Oct 09 2018
Oct 09

This is a guest blog by Lijo Abraham and Ali Fathima N. A. to tell you about a recent Global Training Days event in Kerala.

Group photo on stage at GTD event
Group photo by Sumesh S (sumesh_sr)

A Drupal Global Training Day (GTD) was held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India on September 29, welcoming 60 participants representing diverse sectors, including students from engineering colleges, software professionals, and government officials. The event created momentum to form the Drupal Community in Kerala.

The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS)—an autonomous institution under the Government of Kerala that is mandated with propagation, promotion, and development of Free and Open Source Software—donated the event. Zyxware Technologies provided the technical partnership for the GTD.

The GTD had eminent personalities addressing the participants and sharing their experiences. In the inaugural address, M. Sivasankar IAS, Secretary of the E&IT Department for the Government of Kerala, stressed the role played by the Kerala Government in enabling the technology ecosystem in India. 

Dr. Rajeev R. R., Program Head of ICFOSS, welcomed the participants. Thomas P. Thomas, CEO of Zyxware Technologies, offered an Introduction to Drupal, the Drupal Community, and the GTD.

Vimal Joseph, Senior Manager of Technology at Zyxware Technologies, presented a session on 'Fueling the Digital Transformation with Drupal'—which was followed by open questions and answers regarding Drupal. 

A case study on 'Multi-site Platform for a Government Agency' was presented by Mathew T. Abraham, a Project Manager at Zyxware Technologies. Participants interacted directly with the speakers.

Vimal Joseph speaks with Umami demo showing on screen
Fuelling Digital Transformation with Drupal, photo by Sudheesh S. Babu.

Presentations were followed by hands-on Drupal workshops. Drupal developers of Zyxware Technologies namely  Abhinand Gokhala, Sumesh S, Jijo Joseph, Sudheesh S. Babu, Jithin Prabhakaran, Sahal V. A., Jeslin Shaji and Ali Fathima N. A. provided individual attention to the participants. Workshops led by Krishna R. P., Technical Project Manager, and Ajish J. Pulikottil, Technical Consultant, offered an introduction to Drupal, installing, and how to build a simple Drupal 8 application. Nearly a dozen staff from ICFOSS and Zyxware Technologies volunteered at the event as well.

The workshop on Drupal has been very inspiring. I am feeling delighted to have been a part of this and will try to continue with the wave approach on society with this positive technique,” stated Aishwarya Soman Nair, a student at Saintgits College of Engineering.

Overall, participants’ feedback stated that this was a new, helpful opportunity to learn more about Drupal in detail. Participants were awarded certificates of participation.

One of the best workshops I have attended. The training was inspiring, informative, and its method of delivery was so easy to receive. I am interested in forthcoming open source training also,” said Raveena R. Marangattu, a student at Saintgits College of Engineering.

You can be part of Global Training Days

Get involved with Global Training Days! Join the group and host an event this November 30-December 1.

Oct 03 2018
Oct 03

This is a guest blog by Marina Paych (paych) with tips for coordinating Drupal training events.

Organizing a Drupal Global Training Days event is a great way to spread the word about Drupal, engage more novice developers, and increase adoption. If you haven’t heard about Drupal GTD, typically, these events are a one- or two-day training where experienced developers deliver sessions about Drupal and teach attendees how to create their first Drupal website or module.

Why is this event called global? It’s because it is held globally on or around a certain date every quarter. Organizers in the North and South Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia come together to create the GTD movement and show the power of community-organized events worldwide.

GTD event in Saudi Arabia
Introducing Drupal 8 in Riyadh. Photo by @EssamAlQaie.

However, Drupal event organizers face challenges while running trainings and conferences. The Drupal Global Training Days Working Group conducted a survey to find out common difficulties for organizers and how the working group can offer support. We came up with an online questionnaire first, and then held several in-depth interviews with organizers to validate gathered quantitative data.

In this article, I've collected the most widespread challenges of Drupal Global Training Days organizers and brainstormed possible ways to overcome them based on my personal event organizing experience and good practices of other organizers. Let's dive in.

GTD event in Russia - group photo
Group photo at GTD in Omsk. Photo by @ADCISolutions.

Issue 1: a lack of speaker resources (documentation/PPTs of other organizers)

What do we teach? A lack of ready-made resources is the most common concern of organizers worldwide. And I admit that it is an issue. There is no special folder with all the up-to-date and ready to deliver presentations for everyone to use.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Most organizers hold GTD events on their local language: Spanish, Russian, etc., and that makes such PPTs hardly usable for other countries.

  2. All the organizers have different event programs due to different profiles of attendees: in some countries, the attendees are mostly beginners, in other countries - experts.

These barriers make it harder (if not impossible) to have PPTs for all types of sessions and all types of audiences.

However, there’s a way that you can overcome this problem: ask other organizers for help! Join the group at Drupal.org. There, you can create a new discussion and ask people to share their documents or at least their events programs, so you will be able to adapt the materials to your audience and goals. Also, there is a Slack channel, where you can do the same thing; ask other organizers for help.

I did this when we decided to add a workshop to our GTD. Previously, we only had theoretical sessions, but then we wanted to deliver a practical workshop. Since we had never run a workshop before, I asked other organizers if anyone already delivered workshops. And Mauricio replied to me and shared lots of materials they've used in Nicaragua.

We discussed his materials together with our team of speakers and we adapted some related to our agenda and goals. What was also very useful:a technology stack Mauricio uses on his events. We didn’t know what to choose to use in our workshop, so we also used tools that were suggested by Mauricio, which were helpful.

Incorporating the experience of Nicaraguan GTD events allowed us to avoid starting from scratch, and we delivered a quality event.

Also, there is a global initiative aimed to translate the Drupal 8 User Guide to different languages. If your local language is one of the following: Català, Magyar, Español, Українська, 简体中文, Français, Deutsch, فارسی,  Bahasa Indonesia, 日本語 — you can use these materials for your training. If your language is not on the list yet, you can help translate it.

Issue 2: a lack of unified promotional materials

The second widespread problem is the lack of promotional materials. The situation is similar to the first issue. Different languages and different profiles of attendees make it difficult to have a single set of materials to promote all GTD events. We have discussed what we can do during some of our GTD Working Group calls, and we realized that it is best for each organizer to create local promotional materials because they know their audience better and can transmit the GTD main goal -- Drupal Adoption -- in plain comprehensive language.

But again, feel free to ask for help or advice in the group or Slack channel from organizers who have had success in promoting their events.

Issue 3: a lack of speakers

Some organizers mentioned that they often don’t have people to deliver sessions due to different reasons: developers are busy with work, or are too shy to speak, or there is no one at all to deliver sessions.

Scenario #1

If your potential speakers agree to prepare and deliver sessions but are too busy to really engage, then schedule an event in advance and help them plan the timeline of preparation in a way that does not take many hours per week. Show them that if they start preparing in advance and they take it slow, they will be able to do everything simultaneously. But, of course, it will require your time to remind and check in for good results.

Scenario #2

If your potential speakers are too shy to speak, try to involve them gradually. Ask them to prepare a short internal report on something simple for the session topic. Then provide them with quality feedback and highlight the strong sides of their presentation. And then, when they are ready, invite them to a bigger event. It will take some time, but your efforts will pay off when your event achieves your goals.

Scenario #3

You are a solo organizer or there is no one available to speak in your company. There are two possible ways to overcome this problem:

  1. Find speakers from other Drupal companies in your region. They will get their company's promotional support and you will get speakers with experience. The other option can be applied if you have a strong community in your city or region. Then you can invite people from the community to speak at the event.

  2. If the first way can’t be implemented, find remote speakers and make video calls or even make an online event. The Global Drupal Community is HUGE. I’m sure you will find amazing and motivated speakers for your event within the community.

Issue 4: low conversion rates (many people sign up, few attend)

If this is a one-time thing, it might be just random low attendance. For example, the weather suddenly became terrible and people didn’t want to go outside at all. That is not specific to your event.

But if this constantly happens, you need to carefully assess your promotional efforts. Possible reasons:

  • Promotional materials are misleading: the expectations attendees had were not justified. Check that you deliver what you promise and improve your promotional materials and texts according to it. To identify the gap between the expectations and reality, organize a couple of in-depth interviews with the representatives of your target audience or add a question about expectations to the application form.

  • Attendees servicing issues: usually, it is a couple of weeks between the date when a person sends an event application form and an actual event date. A person can forget about the event, can lose interest, or even change their plans. In order to avoid that, plan some touch points with people who have already registered. Shoot emails, tell about the sessions and programs, send reminders.

  • Not exactly your target audience: if your promotional materials are distributed to channels that are popular among a wider audience (not only tech students but all students, for instance), you might receive many sign-ups but only tech people will attend. Be mindful when choosing channels for promotion; make sure your target audience is there.

There may be other reasons why you have a low conversion rate: it's difficult to get to your venue, the price (if an event is paid) is too high, the agenda is not that interesting, etc. But you need to find the reasons for your particular case. Talk to attendees, ask them what would improve their experience, and your conversion rate will increase when you implement their feedback. Just don't forget to mention your improvements in your promotional materials so people know that you really listened to them.

Issue 5: a lack of money for a venue, coffee breaks

How great is it when you come to an event and there is free coffee there? To ensure your attendees will come to a comfortable venue and enjoy sessions after a welcome coffee break, you can take simple steps:

  • Organize the event in the office of an IT company: it is great if your office is good for events, but if it isn’t, you can approach bigger companies and offer a collaboration: you will organize the event and they provide a venue. Perhaps they can distribute their promotional materials during the event. Of course, it doesn't necessarily need to be an IT company office; you can find any comfortable and beautiful venue, but IT offices are often cool and prepared for IT events.

  • Organize the event in the University: you can try to negotiate with Universities to let you organize your event there without a fee. The Universities have two main advantages: they usually have all the necessary equipment for events and they also have tech students who can possibly attend your event.

  • Find in-kind partners for your event: Drupal GTD is a globally supported event that attracts many people. You can use this to your benefit and find partners for your event who will provide you with goods or services in exchange for promotion. You can put their banner in the event venue. It won’t hurt your event to have a few banners, and you will be able to offer your attendees a more pleasant experience without any monetary investment.

Issue 6: no sponsors

Usually, most of the event's needs can be covered with the help of in-kind partners. It is much easier to find in-kind partners than sponsors. So, I would recommend you start with in-kind partners, especially if you have never sold event sponsorships before.

If, however, you need sponsorship:

  1. Create a pool of companies who might be interested in your event.

  2. Find contacts for decision-makers from these companies.

  3. Come up with a list of benefits you can offer to them (promotion, employer branding, speaking at the event, etc.) and set a price.

  4. Create a customized proposal for each company.

It’s best to set up a meeting with a company because it will allow you to talk with a person and see which of your benefits are more relevant for them, and provide more information.

If some companies support your local Drupal or IT community, it is likely that they could support your event.

Issue #7: a lack of awareness

The GTD events are not well-known in some regions, which creates additional challenges for organizers. It becomes harder to find sponsors, speakers, and attract attendees. If this is your case, the action that can help is for you to inform Drupal companies in your region about the benefits of participating in the GTD movement. Benefits like promotion of a company within the Drupal Community, with a possibility to be featured in blog posts and tweets, spotting on a Drupal events map, and even credits on Drupal.org!

In order to promote your event and attract more attendees, you can focus on the fact that the same events are being organized on the same day all over the world. It usually inspires people and makes them curious to attend. Feel free to use the videos from GTD organizers (video #1, video #2) during your promotion or on-site at your event.

GTD event in India - speaker on stage
Mr. Thomas speaks at GTD in Kerala. Photo by @zyxware.

Conclusion

Event management is a complex and sometimes complicated process. But it is interesting and allows a huge amount of opportunities for improvement and experimentation. I’ve been organizing events of different scale for years, and I still find something interesting in the work.

That is why I wish all the GTD organizers to be proactive, creative, and consistent. These qualities will help you make wonderful events and engage hundreds of people with Drupal!

And the Drupal GTD Working Group (paych, lizzjoy, dinarcon, rgs, rachit_gupta, pendashteh, solomonkitumba) is always here to lend you a hand and help with advice.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about this article or event management in general.

Join the Drupal GTD Group and Slack Channel, and follow us on Twitter :)

Happy GTD!

Oct 03 2018
Oct 03

At Drupal Europe in September, the Association was thrilled to announce that DrupalCon Europe would be returning in 2019. During the gap year, we knew we wanted to transform the event to improve its fiscal sustainability, pilot a new more-scalable model that we may be able to bring to the rest of the world, and most of all ensure that the event still has the close care and attention of the local community. We believe our partnership with Kuoni Congress through the new licensing model we've established will accomplish each of those goals, and we're excited to see its first iteration in Amsterdam next year.

The Community's Homecoming

DrupalCon has always represented a homecoming for the community—and preserving that sense of belonging is critical to the future of the event. That's why we're pleased to announce that a DrupalCon Community Advisory Board has been chosen, chaired by Baddy Breidert and Leon Tong.

The community advisory committee consists of:

This membership represents a good cross-section of countries and roles within the community, with a focus on European representation to support the event. While Kuoni handles the operational and execution side of the event, this committee will help to inform the content and will bring more than a decade of historical knowledge about Drupal events. The charter of the committee is as follows:

  • Advise on programming
  • Create and oversee the content selection subcommittee
  • Create and oversee the volunteer subcommittee (room monitors, etc.)
  • Create any additional subcommittees as needed

In addition to this, members of the committee and the Drupal Association team will be traveling to Vienna in late November for a 2-day intensive kick-off with the Kuoni Congress team.

We want to thank all that showed interest in joining the committee and we will contact each and every one of you to offer the opportunity to take on some tasks for DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019.

We'll see you in Amsterdam!

About Kuoni Congress

Kuoni is a professional event services organization with offices around the globe, including more than 20 in Europe. The team building DrupalCon Amsterdam is located in Europe, and attended Drupal Europe in September 2018, where they were incredibly impressed by the community spirit and professionalism of the Drupal community. The Kuoni team is proud to partner with the Drupal Association and the Drupal community to bring DrupalCon back to Europe in 2019.

Oct 02 2018
Oct 02

On September 10, 2018, the Drupal Association Board met at the DrupalEurope event in Darmstadt, Germany.

You can find the official meeting minutes and board packet on the Board Meeting Minutes and Materials page of the Drupal.org website.

Thank you to our outgoing class of board members

We want to say a special thanks to our outgoing class of board members. Their service has helped define the course for Drupal Association in recent years, and their contributions to this community are immense.

Donna is a long-time advocate of Open Source in Australia, and has served on the Drupal Association Board since2012. Donna was a consistent voice for inclusiveness, global representation, and community. In Drupal Europe Donna led a panel about the past, present, and future of the DA. Thank you, Donna!

Sameer served two terms on the Drupal Association Board, bringing his background as a Professor of Information Systems at SF State to provide historical insight into the wider open source world, as well as deep knowledge of Drupal in Higher Ed. Sameer's knowledge of strategic frameworks helped to level up board conversations.

Steve Francia joined the Drupal Association Board to bring to bear his perspective from leading a wide variety of different open source projects, including MongoDB, Docker, Hugo, and Go. Steve helped provide an understanding of Drupal's context in the larger world, and most notably, he shared that in his keynote at DrupalCon Nashville. Thank you, Steve!

Shyamala was elected in 2016 by the community to serve a two-year term on the Drupal Association Board. Shyamala enhanced the global perspective of the board, and helped to tie the Asian (and especially Indian) community more closely with the DA. Shyamala is now deeply involved in creating the local Indian Drupal Association.

Welcome to our new board members

Suzanne was elected by the community earlier this year to serve a two-year term on the Drupal Association Board. Suzanne has regularly spoken at Drupal events, runs an in-depth Drupal training program, and has more than a decade of experience in Drupal.

Vishal's role as the head of Open Source Technology Solutions at Tata Consultancy Services gives him a wealth of experience with the open source landscape, both in Drupal and beyond. His experience at a major SI will help the board drive conversations about adoption of Drupal as the hub of a web solution for major service providers.

Luma brings her experience as a Managing Director of Charles Schwab to share her knowledge of the Financial Technology space, and Drupal's impact on these organizations and end-users. Luma manages a large Drupal installation, and can provide a powerful end-user perspective on Drupal's future.

Until next time

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

Sep 26 2018
Sep 26

As part of our ongoing activities to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for collaboration in Open Source, we have updated the drupal.org Terms of Service, at drupal.org/terms

This change has clarified which behaviors will be regarded as “harassment” and are, therefore, not acceptable whilst using the Drupal online services. The language is now in line with that already employed in the DrupalCon Code of Conduct.

The updated text, from Section C - Activities, now reads as:

  • Harassment will not be tolerated in any form, including but not limited to: harassment based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. Any report of harassment will be addressed immediately. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
     

    • Comments or imagery that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion.

    • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.

    • Abusive, offensive, or degrading language or imagery

    • Language or imagery that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence, emotional, or physical harm against an individual or a group of people

    • Intimidation, stalking, or following

    • Sexual imagery. At a minimum, no images containing nudity or expressions of sexual relationships that might be deemed inappropriate for a business environment should be uploaded or linked to

    • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances

    • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

You do not need to do anything to acknowledge this update.

Whilst you are here…

Are you receiving all the news and information you need? The Drupal Association publishes a number of news updates and you might be missing out. Check which news updates you are receiving by visiting our recently updated subscription page at http://eepurl.com/hWxwQ

Sep 25 2018
Sep 25

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from OneShoe's blog. The following are results from the 2018 Drupal Business Survey conducted by One Shoe and Exove, in partnership with the Drupal Association.

Drupal Business Survey 2018: hot topics are recruitment, changing Drupal playing field, and shift to Drupal 8

The last couple of months Exove and One Shoe worked closely with the Drupal Association on the global Drupal business survey to assess current trends, adoption of emerging technologies and shifting perspectives on the Drupal landscape. The survey was open during July and August. In these two months 136 Drupal agency leaders and decision makers worldwide were surveyed to learn where the Drupal industry is heading and how the Drupal community can chart their course for Drupal’s success in the years to come.

According to the survey, the Drupal client landscape has been changing with the continuing adoption of Drupal 8. For many of the respondents, the sales pipeline and average deal size has grown – while a number of companies struggle with client acquisition and moving to Drupal 8. The surveyed companies are using various strategies to adapt to the changed situation. As in the previous surveys, the Drupal talent availability is seen as one of the major challenges.

Survey participants were Drupal business leaders from around the world

Most surveyed companies and offices are based in Europe (63 %) followed by 40 % in North America and 7.4 % in Asia. Out of the total responses, most participants of the survey had the role of founder (65.9 %), CEO (50.4 %) CTO (18.5 %) and COO (1.5 %). A little over 30 % of the respondents stated that their company existed for over 14 years, followed by almost 20 % of the companies who’ve existed between 10 - 11 years. 60 % of the companies who filled in the survey have just one office, with 19.3 % two offices.

World map showing locations of respondents by percentage

A little over a half (54.8 %) of the companies stated that they are a digital agency. 14.8 % define their profile as a software company with 10.4 % as a consulting agency.

Almost all (94.8 %) of the respondents said that their company provides web development. A majority of the companies shared that they provide visual design (65.9 %), user experience (68.1 %), system integration (67.4 %) or support (59.3 %). These answers are very similar to the results of last year’s survey.

The workfield of the Drupal agencies has become more industry specific

Drupal companies have clients in diverse industries. More than half (59.3 %) of the respondents reported to have Drupal clients in Charities & Non-Profit organisations. Other industries are Government & Public Administration (54.8 %), Healthcare & Medicine (47.4 %), Arts & Culture (41.5 %) and IT (40.7 %). Based on the responses, it can be stated that Drupal companies are becoming more industry specific. The Drupal Business Survey responses of the last three years show that each year, fewer companies have clients in every industry. The outcome of the surveys show that the industries of Media and Banking & Insurance have had the biggest drop, while Healthcare & Medicine and Consulting have grown the most from the first survey.

Top 10 industries in which Drupal clients operate in 2018 - bar graph

Compared to 2016/2017/2018:

Top 10 industries in which Drupal clients operate - bar graph

Biggest challenges in recruitment, client acquisition and Drupal 8 adoption

The outcome of the survey shows that in the last 12 months the Drupal agencies faced three main challenges, namely recruitment (24 %), client acquisition/pipeline (17 %) and conversion to Drupal 8 (14 %). These three challenges are analysed in the following parts of this article.

Biggest challenges Drupal agencies faced in the last 12 months

Recruitment – a war on Drupal talent

The Drupal agencies wanting to grow, know the importance of Drupal talent. For years, the demand for Drupal talent has exceeded the supply. According to this year’s survey, agency leaders see recruiting new employees as their biggest challenge. That’s nothing new; the lack of developers is a universally known challenge, that applies to not only Drupal developers. According to research from The App Association, there are 223,000 job openings for software developers in the US alone. And in Finland alone there is a shortage of 10 000 developers (source: Code from Finland).

One of the recipients describes their challenge of the last 12 months as:

A war on talent.

But still: the demand for digital services is great and the stakes are high. Agencies simply need manpower to continue to grow their business (59 %): "We hit a productivity ceiling and need to expand if we were ever to have capacity to provide for further growth." The lack of Drupal talent can be a threat for new projects: "We lose out on opportunities because our capacity is too low."

The answers of the surveyed pointed out that scarcity and financial compensation continue to be the main obstacles for attracting employees with experience and/or (highly) skilled in Drupal. A lot of the respondents mention that senior developers are typically very expensive to hire, while junior developers match the budget.

Every year we hear that Drupal agencies can't find talent. What they often mean is that they can't find talent at the rates they are willing to pay.

Most of the Drupal talent is either completely new to Drupal or already skilled and working, requiring a strong incentive to change positions.

However, despite the difficulties, 80 % of the agency leaders did hire new employees in the last year and managed to meet their Drupal talent needs, mostly by actively prospecting and hunting Drupal specialists (51.5 %). According to the respondents, it also seems to be a good strategy to motivate and educate people for Drupal who are not familiar with Drupal before, but are willing to learn: agencies hire graduates/juniors (47 %) or hire experienced developers (35.8 %) and train them in Drupal themselves.

Opportunities in collaborating with education institutes

Respondents advise to collaborate more with education institutes and other organizations to prepare interested and motivated people to become the Drupal experts of tomorrow. As one suggests:

We need further engagement between tertiary institutes and industry to ensure open-source platforms and industry standard development methodologies are taught to address the medium term skills shortage.

One respondent told us they even started their own Academy in collaboration with tech universities.

Changed Drupal playing field brings new challenges

Over the last couple of years, Drupal has undergone major changes. For one, Drupal 8 was released.
Also, Drupal starts to play more and more a role as the backend for headless or decoupled CMSs, Drupal is evolving towards an API-first platform and is competing head to head with proprietary platforms like Sitecore and Adobe Experience Manager.

These changes inevitably impact the Drupal market. It’s therefore no surprise that the second biggest challenge (17 %) for agencies in the last 12 months had to do with generating leads for Drupal focused projects or the acquisition of new and suitable customers. This raises different reactions. It is clear that the changed playing field of Drupal benefits certain companies, while others struggle with the change:

The landscape is changing seismically. We are seeing smaller competitors shrink whilst those delivering enterprise and business critical services are prospering. With Drupal 8 we are winning in many situations where platform decisions are open.

The (other) challenge we've been facing is the perceived lack of interest in Drupal overall, specifically on the commerce side. We've been working hard to educate the market on the viability of open source for commerce using Drupal, but have a lot more work to do to get a foot in the door in that enterprise market.

One of the companies also seemed to notice a slower growth on the Drupal market:

Drupal is facing competition from several directions: WordPress is no longer a blog platform but equals Drupal. Increased demand for static site in combination with cloud CMS-es and developers losing interest in Drupal in favor of .JS and lightweight PHP frameworks.

JS-based frameworks are more in demand and PHP is losing its appeal.

Decoupled: We see a role for Drupal in the decoupled world, however we are still behind on what Drupal should deliver to be an API backend first choice.

Average deal size of Drupal projects increased

Average deal size of Drupal projects in a pie chart

It is striking that although the client acquisition seemed to be a major challenge for the respondents, a little over half of the Drupal agencies (51.5 %) saw their Drupal project average deal size increasing, with 36.6 % whose average deal size stayed roughly the same and 12 percent (11.9 %) experienced a decrease. This seems to indicate that Drupal projects are becoming bigger and bigger.

As someone mentioned:

We see larger and larger deals opening up in the Drupal space. The role played by Acquia is significant in the growth of Drupal in the Enterprise space.

We are still seeing growing demand for Drupal, especially among large/ enterprise organisations.

Drupal agencies seize new opportunities

In response to the changes within the Drupal market, some agencies have found new opportunities with Drupal by developing new business models.

The survey results show that 34.1% of the respondents did not change their business model in the last year. However 28.9 % expanded their services beyond building Drupal sites whilst 15.1% of the agencies chose to become more specialized (focus on specific vertical or industry). Main reason to change their business model was to grow their pipeline better/faster (58.2 %), identification of a better business model (51.6 %) or changing market conditions (50.4 %).

Has your business model changed? Pie chart

On the one hand, there are the Drupal companies who expand their business by offering new services like consultation or strategic work:

We are helping more agency and merchant teams adopt Drupal Commerce specifically for Drupal 8 than ever before. They have a strong desire to do things "the right way", which means they're thinking more strategically long term.

And on the other hand, you have the Drupal agencies who believe that specialization is the answer to keep the pipeline full instead of offering a full-stack service to attract new clients.

More specialized expertise and strategy are valued more than full stacks development services.

But the decision from companies to make a change in the business model has more reasons. The agencies who expanded their services also mentioned that they saw a shift in demand from their clients. In other words, the (Drupal) market has changed and those who adapt, have a good chance of succeeding:

Clients are no longer looking just for software development services. They want the service provider to be deeply involved in the engagement and take responsibility for the business outcomes. They want the vendors to come higher up in the value chain.

Even mid-market business leaders are realizing that digital is more than a website. They are seeking to use digital for new revenue streams or to reduce expenses. We have completely revamped our services to offer high level strategic consulting services that address the people, process and technology that affects our client organizations.

Open source and recommendations help Drupal win in the CMS battle

Top 5 reasons for choosing Drupal - bar graph

The competition in the CMS business has become tough, and clients are more aware of the opportunities of different CMSs. This has led to many companies expanding their set of technologies and portfolios, as one of the respondents mentioned:

There's no CMS we can use as a silver bullet.

The survey shows that Drupal has a lot of qualities that clients need and search for in a digital platform. The respondents shared that the fact that Drupal is open source is the main reason for clients for choosing Drupal (67.4 %), followed by 56.3 % who said that Drupal was chosen because of the agencies’ recommendation. Other reason are because clients are already familiar with Drupal (54.8 %), the CMS’s flexibility (49.6 %) or reputation (42.2 %).

The shift to Drupal 8 has been rocky but brought significant benefits to some companies

The third main challenge (14 %) of the Drupal companies was the conversion to Drupal 8. The upgrade from one major version of Drupal to the next (e.g. from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8) asked much effort, a steep learning curve and a difficult upgrade path. Introducing new technology in general – not just Drupal – will always have the risk of facing some sort of a challenge. Whether it’s a delay in introducing new features, unexpected security risks or maybe a more difficult learning curve. One of the agencies stated:

Adopting Drupal 8 and Drupal Commerce 2 [were the biggest challenges]. There was a significant learning curve for our team and many of the modules (including the ones we were in control of) weren't ready to roll out complete commerce solutions to clients we were committed to.

Another company told us:

We have been working with Drupal 8 since beginning of 2016. Since our clients mostly fit in the small business category, we have struggled to push our project budgets high enough to be profitable on Drupal 8 projects, as we were on Drupal 7 projects. It's not easy to say what all the reasons are, but Composer is finicky, major modules weren't ready for the first year or more, security updates are more hassle because of more changes, and the increased bugs and missing features required work-arounds. Against our desires, economics are pushing many projects to Wordpress for its page builders and many plugins. On the bright side, the current Drupal initiatives are exciting!

2018 has brought strong growth but we diversified due to slow adoption in 2016/2017. Drupal can learn from this to prevent the same from happening with the launch of Drupal 9 (more quickly available information / modules).

Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal, states: ‘These kind of growing pains are not unfamiliar and one of the key reasons that Drupal has been successful is because we always made big, forward-looking changes. And as a result Drupal is one of very few CMSs that has stayed relevant for 15+ years. We see a way to keep innovating while providing a smooth upgrade path and learning curve from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.’ Right now, the DA works with united forces to make future Drupal upgrades smoother and much simpler than previous upgrades with faster releases with easy upgrades and a smoother learning curve.

Conclusion

The competition on the digital market is and remains strong. New Drupal talent is needed to ensure response to the demand for Drupal. The major changes that Drupal has undergone in the last few years had an impact on client acquisition and the amount of new Drupal projects for the Drupal agencies.

The outcome of the survey shows that the Drupal business community is resourceful and capable of adapting to the continuous changing market by using different strategies. On the one hand, there are the Drupal companies who become full-stack agencies while others believe that specialization is the answer.

One thing is certain: clients want the best CMS for their company. ‘There’s no CMS we can use as a silver bullet’ one agency told us. And although that might be the case, we can still continue to aim for Drupal to become that silver bullet.

-----

See the 2017 survey results.

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 dedicated to fostering and supporting the Drupal project, the community and its growth. The Drupal Association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at Drupal.org. For more information, please visit drupal.org/association.

Sep 21 2018
Sep 21

The Drupal Association is 4 years into our initiative to diversify revenue streams to make the Association more sustainable and less reliant on DrupalCon to fund all of our programs.  Monetization on Drupal.org itself is an important revenue stream that helps fund various Drupal.org initiatives and improvements

We’ve focused much of our effort creating new content that both serves new audiences and provides revenue opportunities, however, we’re still only monetizing roughly 20% of our total site traffic.  When we began, we outlined a few important guidelines for our efforts, including:

  • When possible, only monetize users who are logged out and not contributing to the Project.
  • Address the industry-wide shift to Programmatic Advertising, which is the automated buying and selling of digital advertising.

We’re piloting a new ad program to help us better achieve our monetization goals, while still respecting those users who actively contribute to the project.  We want to experiment with more traditional, high visibility banner ads that you typically see on other websites, such as 970 x 90 Leaderboard ads.  We also want to better leverage 3rd party ad networks and exchanges.  These new advertising placements will automatically check for two things before they display:  1) is the user an active contributor(based on contribution credits) and/or 2) is the user a Drupal Association Member.  If either of those are true, the ad won’t display.

New Ad Network Partner:  Carbon Ads
In addition to the pilot program above, we are also piloting a relationship with a new ad network sponsor, that is tailored to the audiences we serve. When we first launched advertising on Drupal.org, the community asked that ads remain relevant to the Drupal ecosystem. We agree that this is important, however, this makes it extremely difficult to leverage 3rd party ad exchanges like Google. While they offer category filters, it’s impossible to guarantee that every ad served will be relevant to Drupal.

Vertical-focused ad networks exist, although they’re becoming less common. We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently started working with Carbon Ads, a closed ad exchange that limits its advertisers to tech and developer focused advertising. They have a sales team of about 12 people working directly with companies like Microsoft, Slack, and Digital Ocean, and an advertising operations team that manages and uploads all ad creative themselves. This removes a lot of the risk that other self-serving ad platforms pose.

Why we love Carbon Ads:

  • They are a closed ad network (there’s far less risk of malicious, offensive, or unrelated ad content appearing on Drupal.org).
  • They are GDPR compliant.
  • They don’t track site visitors with cookies, nor collect their personal data for ad targeting. You can learn more about their data policy here.   The most sensitive data they collect is the IP address which they use to decide whether to show ads in a specific regions.  Furthermore, none of the data collected are stored permanently.
  • They come highly recommended from partner sites like Vue.js, Laravel, and Bootstrap.

It’s important that we fund Drupal.org improvements, and that we do so in a responsible way that respects the community. Thanks for taking the time to read about our initiatives, and please tell us your thoughts! 

We will be listening, identifying common themes and responding to feedback in about a week.
 

Sep 12 2018
Sep 12

For past attendees of DrupalCon North America, the 2019 event is already looking slightly different due to content for new audiences, program add-ons, and new classification of the previously used terms “tracks” and “tags.” We are working to make these changes clear on the website, but in the meantime I’d like to help clarify what’s new, what your ticket gets you, and what’s the same ol’ DrupalCon.

Tracks

A track now refers to the audience in one of the four areas of focus we’re offering, much like four mini-conferences under one big DrupalCon umbrella. The new areas of content are for non-builders—primarily end-users—who are emerging audiences but important members of our community.

We’ve divided audience registration into tracks that reflect this change. If you’ve always come to DrupalCon, you probably belong in the Builder Track, which is specific to your ticket. Those registering for Content & Digital Marketing are marketing teams who will explore things like customer journeys and how Drupal fits in to that; those selecting Agency Leadership will look at the business of Drupal as used by agencies for their business growth. The Executive Summit is tailored for C-level executives who are evaluating or embracing Drupal.

Tags

Within each track, there are sessions—those sessions are categorized by “tags”—similar to what we used to call tracks, except tags are much more flexible.

2018

2019

What it is

Track

Tag

Builder sessions used to be segmented out by "track" and there were a lot of them. But it was very isolating for content. What if a session was both "UX" and "design" —both "performance" and "big ideas"? It was limiting to have to choose just one.

Now we have tags, and each session can have up to 3; attendees can see how how content cross-references between topics.

Now, you can choose from more content options than ever before at a DrupalCon; this is where tags come in, and you can choose sessions with content topics ranging from UX to design to content strategy to business; 37 tags in all.

With more than 125 sessions in the Builder track you’re likely to find compelling content relevant to your Drupal experience—without being pigeonholed.  Whether that means exploring javascript, processes, or decoupled Drupal (or all three in one session) we are confident that there will be many tag combinations that will speak to you.

This is a generalization of having four tracks in one DrupalCon looks like in practice:


To view larger, scroll to the bottom of the post and click on the png file.

Who goes where?

The largest program in terms of sheer size of the event space, attendees, and offerings is the Builder track, which will be full of attendees who have likely been to a DrupalCon before. You’re also given the option of many summits and tailored trainings on Monday and Tuesday of the conference, for additional fees. Wednesday and Thursday of DrupalCon will be full of sessions, BoFs, and keynotes, lasting until early evening.  Instead of closing early on Thursday as in the past, we will be extending both session and exhibit hours so that your days will be chock-full of content options in order for you to experience the different topics of your choosing.

Recap

In short, the track you’re in means “conference within a conference” co-located as DrupalCon, with opportunities to interact with those in other tracks.

DrupalCon continues to serve as the venue where cross-track interactions, networking, and relationship-building can happen, particularly at co-mingled events. All attendees’ tickets include: keynote speakers, the opening reception, social events, exhibit hall access, complimentary coffee all day (in fact, all day long is a new bonus!), lunches, and DrupalCon swag.  

Join us

We’d love to have you at DrupalCon, and right now, there are a few ways to make that happen:

  • If there’s a particular topic you’d like to present, our Call for Papers is open.  We are accepting sessions for all 3 of the tracks and suggest submitting early.
  • We’re also accepting applications for our grants and scholarships program. For this DrupalCon, we’ll be allocating more funds than ever before and encourage you to apply.
  • Early bird registration continues through October 31 for DrupalCon Seattle, so get your ticket now, at the lowest price.
Sep 11 2018
Sep 11
Thanking the Drupal Association community and board for trusting me to lead the association as interim executive director.
 

Tim Lehnen after DrupalCon DublinAs Megan Sanicki, the current executive director of the Drupal Association, prepares to move on to her next adventure, the Board of Directors came together at Drupal Europe to enact the Association's leadership succession plan.

I am privileged and humbled to have been asked to serve as interim Executive Director. I take on this new responsibility with great care - care that is at the core of who I am and how much I hope that I have demonstrated to you over the years as an active member of our community and staff. I also continue to have  tremendous confidence that both Drupal itself and the Association are poised to do great things.

From the recent release of Drupal 8.6, the most significant in Drupal's history, to the in-flight initiatives that will make each successive release even better than the last, Drupal will continue to lead as the most innovative platform for digital experiences.

On the Association side, we've spent the last several years expanding our reach and the audiences we serve. With initiatives like Promote Drupal, and the transformation of content to provide new persona-based programming for DrupalCon, the Association has been closely adapting to the changing needs of the Drupal ecosystem.  This need is growing in importance and meeting it is a priority.

At the same time, the Association continues to serve and strengthen our existing community, from announcing a new partnership with GitLab to enhance our contribution tools, to the return of DrupalCon Europe in 2019 (more details to be announced at the #Driesnote, here at Drupal Europe!)

The Association will continue to carry the torch of these initiatives and others that are still in progress as we move forward.

Forming a search committee

As I take on the interim executive role, the Drupal Association board is forming a search committee, on which I will serve, to find the right candidate to lead the Association moving forward. This is a process that will be pursued with rigor and care, but has no strict deadline as our most important priority is to ensure that we find a candidate who is the right fit for the association, the project, and our community.

A bit about me

It's hard to believe that my account on Drupal.org is almost twelve and a half years old. Like many of those in the community I began my journey as a Drupal freelancer, using that income to offset my tuition at university. My early career took me away from Drupal, but I was always looking for the chance to come home.

That chance came when I began my journey with the Drupal Association 4 years ago, at first as the Project Manager for the engineering team, and then taking on the role of Director of Engineering. I am proud of the milestones I was able to help our team achieve over the years: from the launch of DrupalCI to the Composer Façade to opening the gates of the Project Application process to improving our demographic understanding of Drupal.org users, to give us the data we need to measure our work to improve diversity and inclusion in our community (with further changes to come!).

I am especially proud to have worked with the rest of the  Drupal Association Engineering team on creating our Contribution Credit system. This system (which tracks both code and non-code contributions) is a first-of-its-kind in the open-source world and provides both visibility and incentive to those who build Drupal. It's only one of many ways in which Drupal leads in open source.

A bit more, about you

The work of the Association is made possible by you. From individual members to supporting partners to camp organizers, and all the other contributors to our community - what we do would not be possible without you. The Drupal Association is like the Drupal Project, not lead from the top-down, but informed in our mission and purpose from the bottom-up.

I encourage you to reach out to me and the rest of the Association team to find out how we can partner to make the project even stronger.

Thank you

Finally I want to say thank you.

I want to especially thank the staff of the Drupal Association. The people who work at the DA are some of the most caring and committed members of our community. We are a small but mighty team and working together with the community we have accomplished incredible things, and will continue to do so.

I want to thank the board of directors of the Drupal Association for placing their trust in me. I want to thank Dries for his mentorship and advice as I step into this new role. And I want to thank Megan for her tremendous leadership and friendship over these past years.

And finally I want to thank the community. I came for the code, but stayed for you.

- Tim Lehnen (hestenet)

Sep 05 2018
Sep 05

As many of you know, DrupalCon Europe took a year off in 2018, so the staff and community could find a new path forward that ensured the event was sustainable into the future. After assessing the operational challenges, and sharing them with the community in this blog series, the Drupal Association decided to pursue a licensing model that would address the operational challenges while maintaining the culture and value of the event. 

With the help of the DrupalCon Europe License Committee, we came up with a license model based on the very successful TedX licensing model. We also gained best practices with other open source event organizers who license their events. In the end, we came up with the licensing structure found here. A big thanks to this committee for helping us define a license structure that was grounded in our community’s needs and culture. 

DrupalCon Europe License Committee members Baddy Breidert, Gabor Hojtsy, Alex Burrows, Zsofi Major, Janne Kalliola, Stella Powers, and Bert Boerland

After launching the licensing opportunity, we talked with several organizations who wanted to receive the license. After careful vetting, we narrowed our discussions to Kuoni, an international event organization with deep roots in Europe. Together, we spent many hours talking through the best way to work together so that the partnership was set up for success and to make sure that DrupalCon remained an event that best served the project and the community. These discussions were very collaborative and positive, resulting in the Drupal Association licensing the event to them. This means Kuoni will take the lead on producing DrupalCon 2019.

DrupalCon Community Advisory Board - apply to join

But how will DrupalCon 2019 be grounded in the community’s needs and culture? Kuoni believes in the power of collaborating with the Drupal community. So, the Drupal Association formed the DrupalCon Europe Community Advisory Board, which will advise Kuoni on programming and will oversee content curation, using our community content curation process. This board is made up of 8 members. It will be co-chaired by Baddy Breidert and Leon Tong. We are seeking 6 more European community members with Drupal event experience to join the board. If you are interested, please apply by November 21 by filling out this form. We will announce the board members in early October. 

DrupalCon Community Advisory Board co-chairs Baddy Breidert and Leon Tong

DrupalCon Europe 2019

Where will DrupalCon Europe 2019 be located? We are pleased to announce that DrupalCon Amsterdam and will be held from 28 October - 1 November, 2019. Be sure to save the date and join us next year for an exciting reboot of DrupalCon Europe. If you are at Drupal Europe, you can meet Kuoni and learn more about DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019 at a Birds of a Feather in room 2.06 Argentum. 

Sep 05 2018
Sep 05

Drupal Europe is right around the corner! Just like previous large European Drupal Conferences, part of the week includes Drupal Association 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 before Drupal Europe to discuss:

Public Board Meeting

The Board of Directors will hold an open board meeting on Monday, September 10 from 11:00 - 13:00 CEST in the Darmstadtium, Room 3.07 Argon. We welcome you to attend in person or virtually.

The agenda will include an executive update with a special focus on the upcoming GitLab integrations as well as program updates from staff and more exciting news. There will be 10 minutes for the community to ask the board and staff questions.

Aug 31 2018
Aug 31

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

As you might have read on the Drupal Association blog, Megan Sanicki, the Executive Director of the Drupal Association, has decided to move on.

Megan has been part of the Drupal Association for almost 8 years. She began as our very first employee responsible for DrupalCon Chicago sponsorship sales in 2011, and progressed to be our Executive Director, in charge of the Drupal Association.

It's easy to forget how far we've come in those years. When Megan started, the Drupal Association had little to no funding. During her tenure, the Drupal Association grew from one full-time employee to the 17 full-time employees, and from $1.8 million in annual revenues to $4 million today. We have matured into a nonprofit that can support and promote the mission of the Drupal project.

Megan led the way. She helped grow, mature and professionalize every aspect of the Drupal Association. The last two years in her role as Executive Director she was the glue for our staff and the driving force for expanding the Drupal Association's reach and impact. She understood how important it is to diversify the community, and include more stakeholders such as content creators, marketers, and commercial organizations.

I'm very grateful for all of this and more, including the many less visible contributions that it takes to make a global organization run each day, respond to challenges, and, ultimately, to thrive. Her work impacted everyone involved with Drupal.

It's sad to see Megan go, both professionally and personally. I enjoyed working with Megan from our weekly calls, to our strategy sessions as well as our email and text messages about the latest industry developments, fun stories taking place in our community, and even the occasional frustration. Open source stewardship can be hard and I'm glad we could lean on each other. I'll miss our collaboration and her support but I also understand it is time for Megan to move on. I'm excited to see her continue her open source adventure at Google.

It will be hard to fill Megan's shoes, but we have a really great story to tell. The Drupal community and the Drupal Association are doing well. Drupal continues to be a role model in the Open Source world and impacts millions of people around the world. I'm confident we can find excellent candidates.

Megan's last day is September 21st. We have activated our succession plan: putting in place a transition team and readying for a formal search for a new Executive Director. An important part of this plan is naming Tim Lehnen Interim Executive Director, elevating him from Director, Engineering. I'm committed to find a new Executive Director who can take the Drupal Association to the next level. With the help of Tim and the staff, our volunteers, sponsors and the Board of Directors, the Drupal Association is in good hands.

Aug 27 2018
Aug 27

After nearly eight years, 18 DrupalCons, two major releases and six dot releases, thousands of contribution credits, and a million Drupal sites, I am leaving the Drupal Association to take on a new open source adventure at Google. My last day is September 21, 2018, and the board will announce my successor before my departure.

This was certainly a difficult decision for me. It’s easy to fall in love with the Drupal community. You join something bigger than yourself, full of amazing, smart, diverse people, and you gain a wonderful sense of belonging. Plus, the Drupal Association staff is the best team you can ever work with. I’ve never experienced such a strong, caring culture. 

Alas, it is time. I stepped into the executive director role to lead a financial turnaround and re-orient our focus on growing adoption. The organization is in great shape and programs like DrupalCon Seattle are now expanded to serve adoption decision-makers and digital marketers. The Drupal Association is on a great path and the next leader has a solid foundation to build upon.

It has been an incredible honor to serve Drupal because of its number one value: Prioritize impact. Helping this community create a positive impact through our collaboration and seeing its butterfly effect ripple across the globe through our community efforts and Drupal sites gave me a great sense of purpose. I treasure the special moments of impact that I witnessed, such as the excitement during DrupalCon Asia or the support and accomplishment Burkina Faso or Philippines community leaders expressed as they launched their first camp with the help of a Community Cultivation Grant, or the pride someone feels when listed as a top 100 contributor for the first time. I am deeply grateful for the gift of experiencing so much global impact—one I never knew I would gain when I first joined the Drupal Association in 2010. 

In my eight years, I witnessed Drupal mature into world-class software used by industry giants like NASDAQ, Pfizer, and Harvard. Plus, we shifted from being Drupal hobbyists to a professional community with 70% of contribution sponsored by organizations. Through all of this growth and maturity, Drupal remains special. We help each other achieve our Drupal dreams whether it is becoming masters at writing documentation, hosting a community event, creating new job opportunities, or delivering creative value for clients. It's the impact that we have on each others’ lives that means the most to me. Thank you to all of you who make Drupal a bright spot in a complex world. 

I especially want to thank the Drupal Association staff, who have built an amazing team culture where people truly care about each other as well as our mission. This small, but mighty team works tirelessly to serve the community. I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished, together, from promoting Drupal solutions through industry summits and landing pages to amplifying our community’s diversity by having 40% of DrupalCon speakers come from under-represented groups.

Plus, I want to thank the Drupal Association Board, who provided priceless advice and endless support to me and the staff. I also want to thank Dries for believing in me to take on this role and for being a great partner and advisor over the years. I truly appreciate how he created a distributed model that allows everyone the chance to participate and lead. It creates growth opportunities for all of us. Additionally, I want to thank Adam Goodman, the Board Chair, for elevating our strategic discussions, giving us insights into more impactful ways to serve the community. Adam has been an incredible partner, mentor, and coach. I’m truly grateful for the time and care he invests in Drupal. 

Over the years, I have also built so many partnerships (and lifelong friendships) with business owners, partners, community leaders, and open source peers. I am incredibly grateful for all of the ways they support Drupal, the Association, and me through every phase of the project. It’s this level of caring that propels Drupal forward and makes me proud to have achieved so much with them. 

Drupal’s future is bright and the community is in good hands. The Drupal Association will work with the community to help grow Drupal adoption with the Promote Drupal Initiative as well as with a re-imagined DrupalCon Seattle. Contribution will be easier with the Gitlab partnership and camps will be better supported with the recent Open Collective partnership. And there’s even more to come, so stay tuned. 

I will miss Drupal greatly, but I leave with so many friendships formed. I’m not sure I’ll feel like I truly left. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve all of you. I’m excited to see what the Drupal community achieves next, together. #DrupalThanks

Aug 13 2018
Aug 13

We are excited to open our RFP process for DrupalCon North America and are currently looking at locations for 2021-2024.  

If you've attended DrupalCon in the past, you know that it is a special event, bringing together 3,000+ people from across the globe and across roles and industries to build Drupal, outline the future of the project, learn skills, teach others, and propel open source forward.

If you are eager for your city to host a DrupalCon, we recommend you send this link to your city's Convention Center or Tourism Bureau. We have begun outreach to cities that our DrupalCon team has identified as a good fit. 

Our RFP needs are outlined in the documents in this folder. Note: the documents are different file formats, however the contents are identical. All proposals must be submitted by September 4, 2018 at 8am PST.

If you are a convention center or tourism bureau and have any questions, feel free to reach out directly to us.

We appreciate your interest in DrupalCon and look forward to announcing where our future DrupalCons will be.

Aug 09 2018
Aug 09

Camps are Drupal’s growth engine and they take place all over the world. They attract local developers, connect them with resources to learn how to use Drupal, and most importantly, they provide on-ramps into the community. We are incredibly thankful and amazed at the level of commitment and contribution that organizers invest in their events. This is a very important way to contribute back to the project.

The Drupal Association supports camps as we can. We provide grants to new events through Community Cultivation Grants (check out this GoaCamp story). We also provide fiscal sponsorship to camps. This means we let organizers deposit their camp income into the Drupal Association bank account, taking advantage of our non-profit  status. Then, they work with our operations team to pay bills out of the account.

It’s been an honor to help several camps this way. However, this program has two major challenges. 1) We are not able to support camps globally because we can’t work in every currency, so most of the camps we support are in the U.S. 2) As we became a smaller organization, we have fewer staff to support this program. We haven’t been as fast at processing funds as we would like or our camps need.

Knowing how important camps are to Drupal, how organizers need their work made easier, and that we need to provide global support, we decided that the best way to provide better fiscal sponsorship is by referring community groups to organizations whose business is set up to provide this service. Over the years, we have watched several organizations get very good at providing fiscal sponsorship to open source projects.

We therefore have been looking at best practice models across many open source communities and we are happy to partner with Open Collective, a company specializing in fiscal sponsorships and other open source funding opportunities. They have the ability to scale and offer the level of service to meet a camp’s needs. In the US, Open Collective Foundation has recently obtained their 501(c)(3) status, and will be able to sign for and represent your camp as we have done in the past. Their platform, itself an open source project just like Drupal, gives camp organizers full transparency, and on-demand reporting so they can manage a camp effectively.  Additional details about Open Collective can be found here.

Because of this opportunity, we have made the choice to sunset our internal program as of August 31, 2018.

While we have chosen to partner with Open Collective to assist in this transition, we strongly believe in choice and there are other fiscal sponsorship opportunities that you can choose to roll your funds to, such as Software In The Public Interest and the Software Freedom Conservancy.

We know that each camp is in a different stage of planning, and we are dedicated to making sure that the transition is smooth and will not affect the activities and success of camps. We will be reaching out to camp contacts to schedule time to talk through the transition. From there, we will roll the funds to a legal entity that you have chosen.

We are thankful for all the camps we were able to help get launched, and continue to watch their growth year after year. We hope this transition will help our camps grow and scale with no limitations.

Aug 08 2018
Aug 08

Our board of directors is responsible for the Drupal Association’s financial health and as part of their duty, they review and then vote to approve monthly financial statements. The board met virtually on July 25, 2018 and voted to approve the Q1 & Q2 2018 financial statements, which can be found here.

Each month we compare our results against the financial KPIs we have set with the advice of our virtual CFO, Summit CPA. These KPIs were set to help us focus on increasing our net income so we can build a stronger cash reserve to ensure the organization’s sustainability.  

Our 2018 Financial KPIs are:

  • Cash Reserve: have a cash balance of 15% of Total Revenue
  • Net Income Profit Margin: end 2018 with a net income profit of 4%
  • Increase our Non-Event Revenue to $1.6M
  • DrupalCon Profit Margin of 27%

As of our June financial statement, which was approved by the board, the organization is tracking well against these KPIs.

Table showing KPI analysis reflecting actual results through June 30, 2018 end of year conservative budget
KPI analysis through June 30 is looking positive for money in the bank, net income, non-event revenue, and event profit margin.

You can see that April was lower than the ideal target, due to missing revenue in a couple of areas. One with DrupalCon Nashville, where ticket sales came in lower than expected, and the second was some hosting contracts coming in later. These contracts will be reflected in future months.

We will monitor all KPIs through the year to ensure we are on track. However, one KPI is now complete: Nashville profit margin. DrupalCon Nashville was forecasted to come in at a net profit of $445K at the close of the conference in April, 2018, or 22%. While training tickets under-performed, resulting in a lower than expected ticket revenue, we still exceeded our net profit goal due to a decrease in expenses and an increase in sponsorship revenue. The final net profit was $481K or 25% which is 2% under the set KPI.  

DrupalCon Nashville Snapshot of costs and revenue
Details for the DrupalCon Nashville forecast and actual income

While we did exceed our net profit forecast, it should be noted that this event did not generate as much for the project as past DrupalCons. This is because Nashville’s cost per attendee was higher than usual due to the location. However, at the time of selecting the venue, it was the best option compared to the other available cities. The Drupal Association continues to seek ways to diversify revenue so we are not so reliant on one event to fund the project.

Bar graph comparing past four DrupalCon North America events' net income margins
The overall trend shows Nashville coming in lower than recent DrupalCon North America net income margins

Drupalcon is evolving and we are making changes.  While the programming, speakers, sessions make up the core of DrupalCon, our event staff is retooling and creating more value to serve everyone in the Drupal ecosystem.

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 ecosystem. We are deeply grateful for everyone who contributes time, talent, and treasure to move Drupal forward.

Thank you!

Aug 01 2018
Aug 01

DrupalCon is evolving and improving to better meet your needs and those of the Drupal market. The goal of the project and the Drupal Association is to grow Drupal adoption and its impact in the world, and based on your feedback, we’re segmenting DrupalCon’s offerings -- which we affectionately call “tracks” -- to achieve this. This also comes with a different price point.

While the programming, speakers, sessions and more still make up the core of DrupalCon, for the first time, we’re retooling and creating more value to serve everyone in the Drupal lifecycle; builder/developers, agency owners, sales teams, content editors, marketers, end-user decision-makers….

The Backstory and Evolution

Growing adoption means inspiring and educating all decision-maker personas, so we’re creating programming and experiences uniquely tailored to each personas needs so that they can all find ways to participate in the continued evolution of the project.

Over the past few years, through surveys, evaluation forms, in-person comments, attendance data and meetings, the community provided valuable feedback and ideas about how DrupalCon North America could best target each of the differing attendees.

While making changes, we also want to make the experience for our alumni attendees even better. We pinpointed common themes and requests; namely more in-depth content, learning opportunities, and concentrated time for networking.

Serving Drupal's Personas

DrupalCon’s overall programming is now a siphoning of who you are and how your role uses Drupal. We’ll carve the Seattle conference center into 4 distinct areas; one for each persona track:

  • Builder Track
  • Agency Leadership Track
  • Content and Digital Marketing Track
  • Executive Summit

These tracks can better inform each group, allowing attendees’ time to be targeted and well-spent at DrupalCon as a whole. Each of these tracks will have their own space, their own journey and their own content -- with opportunities to come together in keynotes, social events, and the hallway track for the cross-pollination, community building, and DrupalCon’s culture of collaboration, which remain core benefits of attending the conference.

More About the Builder Track

As mentioned, in addition to expanding who DrupalCon serves, we also want to create a more valuable experience for returning attendees. The Builder Track will be for people who make the software and create the experience, with job roles including but not limited to: back end and front end developers, themers, QA specialists, technical leads and architects, site builders and other technical personas.

Here’s what’s new and different for this track, so that it better serves you:

  • Sessions will include multiple topic tags; content will be more accessible to attendees instead of in strict silos; no missing out!
  • Due to feedback, we have expanded our one-day programs to run on Monday and Tuesday, and our session, BoF and keynote content to full days on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Adding new summits to provide expanded vertical networking opportunities in strong and emerging industries.
  • Increasing our offering of hands-on trainings and labs throughout the week to up-level knowledge.
  • We will work to provide more meaningful interactions at Drupal Association hosted social events.
  • More featured speakers -- offering new and relevant information from both inside and outside of Drupal.
  • Additional grants and scholarships so that a cross-section of contributors can attend.
  • An increase in the Speaker Inclusion Fund to ensure diverse voices and perspectives on our stages.
  • All-day free coffee (you read that right!)

In Dollar Terms

With all of this value comes another change that we haven’t made in three years, even as our costs to hold and host the event have escalated year over year: ticket prices. After careful consideration and analysis, the prices for 2019 have increased. Prices now align with industry standards in the North American market, yet remain the most affordable across the board. For context, Linux Open Source Summit starts at $950 and O’Reilly’s conferences start at $1,795. DrupalCon remains at or lower than similar events.

New Ticket Pricing:

Supporter Price

Conference Price

Early-Bird $595 $795 Regular $695 $894 Last Chance $795 $995 On-Site $1,095 $1,095

Supporting Partners’ organizations do a lot financially for Drupal, Drupal Association and DrupalCon. We recognize that many are also sponsors of DrupalCon and send numerous employees to attend every year. As a thanks for funding Drupal.org and the Engineering Team, we’re providing Supporting Partner organizations with a lower pricing tier on DrupalCon tickets moving forward.

To learn more about becoming a Supporting Partner, how fees fund Drupal.org, and how to get the supporter rate, click here.

Easing the Transition

While we are creating more value for DrupalCon attendees, we know it can be a challenge when pricing increases, so for 2019, we have an Individual Alumni Rate. If you have attended DrupalCon twice or more in recent years -- self-funded -- you have the opportunity to register with a different pricing structure. Those who attended both Nashville and Baltimore (or Nashville and Vienna) -- and who have provided us with their email contact information and opted in to our communications -- will be emailed this offer. If you are not opted in to DrupalCon communication but believe you qualify, you can go directly to https://seattle2019.drupal.org/registration. If you are logged in and you qualify, your Drupal.org username will allow you to access the registration button.

Supporting Partner organization employees who are sponsored by their employer to attend are not included in this rate; their early-bird rate is on par with the alumni rate.

Alumni registration opens Wednesday, August 1; General Registration opens Saturday, September 1 -- as does the Call for Papers.

Mark Your Calendars

We are committed to DrupalCon as the go-to event that accelerates the creation of Drupal digital experiences, and the place to collaborate with the largest open source community. The Drupal Association invites you to share what changes about the Con you're most excited about. Watch for our news outlining new programming, and we plan to see you face-to-face in Seattle, April 8-12, 2019!

Jul 25 2018
Jul 25

2017 Election Results

The staff and board of the Drupal Association would like to congratulate our newest board member:

Suzanne Dergacheva.

Thank you, Suzanne, for stepping forward to serve the Drupal community. On behalf of the community I also want to thank all the candidates who put themselves out there in service of Drupal and nominated themselves. We are grateful that our community has so many brave and generous people willing to contribute this way.

Suzanne's election to the board represents the seventh year of elections to a community-at-large seat on the Drupal Association Board.

This year, in my new position as Community Liaison, I wanted the elections to happen using the same processes as last year to observe how everything worked internally and to form proposals for how we can continue to improve the process in following years.

Our next steps will be to reach out to the candidates for their evaluation of the elections experience.

We also want to hear from the voters. Please tell us about your experience with the elections process in the comments below. If you did not vote, we especially want to hear from you, through a special one-question survey. Your feedback is important to us so that we can make the 2019 elections process even better.

About the Elections Methodology: Instant Run-off Voting(IRV)

Elections for the Community-at-large positions on the Drupal Association Board are conducted through Instant Run-off Voting. This means that voters can rank candidates according to their preference. When tabulating ballots, the voters' top-ranked choices are considered first. If no candidate has more than 50% of the vote, the candidate with the lowest votes is eliminated. Then the ballots are tabulated again, with all the ballots that had the eliminated candidate as their first rank now recalculated with their second rank choices. This process is repeated until only two candidates remain and a clear winner can be determined. This voting method helps to ensure that the candidate who is most preferred by the most number of voters is ultimately elected. You can learn more about IRV (also known as Alternative Vote) in this video.

Voting Results

There were 9 candidates in contention for the single vacancy among the two community-at-large seats on the Board. 967 voters cast their ballots out of a pool of 74268 eligible voters (1.3%). Voters ranked an average of 3.7 candidates on their ballots.

The bar charts below show the vote counts for each candidate in each round.

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

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

The exhausted bar represents votes where the voter did not indicate a next
preference and thus there were no candidates to transfer the vote to.

Round 1

(next)

Count of first choices.

Round 2

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Esaya Jokonya and transferring votes.

Round 3

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Tom Grandy and transferring votes.

Round 4

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Jairo Pinzon and transferring votes.

Round 5

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Anya Abchiche and transferring votes.

Round 6

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Piyush Poddar and transferring votes.

Round 7

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Suchi Garg and transferring votes.

Round 8

(prev)(next)

Count after eliminating Nikki Stevens and transferring votes.

Final round between Suzanne Dergacheva and Hussain Abbas.

Winners

Winner is Suzanne Dergacheva.

Footnote

One candidate, who wishes to remain anonymous, withdrew after voting closed. It did not alter the results.

Jul 23 2018
Jul 23

In April 2018 at DrupalCon Nashville, Dries and Megan Sanicki announced the launch of an initiative to help promote Drupal in the market. This initiative will support agencies world-wide with marketing and sales support that unifies the Drupal brand and provides standardized materials that can be customized to each user's needs.

It was stated in early communications that while we are fundraising for $100,000 we would begin work on this initiative when we hit $75,000 and are able to hire staff to help support the Drupal Association in this organizing effort. We’ve hit that mark - $76,000 as of July 2018 - and are now actively hiring to backfill the communications team work as Director of Marketing, Rebecca Pilcher (that’s me!) shifts focus to work on the initiative to promote Drupal.

Purpose

One of the Drupal Association 2018 goals is to grow adoption of Drupal. The audience for Drupal is broad and varied, depending on what part of the world you talk to. So are the decision makers choosing to adopt Drupal, as well as the people and agencies selling Drupal services.

Our enterprise market competition has deep pockets for product marketing and heavy sales support. Even our mid-market open source competition’s marketing is heavily backed by corporate funding.

So how can the Drupal Association help grow adoption of the product, across such a diverse market, with our limited budget? It won’t be easy, and it won’t be perfect for everyone, but an ideal outcome will create a source for standardized Drupal materials and stories that the world-wide community can use in their own regions to promote Drupal to new audiences and grow adoption.

To that end, this initiative will be focused on creating materials targeted to the decision makers that choose to adopt Drupal for their business.

Kicking things off

As it was originally conceived and outlined by Megan and Dries, the Promote Drupal Initiative is:

This volunteer-based initiative will globally orchestrate a compelling and consistent message into the marketplace, helping business decision makers and influencers fall in love with Drupal. We will empower agencies, local Drupal Associations, Drupal.org, and other channels with the marketing and evaluator resources needed to promote Drupal and help organizations quickly see why Drupal is the right choice for them.

This initiative has four phases:

Phase 1: Update Drupal's brand and strategic messaging to connect with new decision makers and influencers

Phase 2: Provide sales and marketing materials that everyone can use (and translate!)

Phase 3: Coordinate PR campaigns

Phase 4: Create "marketing campaigns in a box" to support localized ad and industry event marketing

This fundraising campaign will support Phase 1 & 2.

At the end of May 2018 Drupal Association Marketing Director, Rebecca Pilcher (again - that’s me) held a brainstorm meeting with a handful of business-marketing leaders from different sectors of the Drupal community and around the globe. We discussed needs of the Drupal business community and desired outcomes of a limited-term Drupal marketing initiative and outlined some of the following:

  • Community support and resource needs
  • Range of objectives
  • Ideal outcomes - what does a win look like
  • Possible solutions

Many community members have stepped forward to volunteer time and energy towards this initiative - one of our biggest questions was “how to organize, so that we are using everyone’s strengths in the best way possible”. We think we’ve come up with a creative solution, and have outlined it in the Phase I plans below.

Phase I

July - mid-September 2018

Phase I includes planning and creating the infrastructure needed to carry out the initiative, as well as creating an updated brand book with strategic messaging to connect with new decision makers and influencers.

Specifically, in this phase we will work on several key tasks:

  1. Creating Drupal brand book
  2. Building an open source marketing infrastructure for collaborative projects - and governance to guide its use.
    • Will include a mechanism for sharing completed projects on Drupal.org for Drupal agencies to use - organized by purpose, audience, other important demographics.
    • Outline clear governance for participation and contribution
  3. Distributing press releases as they come up - sharing finished releases with international regional associations for translating and sharing in their own communities.
  4. Redesigning the submission process and template for case studies and how they are selected to be turned into Drupal business case studies, as general Drupal brand collateral.

As part of a separate Drupal Association initiative, we are planning a redesign of drupal.org/community. The redesign will do several things, but specific to this initiative it will better reflect ways (outside of code) community members can support Drupal and highlight drupal.org/community/marketing as part of that. drupal.org/community/marketing will include work done in sub-point 2 above.

Let me elaborate below on those deliverable points from above.

Brand book

With the help of volunteers, we will create a Drupal Brand Book. A brand book generally includes the following:

  • Brand introduction: what is Drupal?
  • Logo use guidelines
  • Color palette
  • Fonts
  • Tone, voice and style for copywriting
  • Key messages/value proposition and selling points
    • By persona
    • By industry

The brand book will act as the backbone for all of the marketing and sales materials developed through the larger initiative, and will be a resource for all community members and agencies - to better align Drupal messaging and marketing, for a stronger overall market presence.

Completion goal: mid-September

Open Source Marketing Infrastructure

Creating marketing materials for a world-wide brand is no small feat. We see the need for many different types of materials, and have volunteers offering time and energy to create a good portion of what's needed. But how do we organize all of it?

In much the same way Drupal code contributions are made through issue queues and commits, we will create a system for marketers and business members in the community to organize and participate in their own form of issue queue and project management for marketing materials.

Borrowing some organizational ideas from WordPress, we’ll create a space for people to submit the materials they need, and for others to create those materials - from writing and design, to case studies and sales sheets. This space will include a mechanism for sharing completed projects on Drupal.org for Drupal agencies to use - organized by purpose, audience, other important demographics.

During Phase I of the Promote Drupal Initiative, we’ll build out this space and organize the systems for it to run smoothly. Part of that means, defining clear governance for participation and contribution, so that everyone knows how things work, and understands the expectations attached.

Completion goal: mid-September

Press and media

Press releases and media were not originally part of the Phase I scope. However, based on resources that have been volunteered, we will begin to put out press releases that tell valuable stories as they become available beginning immediately and ongoing through the end of the year. We will also share releases with international regional associations for translating and sharing in their own communities.

Valuable story angles that would be considered for publishing on through our press wire, might include:

  • Prestigious awards won by Drupal projects
  • Strong brand stories that use Drupal to shift their market
  • Innovative partnerships that spotlight how Drupal stands out in the market.

This work will be ongoing.

Case Study submissions

Very soon Drupal Association will redesign the submission process and template for case studies shared through Drupal.org. The goal will be to more easily identify which Drupal community technical case studies could be easily turned into meaningful Drupal business case studies - for sharing with the broader Drupal community as general Drupal case studies with standard look and feel as outlined by the upcoming Brand Book.

Completion goal: mid-August 2018

Phase II

Beginning Sept 2018 - ongoing

Provide sales and marketing materials that everyone can use (and translate!)

Once the infrastructure for Drupal open source marketing is set up, we’ll begin recruiting community members - many who have already self-identified as ready to help - to participate in regular sprint calls and collateral planning. Within this ongoing phase of the initiative we will:

  1. Set a roadmap for the most needed marketing and sales materials in the community
    1. Branded assets
    2. Templates - sales support materials, agency co-branded case studies
    3. How-to’s
    4. Case Studies, Success Stories, use cases
    5. Maybe even videos depending on who volunteers!
  2. Begin implementing that roadmap through the online community interface
  3. Continue pushing press releases and media recognition

Audience

To ensure this initiative starts with focus and purpose, we have identified specific personas as the key targets for our initial work.

  • Marketing decision makers. While a few different personas might contribute to the decision to adopt Drupal, the most underserved in our community’s current work and materials, is the marketing decision maker. They are increasingly becoming the position with the budgetary discretion to choose an enterprise CMS, and our work will begin by creating materials with this decider in mind.
  • Sales materials to support Drupal Agency sales teams. We have heard from many in the community that generally branded Drupal sales materials would be incredibly helpful. To increase the reach and impact of the sales materials being used by Drupal agencies, we will unify the brand (through the brand book) and streamline efforts so that agencies can take advantage of centralized work, rather than each agency often duplicating efforts.

Drupal.org/community

(not part of this initiative, but associated)

Drupal.org/community is a valuable asset that can serve many purposes. Future (yet-to-be developed) sub-sections of it can be leveraged to better organize the work we’re planning on doing to promote Drupal in the coming year.

While the reorganization of Drupal.org/community is not part of this initiative, it is linked, and so we will share our goals specifically for the (forthcoming) sub-page that relates to promote drupal content and making business marketing connections.

We plan to incorporate the open source marketing infrastructure (issue queues, project management space, etc.) created into d.o/community/marketing to provide an easy to navigate 1-stop place for:

  • Contributing
  • Searching usable content
    • Branded assets
    • Templates: sales support materials, agency co-branded case studies
    • How-to’s for marketing Drupal
    • Case Studies, Success Stories, use cases
  • Downloading materials for use

Completion goal: to be determined by Community Liaison in the second half of 2018

Phase III

(not funded - details below are copy/pasted from past blog posts and are not currently being planned)

Coordinate PR campaigns

Phase IV

(not funded - details below are copy/pasted from past blog posts and are not currently being planned)

Create "marketing campaigns in a box" to support localized ad and industry event marketing.

What this initiative is not...

There have been a lot of really great ideas for moving this initiative forward. Many of them we’ve been very excited about - but they just don’t align with our current purpose or funding.

Just so we’re all on the same page, here are some items this initiative will not include:

  • Supporter lead generation. Lead generation is generally tied to Drupal Association revenue programs. This initiative is designed to support the global community.
  • DrupalCon lead generation. While DrupalCon may use some of the content created by this program to help promote the event - none of the funds from the promote Drupal initiative will be used to create lead generation programs for the event.
  • Public advertising/marketing campaigns. Well-funded, broad-reaching campaigns are effective at growing awareness and adoption. However this initiative does not have the funding to compete in widespread ad market. Additionally, each global region has specific needs and we believe the individual needs of each market are best served by providing valuable content to those market agencies/community members for use how they see fit.

A ‘Thank You’.

As we move into the implementation phase of this initiative, we want to be sure we say another “thank you” to all those who have helped make this possible. This includes partners, agencies, and individuals.

Thank you to those who donated. This would not exist without you. We ask you to visit our partner page and see all the names and logos. If you use any of the materials created by this initiative, and you see these people at events or in meetings, please be sure to thank them.

Thank you to those who advised us. We have a lot of ideas, but we couldn’t have sorted them all out without the help of the following people:

  • Michel van Velde, One Shoe
  • Josh Koenig, Pantheon
  • Scott Delea, Phase2
  • Ellie Fanning, Lullabot
  • Ricardo Osuna, FFW
  • Lynne Capozzi, Acquia
  • Paul Johnson, CTI Digital
  • Annie Miller, Drupal Association Board member
Jul 23 2018
Jul 23

After enjoying the beautiful city of Vienna during DrupalCon Vienna in 2017, I’m now looking forward to experiencing the city of Darmstadt at the community-driven Drupal Europe conference in September. I’m absolutely sure it is going to be a great event and will do an amazing job of stepping in whilst the Drupal Association retools the future of DrupalCons around the World, especially Europe. I have my ticket - do you?

The European Drupal Community is extraordinarily vibrant. We have seen both wonderful Drupal Camps in fascinating locations and larger Drupal events, like Frontend United and Drupal Dev Days, attracting their largest ever attendances.

Creating a sustainable model for DrupalCon Europe continues to be an important goal for Drupal. A lot of progress and learnings have been made and we would like to share a progress report.

The sustainability of the Drupal project depends upon us bringing great events to all parts of the world in a way that does not place the project at financial risk. As you know, Megan, the Drupal Association Board, and staff created the licensing model for events to ensure that we can achieve this.

After creating the DrupalCon Licensing model with Bert Boerland, Baddý Breidert, Alex Burrows, Gábor Hojtsy, Janne Kalliola, Zsófi Major, and Stella Power, we published a call for proposals at the end of last year and a number of organisations stepped forward with proposals. Every one of those proposals showed great promise and left us in the enviable position of having to choose between a number of viable options.

It’s important that we create this licensing partnership with care so it is set up for success in 2019. We are taking the time needed to have all of the right conversations and testing financial assumptions before entering into anything. We are making good progress and working through summer on this initiative. Once a partnership is finalized, we will share the details with the community - hopefully at Drupal Europe.

The level of engagement around the licensing concept is very encouraging. It means great things for Europe as well as for all the many places around the world that will benefit greatly from hosting DrupalCon in their country, too.

In conclusion

A very quick recap:

Decide to change to the licensing model

Postpone DrupalCon Europe for one year

Develop the licensing model and contracts

Publish a call for proposals

Work with organisations to help them understand DrupalCon

Assess applications according to our model

Sign contracts with successful organisation

ongoing

Announce the winning proposal at Drupal Europe Provide support as they develop DrupalCon Europe Enjoy DrupalCon Europe in ...
Jul 18 2018
Jul 18

Drupal.org has been in existence since 2001. That's a long time for a website to serve an ever changing community! We're doing this work thanks to the support of our members, supporters, and partners. As time goes on needs change, technology evolves, and features are deployed to improve the experiences of site visitors.

As a web professional, you know how delivering small feature requests can have a big impact. To ensure people take notice of the improvements the Engineering Team makes on all of the *Drupal.org sites, we share frequent updates with the community. You can read a monthly what's new on Drupal.org blog, watch for change notifications, and follow on Twitter to know what's on the horizon.

Recently, these improvements were deployed:

  • More maintainers can now grant issue credit

  • Security Advisory nodes are now included in the /news feed

  • Project page screenshots will display in a lightbox

  • DrupalCI.yml Documented

We'll continue to make Drupal.org better every day, with your help. Find out more about what we do and become a member today. Thank you!

Twitter logo Follow Drupal.org on Twitter: news and updates, infrastructure announcements, commits (and deployments).

Jul 18 2018
Jul 18

In a previous blog post, I wrote that Dries asked for help in continuing the development of the Values & Principles and that a Values & Principles Committee will be formed to facilitate this. Well, we are at the point where we can explain how the committee will be formed, its purpose and how it will achieve its goals.

Purpose

The Values & Principles Committee will exist to focus on specific Values & Principles to see where continual improvements can be made and to propose those to the Project Lead for approval. For example, in meetings at DrupalCon Nashville, Dries expressed a desire to focus on Principle 8: “Every person is welcome; every behavior is not” because it is both critically important, in need of work, and requires more input.

Formation

To learn more about how the Values and Principle Committee will work, please read the charter, which is attached.

We have been giving thought to how we can facilitate a better, more open, process for appointing members to this Committee and we have come up with the following:

We will be posting role descriptions for the volunteer committee roles on jobs.drupal.org. The Values & Principles Committee Member voluntary role description will describe the:

  • Expectations of the role

  • The specific jobs the role will require

  • An indication of the time commitment of the role

  • The attributes that would be expected of a successful candidate

  • How to apply

The Committee Member role will be advertised from today until 3 August 2018 at https://jobs.drupal.org/drupal-community/job/15126 and then I will take the applications to Dries Buytaert and Megan Sanicki to select candidates based on the membership requirements outlined in the charter and role description.

This work matters to them personally and through their roles:  Dries as Drupal Project Lead and Megan as Drupal Association Executive Director. In addition to their different experiences and perspectives, they bring a wealth of experience in enterprise leadership, organizational culture and community building.  They hope to assemble a group that is inspired by this work, diverse, and representative of the values and principles we hope to inspire in the community. After the initial membership is selected, the membership will help recruit new members going forward.

Once the committee is selected, it can then begin work, in consultation with subject matter experts, on updating the values and principles.

My call to action for you is to consider whether volunteering as a Member of this Values & Principles Committee is a way that you can contribute to the Drupal Community and, if so, to submit your application.

I’m really keen to ensure that the Values & Principles Committee has membership from many places, with a diverse background and representing many a wide understanding of what makes Drupal - Drupal. It is even baked into the Values & Principles Committee Charter, attached.

Jul 11 2018
Jul 11

The 2018 goal for the Drupal Association has been to grow Drupal adoption. This goal cannot be achieved without testing ideas for promoting Drupal within Drupal.org and DrupalCon, the two main channels we have to reach Drupal evaluators. We also can't do this work without your support.

We've refreshed Drupal.org's homepage and top-level menu to include a new persona-based design because developers, marketers/content-editors, and agency owners all have differing needs on their Drupal adoption journey. We're helping people start their exploration to understand and fall in love with Drupal.

Top level navigation and header on Drupal.org

The Engineering Team played a key role in the Industry Pages project—from conception to execution. The industry pages help decision makers see how Drupal achieves the vision Dries' set forth when he described Drupal as the platform for ambitious digital experiences.

If you appreciate this work, help support the Drupal Association by joining as a member. Thank you!

Become a member

Jul 11 2018
Jul 11

On July 25, 2018, the Drupal Association will host their next scheduled executive session, which is a private session for the board members.

Executive Session Agenda

While the The Executive Session is a private meeting amongst board members, we want to provide insight into what the agenda topics will be.

  • Executive update from the Executive Director

  • Committee updates: nominating, revenue, finance, and governance

  • Preparation for the annual Executive Director performance review

Schedule

The schedule for Drupal Association Board Meetings is always available on the Association section of the Drupal website.

Jul 10 2018
Jul 10

The third edition of the annual Drupal Business Survey is here. Exove and One Shoe created the survey in collaboration with Drupal Association, to gain insight of Drupal’s health, focus and latest business trends. It also gives perspective on how Drupal agencies are doing and how customers see Drupal.

Analysis of the 2017 edition of the survey can be found here, and 2016 analysis here.

We encourage all Drupal business leaders to participate in this year’s Drupal Business Survey.  

Participation is anonymous and takes only about 10 minutes. The first results will be presented at the Drupal CEO Dinner at Drupal Europe on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Analysis and insights will officially be published on Drupal.org.

You can participate anytime now until July 31st, 2018.

The survey can be accessed here.

Jul 02 2018
Jul 02

Hand placing a voting slip into a ballot box

Voting is now open for the 2018 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association!  If you haven't yet, check out the candidate profiles including their short videos found on the profile pages. Get to know your candidates, and then get ready to vote.

Cast Your Vote!

How does voting work? Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year.

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.

Election voting will be held from 2 July, 2018 through 13 July, 2018. During this period, you can continue to review and comment on the candidate profiles.

Have questions? Please contact me: Rachel Lawson.

Jun 27 2018
Jun 27

During this month's membership campaign, we mention that the average cost of a DrupalCI core test is $0.24-$0.36. Every time a contribution to the Drupal project needs to be tested, DrupalCI spins up a testbot on AWS to test those changes. DrupalCI runs about 5,000 core tests, and 13,000 contrib tests in an average month.  

The test runs on Drupal.org are paid for by our generous partners and members. This is just one of the services provided by the Drupal Association as part of our commitment to maintain Drupal.org so you can focus on Drupal development and community building.

You can help sustain the work of the Drupal Association by joining as a member. Thank you!

Icon of screen with person in center of itWant to hear more about the work of the team? Check out the Drupal.org panel session recording at DrupalCon Nashville.

Jun 20 2018
Jun 20

The work accomplished by the Drupal.org engineering team is no small feat. And so we're celebrating all the team is doing to help the community using the Drupal.org tools and services. Check out our membership campaign page to learn more about the team's work and how it helps your own work every day.

Here's how to help:

  • Share how Drupal.org helps you. Use these resources made for sharing.
  • If you aren't a member, join today!

This campaign ends on July 20, 2018. Thanks for all that you give to the project and for your support.

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

Candidates fielding questions from the electorate

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.

File attachments:  persona final.png front page screenshot.jpg
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?

File attachments:  Business in Canada.png Employer Fund International Travel.png WhoFunds.png Would you Sponsor.png
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.

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