, document).

  1. DrupalCon Business Plan. Submit a business plan with the following information:

    • Event location and dates.

    • Detailed event budget, structured as similarly as possible to the current DrupalCon budget format.

    • Budget assumptions. Clearly define the budget assumptions for expenses. Also, include forecasted ticket and sponsor revenue. Define your ticket pricing plan and your sponsor strategy (who you will sell to and how you will create value for sponsors). Additionally, explain how you will secure the cash flow for initial event investments like securing the venue.

    • Details about your event team. Who are the key people on your team, what roles will they play, and what is their event experience?

    • An overview of how you will ensure the event reflects the Drupal community's needs and culture and moves the project forward.

    • The event’s mission and vision, which should align with the Drupal Association’s mission and vision.

    • Target audience and target size. Which personas will your event attract and generally in what ratio? Please define your personas.

    • Event goals, strategies and objectives

    • What value will you bring to each persona and how?

    • Programming concept overview (which we know can change as you get further into planning). Please be sure to adhere to the programming rules.

      • Event duration

      • Provide a sample program and suggested tracks

      • Share your general concept for session selection

      • What is your plan to ensure conference diversity (attendees and speakers)

      • Tell us about some aspirational keynotes you would like to invite

  2. Drupal culture. Tell us how you define Drupal’s community spirit and culture and what it means to you.

  3. What’s your “why”. Tell us why you want to organize DrupalCon. Why should you be selected, and how will you maintain the Drupal community spirit.

  4. Your needs. As seen on page 4, the Drupal Association will support you with knowledge sharing, tools, and advisory services. What additional needs do you have?

  5. About your past events. Submit an overview of your past event that you, your event partner, or your team member worked on. Describe the event audience, audience size, goals, and how you achieved those goals along with the event’s financial statements.

The Drupal Association will select the organizer who can demonstrate the best approach for creating value to a technical and non technical audience by uniting the community, leveling up Drupal skill, and accelerating the project through a sustainable model.

DrupalCon License Rules

The DrupalCon license is designed to encourage creativity, to re-imagine the event. That means you can decide what is the best programming to meet the attendee’s needs. Or you can decide that sustainability is best achieved by starting with a smaller event that grows over time. However, all proposals and the actual event must conform to the DrupalCon licensing rules and agreement to maintain the Drupal Association’s community and governance expectations, as well as DrupalCon’s brand experience.

You can find DrupalCon Rules here.  

You can find the DrupalCon license agreement here.

Since this is the first time the Drupal Association has crafted DrupalCon license rules, we are open to discussion. Please contact us if you feel a rule is a blocker to you submitting a proposal. If discussions result in a rule change, we will update the rules document to reflect that change.

Drupal Association Support

The Drupal Association wants to make sure the chosen event organizer is set up for success. We recognize this means that we will play a role leading up to and perhaps during the event. Here are some ways the Drupal Association will help. We are open to hearing about additional ways in which we might help.

  • In-person workshop: The Drupal Association staff will fly to the organizer’s location to run a workshop where we will do a knowledge transfer, training, and determine how the Drupal Association will play a support role during the event production phase.

  • Playbooks, Guidelines, and Templates. The Drupal Association has several production playbooks that we will share so the organizer can see how the event was produced in the past. We recognize that the event organizer may want to alter our approach or create a brand new one.

  • Advisory Services. You may have questions along the way and we are here to help. No question will be too big or too small. We can set up periodic check in meetings to provide guidance as you develop your event.

  • Access to tools. DrupalCon promotion and management relies on several tools that we will share with the event organizer including the DrupalCon event site, social media handles, access to DrupalCon email lists, etc.

  • Promotion Support

    • The Drupal Association can amplify your call for ticket sales, sponsorship, and content through our channels including social media, email, newsletters.

Decision Making Criteria

When reviewing and comparing proposals, The Drupal Association will select the event organizer by using the following criteria:

Category

Topic

Weight

Sustainability

Conservative, realistic, complete budget plan with clear revenue and expense budget assumptions

10

Staffing plan

Clearly defined leadership team description and a staffing plan for producing the event that is designed to avoid burnout

8

Goals, strategies, objectives

Clearly articulated goals, strategies, and objectives that move the project forward, serve multiple personas, and has achievable metrics.

9

Location

Easy to reach by European community

8

Event Dates

Avoids major holidays (national, religious, etc) and aligns with Dries Buytaert’s availability

10

Target Audience

Program serves multiple personas

8

Programming

Creative approach for serving all persona  while meeting the licensing rules.

9

Session Selection

Well thought out approach that adheres to the DrupalCon licensing rules.

7

Diversity & Inclusion

Well thought out approach for growing speaker and attendee diversity to exceed the DrupalCon Vienna benchmark

8

Definition of spirit/ culture

Strong understanding of the Drupal culture

7

Keynote examples

Creative, inspiring keynote ideas that speak to all personas

6

Event Planning Experience

Clear demonstration of event experience on the team

7

Nov 30 2017
Nov 30

It seems strange to me that the very first thing I need to do as the Drupal Association’s new Community Liaison is say something; given that the primary focus of the role is to listen to you, the Drupal Community.

Rachel speaking in Chișinău, Moldova. Used with permission of Drupal Moldova
Speaking at MoldCamp in Chișinău, Moldova. Used with permission of Drupal Moldova.

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the Drupal Community over many years; from my first DrupalCamp in Leeds back in 2011, through volunteering at DrupalCon London, co-organising Drupal ScienceCamp in Cambridge and now being part of the team that organises the Mentored Sprints at DrupalCon and spending time as a member of the Community Working Group. It is a Community of wonderfully diverse and interesting individuals who I love working with.

Our hope with my role as Community Liaison is to continually improve both the Community’s understanding of the Drupal Association’s purpose and mission and especially the Drupal Association’s understanding of this diverse Community. We are here to support the Drupal Community and we do that best when we understand the Drupal Community, in all its forms.

In Antwerp, helping work on the future of DrupalCon Europe
In Antwerp for DupalCampBE, helping work on the future of DrupalCon Europe

I will be trying to get involved with as many groups that work with the Drupal Association as possible over the next few months, in an effort to help support their activities and our mutual understanding. I will also be a “go to person”, both online and in-person to find out things about the Drupal Association.

Of course, there is only one of me and the Drupal Association’s mission is quite tightly defined so there are things I won’t be doing in this role:

  • I won’t be affecting the future technical direction of Drupal (other than through my continuing desire to keep up occasionally contributing to Drupal Core!).
  • I’m here to facilitate and support, not enact change myself. I won’t be managing the Community, I’ll be helping the Community manage itself.
  • I won’t be able to visit every Drupal event - it’s just not possible!
  • Finally, I will be making a phased withdrawal from being a full member of the Community Working Group between now and the end of the year. While several Association board members have served on the CWG in the past without issue, we agreed that in this case, it made sense to avoid any conflicts that might arise because I was aware of incidents that had not been shared with other Association staff members. In my new role, I will meet regularly with CWG members to discuss different ways that the Association can support the Drupal Community; however, I will not be not be privy to any incident reports unless they are escalated to the Association by the CWG.

I will continue to find any excuse to ride my motorbike to Drupal events, though - I just can’t help that! (Current wish-list is to ride a Harley-Davidson to BADCamp - happy to hear about places to visit on the way!)

Idris at Buzludzha, on the way back to Drupalaton
Idris (my motorbike) at Buzludzha, on the way to Drupalaton

I’m sure that the things I get involved in will evolve over time and I hope that you will help me to ensure we’re always giving the best support to the Drupal Community.

I know I will make mistakes along the way. I hope you can help me recognise them, own them and learn from them.

Anyway, until we do meet face to face at a Drupal event, I’m always available either on Twitter, on IRC as rachel_norfolk, drupal.slack.com or via my Drupal Contact Form.

I’m here, and I’m listening. Let’s talk!

Nov 29 2017
Nov 29

Hello, Drupal community! My name is Brooke Candelaria, and I’m excited to join the Drupal Association as your new conference director. This is a significant opportunity to support a smart, creative and ambitious community by helping to build event experiences that foster deep learning, meaningful connections, astounding ideas, new partnerships, project incubations and, of course, fun.  

Working at the heart of the open source community is an honor and a privilege. This community knows how to collaborate exceedingly well. This community views ‘that can’t be done’ as a throw-down and will mobilize a sprint to do it. This community is glued together by shared purpose, and individually our members want to be part of something bigger than themselves. This is why we’re working hard to ensure that DrupalCon provides purposeful community-based experiences that you can’t get elsewhere.

I’ve been working in communications, PR and event management roles in the tech community for many years. Originally from upstate New York, I’ve worked in Boston, London, Austin and Houston. I worked on the LinuxWorld tradeshow at a time when open source was attracting attention from a large cross-section. Most recently, I’ve been serving the Python user community - also a very dedicated and enthusiastic base.

I’ve been living in Houston for a decade. It’s a vast and diverse city where we compensate for oppressive heat and hurricanes with our Southern hospitality, vibrant art scene and more than 10,000 restaurants. Oh, and did I mention the World Champion Houston Astros?

When not hosting guests at our AirBnB, I’m all about travel (especially international), volunteering, cooking and participating in local cultural events.

I’m here to serve you, Drupal community. Feel free to ping me @brookecan or email me at [email protected]. Let’s get ready for Nashville 2018!

- htownbrooke

Nov 27 2017
Nov 27

The Drupal Association board meeting and executive session moved from Wednesday, November 28 to Tuesday, December 12 at noon ET / 1700 GMT. The board meeting is virtual and open to the public and it will be followed by a closed executive session. Go here to join the board meeting. Below is the agenda for both the board meeting and executive session.

Board Meeting Agenda:

  • Approve 27 September, 2017 board meeting minutes
  • Vote: Bylaws Changes
  • Vote: Extend Community At-large board member seats to expire in November rather than January
  • Operational Update
  • Q&A from community

Executive Session

  • Executive Update
  • Board nomination committee discussion and vote in board members
  • Vote to approve Q3 financial statements
  • Discussion 2018 committees and meeting schedule
Nov 20 2017
Nov 20
Posted by lizzjoy on 20 November 2017

This month, our membership campaign celebrates the ways we, together, build community on the home of the Drupal project. Hear from the Drupal Association team how and why Drupal.org offers you tools to make more connections, to increase your potential for a fulfilling professional career, and to enable your contributor journey in Drupal.

You can do a lot on Drupal.org and its sub sites. Check out the campaign page. We hope you are inspired to learn more about what Drupal.org offers and if you aren't yet a Drupal Association member, join today!

Top sections of campaign landing pageSections below the fold on landing page

Want to help our campaign?

We need your help so we meet our two goals: sign up 50 new members and raise $1500. We've made a page of resources for you to share.

Thank you for building community with us!

Nov 20 2017
Nov 20

The Drupal Association is excited to expand its team with two new staff members who are filing the roles Conference Director and Community Liaison. Please join me in welcoming Brooke Candelaria and Rachel Lawson. Both are going to add great value to the Drupal Association team as well as to the Drupal community.

Conference Director

We are excited for Brooke Candelaria, our new Conference Director, to join the team. She will infuse DrupalCon with ideas that draw on her extensive technology event experience in open source - Python specifically. In addition to taking over DrupalCon North America planning, Brooke will be a great partner in finding the best way to deliver DrupalCon globally. In addition to Brooke’s expertise, she brings enthusiastic energy to everything she does whether that is planning events or volunteering for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Brooke resides in Houston, Texas, USA.

Community Liaison

The team is equally excited that Rachel Lawson has agreed to join the team as our new Community Liaison where she will engage with the Drupal community to build a better relationship and understanding between the Drupal Association and the community. Rachel is well suited for this position given her background as a Drupal developer as well as her communications experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Even more impressive is that Rachel has been in the Drupal community for over 11 years and played many important roles such as Community Working Group member, Sprint Lead and mentor, DrupalCon and camp presenter, and more. Rachel has demonstrated time and again that she is a great communicator and has a natural talent to rally people behind a common goal. While you will see Rachel mostly online, she will still be touring Drupal events on her motorbike. Rachel resides in Norfolk, UK.

Nov 15 2017
Nov 15

The Drupal Association Board is responsible for the Drupal Association’s financial health and as part of their duty, they vote to approve monthly financial statements. The board met on September 23, 2017 at the board retreat that took place before DrupalCon Vienna and voted to approve the Q2 2017 financial statements that were prepared by our virtual CFO service, Summit CPA.

This blog walks you through our Q2 2017 Financials and how we performed against the two financial KPIs that we measure against each month:

Below is a summary of how we performed against our KPIs each month in the second quarter of 2017.

KPI Goal April May June Cash Reserve 15-30% 60% of goal 84% of goal 88% of goal Net Income Margin (NIM) % 10% 49.9% -29.8% -48.9%

The table above shows that Q2 was strong as a whole, due to the big income assist DrupalCon Baltimore gave.

With May and June below the KPI goal, we reviewed the entire quarter results as a whole. The quarter was buoyed by DrupalCon Baltimore which produced a majority of the $2,328,367 in April’s revenue and after its expenses, April landed $1,163,390 in net income. Following DrupalCon, May and June collectively accounted for $542,530 in revenue, producing a $214,711 net loss. When taken in total, we generated revenue of $2,870,897 and net income of $948,679. This equates to a NIM of 33.04% for the second quarter measuring above the net income margin goal.

You can see we did not achieve our cash reserve goal this quarter. The Drupal Association is still in its financial turn around so we did not meet our goal for the second quarter, however we are much closer to doing so than we have been in the past.

This chart below shows how cash reserves are building in Q2 and getting closer to hitting the cash reserve goal for this quarter.

Closing Cash Balance to Reserve chart shows we're trending closer to hitting cash balance reserve goal

Monthly Updates

April results toward our KPIs had us holding $1.2M in cash, which is 84% of the stated cash reserve goal.  Due to DrupalCon Baltimore reporting strong sales in both trainings and general conference tickets, we resulted in 49.9% of net income KPI.  Expenses for DrupalCon Baltimore came in lower, catering had significant savings of $50K.

For May, our cash reserve goal increased 11% through additional sales in Digital Sponsorships programs and DrupalCon ticket sales.  May expenses had DrupalCon Baltimore $15.8k less than forecasted, and IT had some savings in their budget as well, which helped cash reserves. 

June had costs from Baltimore which lowered net income by $70k than originally forecasted. This was seen in event production costs that were $100k higher than anticipated, along with an unanticipated $14k in professional expenses. Reducing the impact of those costs, income in other programs came in $55k higher, the majority being rebates from DrupalCon Baltimore. This impacted the cash reserve KPI, where we reached 88% of our goal.

We would not be able to do our mission-driven work without the support and contributions of our community. Contributions come in many forms, through the purchase of DrupalCon tickets and event sponsorships, through our Supporters and Members, Drupal.org sponsors, recruiters who post jobs on Drupal Jobs and many other fantastic ways our community supports the Drupal eco-system. We are deeply grateful for everyone who contributes their time, talent, and treasure to move Drupal forward.

Thank you!

Nov 13 2017
Nov 13

This story is reposted from Drudesk.com thanks to Drupal Ukraine Community.

Hello everyone! Drupal Ukraine Community is thriving. Last year’s Lviv Drupal Camp 2016 seems like only yesterday, but now it’s time to share our latest camp with you. This is the story of Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017, the annual camp for all Ukrainian Drupalers. We promise you a really interesting story. After all, who’s able to tell you more about the event than the organizers — the teams from Drudesk and InternetDevels, powered by Drupal Ukraine Community? Let’s go!

Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017 and its blue ocean

The official logo for Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017 was the Druplicon’s “infinity” eyes with scenes of Lutsk city reflected in them. It also resembled a fish to many. At Lutsk Drupal Camp, the blue color of the eyes was everywhere — on T-shirts, badges, backpacks, notebooks, and so on. Wherever you stepped, the blue wave carried you. And the main hero in this story was our favorite “drop” — Drupal!

collage blue - Lutsk Drupal camp 2017

+1 step to DrupalCon Ukraine

It’s no secret that the Ukranian Drupal community dreams about hosting DrupalCon in Ukraine some day. Holding Drupal Camp in the ancient and cosy city of Lutsk is one more step to holding DrupalCon in Ukraine!

Lutsk Camp organizers

Lutsk Camp official t-shirt

Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017,  the main event

Starting with the morning’s registration, it was clear that the day would turn out incredibly positive. The organizers (in dark blue T-shirts) worked like busy bees taking care of every small detail and were ready to solve any possible problem.

Registration team

Luckily, there were no problems to solve! Well, okay there was just one. The speakers at Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017 were so awesome that it was hard to choose which sessions to attend! They touched upon the most interesting and modern aspects of Drupal development, asked about the audience’s experiences and shared their own.

Speakers

The concentration of famous speakers per square meter of space was sometimes so high it made you dizzy. They were also glad to receive the certificates of appreciation from us!

Speakers with certificates

During Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017, there was also a time to catch up for old and new friends.

Attendees meet and talk

And even for some sports.

Juggling

Of course, Drupalers are driven by inspiration, but some additional snacks never go amiss.

Lunch spread

But this was just a rehearsal before the main lunch we all had together at Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017.

Lunch collage

Of course, it isn’t Camp without Drudesk and InternetDevels team taking photos together.

Group photo of organizers

And with all the guests as well.

Full group photo

Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017 and the flames of our love for Drupal

After all the speeches finished, the sponsors named the winners of their prize drawings, and the closing ceremony summed up this big day, there was more  to look forward to. The big party in the XIV century medieval Lubart’s castle was a chance for all the guests to see Lutsk' main attraction and, of course, to enjoy each other’s company.

The friendly atmosphere, hot snacks, and the energy of vibrant music played by the rock band warmed up the cool evening.

But we had something even hotter, too, as our love for Drupal kindled into real fire. The fire show within the medieval walls was truly impressive. The final touch was “Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017” “written” with fire. 

Party collage

Lutsk DrupalCamp 2017 fire sign

Thanks to everyone involved in the awesome Lutsk Drupal Camp 2017. Hope to see you again soon! Follow us on Facebook and other social media. Find Drupal Ukraine community at drupal.org/drupal-ukraine-community.

Oct 19 2017
Oct 19

On 28 September 2017, the Drupal Association held its third open board meeting of the year where community members listened in via zoom and in person. You can find the meeting minutes, board materials, and meeting recording here.

The board meeting was kicked off by an update from Dries Buytaert, followed by an Executive update from Megan Sanicki, Executive Director, and a Drupal.org update from Tim Lehnen, Director of Engineering. We also thanked and celebrated Tiffany Farriss, Vesa Palmu, and Jeff Walpole whose terms on the board end in November.

Dries Buytaert moving from Chairman to Founding Director position

One of the key announcements made during the meeting came from Dries Buytaert, who announced that in response to the Community Discussions findings, he is stepping down from the Drupal Association Chairman position. He will remain on the board in the Founding Director position.  This will go into effect in November when board seats expire and Adam Goodman will step into the role as interim Chairman, which is also in response to the community’s request for a neutral, outside expert to lead the board. To learn more about the Community Discussions, go here.

Adam Goodman is a leadership professor from Northwest University in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He's advised the Drupal Association on and off for the past 8 years, helping us evolve from a volunteer board to a strategic board. In this role, Adam will further evolve the board so it can orient itself around a new chairman structure.

Since Adam is a paid consultant, the Drupal Association needs to change its bylaws to allow Adam to sit on the board and be paid for his service. In addition to this change, we are doing a general update of the bylaws to include:

  • Eliminate non-existent committees like the HR committee

  • Modernize the tools we can use for online voting. Today we can use teleconferencing, but we also need to be able to use video conferencing.

To learn more about this board meeting, please watch the recording and stay tuned for an update on other improvements we are making in response to the community’s input.

Oct 19 2017
Oct 19
Posted by RyeBurd on 19 October 2017

Our community does amazing things together and they deserve to have the best working environment for collaboration. At the Drupal Association, we strive to create these open and collaborative environments at DrupalCon and on Drupal.org.

We recently became aware that a community member violated our speaker agreement at DrupalCon. The Drupal Association removed the video from the DrupalCon event site and the Drupal Association YouTube channel and we are determining additional actions. The community member acknowledged that they broke the speaker agreement and is cooperating with the Drupal Association as we take action.

We apologize that this content was shared. It didn’t create the best environment for our community to thrive and we will do better. We are looking at ways to enhance our process to avoid situations like this from happening again.

We also heard from the community discussion findings that were provided this summer, that the community needs a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities for volunteers that work on Drupal Association programs. The Drupal Association is working to define what is expected of each role and policies for managing situations when expectations are not met. We are working on developing a clear outline of these and you can expect to see them finalized by February 2018.

Sep 25 2017
Sep 25

These results and analysis were initially presented at the DrupalCon Vienna community summit on September 25, 2017.

Following numerous blog posts, official statements, community discussions, social media interactions, and Slack and IRC conversations over the last few months, there is a clear consensus that it is time for Drupal's community governance to evolve. We need to not only define what governance means to us as a community, but also clarify the roles and responsibilities of those within our community leadership and governance structures. We also need to draw clearer distinctions between the different forms of community, project, and technical governance, and make sure that everyone understands how they interact with and support each other.

Ultimately, this will need to be a collaborative process that involves all stakeholders, including Dries and the Drupal Association (especially where matters of legal and financial responsibility are concerned), but the first step is to create a framework so that the community can participate productively in the process. The question that remains to be answered is what that process will look like.

Results of the Governance Summit Survey

The Drupal Association, with help from Whitney Hess, conducted a Community Governance Summit survey in an effort to gain insight into how the community would like to proceed. 568 people responded to the survey, with most questions receiving between 200-250 responses. The Community Working Group (CWG) was given access to the raw results, which it in turn shared with David Hernandez, Nikki Stevens, and Adam Bergstein, who assisted with the writing of this blog post. We all agreed to keep any personally identifiable information from respondents confidential.

While none of the authors of this blog post were responsible for developing the survey or are trained statisticians, we did our best to analyze the results, which reflected a wide range of opinions and feelings about how the Drupal project and community is governed. While we did not feel the survey results pointed to any clear and actionable next steps, they were consistent with the feedback from the community discussions that were held this spring, which was that the process, in whatever form it takes, needs to be driven by the community.

To that end, we have worked with the Drupal Association to publish the survey data and, most importantly, make this call to action for a truly community-driven process. We are also making a sanitized version of the raw data available for download in OpenDocument format for anyone else to review and perform their own analysis. All comments and other free responses have been removed.

Selected Survey Highlights

  • 62% agreed that a governance summit is needed. Only 8% said definitely “no.”

  • 63% want the summit to be held online, so that members from all regions of our global community could participate.

  • 59% believe the summit should be overseen or facilitated by a professional governance expert, with the majority of write-ins requesting a neutral third-party facilitator not affiliated with the Drupal project or community.

  • Nearly 80% wanted the Drupal Association to provide financial support for the summit, with 36% indicating they would contribute to a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the summit.

  • About ¾ said that clarification of leadership roles and separation of project versus community governance roles should be prioritized at the summit. All of the options listed received the support of more than half of those who provided a response to this question:

    1. Clarification of leadership roles in the Drupal project (76%)

    2. Separation of project vs. community governance roles (73%)

    3. Update codes of conduct (63%)

    4. Overall community management (63%)

    5. More community-elected leadership positions throughout Drupal (60%)

    6. Clarify and update Community Working Group processes and policies (56%)

    7. Create core values statement (53%)

Percentages listed are of those who provided a response to that question, not of the total number of people who responded to the survey.

What’s Next: Getting Involved

Now is the time for people to get involved and drive the next steps in the process. We feel that as an open-source project, the governance of our community should be designed and implemented by members of that community in the most transparent and fair manner possible.

To that end, we feel that the best path forward is to create a volunteer working group that is representative of our global community, and for that group to take the lead in the process of evolving Drupal community governance, rather than any existing group or individual. While the Drupal Association, Community Working Group, and others in the project’s current governance structure are committed to providing whatever support they can to ensure the success of this working group, we feel that the community itself needs to own the process as much as possible.

We, the authors of this blog post, are not the leaders of the process, but as members of the community with interest and experience in various aspects of community governance, we are willing and able to help provide a framework for the group to self-organize and begin work to help improve the governance of our community. We stand ready to participate and help as needed, understanding that while this work will not be quick or easy, it is important and necessary for the long term sustainability of our project and community.

The next step for this is for you to get involved. Here's how to get started:

  • Join the #governance channel on Drupal Slack.

  • Attend a governance meeting in the #governance channel. Once a schedule has been determined we will publicize that information and pin it to the Slack channel. Each of the authors of this post will host at least one meeting and the entire meeting transcript will be made available after the meeting.

    • The goals of these meetings are to connect people who are interested in governance with each other, provide a forum for people to share their thoughts, and empower the community to determine the next steps.

    • We are committed to this being a community-driven process and will be present to facilitate, but not to dictate.

    • If there is interest, we can also host meetings in other forums. (IRC, video chat, etc.)

Other ways to get involved:

  • Write a blog post and share your ideas.

  • We know that people don’t always feel safe sharing their comments and feedback and we don’t yet have a long-term solution for this. In the interim, feel free to directly contact any of the writers of this post, or any member of the Community Working Group to share your thoughts.

We are at a unique inflection point in the history of the Drupal community. We have the opportunity to (once again) provide a shining example to other open source communities demonstrating our forward thinking; not only in technical decisions, but also community ones. Please join us.

Authors (listed alphabetically by Drupal.org username)

Sep 25 2017
Sep 25

The Drupal Business Survey 2017 shows that Drupal has a steady position in the market, and Drupal 8 has secured its role as the most popular version for new Drupal projects. Further, Drupal is often becoming part of a larger set of solutions.

The Drupal Business Survey is an annual survey that aims to give insights into the key issues that Drupal agency owners and company leaders worldwide face. The survey is an initiative of Exove, One Shoe and the Drupal Association and has been carried out this year for the second time. It covers topics about Drupal business in general, Drupal projects and talent needs. This article summarizes the most important findings along with commentary and insights from a total of 239 respondents.

Drupal is growing steadily

The Drupal Business Survey gleaned its data for 2017 from 239 respondents in CEO/COO/CTO/founder role (87%), director role (4.6%) or management role (4.6%), working at Drupal companies with a total of 300 offices spread around the globe. The most popular office location (30.1%) was USA. The second most popular with 12.1% was UK, and after that Germany, Netherlands, India, Canada and France. There were respondents from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.

Drupal Business Survey 2017 - Respondents

Analysis of the data made immediately clear that Drupal is a healthy business:

Drupal project pipeline grows

For almost half of the respondents (48.5%) the Drupal project pipeline grew within the last year. For 28.9% it stayed roughly the same, and for 22.6% the pipeline shrank.

Size of Drupal projects grows

For a majority (52.3%) of the respondents the average size of Drupal project deals grew. For about one third (31.4%) the Drupal deal size stayed roughly the same, and for only 16.3% the size of deals shrank.

Drupal’s project win rate stays roughly the same

Despite the increasing competition in the CMS market, for many (46.4%) of the companies their Drupal project win rate has stayed on the same level over the last year, and about a third (34.7%) have managed to grow their win rate. For less than a fifth of the companies (18.8%) the win rate had decreased.

Drupal project win-rate

Drupal’s position as a high-demand service platform is steady, especially for projects in the Charities and Non-Profit sector, which is catered to by two thirds (64.9%) of the respondents. Other popular industries that use Drupal are Government & Public Administration (56.1%) and Healthcare & Medicine (49.4%). There are no major differences in industries served by Drupal companies compared to the 2016 survey results.  

Drupal client sectors

Choosing Drupal

When choosing the right platform, Drupal clients trust the technical provider’s expertise: Drupal is often chosen by the clients as a result of the provider’s recommendation. In some cases the client’s previous experience or familiarity with Drupal is the definitive factor.

Besides Drupal being open-source and free of licensing fees, the definitive reasons for choosing Drupal are that Drupal is a reliable and flexible CMS choice with a strong reputation:

Without -most often than not- being able to precisely explain the reasons for which they prefer Drupal, those who do, sense that it is a better solution for their business; we shall imagine that this is due to the image of the CMS, which evokes a more robust, and serious CMS than the others.

Can do anything. Secure.

Choosing the company

When Drupal itself is less the dominating factor for the client, other unique aspects are often key factor for clients choosing a supplier, agency, or partner. The respondents mentioned that trust, commitment, quality, level of service, full service proposition, technical expertise, good reputation, and references were important factors for client decision making.

Drupal 8 has a strong place in the market

Drupal project version

Drupal 8, the newest version of the CMS, seems to have taken a strong place in the market. The respondents’ new Drupal projects were most commonly (38.1%) built on Drupal 8. One fourth of the respondents stated that they build mostly with both Drupal 8 and some with Drupal 7. For 18% of the respondents most new project were built with Drupal 7 and some with Drupal 8. A few (6.7%) of the respondents said their new projects are equally often built with Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. 12.1% still built all of their new projects with Drupal 7.

Drupal companies broaden their services, skill-sets, techniques and expertise

Remarkably, despite the popularity of Drupal, the survey shows that a lot of Drupal companies have changed their business model over the last year to widen their services and respond to the demand.  Drupal agency business models

The most common way of changing the business model was by expanding services beyond building Drupal websites (35,1%). The data shows that companies start to offer more services, expand their technology stack and work with multiple CMS platforms.

The main reasons behind the changes were changing market conditions (40,0%) or to willingness to grow the pipeline better or faster (49,4%). A respondent explains: “Drupal is too restricted to cover all the market's needs; furthermore, adding other services allows us to expand our clientele and thus revenues.”

More services

Drupal agency services

In addition to pure web development – coding the sites – most of the companies provide services such as support, system integration, user experience design, visual design, hosting, and mobile development.

Changing the technology stack

The companies also found adding other technologies as a useful way of expanding the technology stack.

More than half of the respondents’ companies used also Node.js, while Angular (43.5%), Symfony (42.3%) and React.js (33.9%) were also commonly used technologies within the respondents. Some used also Laravel (17.2%), Vue.js (9.6%) and Django (5.9%).

Expanding their services by adding other services and CMS platforms to their toolkit

Almost half of the companies (45.2%) have added other CMS platforms to expand their services and getting variety to projects. WordPress is the most usual (54.67%) addition to the toolkit, serving particularly smaller projects, with Magento eCommerce platform and Grav CMS following. For most respondents (69.6%), the reason for using more than one CMS tool is being able to use the tool best suited for the project. For almost the half (40.2%) the reason arose from the client's’ wishes on the tool.

“WordPress is more popular, and customers want it because of the user experience.”

“There's still a battle out there between Drupal and WordPress. Clients are not enough informed about the differences, so their opinion is often based on information and visions by previous suppliers”

“We’re adding Adobe and wordpress. Looking into JS frameworks.”  

Drupal in a landscape of solutions

Drupal is widely considered as one of the most popular options in the CMS landscape. However, while digital solutions have become more complex, Drupal increasingly often serves as a part of a larger set of solutions. The survey data shows that Drupal companies do this in the belief that the company sells solutions rather than technology.  

There’s a broad range of options available for companies to build platforms. Every Drupal organization seeks different combinations of software products and programming languages that they seem most important for their projects. There are endless options that excel in their own right.

Our clients rarely come asking for Drupal (10% of the time ). But our technical prowess is a big part of their choice. That skill just happens to be in Drupal due to our own choice of platforms.

[Our Drupal expertise is the most definitive factor] when clients approach us for Drupal projects, if Drupal is not the main reason to approach us (the most common case) then Drupal expertise is irrelevant.

When it is a Drupal project the expertise is important but we no longer sell Drupal as a major part of projects. We just use it. We now sell the solution.

I sell solutions to digital problems, not solutions to Drupal problems.

The study made it clear that there are often other definitive factors than Drupal expertise affecting the client’s decision of choosing agencies. The clients reportedly value vendor’s portfolio and references of previous projects, reputation, communication, and services that differentiate the agency from its peers.

The Drupal talent factor

According to the survey, Drupal talent is hard to find and takes a lot of work. Only fraction (10.9%) of the companies say that they find Drupal talent easily. Compared to last year, the demand for Drupal talent at responding companies seems to be split between decreasing (23.4%) and increasing (25.5%) demand, with demand staying about the same at 36.8%.

With Drupal 8 gaining more and more popularity, most respondents say that Drupal 8 skills are somewhat in demand (38.1%) or high demand (33.5%). 15.9% say that Drupal 8 skills are not in demand.

Most respondents ranked the number of skilled Drupal 8 developers as average (40.2%). The responses indicate that more Drupal talent is needed, especially skilled Drupal 8 developers, due to the fact that Drupal 8 is more complex than its predecessors:

2016/17 and D8 has been a big shakeout for talent in Drupal. A lot of people who could operate in commercial Drupal delivery in 2012-2015 (with demand outstripping supply markedly) simply will not be viable candidates for Drupal work in 2018. There is no 'easy" work left and many people who came in during the good times will not be able to sustain careers in the new world.

The evolution of the CMS marketplace to favor more comprehensive and thus also more complex solutions is favoring bigger companies with stronger competences through number of experts in specific fields. This can be a struggle for small vendors, as mastering clients’ needs requires more expertise than is available on their staff:

Demand, as a whole, for Drupal seems to be significantly dropping as the increased complexity of each major release of Drupal cuts off greater and greater numbers of the ‘do-it-themselves’ business owning client/builder types. These types are prime candidates for initially using Drupal and then later turning their Drupal site over to a professional company.

Conclusion

Based on the study results, it is safe to say that Drupal has a steady position in the market, and Drupal 8 has secured its role as the most popular version for new Drupal projects.

The content management market is shifting towards more comprehensive and also complex solutions. Drupal agencies are well positioned to respond to this trend due to modern Drupal 8 architecture and also by combining Drupal into larger solutions. This drives Drupal business into larger deals and allows more long-term partnerships with the clients, thus giving financial stability to the companies and also to the community.

On the other end of the market, Drupal also faces competition from low-end solutions such as Wordpress. Some of the agencies now offering other content management solutions, Wordpress included.

The market might be challenging for smaller companies with only one CMS in their toolkit. Companies that can react to changing market conditions and provide a variety of solutions are going to succeed. Additiionally, companies that are able to distinguish themselves from other vendors through a good set of services, specialisation, or excellent customer service will flourish. This is all part of a natural evolution of any digital platform marketplace and it should be seen as a good juncture to raise the Drupal agencies to the next level.

Talent finding challenges indicate that there will be a need for multi-skilled developers with very good technical expertise.

Want to go in-depth?

More detailed results of the survey will be published at the DrupalCon Vienna CEO Dinner on Wednesday, September 27th. The presentation will become available for download afterwards.

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For more information, please contact Janne Kalliola ([email protected]) or Michel van Velde ([email protected])

About Exove

Exove delivers digital growth. We help our clients to grow their digital business by designing and building solutions with agile manner, service design methodologies, and open technologies. Our clients include Sanoma, Fiskars, Neste, Informa, Trimble, and Finnlines. We serve also start-up companies, unions and public sector. Exove has offices in Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and London, United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.exove.com.

About One Shoe

One Shoe is an integrated advertising and digital agency with more than 10 years experience in Drupal. With more than 40 specialists, One Shoe combines strategy, UX, design, advertising, web and mobile development to deliver unique results for international clients like DHL, Shell, Sanofi, LeasePlan, MedaPharma and many more. For more information, please visit www.oneshoe.com.

About the Drupal Association

The Drupal Association is a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, OR, USA. It helps the Drupal project and community thrive with funding, infrastructure, and events. Its vision is to help create spaces where anyone, anywhere, can use Drupal to build ambitious digital experiences. For more information, please visit drupal.org/association.

Sep 13 2017
Sep 13

DrupalCon Latin AmericaI began working at the Drupal Association three and a half years ago. I showed up for my first day not entirely sure what to expect, but I had a hunch that this was going to be a special place to work and a formative part of my career. Working for the Drupal Association has not disappointed.

My first DrupalCon - Austin - was eye opening. I remember from my onboarding at the Drupal Association people trying to explain the magic that happens at DrupalCon. You think you "get it", but then you show up at DrupalCon and it far exceeds your expectations. It was unlike any other event I'd attended - it definitely felt like I was crashing a family reunion rather than attending a conference. Beyond the general energy of the event, I was immediately impressed by the people that make up the community. Everyone was so eager to introduce me to new people, explain how they got into Drupal, or make sure I felt welcome wherever we were.

As Events Director for the Drupal Association, I've been able to grow exponentially from a career perspective. Building and managing a new team, producing our first DrupalCon in India, clarifying and improving upon internal systems at the Drupal Association, and (more fun) seeing the world while meeting local Drupal communities.

My job has taken me to seven countries and four continents as I've produced DrupalCon. DrupalCon Amsterdam stands out to me as it was my first European DrupalCon. I remember it being equally as impressive as my first one in Austin, it struck me how it felt similar - yet different! Lots of the same familiar faces, but a different vibe than DrupalCon North America.

In Bogotá, I remember being impressed with the kindness and warm welcome our team received from Jairo Pinzon and Aldibier Morales the day we arrived for the week of the DrupalCon. Similarly, when we were exploring possible locations in India for DrupalCon Asia, we were able to meet Drupal communities in places I never dreamed I'd be able to visit. Some of my most vivid memories from that time are of walking through Old Delhi with Jacob Singh trying street food, celebrating the harvest festival Lohri by throwing peanuts and popcorn into a campfire with Rahul Dewan's family, and visiting the Taj Mahal with Piyush Poddar.

I've never experienced such a global community in my life as what I've found through my work with the Drupal Association. It's broadened my worldview and opened my eyes to a wide variety of cultures and values. It expands your heart to have people you care about in far off places. It has also caused me to be bitten by the travel bug.

I'm currently on a three month exploration of Europe with my partner, Shaun, in the time leading up to and after DrupalCon Vienna. Later this fall, I will return back to the US for a couple months while he continues on with some additional travel. In January, I will be leaving my position at the Drupal Association so that I can meet up with him and spend six months exploring Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

It's really sad for me to think about leaving the Drupal Association. I've never worked with such a committed, hardworking, and brilliant team. It's truly been the best opportunity of my career to work with such an incredible team while serving such a passionate community. I could write an epic blog post on just how amazing they are and all the community members who have impacted my work, but I'll save that for another day!

All that said, we are looking for a new Conference Director. It's a unique opportunity to work with an incredible team. Know someone who could be the right fit? Please check out the job posting and encourage them to apply.

I do not leave for four more months, so there will be adequate time to get the new person on board and up to speed. In Nashville, be sure and give them an equally warm welcome as you gave me. They will remember you for it. :)

Sep 11 2017
Sep 11

The Drupal Association Board of Directors will meet twice during DrupalCon Vienna. They have a board retreat the weekend before the conference and there is  an open board meeting during DrupalCon for the community to attend. Below are details about each meeting.

Board Retreat

During a retreat, the board and the Executive Director meet in an extended executive session to plan and discuss the strategy for the Drupal Association. Normally, the retreat lasts two days and non-board members including staff are invited to participate in presentations and discussions on specific topics.

However for the upcoming retreat in Vienna, we will be exploring a holistic view of the strategy for Drupal and are structuring the retreat differently to accommodate this expanded conversation.

Open Board Meeting

The board will meet again during DrupalCon Vienna on Wednesday, 27 September  from 11:45 - 13:00 in the convention center Business Suite 3-4. This is open to the community and lunch will be served to all who attend. You can also attend remotely via Zoom. See the dial in information below.

The agenda for this meeting includes:

  • Vote to approve last board meeting minutes

  • Executive Update

  • Drupal.org Update

  • DrupalCon Europe Update

  • Community Governance update from the CWG

  • Community Q&A

  • Celebrate departing board members

Those dialing into the meeting can join zoom by registering here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1b63252cf48650c9d746f627e8486654

Or join by phone (see link for # by country):

https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=ZTp9iSy-nW5sqyKJKRfhbTbxDueqU9W   

Webinar ID: 460 900 173

Sep 07 2017
Sep 07

DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward. However, with waning attendance and financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is sustainable and continues to provide unique value. This blog proposes a better path forward for hosting a sustainable and valuable DrupalCon Europe . This blog is part of a series that includes:  

  1. The problems we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe

We are now at the end of our blog series. Thank you for digesting so much content. Determining the strategic direction for a region’s event is rather complex and there are many facets to understand. It was important to us to share all of the details with you.

The Drupal Association is a mission-based organization and not a business that makes purely financial decisions. Rather, we employ staff who are personally invested in achieving our mission. We feel it is imperative to find the best way to serve the European community and we took great care over the last several months to find a path forward that would achieve this.

We don’t see this exercise as just determining an event’s strategy, but how can we further the special and profound human experience that takes place when Drupalers come together in person.

In the end, we see that Europe needs a clear goal for DrupalCon so that the energy put into creating it truly strikes at the community needs, strategically moves the project forward in a sustainable way, and creates the human experience that Europeans want. Currently, the community is expressing competing goals. We believe that the European community is best suited to determine what the region needs DrupalCon to achieve, and especially because of the feedback from the community discussions, we want to give the region more agency to drive DrupalCon’s programming.

A Little History

The Drupal Association became an official 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit in 2011, and our first focus was hosting DrupalCon London (ok, Croydon). Since that time, Drupal events have grown and matured, like DrupalCamp London, Dev Days, and Frontend United. We are thrilled to see Drupal events in Europe doing so well and we are thankful for the volunteers who are making that happen.

What this maturity likely means is that Europe has the ability to drive DrupalCon Europe forward, tailoring it more closely to the region’s needs. We just need an operational model that allows us to give the event to the community without negatively impacting the community.

When DrupalCon was produced by the community before DrupalCon London, the event became too big for volunteers alone to manage. It put a lot of strain on the community. That’s why the Drupal Association took over event production. In the process, we managed to professionalize the event, but we also applied a US model and we know that doesn’t feel authentic to attendees. The waning attendance and sponsorship reinforces that the event is not meeting needs, and the financial losses and staff working at over-capacity highlights that we are applying the wrong operational model.

It is time to break the mold and approach DrupalCon Europe completely differently. I believe the best approach to explore is a licensing model. That’s a contractual term for giving an entity the right to run a DrupalCon.

Licensing DrupalCon

There may be several operational models to explore and I want to hear about them from you. Until then, I’d like to share why we should consider the licensing approach.

Licensing gives the European community the agency they have asked for so they can create an event that is more European and has more desirable content. Once we get this model to work in Europe, we can leverage this creativity so other regions and countries can have DrupalCon too, like China, India, Australia, Brazil, or Costa Rica. This change expands DrupalCon’s reach and impact, moving the project forward in a strategic and global way.

While I have the rough concept in mind, I don’t have all the answers on how to license DrupalCon, but here are some broad brush strokes:

  • We want to give DrupalCon to a community-based entity that has proven event experience and demonstrated ability to serve the community. The entity needs to be grounded in the community so they can decide how to best serve the region’s needs and move the project forward in the right ways.

  • The Drupal Association would have some requirements that protect the brand experience such a Driesnote to kick off the event, the venue needs to meet certain needs like accessibility, the Code of Conduct must be applied so the event remains welcoming, there is diversity in speakers and attendance, and the official DrupalCon branding is used.

  • The Drupal Association would also have financial and reporting requirements, but we need to feel our way through what this looks like. We encourage the event organizer to make the event profitable and we would apply a license fee schedule as they become more sustainable.

  • The Drupal Association wants the event organizers to have freedom to tailor the event to the region’s unique needs. What Europe needs may be completely different from what Brazil needs, should they want their own DrupalCon as some point. The event organizer would pick who the target audience is, the programming structure, etc.

Clearly there are many details to work out if we go down this path. However, we can look to other Open Source Software projects who use this model to gain insights and best practices.

It will take time to set up this structure. The Drupal Association needs to work on this internally and as we mentioned before, we have a serious capacity issue that prevents us from working on this initiative while also producing DrupalCon.

The only way to free up staff capacity to work out a long-term solution is for Drupal Association to not host DrupalCon Europe in 2018.

DrupalCon Europe 2018

“What? Did she really just say what I think she said?” Yes, it’s true. I did say that the Drupal Association will not be hosting DrupalCon Europe in 2018. It doesn’t feel good saying this and I labored over this decision with others on the board and in the community for a long time. But, sometimes you have to take a step back to take a big step forward. Europe deserves a better DrupalCon that feels authentic and meets their needs. And countries around the world deserve access to this very special event.

We know that these changes could feel like Europe is being abandoned or not supported as much as the U.S. We empathize with those who may feel this way and that is certainly not what we want to convey. I want to be clear that the Drupal Association will definitely support Europe in 2018.

Supporting European Drupal Events in 2018

European Drupal events are strong and make a big impact. They are important Drupal contribution and adoption engines and we want to give those engines more fuel in 2018. In order to do that, the Drupal Association commits to the following:

  • Dries will keynote some European Drupal events

  • Drupal Association will aggregate and market European Drupal events to our lists and through our channels

  • Drupal Association will email our sponsors, encouraging them to sponsor camps

  • Drupal Association wil host 2-3 community organizer virtual round tables to foster knowledge sharing and problem solving.

What are other ways we can support Europe in 2018?

Here are some other ways we can support Europe in 2018. Let us know if these ideas could better serve the European community:

  • Camps bid to host DrupalCon Europe 2018. Camps have very similar programming to a DrupalCon and Dries could provide a Driesnote, While this is a viable option to keep DrupalCon alive in 2018, event organizers pointed out that this has some downsides to consider.
  • The camp will need to cap the attendance to the size for their venue.

  • Even though the expectation would be to run the camp as usual with the additional DrupalCon elements like a Driesnote, organizers and volunteers could get burnt out, and that helps no one.

  • Camps bid to be the “Official Camp of the Region in 2018”. I’m sure we can come up with a better name, but the idea is that camps bid for why community members should come to their camp. Then they get the “Official Camp To Go To in 2018” status and the Drupal Association will help promote that camp. Community organizers felt this idea has some merit because:

    • It doesn’t put pressure on camps to be something more. They can produce the program they are used to providing. Of course, more people may attend that camp and the organizers have to be prepared for this - or know when and how to cut off registration so they are not overwhelmed.

    • We create a new concept that can be leveraged in other regions

What do you feel is the best way to serve Europe in 2018? We want to hear. Tell us in the comments section and or meet us in the meetings listed below.

What About DrupalCon North America?

Community members asked me why we are only making a change to DrupalCon Europe and not to DrupalCon North America. It’s a good question. The simple answer is that DrupalCon North America is financially stable and growing. It provides 45% of our total revenue and that funds Drupal.org. The Drupal Association needs to be very mindful that changes don’t impact this important funding source.

Learn More at DrupalCon Vienna

Again, thank you for taking this journey with us to understand the challenges we have been facing with DrupalCon Europe and how we can solve them, together. I am encouraged by the many community members who have helped us and I look forward to moving this discussion forward in person at DrupalCon Vienna.

Please join me at the following sessions to discuss 2018 and beyond:

Community Summit

BoF 1

BoF 2

Drupal Association Board Meeting

Post DrupalCon Virtual Meeting

  • Thursday 16:00 CEST
  • For those that can not attend DrupalCon Vienna, we will host a webinar to share themes from the DrupalCon meetings, here your additions to the discussion, and talk about next steps.
  • https://zoom.us/j/241666153
Sep 06 2017
Sep 06

DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward. However, with waning attendance and increasing financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is sustainable and continues to provide unique value. This blog covers the problem of relevance. In other words: how can DrupalCon Europe provide unique value, meeting the needs and wants for the European community. This blog is part of a series that includes:  

  1. The problem we need to solve for financial sustainability

  2. The problem we need to solve to create unique value

  3. Results from a proposal based on community input

  4. A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe.

As mentioned in our last post, DrupalCon is a human experience. It’s truly about bringing people together to strengthen bonds so they can do something amazing together with Drupal. As seen in the DrupalCon Dublin Wrap and DrupalCon Barcelona Wrap presentations, the event mostly attracts builders from digital agencies (developers, project managers, designers, UX) and digital agency owners. However, our community consists of so many more personas including technical decision makers, end-user business decision makers, as well as content strategists and content editors and other marketing related personas. DrupalCon’s current attendees, and those who don’t attend, have unique needs that they want DrupalCon to address. The question we ask is “How can DrupalCon serve this spectrum of needs while also being a sustainable event?” We start by looking at our current attendee base.

In the last post, we showed how attendance is waning at about 14% per year on average. Sponsor support dropped 17% this year. It’s apparent that DrupalCon Europe is not currently providing value that attendees and sponsors are willing to pay for. We understand that the cost to attend is not just buying the ticket, airfare, and lodging. There is also the opportunity cost of missing billable hours with clients and important time with family. To thrive as an event, DrupalCon Europe’s value needs to outweigh all of these costs.

Why is DrupalCon attracting fewer attendees? To find out, we spent a lot of time this year interviewing Drupal event organizers, core developers, sprint mentors, business owners, sponsors, and other engaged community members. We also conducted a survey that 350+ people participated in. This research started in December 2016 and continued through the year. We found that there are several reasons why fewer people attend DrupalCon ranging from lower-cost camps that provide similar content, to gaps in DrupalCon programming, and high attendance costs.

Event Competition

To understand how DrupalCon Europe can provide unique value through programming, we evaluated the competitive landscape for events. We looked at Drupal events (ex: Camps) and other technology events that attract Drupal developers, especially those working on headless solutions and e-commerce.

You can find the competitive analysis here. The TL;DR is that every Drupal event has some, if not a lot, of the same programming as DrupalCon Europe. The other thing that stands out is that DrupalCon Europe's programming does not cater to business decision makers who want to evaluate Drupal for their organization. However, local communities have started this work with the Splash Awards and similarly coordinated activities.

Doing this competitive analysis helped us see where DrupalCon provides unique value, which is listed in the Strengths portion of the SWOT down below. Still, we need to understand what the region needs to move Drupal and the community forward and what potential attendees want and need out of DrupalCon. So we conducted round table interviews of over 40 European community leaders and organizers and conducted a community survey. Thanks to everyone for participating in these conversations. You can find the survey findings here (spoiler: there is a lot of information in there. It is summarized in the sections below)

Findings from Interviews and Survey

Based on everyone’s input, we created a needs assessment and we also created a DrupalCon Europe SWOT analysis. Below are summaries of key questions asked.

Needs Assessment

What Does Drupal Success Look like In Europe in the next 3 to 5 years

The roundtable and survey participants we talked to describe a future where in 3 to 5 years, Drupal 8 will have lower barriers to adoption (modules, usability, UX) and it will grow in market-share, especially in government and enterprise. There was also a shared vision amongst some that Drupal serves the small and mid-sized business market. It will be seen as a leader in each country over competitors like WP and Typo3. There will be enough developers for hire to support that growth. In terms of community, there will be more contributing members, especially from end users, and there will be more people volunteering time to contribute code and run events. The community will be vibrant, healthy, and engaged.

What Europeans want and need for Drupal to thrive

We asked participants what areas need focus to help Drupal achieve their vision of success. Here is a summary of what we learned:

DrupalCon Europe and meeting the needs

Based on this input, it appears that the European community has a good vision for Drupal’s success and what they need to achieve it. We are pleased that DrupalCon Europe already addresses several needs such as:

  • Attracting new developers
  • Teaching developers about Drupal’s contribution culture
  • Getting people off the Drupal island with the PHP and Horizons track, which focuses on other projects and technologies.

We can adjust some programming to address currently unmet needs. For example, there is a need to deepen our community volunteer bench. Perhaps we can use Community Summits to provide mentorship.

However, there are some things DrupalCon Europe may not be able to achieve. For example, there is little support to make DrupalCon a developer event and a business / marketing event. In talking with other OSS projects, we learned that this is common in Europe. The suggestion is to decouple the two needs.

While DrupalCon can be redesigned to better meet needs, it is unclear which stakeholder to prioritize: the Drupal shops / digital agencies who want a marketing event, or the developer community who needs more people to help them build with Drupal and move the project forward. It is also unclear if camps and other Drupal events are better positioned to meet the developer community’s needs better than DrupalCon.

DrupalCon Europe SWOT Analysis

Our survey and roundtable asked other questions like what is special about DrupalCon, where does it not meet your needs, etc. We used that kind of input to create a SWOT analysis for DrupalCon Europe.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It helps you organize input so you can consider the best strategy for your business - or in this case, your event.

Here is the DrupalCon Europe SWOT:

Looking at the SWOT, it is good to see consensus about DrupalCon’s strengths and weaknesses. That helps us know what to lean into and what to avoid as we look for solutions. What is concerning is “where do we take DrupalCon?” when looking at the opportunities. The community feedback reflects a wide spectrum of needs that DrupalCon could serve, yet it is quite unclear which ones to prioritize. Also, there was strong consensus that we lower ticket prices. Unfortunately, to lower ticket prices we need to hone our focus, rather than expand it to meet all of the expressed needs.

Summary

Overall, findings showed that there are many needs and opportunities for DrupalCon Europe to tackle. We cannot do all of them and it’s unclear which one is the top priority for the region.

Europe is many countries with many cultures. And Drupal is very flexible both in terms of how you use it technically, and also what personal or professional dream you want to pursue with it. It’s only natural that our research findings showed that the European region has multiple and differing visions for DrupalCon.

In the end, the question remains: where do we focus DrupalCon’s programming to strike at the highest priority needs of the European community and how do we do that in a sustainable way? The next blog in this series shows how we tried to answer it with community members.

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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
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
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See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web