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May 28 2020
May 28

It’s been a long few months for many of us and we’re all ready for some good news!! Luckily, as a part of the Drupal open source community, we have some. Our group continues to be full of strong, resilient, and uplifting individuals who truly understand that we're all in this together. 

You Have Resources

We cannot recommend strongly enough to please, stay connected and in-touch with your local community. Now more than ever, this can help maintain momentum and provide the companionship that many of us miss during this time of social and physical distancing. Many local and regional meetups provide time at the beginning of their events for networking, including dedicated time for those looking for work and those who are hiring. We encourage virtual event organizers to continue to provide (or even expand) this aspect of online events.

Beyond the power of word-of-mouth, there are other online resources available to you in these unusual times. There are Drupal Camps that have year-round job boards posted on their websites. Drupal.org has a whole section of their website dedicated to those looking for work. The organizations that are posting here are invested in Drupal, just as you are. This common spark could start you on a new path. 

What You Can Do for Yourself

In spite of the global state, there are many things you can do - you are empowered! We suggest you start with the following:

  • Add your profile on Drupal.org
  • If you already have one, give your Drupal profile an overhaul and be sure it’s up to date. 
    • Update your bio: Ask yourself if that is really how you see yourself
    • Past companies: Don’t forget to show your growth
    • Bio Picture: Just make sure that if you look like it’s your prom picture, that you intended it that way.
    • Ask a fellow community member to review and provide suggestions for improving it. Many of us have difficulty in promoting ourselves, so ask for help to ensure that potential clients/employers see you for all that you are!
  • Update your resume
  • How to prepare for an interview
  • Don’t get shy. We repeat: Don’t Get Shy! Even when feeling the “aloneness” of it all, get out there virtually. Attend local meetups and camps to network and grow the community
  • Keep learning. In the face of everything, stay curious! It’s probably how you started down this road, to begin with

How Employers Can Help

Great leaders know that communication is the key to success. Now more than ever, your leadership skills and community contributions are needed to help pull us through this global crisis. Please, 

  • Be transparent with employees and contractors. We are all in this together.
  • Sponsor DrupalCamps at the job board level to get connected.
  • List any open positions on Drupal.org.
  • And remember the gift of presence; network at local and regional meetups and mentor those you can.

We Never Stop Growing

Even in challenging times, we as individuals and as groups cannot stop growing. Take time, get talking, and get excited. There are many more roads to be traveled, together.

Resources

We welcome additional resources in the comment section, thanks!

May 12 2020
May 12

As part of the Drupal Community Working Group's (CWG) continuing expansion of their Community Health Team, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Michelle Drapkin, a Behavior Scientist and Clinical Psychologist, as one of our two mental health subject matter experts. This team will focus on proactive programs to help promote the overall health of the Drupal community. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing various levels of anxiety for individuals around the world, we are working to provide resources to community members.

On May 22 we met with Dr. Drapkin for a Wellbeing Hour, where she walked us through some strategies to support our wellbeing during this challenging time. Dr. Drapkin is an expert in evidence-based approaches to managing stress and anxiety and gave us a tour down a buffet of options to support our health and wellbeing. We got a taste of using present-moment awareness to manage your stress and learned about leaning into your values, changing your relationship with your thoughts, and being more intentional with communication to support your relationships (at work and home!).

About our speaker:
Dr. Michelle Drapkin is the Owner/Director of the CBT Center of Central NJ. She is one of the newest members of the CWG team helping as a mental health subject matter expert on the Community Health Team.

About the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG):
The CWG is a volunteer group whose mission is to foster a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal open source project and to uphold the Drupal Community Code of Conduct.
 

File attachments:  CWG-Wellness-hour.png Drupal Wellbeing Hour 5.22.20 handouts.pdf
May 08 2020
May 08

As many of us in the Drupal community are entering the second month of physical and social distancing, it is important to take a break from our - often repetitive - day-to-day activities to spend some time on self-care. This not only helps ourselves, but also those around us. With this in mind, the CWG’s Community Health Team has compiled a list of activities that can help all of us cope with everyday stresses a little better.

The team has prepared a presentation with some strategies to support our wellbeing during this challenging time.  Join us on May 22 for a Wellbeing Hour with Dr. Michelle Drapkin, the newest member of our Community Health Team.

Take a break from the digital world

Breathe. Go outside, sit at the window, stand on your balcony. Break up your day. Fresh air and sunshine can help you to recharge and be more focused when you return to the computer. Exercise can help reduce anxiety and tension, improve mental outlook, and create some mental peace. 

Keep Learning

Use this time to hone your skills. Take some classes, attend meetups, and other virtual events. Many companies and organizations have lowered the cost of their classes or established curriculums that can be accessed at a lowered cost or for free.

Exercise Caution Online

Equipping ourselves with accurate information can go a long way in keeping our anxiety levels low. Be sure to get information from trusted, reliable outlets that back up analysis with data that’s been vetted or verified by official sources. Social media can be a wealth of misinformation, and it’s important to validate what you see online before acting on it or sharing it with others.

Give Back

Giving back has many benefits, but first and foremost it feels good. Not only does giving back make an impact, but it also builds and makes our community stronger, and makes our projects better and more complete. When we mentor, share our expertise, we not only build other’s skills, but we also sharpen our own. By being leaders, we add to our street cred and contribute to our professional growth and development

Take it Easy On Yourself

It’s perfectly okay not to hold yourself to your usual standards of productivity right now. Balancing personal and professional life is harder than usual right now, and many of us are working in environments that are full of distractions. Communicate with your colleagues, let them know how you’re doing, and make arrangements to adjust your working hours and expectations as needed so that you can be your best self both personally and professionally.

Ask for help

You are not alone in needing some additional support, and there is never shame in asking for help. Stress is affecting our sleeping and eating patterns, our work habits, the ways we are interacting with those closest to us.

Call your local public health department or insurance company for resources. While going to an in-person appointment may not be possible, many therapists and counselors offer on-line or telehealth services.

Resources

News

Mental Health Call Centers

  • Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
  • We are looking for suggestions for non-US-based mental health resources to include here.

Giving back to Drupal

Drupal Events

Jan 06 2020
Jan 06

Whether you’ve just recently built a new site, or you are in charge of maintaining an existing one, it’s critical to leverage the most you can out that site on an ongoing basis. As the internet grows and audience needs change, your site needs to be maintained and adapted over time. Sites can also be expensive to upgrade if not properly cared for (think of not performing regular maintenance on your car for several years until finally it breaks in an expensive way).

And yet, most organizations don’t have the money to redo a site more than once every three or four years. Sometimes they often don’t have the money to hire someone in-house to maintain the site beyond content updates. Who takes care of your security updates, or changes to modules or plugins so that your site doesn’t break?

That’s where quality website support and maintenance comes in. A good support agency can make your site last a long time past its creation date and keep it fresh until it’s time for the next rebuild and redesign.

Here’s are the top five things to look for when hiring for outside website support:

  1. Make sure they have a dedicated support team or department. Don’t go with an agency that simply pulls people off of regular design or development build projects to do support tickets on the side. Your site won’t get the same attention or care, since they consider support more of a side gig rather than an important part of their business model. Make sure the agency has a dedicated team that is committed to and organized around supporting sites.
  2. Look for transparency in billing. Make sure you understand the billing options. Most companies will offer different levels of packages, each with a set number of hours. If you have a site with a lot of traffic and ecommerce for selling items to customers, you’re going to want immediate service if something goes wrong vs. a site that’s more informational and can wait a few hours before a fix is implemented. Understand the levels of service you’re getting and the differences in costs for the timeliness of the response. Also ask what happens with any unused hours paid for in advance: do they rollover to the next month, or are they “use it or lose it?”
  3. Ask if you can talk to a human if needed. All agencies use (or should use) a ticketing system in order to track support requests. Ticketing systems allow for transparency, accountability, and clarity on what is being addressed and when. While these systems are tremendous for tracking the progress of an issue as it gets fixed, using them exclusively can be frustrating if something is hard to explain via text. Ask the agency if you’re allowed to hop on a call with one of their support staff, or the Project Manager, for advice and guidance. Often you can save time and increase clarity to simply have a conversation with a human. Plus it’s nice to establish a relationship with the person in charge of keeping your site running smoothly.
  4. Check that there’s a diverse range of talent within the team. Most developers can do module, plug in and security updates. But can they do any front-end work? What if the theme breaks, or you need a new page design? You might need more than code updates. Go for a more diverse and creative team that has experience with feature development as well as creative enhancements to cover all the range of items you might need.
  5. Determine how important it is if they work in your time zone. Talented designers and developers are all over the globe, but it can be tough to get fast responses from people in time zones very far off from yours. What happens if you need something right away, but it’s the middle of the night for them? If you’re in Hawaii, for example, you may not want to have an east coast agency handle your support. Ask the agency what their hours are, and try to get serviced in as close to your time zone as possible.

Following these tips will help give you confidence that you are asking the right questions and finding the right support services to fit your organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kanopi’s support offerings, contact us. We have dedicated support teams for both Drupal and WordPress, with a diverse staff who can cover anything you need. We also do it very well. Our hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm your local time in North America . . . and that counts for Hawaii!

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Sep 18 2019
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Eatings while at BADCamp

Sep 18 2019
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Jul 23 2019
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Jul 09 2019
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Amalgamate with us in the fall!!

Jun 04 2019
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About Drupal Sun

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

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web