Sep 09 2019
Sep 09

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

Leslie Glynn

Leslie Glynn portrait photoLeslie has more than 30 years of experience in the tech field as a software developer and project manager. She has been a freelance Drupal Project Manager and Site Builder since 2012. Glynn is very active in the Drupal community as an event organizer (Design 4 Drupal, Boston and NEDCamp), sprint organizer, mentor, trainer and volunteer. She is the winner of the 2019 Aaron Winborn Award. This annual award recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.

Being a volunteer at numerous Drupal camps and DrupalCons has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from many diverse members of the Drupal community. I hope to bring that knowledge and experience to my work on Drupal Association initiatives. One of the things I would like to help with is growing Drupal adoption through new initiatives that reach out to under-represented and diverse groups through an increased presence at secondary schools and universities and to groups such as "Girls Who Code" and other groups in the tech space.

We are all looking forward to working with you, Leslie.

Thank you to all our candidates

On behalf of all the staff and board of the Drupal Association, and I’m sure the rest of the Drupal community, I would like to thank all of those people who stood for election this year. It truly is a big commitment to contribution and one to be applauded. We wish you well for 2019 and hope to see you back in 2020!

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.

Detailed Voting Results

There were 12 candidates in contention for the single vacancy among the two community-at-large seats on the Board. 1,050 voters cast their ballots out of a pool of 49,498 eligible voters (2.2%).

The full results output is below. The system allows for candidates to keep their name hidden, if they choose, so we replaced the names of those who did with a candidate number:

The number of voters is 1050 and there were 998 valid votes
and 52 empty votes. Removed withdrawn candidate Tushar Thatikonda from 
the ballots.

Counting votes using Instant Runoff Voting.

 R|Candi|Candi|Imre |Brian|Candi|Shada|Ahmad|Candi|Alann|Manji|Lesli|Exhau
  |date |date |Gmeli| Gilb|date |b Ash| Khal|date |a Bur|t Sin|e Gly|sted 
  |4    |3    |g Mei|ert  |2    |raf  |il   |1    |ke   |gh   |nn   |     
  |     |     |jling|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     
  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     
==========================================================================
 1|   71|   74|  166|  119|   36|   45|    7|  115|   67|  116|  182|    0
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count of first choices.
==========================================================================
 2|   71|   75|  167|  120|   36|   46|     |  116|   67|  117|  183|    0
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Ahmad Khalil and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 3|   72|   76|  177|  124|     |   47|     |  118|   68|  117|  185|   14
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Candidate 2  and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 4|   74|   76|  178|  125|     |     |     |  132|   70|  130|  186|   27
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Shadab Ashraf and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 5|   89|   77|  183|  133|     |     |     |  142|     |  131|  211|   32
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Alanna Burke and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 6|   93|     |  192|  134|     |     |     |  151|     |  134|  217|   77
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Candidate 3 and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 7|     |     |  199|  149|     |     |     |  177|     |  136|  248|   89
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Candidate 4 and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 8|     |     |  208|  163|     |     |     |  228|     |     |  254|  145
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Manjit Singh and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
 9|     |     |  239|     |     |     |     |  247|     |     |  296|  216
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Brian Gilbert and transferring votes.
==========================================================================
10|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |  288|     |     |  359|  351
  |-----------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Count after eliminating Imre Gmelig Meijling and transferring votes.
  | Final round is between Candidate 1 and Leslie Glynn.
  | Candidate Leslie Glynn is elected.

Winner is Leslie Glynn.
Aug 27 2019
Aug 27

Carole Bernard's Drupal.org user profile photoThe Drupal Association (DA) is pleased to announce the recent hire of Carole Bernard as the Director of Marketing and Outreach. She and her team will focus on increasing visibility for the Drupal Association and opportunities for Drupal adoption through marketing, community engagement, volunteer management and public relations activities.

With extensive nonprofit and public sector experience, Bernard has served in senior leadership roles for more than 15 years at local, regional and national organizations.  

Bernard, a Boston native, began her career as a speechwriter for the Mayor of Boston. She then worked as the Director of Public Information for the largest human service agency in New England, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. She started her own consulting business in 2015, providing strategic communications, fundraising and executive management services to nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC area. She recently served as the Director of Communications and Marketing for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. She also has worked for Paralyzed Veterans of America, National Center for Women and Children and the National Minority AIDS Council as their Director of Communication.

“I am so excited to be a part of the dynamic team at the Drupal Association,” says Bernard. “I am blown away by the passion and commitment of the Drupal community, and I look forward to working with everyone to tell the DA story, to showcase the Drupal project, to broaden the organization’s reach to new audiences and to increase opportunities for Drupal adoption around the world through strategic communications and outreach efforts.”

“We want to continue to position Drupal as the leading open-source CMS for ambitious digital experiences that reach audiences across multiple channels around the world,” says Heather Rocker, DA Executive Director. “We also want to expand our efforts to bring new entities and individuals to the table to participate in our global community. We are excited to have Carole join us and to help us lay out and execute a plan that leverages all of the DA assets for growth, inclusion, awareness and participation.”

Bernard received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Framingham State College and her master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University.

Aug 13 2019
Aug 13

MWDS 2019 door sign with arrow pointing up to the rightIt's always wonderful to have Drupal community members gather in my hometown. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA hosts the Midwest Drupal Summit (MWDS) every year in August since 2016. Previous MWDS events were held in Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, and Madison, WI. This summit is three days of Drupal contribution, collaboration, and fun. The event is small but mighty. As with any contribution-focused Drupal event, MWDS is important because some of the most active community teams of the Drupal project dedicate time to work through challenges and celebrate what makes open source special.

I overheard several topics discussed over the three days.

  • Drupal.org infrastructure - its current state and ideas for improvements

  • Coordination between the Composer Initiative and core maintainers

  • The Automatic Updates initiative sprinting on package signing

  • Ideas for Contribution Credit system enhancements, to expand recognition beyond activity that takes place on Drupal.org

  • Drupal core contributors and the Drupal Association engineering team collaborating on critical Drupal 9 release blockers

  • The Security Team talking through ongoing work

  • Gitlab merge requests workflow and UI

  • Connecting the work that contributors are doing across various projects

  • Fun social events

Group of Drupalers enjoy lunch together
Group lunch in Ann Arbor.

This opportunity to listen and overhear the thought and care that go into Drupal is one I appreciate. It was fantastic to hear a community member tell the Drupal Association team that they are "impressed with the gitlab work. I created a sandbox and the URL worked." It's one thing to see public feedback on the work done for the community, it's a whole other thing to hear it in person.

Contributors around a table and standing, having a discussion.
Contribution in several forms - talking through ideas, blockers, giving feedback and opinions are just a few ways to participate.

Local midwesterners who take the time to attend MWDS get an opportunity to dive in to contribution on a variety of topics. There are always mentors and subject-matter experts ready to help. My own Drupal core commit happened at a past MWDS - where I gave feedback on an issue from the perspective of a content editor. This year, Wilson S. had a first-time commit on issue #3008029 and usually there's at least one first-time commit. A memorable one being the time Megan (megansanicki) had her first commit, which was also a live commit by Angie Byron (webchick).

Here's what a few participants had to say about their experience:

"I feel inspired as I watch the local community and visitors organically interact and participate with the discussions held around them." ~ Matthew Radcliffe (mradcliffe)

“This was my first Drupal Code Sprint event. Meeting all the great people from near and afar in person was awesome. Matthew Radcliffe helped me overcome my apprehension of contributing to Drupal Core. I look forward to continuing contributing and connecting with the community.” ~ Phill Tran (philltran

"As a recent re-transplant back to Michigan, I wanted to get back in touch with my local Drupal community. Being a FE dev, sometimes it's hard to find things to contribute via core or porting of modules. Some of the content analysis and accessibility testing was really interesting to me. As someone who has not contributed in the past @mradcliff was an excellent teacher on how to get the sprint environment up and running and how to get started on issues." ~ Chris Sands (chrissands)

"As part of the Drupal Association staff, I find MWDS is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with some key community members and create more alignment between DA initiatives and community-driven work. It's also a wonderful time to catch up with Drupal family." ~ Tim Lehnen (hestenet)

"Always the best event of the year." ~ xjm

“I am glad to have met everyone. I had a one-on-one mentoring session with Matthew Radcliffe. It’s priceless!” ~ Wilson Suprapto (wilsonsp)

Did I mention that Chris also became a Drupal Association member during this event?! Thanks Chris!

The Drupal Association engineering team members are in daily contact with the community online. However, in-person events are serendipitous. The insight from community members who have expertise to help Drupal.org improve for everyone is right here in the room. New contributors need only consider that the first step is any move you make to participate. I think this timely tweet I saw over the weekend sums it up:

The great thing about open source is you can often just contribute. Jump in and help - there's tons of documentation help needed, but open issues, bugs, etc. Start small but why not start today?

— Nick Ruffilo (@NickRuffilo) August 10, 2019

Special thanks to Michael Hess for organizing this event and Neha & Danny from University of Michigan for making sure everyone had a fantastic time.

Tim does the Treeline zipline
Tim at the Treeline, on a zipline!

For reference, here are the issues that moved forward during the event.

Aug 07 2019
Aug 07

Today is the start of our membership campaign which runs through August 31. This month, we've asked members to share why they are part of the Association. We hope you find some inspiration from your fellow community and that you'll join and share:

Join membership

Share the campaign

Jiang Zhan's photo holding sign saying why they are a member
"I believe in Drupal's future and I love the opportunity that Drupal provides to people around the world." ~ Jiang Zhan

Leslie's photo holding sign saying why they are a member
"The Drupal Association helps to support the Drupal community.

The Drupal community is the reason most folks start using Drupal and never leave.
Attend a local Drupal camp, meetup, or contribution day to experience how welcoming + helpful the community is." ~ Leslie Glynn

Wil's photo with sign saying why they are a member
"I love developing for…
Working with…
Problem solving with…
Enhancing…
Drupal!" ~ Wil Roboly

Erica's photo with sign saying why they are a member
"I support the people, time, and commitments made by those who build and grow Drupal." ~ Erica Reed

Imre holding siqn with why they are a member
"I believe in socially sustainable ecosystems and Drupal is just that. It's very powerful to have local communities supporting Drupal, with the Drupal Association empowering global communication and a unified message. This must endure!" ~ Imre Gmelig Meijling

Jaideep's photo holding sign saying why they are a member
"I feel this will help others the way Drupal has helped me pursue my career and open up possibilities of learning and exploring.

This is another way of giving back to Drupal." Jaideep Singh Kandari

Help grow our membership by joining to support the global Drupal Association or by sharing this campaign. We're here because we love Drupal and the opportunities that come from being part of this open source project. Thanks for being here and for all that you contribute!

Aug 07 2019
Aug 07

We now know the list of candidates that form the election for the next At-Large Drupal Association Board member. Voting is now open until 16 August, 2019 and everyone who has used their Drupal.org account in the last year is eligible to vote. You do not need to have a Drupal Association Membership.

Cast your vote

Ryan speaking to Drupal Camp London about prioritizing giving back in Drupal. - photo Paul Johnson
Ryan speaking to Drupal Camp London about prioritizing giving back in Drupal. - photo Paul Johnson

To help everyone understand how an At-Large Director serves the Drupal community, we asked Ryan Szrama, currently serving as one of two community-elected board members, to share about his experience in the role.

I was elected to the board in 2017. While it would be my first time serving on a non-profit board, my personal and professional goals were closely aligned with the mission of the Drupal Association. I was happy to serve in whatever capacity would best advance that mission: uniting a global open source community to build, secure, and promote Drupal.

You'd been a contributor to the project for over 10 years by that point. How do you think your experience in the community shaped your time on the board?

Indeed! I'd been developing Ubercart since 2006 and Drupal Commerce since 2010. I had more Drupal development experience than most folks, helping me understand just how important the Association's leadership of DrupalCon and Drupal.org are to our development efforts. The year before joining the board, I also transitioned into a business leadership role, acquiring Commerce Guys in its split from Platform.sh. This exposed me to a whole new set of concerns related to financial management, marketing, sponsorship, etc. that Drupal company owners encounter in their business with the Association.

While the Association is led day-to-day by an Executive Director (Megan Sanicki when I joined, now Heather Rocker), the board is responsible for setting the strategic vision of the organization and managing its affairs through various committees. Most of our board meetings involve reports on things like finances, business performance, staff and recruitment, etc., but we often have strategic topics to discuss - especially at our two annual retreats. My experience as a long-time contributor turned business owner gave me confidence to speak to such topics as Drupal.org improvements, DrupalCon programming, community governance, and more.

What's the Association up to lately? Are there any key initiatives you expect an incoming board member may be able to join?

There's so much going on that it's hard to know where to focus my answer!

The Drupal Association has seen a lot of changes recently impact the business of the business itself. We welcomed a new Executive Director and are beginning to see the impact of her leadership. We've revised our financial reporting, allowing us to more clearly monitor our financial health, and we've streamlined sales, immediately helping us sell sponsorships for DrupalCon Minneapolis more effectively. Additionally, we've launched and continue to develop the Drupal Steward product in partnership with the Security team. This is part of a very important initiative to diversify our revenue for the sake of the Drupal Association's long term health.

From a community growth standpoint, we continue to follow-up on various governance related tasks and initiatives. We're working with Drupal leaders around the world to help launch and support more local Drupal associations. We continue to refine the DrupalCon program and planning process to attract a more diverse audience and create opportunities for a more diverse group of contributors and speakers. The retooling of Drupal.org to integrate GitLab for project is moving forward, lowering the barrier to entry for new project contributors.

Any one of these activities would benefit from additional consideration, insight, and participation by our new board member.

What’s the best part about being on the board?

One of the best things for me is getting to see firsthand just how much the staff at the Drupal Association do to help the community, maintaining the infrastructure that enables our daily, international collaboration. I've long known folks on the development team like Neil Drumm, but I didn't realize just how much time he and other team members have devoted to empowering the entire community until I got a closer look.

I'm also continually inspired by the other board members. Our interactions have helped expand my understanding of Drupal's impact and potential. I've obviously been a fan of the project for many years now, but my time on the board has given me even greater motivation to keep contributing and ensure more people can for years to come.

Thank you, Ryan! Hopefully folks reading this are similarly inspired to keep contributing to Drupal. Our current election is one way everyone can play a part, so I'd encourage you to head over to the nominations page, read up on the motivations and interests of our nominees, ask questions while you can, and…

Cast your vote!

Aug 01 2019
Aug 01

Time to Vote graphic

Voting is now open for the 2019 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association! If you haven't yet, check out the candidate’s profiles. Get to know your candidates, and then go vote.

Cast Your Vote!

Voting is open to all individuals who had a Drupal.org account by the time nominations opened and who have logged in at least once in the past year. While a Drupal Association membership is not currently required, it is strongly encouraged.

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 is from 1 August, 2019 through 16 August, 2019. During this period, you can continue to review and comment on the candidate profiles.

Have questions? Please contact me: Rachel Lawson.

Jul 22 2019
Jul 22

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 1 August - 16 August. 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 many candidates from around the world. Now it’s time for you to meet them.

Meet The Candidates

We just concluded the phase where 12 candidates nominated themselves for the board seat. From now through 1 August 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.

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:

You are encouraged to ask questions, by viewing their candidate profile and adding a question at the bottom of the page. I have posed one question to each candidate already!

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 1 August - 16 August.

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

Jul 11 2019
Jul 11

Drupal creates growth of local communities when training events inspire new Drupalers to grow their skills and get involved in the project. This June, events occurred in Sydney, Brisbane, Tokyo, New York City, Nuevo León, and online. Here's the summary from a few of the host trainers:

Kazu Hodota (kazu.hodota), in Tokyo:

Kazu Hodota's Drupal.org profile image"We had Drupal Global Training Day Tokyo on June 29, 2019 and this is a short report. 10 people registered, and 8 people with 1 Skype user joined GTD Tokyo. One person is a Drupal end user, seven are Web business SI, which included three first time Drupalers. Two were evaluating Drupal API functions, for example importing JSON data to Drupal content types, IoT system of digital signage applications with JavaScript Server side applications with Drupal.

I think API application user will be growing near future!"

Drupal global training day Tokyo 2019 June 29 start now @cmslabo #drupal #drupalGTD #learningdrupal pic.twitter.com/4fLqoB678L

Students seated at two tables during Tokyo GTD event.

— cmslabo (@cmslabo) June 29, 2019

Angel GHR (angel.garza), in Monterrey:

"The Drupal Global Training Days event in Monterrey, Mexico was hosted inside UANL FIME for two days. On June 28, we had conferences starting with Drupal Introduction and all the way to Reacting Drupal, receiving a little over 30 people in the conference and 15 presenters.

Lecture hall with attendees in seats during Drupal presentation.
Learning Drupal in Monterrey. Photo by Angel Garza.

On June 29, we had two concurrent workshops, the basic one where we presented Drupal from the basic installation, configuration and walkthrough the platform, this workshop had 7 people in it and 6 presenters and the advanced one where we presented Progressively Decoupled Drupal 8 with React and Gatsby and had 6 people in the workshop and 6 presenters.We got a really positive feedback by both the participants and the school in which we hosted the event, getting people interested in future events and open to learn more about Drupal."

David Needham (davidneedham), online training for Pantheon:

David's Drupal.org profile image"We had a great turnout at the Getting Started with Drupal 8 workshop Pantheon ran on June 28th of Global Training Day with around 200 students attending at once. We recorded the training last time we ran it and published it (feel free to run through it yourself or pass it along to others). This is material that we regularly run in-person at camps and online for GTD. Want to run it at your next event in your own community? Reach out to me directly for more information or fill out the form at https://pantheon.io/trainers."

Interested in helping in the Global Training Days initiative?

We are looking for more volunteers across the Drupal community to organize more GTD events and more local training events. Do reach out to the GTD group / Slack and join a community of passionate training organizers across the world. You would find resources and other people who can help you with organizing your training event. You can also reach out to Anoop John (anoopjohn) if you have questions.

To get involved in Global Training Days, visit the group's event list and add your event.

Jul 11 2019
Jul 11

This is the fourth time that the Drupal business Survey has been launched and every year it provides a wealth of information about the use of Drupal. With the survey, the organisers hope to gain more insight into key issues that agency leaders all over the world encounter. The responses will be used to generate anonymized, aggregate report about the state of the Drupal business ecosystem. The results and insights of this survey will be officially published on Drupal.org and presented on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at the annual Drupal CEO Dinner during DrupalCon Amsterdam.

Focus on Drupal landscape and Drupal 9

The 2019 edition of the survey focuses, among other things, on the development of the Drupal landscape. What are the expectations towards Drupal 9? But it also focuses on what developments you hope to see with regard to Drupal in the coming years.

Contribute to the Drupal project by participating in this Drupal Business Survey

By completing the survey, you contribute to Drupal. Your input is therefore of great value!

Take the Drupal Business Survey here: http://bit.ly/DrupalBusinessSurvey2019

Jul 10 2019
Jul 10

If you want to attract a diverse group of contributors, you have to first show there is a path for a diverse group of people to become leaders -- and providing financial support is a key part of that path.

At the Drupal Association, we believe one of the most positive ways to elevate community members to leadership is through the Drupal Association Board. Board members have an extraordinary opportunity to drive forward the mission and vision of the Drupal Association, and our programs which support the Drupal project, and to ensure that we consider our community in all its diversity.

The board has always had a policy of providing financial support to those members (community elected or otherwise) who cannot afford the cost of travel to board events - or who need financial assistance of some other kind (perhaps to provide translation services or childcare). At the same time, we do ask that those board members who do have the ability to support themselves to do so, particularly if they have a sponsoring organization in the Drupal ecosystem. However, we've realized that this policy is not well documented. This has meant that some excellent candidates may have previously held back from self-nomination for financial reasons. Today, we change that.

To everyone considering running for the community elected board position please don't let finances be a barrier to your self-nomination for the board. We'd love to have you join us and we're committed to making it achievable for you regardless of your financial situation.

Jun 14 2019
Jun 14

O'Reilly OSCON Open Source Convention logo in red black whiteDrupal will be represented again at this year's O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, OR in July. We'll have table P8 in the exhibit hall. If you're attending, make sure to visit our table on Wednesday / Thursday.

Community volunteers and local Drupal Association staff members will be at OSCON to talk about Drupal with attendees. We're looking forward to spreading the Drupal love!

If you'd like to help out, please contact me.

Dates: July 15-18

Location: Oregon Convention Center

Register here and use code USRG to save 25% off most registration types.

Jun 14 2019
Jun 14

In April 2018 at DrupalCon Nashville, Dries and then-Executive Director of the Drupal Association Megan Sanicki announced the launch of an initiative to help promote Drupal in the marketplace. This initiative was designed for agencies worldwide, offering marketing and sales support that unifies the Drupal brand and provides standardized materials that can be customized to each user's needs.

The fundraising goal for this initiative was $100,000, and we committed to starting work once we hit the $75,000 mark. In summer 2018 we reached $76,000 in funding and outlined the first phases of work we would complete with these funds. That funding was utilized and those first phases completed in Spring of 2019. We’ll talk about what was accomplished here, and what comes next for the Promote Drupal program.

Purpose (as stated in previous posts)

One of the Drupal Association goals is to grow adoption of Drupal. The audience for Drupal is broad and varied, as 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 worldwide community can use in their own regions to promote Drupal to new audiences and grow adoption.

To that end, this initiative is focused on creating materials targeted to the decision-makers who choose to adopt Drupal for business; specifically, for marketing decision-makers—the audience most underserved in current materials. 

What we've accomplished

The Promote Drupal Initiative was designed in 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 supported Phase 1 & 2.

In the past 10 months, we've moved forward on the following deliverables:

Phase I

Create Drupal brand book

Complete Found here Building an open source marketing infrastructure for collaborative projects - and governance to guide its use. Complete You can join here  Create a "Why Drupal?" Video for widespread use Complete Video here

Distributing press releases as they come up - sharing finished releases with international regional associations for translating and sharing in their own communities

Complete Found here Create Drupal Pitch Deck: More about it—and how you can use it Complete  Found here

Redesigning the submission process and template for case studies and how they are selected as Drupal business case studies—and using these for general Drupal brand collateral

Near completion This is in final development and will be launched in August.

Phase II 

Set a roadmap for the most-needed marketing and sales materials in the community Complete  Work found here

Begin implementing that roadmap through the online community interface

Complete  Work found here Redesign home page of drupal.org to be persona-focused Complete https://www.drupal.org/home

Continue pushing press releases and media recognition

Complete Found here Have "Why Drupal" Video available in different languages  German translation complete Here Complete a Competitive Comparison Chart  In Progress  Work found here Drupal in the Enterprise: Integration with other Digital tools/solutions In Progress Work found here Infographic(s): Number of sites using Drupal, other stats about Drupal usage In Progress Work found here Drupal and Future Technologies: Drupal integration with AI, data science, etc. Not yet launched Idea found here Video interviews of companies using Drupal Not yet launched  Idea found here

This work is important

We see this initiative as an important way to support agencies in building new business, and creating a unified brand for Drupal worldwide. By understanding Drupal and its capabilities - particularly as the shift to Drupal 9 will be happening in 2020 - we aim to educate the curious regarding the vast ecosystem of Drupal's digital marketing technology and other business applications. 

Funding & moving forward

The idea of the initiative was to be a combination of self-sustaining community contribution - much like the code developed for Drupal - and partially an ongoing program supported by the Drupal Association, assuming funding to pay staff to support the work. 

Now that the initial funding is done, the Association plans to continue hosting Promote Drupal meetings, and to help guide the process for those participating until a plan is in place for future funding of this work. 

Promote Drupal needs your support

In order for the work to continue we are asking for community support. 

If you own an agency, please consider allocating some of your marketing team's time toward the Promote Drupal Initiative to move it forward. You do not need to reach out to Drupal Association staff directly for this to happen - you can simply have your team members join the meetings and participate in the work. We invite you to view projects in progress and see where you can lend your expertise and time. 

One element of work that would be particularly useful is to have the "Try Drupal" video translated into languages beyond English and German. Likewise, the additional materials listed above would have further reach worldwide if translated. 

Another opportunity is to add your materials to the Promote Drupal Pitch Deck (a.k.a. "Drupal in the Wild"); see the process here.

Thank you!

On behalf of the Drupal Association, we extend a big thanks to the original sponsors of the Promote Drupal Project—more than 50 agencies, as seen here. We also have a shout out to individual contributors; thanks to all 54 Team Members.

It is our hope that the community engages in this initiative in a way that helps sustain its momentum and continue producing meaningful content for the Drupal community. 

Jun 13 2019
Jun 13

With Drupal 9 approaching rapidly, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. The Association must continue to evolve alongside the project 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 a 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, each At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is community representation on the Drupal Association Board.

Inclusion

2018

Map of 2018 candidates

In 2018, we made a special effort to encourage geographic inclusion through the people who were candidates for election and we were delighted that candidates stood in six continents all across the World — thank you!

2019

Drupal Association logo, Pride version

Now, in 2019, and recognising we are in the middle of Pride Month, we want to particularly encourage nominations from candidates from underrepresented or marginalised groups in our community. As referenced later in this blog post, anyone is eligible to nominate themselves, and voters can vote for whichever candidate they choose, but we want to encourage this opportunity to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups with representation on the Association Board. And as we meet the candidates, whether they are allies or members of these groups themselves, we hope to center issues of importance to these communities - in addition to the duties of care for the management of the Association that are always central to a board role.

As always, any individual can stand for election to the board, but by centering these important issues we are determined to encourage a board made of diverse members as that gives them the best ability to represent our diverse community.

If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and nominate yourself between 29 Jun, 2019 and 19 July 2019.

What are the Important Dates?

Self nominations: 29 Jun, 2019 to 19 July, 2019

Meet the candidates: 22 July, 2019 to 26 July, 2019

Voting: 1 August, 2019 to 16 August, 2019

Votes ratified, Winner announced: 3 September, 2019

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 steer 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.

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 19 July, 2019, and the Association will promote the videos to the community from 22 July, 2019. Hint: Great candidates would be those that exemplify the Drupal Values & Principles. That might provide structure for a candidate video? You are also encouraged to especially consider diversity and inclusion.

How do I run?

From 29 June, 2019, 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 29 June, 2019 through 19 July, 2019 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 via our blog and social channels on 3 September, 2019.

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.). You do not need to enter a vote on every candidate. 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 1 August, 2019. 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 3 September, 2019.

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

Finally, many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!

Update to elected board member responsibilities

As detailed in a previous blog post, the elected members of the Drupal Association Board now have a further responsibility that makes their understanding of issues related to diversity & inclusion even more important; they provide a review panel for our Community Working Group. This is a huge important role in our global community.

A note from the nomination committee

While this blog post is primarily directed at the community elections process for the board - the Nomination Committee of the Drupal Association wants to affirm that diversity is a top priority during the Drupal Association Board of Directors nomination process for the appointed positions as well. We will work to identify the best way to provide more insight regarding how the committee evaluates candidates.

May 31 2019
May 31

An adapted Pride-themed Drupal Association logo

In June last year, we changed our Drupal Association logo on social media platforms to add a little color for Pride Month and I am really happy to say we will be doing the same again this year.

Since last year, we have introduced better tools for understanding the demographic groups in Drupal and I asked for a report on that. Quite rightly, I don’t have access myself - it is very much locked down. I was interested to see that, of those confirmed users who have filled something into the field (including “none” or “prefer not to answer”), 15.8% have indicated they identify as LGBTQIA. That’s far more than I expected!

We would love to continue to improve our statistics; we're asking everyone to complete the data in the demographics field, even if that is to click “none” - it’s a totally valid and useful response. Go to your user profile, click edit, and find it in the “Personal information” tab.

Finally, whilst the Drupal Association is an educational non-profit and does not advocate policy, I have been personally reminded this week of the extraordinary bravery, friendship, and sheer commitment to overcome challenges by people in the LGBTQIA community and I wanted to help celebrate that in any way we can.

You are strong and you are beautiful. Thank you for being you.

May 20 2019
May 20

The Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) consists of volunteers who help promote the health of the Drupal community; maintain and uphold the Drupal Code of Conduct; and act as an escalation point to help mediate conflict between community members.

In December of 2018, following extensive input and feedback from the community, the CWG proposed a new charter to Dries and the board of the Drupal Association. This new charter changed the oversight of the group from the project lead (Dries) to a three-person Review Panel consisting of the two community-elected members of the Drupal Association Board along with an independent representative from a different open source project who is appointed by the full Association Board. The new charter also included an expanded mandate to focus on proactive measures for community health. Dries supported these changes as did the Association Board.

An important next step following these changes was to fully appoint the CWG Review Committee. The Drupal Association worked in the first part of 2019 to identify candidates for the third party seat of this panel.

At DrupalCon Seattle we were pleased to announce that the Review Panel is fully staffed. The current members are now:

Suzanne Dergacheva

Member of the Drupal Association Board. Elected by the community to a two-year term in 2018, Suzanne is a community leader and co-founder of Evolving Web.

Ryan Szrama

Member of the Drupal Association Board. Elected by the community to a two-year term in 2017, Ryan is a longtime community member and contributor to Drupal, as well as the founder and CEO of Centarro.

Jono Bacon

Jono Bacon is an experienced community strategist, speaker, author, and podcaster —and has consulted with a number of proprietary and open source organizations on community strategy and culture. The third seat of the panel has a term set by the board of the Drupal Association upon appointment, typically lasting 2 years.

What is the role of the Review Panel?

The Review Panel's mandate includes approving the appointment of new members of the CWG and acting as the escalation point for Community Working Group issues. The CWG Review Panel serves as the final escalation point for CWG matters, though in exceptional cases where an issue may represent a significant concern to the whole project, the panel may escalate an issue to the full Drupal Association Board.

The Review Panel’s mandate only extends to issues that are appealed to it if one of the involved parties feels a decision of the CWG is unreasonable. The Review Panel is not responsible for reviewing decisions that take place outside of the CWG process (such as Drupal.org terms of service violations, DrupalCon Code of Conduct violations resolved directly by Association staff, or other issues that have been escalated to the full board of the Drupal Association). Requests to review those decisions must be referred to the party that made the decision.

The Review Panel is not involved in the CWG’s day-to-day activities; only matters that are brought to it as part of the appeals process, or at the discretion of the CWG. The Review Panel may, however, consult with the members of the Community Working Group to help them develop programs for proactively supporting community health.

How do the Drupal Association and the CWG work together?

Under its new charter, the CWG is able to draw upon the resources of the Drupal Association, including legal advice and protection. It is also better equipped to proactively address the needs of the Drupal community.

For example, at DrupalCon Seattle the CWG presented a workshop on developing strategies for effective and inclusive group communication with the help of funding from the Drupal Association. The CWG is also currently soliciting feedback from the community as it prepares to review and update the Drupal Code of Conduct.

These are among the first of what we hope will be many initiatives to promote the health and well-being of the Drupal community, and to enhance volunteer leadership skills and sustainability as we continue to help make the Drupal community one of the most compassionate, inclusive, and intentional communities in open source.

May 07 2019
May 07

We're excited about a feature built by a member of our community and recently deployed on Drupal.org: to give more human context to discussions in the Drupal issue queue, you can now choose to display your primary language, pronoun, and location.

Update your profile now

This is an opportunity to bolster human context within an online medium where tone and posture can be difficult to read. Providing this level of detail allows for visibility into the global composition of our community — such as when a person's primary language is not English or when a person resides in a distant time zone.

It is important to recognize what being global means and drawing attention to the details that remind us about the people behind the project helps us all to have a greater understanding of one another.

@rachel_norfolk and @baddysonja sharing screenshots with this new Drupal.org feature in action.

Thanks to @justafish for working on and requesting this feature. Thanks also to everyone who participated in the issue!

Screenshot of comment submitted by justafish with patch for this feature. Shows the feature in action with pronoun, location, language details.

You can enable this new feature by editing your user account and adding pronouns to the personal information tab, and location language on the Language/location tab. Finally, you can opt into what you would like shown inline in comments under the "comments" tab.

May 03 2019
May 03

Be part of Drupal's future. drupal.org/join and drops falling into clear water making round ripples

This month, we're running a membership campaign to grow our base of support and connect with more of the Drupal ecosystem. We're challenging you to take one step this month to brighten Drupal's future: invite your colleagues and clients to join the Association for Drupal's future.

By building a broader membership base, we're securing a financial future for supporting the Drupal community. A large, global base of members who contribute to sustain the Association are a force! Every member who participates is making an impact and a statement that Drupal is here to stay.

Thank you for taking the time to share this campaign.

The campaign page is full of information on our work toward current goals that help fulfill our mission. If you are using Drupal or contributing to the project, there's some part of what we do that helps you and the community at large.

May 01 2019
May 01

Every year at DrupalCon, we aim to bring together people with a common interest who need to move a potential initiative forward or work together in other ways to help grow Drupal.

In Seattle, we brought together a room full of event organizers. This is the story of two hours locked in a room, deep in the heart of the Seattle Convention Center…

Invitees

Thomas Scola, Michael Miles, Karthik Kalimuthu, Jessica Dearie, April Sides, Aimee Decker, Aimee Degnan, Michael Hess, Kaleem Clarkson, Jesse Hofmann-Smith, Jared Stoneberg, Rick Hawkins, Michael Anello, Leslie Glynn, Dan Moriarty, Kevin Thull, Jeremy Rasmussen, Quincy Austin , Brian Gilbert, Dori Kelner, Suzanne Dergacheva, Gábor Hojtsy, Steven Hughes, Raul Solano, Owen Lansbury, Dane Rossenrode, Juan Pablo Novillo Requena, Stephanie Lüpold, Kazu Hodota, Baddy Sonja Breidert, Nick Switzer, Elli Ludwigson, Matthew Saunders, Kelly Albrecht, Narcisse Mbunzama, Shawn Duncan, Pat Gilbert, Oyekan Abiodun, Mark Casias, Darren Oh, Gregg Marshall, Anson Han, Raed Al-khurayji, Gaurav Mishra, Shadab Ashraf,, Hussain Abbas, Jordana Fung, Josef Dabernig, Tushar Thatikonda, and myself - Rachel Lawson.

If I have missed any of your names, I apologise. Please let me know and I will update. Thank you to all who attended and especially to Avi Schwab who volunteered to take notes.

Process

Some weeks before DrupalCon Seattle, I consulted with a number of people and devised a series of questions to pose to the room, to get the conversations started. I then divided the audience into groups and assigned each one of the questions, asking them to get together and prepare a five-minute “presentation” without recourse to audiovisual aids like a screen. I want to hear what they have to say, not look at fancy slides. There then followed 15 minutes of discussion including the whole room.

Once the round table began, we initially did a quick voting exercise to ensure we worked on the topics in priority order, plus some custom ordering to take into account not everyone can be in the room for the whole two hours. It is DrupalCon after all!

Topics

More topics were initially set than were discussed. We took a group decision to spend more time on each topic, so lower priority items fell off the bottom until another day.

The following represent notes taken during the day and some reflection on the general flow of the discussion.

Event Organizers as an “Official” Group?

We discussed whether we should look to form an “official” group, with a charter etc, that looks to help events coordinate and collaborate.

  • Fostering the next generation of Drupalists
  • Surfacing smaller events on Drupal.org
  • Marketing camps to students and young people
  • More case studies and paired sessions “How Disney/WWE/J&J made their website”
  • Get agencies to engage clients. Win (camp) win (agency) win (client).
  • How do we create value?
  • We already have revenue, discussed below how we might turn that into value?
  • Regional financial entities
  • But maybe higher level organization to help create them
  • Example: National Endowment for the Arts - national grants
  • Regional, local all their own organizations
  • Group representation:
  • Globally diverse
  • Diverse among camp sizes
  • Intentionally contracting to do work and solve our problems
  • Two separate things
  • Global “Just enough” organization to support events
  • Fiscal sponsorship & financial
  • Who should this organization report to?
  • Dries? DA?
  • The DA is listening now. They’re good at doing events.
  • Dries is only one Human Being
  • Fewer and fewer working groups are reporting to him
  • Global working group as CONNECTORS between groups. Some groups need very little, some need help being lifted up. How do we pool our resources together to solve event org problems?

There was certainly the will to create an official group and to put the necessary work into making it representative of the global event community. I’m highly encouraged by this and looking forward to this happening.

What can we (Dries + DA) do to help you get your event to the next level?

We wanted to understand how the Drupal Association especially could provide the right support to events.

Summary:

  • Form for organizers to fill out before and after the event
  • Drupal Association could help organize resource library for organizers
  • Events would like to have some consistent opening slides that describe and promote the Drupal Association
  • DA to promote Ticket sales
  • Events want to be able to register as Drupal Association Supporting Partners under a new level just for them.

Discussion:

  • DATA is worth its weight in gold - we all benefit by collecting data about each event in terms of numbers of attendees, sponsorship revenues, speakers, etc.
  • Data could go into standardized letter for requesting sponsorship
  • Templates for requesting sponsorships, also for saying thank you.
  • Educate potential sponsors the value of these events
  • Should a standardized CoC be required for DA support? What happens if someone doesn’t check the “We have a CoC” checkbox? Is it just required?
  • Could we enforce participation through enforcement of the trademark?
  • That might make more work for Dries in defending it
  • Put other value behind agreement
  • Could tie into CWG initiative to train CoC people
  • Create a Speaker Directory for diverse speakers
  • Incentivizing getting into the “Speaker Directory” could be a great honor
  • Add to form: where did we find the speaker?
  • Speaker Selection Panels
  • D.o profile list speaking engagements
  • Site distro for camps/starter kits/COD
  • Drupal Europe is out there
  • We have the resources in $$$, could gather resources and hire someone to do it
  • Separation of Tasks from the Drupal Association

It seems that the greatest input the Drupal Association can have right now for event management is related to data and, especially, on Drupal.org. We should look to create a plan that takes input from this discussion, Suzanne Dergacheva (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QZppszEs_7J5P4gzXnCjHSfDoCZD0TfCDntXyGyhgzM/edit#) and Rachel Lawson’s (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Su5spAtDg_viKsCqxcaWg9DZ-T08DNot9MAOJRUCVek ) discussion documents on what that data should be. 

We should look to represent data on Drupal.org wherever possible, rather than Google docs.

Define a mission statement for why we organize events and how to measure success

One of the key factors to success of the project is coordination across all the places people interact with it. Having a common agreed-upon description of what in-person events are attempting to achieve would help. We wanted to know what would be involved in reaching such a common understanding through a mission statement.

  • Taxonomy?
  • Set up focus group to define a common taxonomy.
  • What kind of sessions does a camp want?
  • Is the event mission-based or just regional
  • Grow the community, awareness thereof, and lead collaboration across open source communities
  • Scaling only happens when there’s demand
  • Focus on the higher-level goals will pull up the lower ones
  • We’re not doing any benefit to ourselves if we just keep talking to the same group of people
  • How do we implement the data collection?
  • Define & measure our KPI’s.
  • Cross-pollinate camp participation
  • Dashboard to improve visibility and encourage participation
  • “Help people exploit and promote drupal”
  • Improve skills
  • Improve the product
  • Connect people to resources, clients to solutions, providers to clients, etc
  • How do we measure success?
  • D.o signups for the event (groups.d.o is… not super)
  • Add Drupal Ladder status to profile pages (and track how that coincides with event attendance)
  • How do you use Drupal? (and check change over time)
  • Reporting how many people participate in contribution
  • Social media mentions
  • Connect to a tag 

A good discussion on exactly why we run events and defining what we want to achieve with them. Great to hear people saying that it is not enough to simply keep talking to the same people - part of an event’s mission should normally be attractive to people new to Drupal so we continue to grow.

The room agreed that a good mission statement for events would be “Help people exploit and promote drupal”

Focussed Output

Dries had a very powerful slide in his Driesnote that set the focus for the upcoming year, for the whole project.

 1 Improve Diversity & Inclusion in our community, 2 Start removing the use of deprecated code now, 3 Refocus on the automated upgrade problem
Slide from the Driesnote, photo by Rachel Lawson 

I was keen to walk out of the room with an agreed focus for the group and we settled on the following, in order:

  1. Let’s do what’s needed to make the group official
  2. Let’s work on the ecosystem - how do we provide things like fiscal sponsorship across events of all sizes in US?
  3. We need to start collecting data from events in a single place.

Next Steps

Sticking to the focus above, the group who attended and others will be looking into the requirements for an official group to be formed, with a charter etc. Activities here should be updated as blog posts in www.drupal.org/community/event-organizers

Lessons Learned

My own lesson out of the exercise is that everyone has a very full timetable at DrupalCon and to make the invites much earlier before the event, to give people lots of preparation time. This also needs to be more clear of the facilities available in the room!

I will also look into adding the round tables into the official program, still as invite-only events but at least people can see them more easily and plan their days.

I Want to Hear from You

I want to continue to hold round tables in the future on this and other topics of interest in the community. 

What community initiatives should we be getting people together to look at the future? Let me know in the comments!

Apr 30 2019
Apr 30

Heather Rocker will lead the Association in supporting the global Drupal community.

Washington DC, April 30, 2019 - The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association has voted unanimously to appoint Heather Rocker as Executive Director to lead the Drupal Association.

Adam Goodman, chair of the Drupal Association Board, said, "Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences. Heather’s experience matches this ambition as we seek to increase adoption, diversify and invest in our community, and grow opportunities for builders, agencies, content creators and marketing decision makers. Heather brings seriousness of purpose, character consistent with our values and principles, and lively good humor — just what the Board and I were seeking out for our next leader."

The Drupal Association's mission is to unite a global community to build, promote, and secure the open source Drupal software. Since 2008, the organization has supported a global network of open source contributors; a robust business ecosystem; and has hosted events across 4 continents and more than 20 countries.

Heather Rocker said, "It’s an incredible honor to serve the Drupal Association in this capacity.  This opportunity is not only in alignment with my skills and experience but also with my core belief that outstanding things can be achieved through a dedicated and diverse community of volunteers and partners.  I look forward to building on the solid foundation and collaborative spirit that exists today. "

Heather will begin her work with the Association at the beginning of June.

Heather Rocker

About Heather

Heather Rocker joins the Drupal Association with a strong history of leadership in technology and the nonprofit world. She was the first executive director of the Women in Technology Foundation, as well as the CEO of Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta. Most recently she acted as the Managing Principal of Systems Evolution, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. She also serves as Immediate Past-President of the Board of Directors of Georgia FIRST Robotics.

Dries Buytaert, founder of the Drupal project, said, "I’m confident that Heather will move the Drupal Association into its next chapter. Her skills and experience at building relationships in both the non-profit and technology spaces will be a tremendous asset.  I also believe she’ll be a great partner with me to move forward the Drupal project as a whole."

About Drupal

Drupal is content management software. It is used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. What sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need.

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.

###

Media Contact: Rebecca Pilcher
Phone: 503-405-1159 x 705
Email: [email protected]

Mar 15 2019
Mar 15

As Community Liaison, I find it important to liaise face-to-face whenever I can, and an opportunity presented itself to visit a community I have not been able to spend time with until now; that in India.

This was going to not only be the first time I’ve worked with the community in India but also my first time in India. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Will I see any elephants?”

Think Indian!

I found myself sat on a motorbike at the side of a road in Goa, India and about to plunge into the traffic for the first time. At home, I’m an experienced motorcyclist but here, everything is different. I have to learn fast…

Waiting for a gap in the stream of vehicles that will never come, I shout at myself, “Come on Rachel, think Indian!” I just need to adjust how I think and accept that the traffic conditions here are not better or worse, just different, and to “go with the flow”. I take the plunge and catch up with Surabhi Gokte and Manjit Singh (the extremely generous community member who loaned me his beautiful Royal Enfield, pictured here) on their scooter and we disappear into the night.

Manjit's beautiful Royal Enfield Classic 350
Manjit's beautiful Royal Enfield Classic 350 - quite a change from my own BMW...

I learned a lot about India riding Manjit’s motorbike over the next couple of days (yes, sorry Manjit - I may have added another 250Km to the clock!) and at the marvellous Drupal Camp Goa that I had flown out to join.

Drupal Camp Goa was a great place to meet the Drupal community in India and I was determined to find out as much as I could about what was going on there. What I learned was that the community is hugely vibrant and doing amazing things —at a scale I simply never grasped before.

I was invited to do an opening talk at the beginning of the weekend and I chose to speak about community, as is my want, and how we can ensure that the whole World is aware of the community here. It is well documented in Dries’ blog posts that the contributions to the project from India are significant; they are, after all, the second most prolific country in code contributions after the USA, and then only by a small margin.

Graph showing the most active countiries contributing code to Drupal
Code contributions to Drupal, by country. Taken from https://dri.es/who-sponsors-drupal-development-2018 

What struck me, though, was that I didn’t know the amazing individuals here and I don’t see them featured enough in the global Drupal conversation. I talked about how we recognise the contributions made but we all have a responsibility to ensure that we facilitate people outside of places like the USA and Europe moving into “positions of influence” in our global community; places like the track chairs of global Drupal conferences, our many working groups and so on. I would very much like every lead of every Drupal working group to be asking themselves, “If 13% of our code contributions come from India, do we have at least 13% of our group’s leadership represented by Indians and, if not, why not?”

I was particularly struck at the quality of the sessions that I attended, and the scope of the things they were discussing.

Two sessions stuck out in my mind: The first was one on machine learning and its applications in Drupal, by Akanksha Singh. She not only described much of the history behind machine learning and explained how it may be used for many applications, she described a Drupal module she is finishing developing (on drupal.org/projects very soon!) that will allow sentiment analysis of content via tools like IBM Watson. I can think of a thousand uses for this!!

I very much enjoyed a session on “college leaver” education in Drupal by Sharmila Kumaran. It seems that she has developed a system by which they spend time exposing a lot of students to Drupal and then identify those who they think have potential to move into Drupal careers. Pretty standard stuff but then they mentioned the scale of the operation and I sat up: In 2019, they are expecting to have exposed over 6,000 (yes, six thousand) college-aged people to Drupal and how it works. Is there anyone else, anywhere in the World, educating people in Drupal at this scale??

The whole camp was full of people doing amazing things. The organisers were doing a fantastic job, the food was awesome, and I left with an overwhelming feeling that region including India will power the growth of Drupal for a long time.

Shout out to all the Volunteers and Speakers of @DrupalcampGoa 2019 - We are happy to give you credits on https://t.co/Ip1TSC0VnA as you have contributed to #DCG19. Here is the link - https://t.co/hhXnXEB5Xx, please add comments to justify your contribution :) pic.twitter.com/tlCApvXhQJ

— DrupalCamp Goa (@DrupalcampGoa) March 12, 2019

In the Mountains

We all highly appreciate the contributions Drupal community members make by becoming individual members of the Drupal Association, especially as it directly finances my ability to see people face to face at camps and meetups. I make every possible effort to spend that contribution wisely. So, on the return from India, I called off at Drupal Mountain Camp in Switzerland, where I had been invited to moderate a keynote panel on “The Future of Communities”, also involving Nick Veenhof, Imre Gmelig Meijling, Yauhen Zenko and Vincent Maucorps.

A recurring theme of the panel discussion was one of collaboration between the local associations, their members and each other. At the Drupal Association, we are working to aid that collaboration as much as possible and I was hugely impressed by the panel conversations. I learned more about how the local associations in Europe work with their members and each other to promote Drupal and facilitate growth. Truly a model to emulate across our global community.

One other thing - I very much appreciate that the event, thinking about its location, supplied a wonderful woolly hat rather than the usual t-shirt as a freebie. I know I'm not the only one who is aggrieved every time she is told "Oh, we only have straight fit t-shirts". Thanks Drupal Mountain Camp!

Drupal Mountain Camp woolly hat

But what about the elephants?

I never did manage to find any elephants whilst exploring India, or even in Switzerland. I did learn about a two “elephants in the room”, though:

  1. The Drupal community in India is extraordinary, doing great things, and I wasn’t aware enough of this. That is my fault and I intend to change that. I think we should all be looking to how we can learn more, too. It is very obvious that Drupal is in a state of growth in India and we should be cultivating that - I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the next webchick or xjm is already in India. We all gain by helping her grow.

  2. The Drupal communities in Europe are organising themselves in some really professional ways; using their established local associations to promote the project and members through tools like press releases, hosting local Splash Awards etc. These local associations in Europe are shining examples to other countries around the World.

Feb 13 2019
Feb 13

The events that every year bring us together all over the World are the lifeblood of our vibrant and diverse community. From BADCamp in California, USA, through Global Training Days in Omsk, Russia to Contribution Weekends in Leeds, UK, we have a combined wealth of knowledge and experiences but also challenges and opportunities.

At the Drupal Association, we value highly the commitment made by those who volunteer their time to make these events happen. If I wasn’t British, and therefore terribly understated, at this point I would probably say “You rock!”

As an event organiser, I wanted to take the opportunity to bring to your attention a few things happening in the community that we hope will help you in your efforts.

The Event Organizers’ Group

We were very pleased to see the creation of a growing group of event organizers forming and beginning to have regular meetings to share experiences and resources. One of its founders, Kaleem Clarkson, has blogged about this and their plans for the future.

To help with their formation, we helped them become one of the first groups to create one of the new Community Group Sections at Drupal.org/community/event-organizers.

One thing that is super important, though, is that this group has representation by event organizers from all around the World. Wherever you live, do join this group, make your voice heard and ensure that it meets in a way that works for you.

The Event Organizers’ Round Table with Dries Buytaert

One of the requests we had from the group was to be able to spend more time discussing their aims with the Project founder, Dries Buytaert.

Dries agreed that spending quality time with representatives of such a key part of our community was highly valuable, so we have created a round table at DrupalCon Seattle 2019 to which event organizers will be invited to attend and participate.

The invites will be sent to the mailing segment introduced below - make sure you read on!

Dries taking notes at a previous round table
Image of Dries taking notes from a previous Round Table, courtesy Baddý Sonja Breidert

A mailing list segment especially for event organizers

To ensure that we can alert event organizers to activities like the above, we have created a special segment in our mailing list system that allows us to send updates to only those that want to hear about them.

If you are an Event Organizer, or looking to become one in the future, I highly recommend you visit your user profile on Drupal.org and check the box “Contact me regarding local organizing (camps, groups, etc.)”

For the above mentioned Round Table with Dries Buytaert, we will be sending invites to member of this mailing list so make sure you are on it!

screenshot of user account settings

Feb 01 2019
Feb 01

/Community

As mentioned previously, we have been collaborating across the Drupal community on updating and, expanding Drupal.org/community and that work is ongoing. There are still wrinkles to resolve, such as how to make the menus on that page more obvious, but we are getting there:

A screenshot of the community section on Drupal.org

Next step - community group sections

One of the things I was especially keen to do was to make areas for the groups of people that make our community work available under /community and give them the tools and space to tell the World about:

  1. Who they are
  2. What they do
  3. How they work
  4. What their latest updates are
  5. How you can get involved.

Well, the framework to do this looks good and the first couple of sections are now available. You can see the following community groups already:

  1. Event Organizers’ Group
  2. Core Mentoring Group
  3. Agency marketing Group (the Promote Drupal initiative)

Each section will have a “standard” home page content, detailing the info above, as many content pages as the group can muster and a blog that will go onto Drupal Planet.

a screenshot of the event organizers section

Of course, a group will likely have content across many different parts of the Drupal.org website. I’m especially keen for all members of our community to be able to see what groups there are and how they work in one easy to consume place. Our project values challenge us all to clearly define how our community functions: "We foster a learning environment, prefer collaborative decision-making, encourage others to get involved and to help lead our community."

What about the community group you are a member of?

If you represent a community group and would like to join the growing list of those with sections under /community, please get in contact

I’m looking at globally-relevant groups right now - maybe in the future, we will look at what we can do to support local groups.

Imagine what could be possible when new members of our community come to /community and find right where they belong! I'm excited to see what's next.

Jan 30 2019
Jan 30

Community Together

Towards the end of last year, the Governance Task Force concluded their six-month process and developed a list of thirteen recommendations for evolving Drupal's governance. This followed almost a year of efforts that engaged many stakeholders in the community to share thoughts on Drupal's governance model. Those recommendations were published in a blog, promoted by Dries, and made available in individual issues for community feedback.

We want to thank everyone for their participation in this process.

In particular we'd like to thank David, Ela, Stella, Lyndsey, Rachel, Hussain, and Adam as the leaders of the Governance Task Force.

I would also like to thank the many other community members who have been highly engaged in this process from start to finish. More than a hundred community members  attended community governance roundtables—both virtually and in person—or participated in one-on-one interviews, from across the globe.

Still more members of our community shared their voices in the issue queues, chat rooms, or discussions on these and other blog updates.

Finally, I want to thank all of the existing community bodies who have been crucial in bringing Drupal to this point, and will continue to be a fundamental part of our evolving governance. Groups like the CWG, the Core Maintainer Team, DD&I, the mentorship and contribution team, and a number of others play a critical role in our governance.

It reflects the tremendous care that everyone involved has for this community and a strong commitment to ensuring that this project continues to be a leader, not just in open source technology but also in open source community governance.

The next step is to put those recommendations into action. The Drupal Association is only one part of the community, and only one stakeholder in this effort, but there are a number of things we feel we can do to help move these recommendations forward.

In accordance with our values and principles, when evaluating potential actions, our goal is to identify immediate feasibility and prioritize impact. A number of the task force's recommendations are topics we can tackle very quickly, whereas others, like ones that require fundraising, may have a longer time horizon. Understand, this is not a commentary on the *importance* of any individual recommendation, but rather on which items can be executed quickly and which will take a more extended effort.

Part 1 of this series will focus on the immediate next steps that the Drupal Association can take to help support these recommendations. Part 2 will address the recommendations that will be an ongoing effort over the medium and long term.

Immediate next steps

Grow the Community Working Group (CWG) to offer more support

There is already progress on the recommendation to "Grow the Community Working Group (CWG) to offer more support." Serendipitously, at the same time as the Governance Task Force recommendations were released, the Community Working Group submitted a proposal for a revised charter to Dries and the Drupal Association Board.

The revised charter included complementary changes in-line with the recommendations of the Governance Task Force. Perhaps most powerfully, the proposed changes included two key new elements:

  1. The CWG would switch from reporting to Dries himself to a subcommittee of the Drupal Association Board that consists of a three-member review panel: the two community elected board members and a third person external to the community. This leverages expertise from another open source project and offers a different perspective outside of Drupal.
  2. Providing support and resources for proactive initiatives to enable community health and support efforts. The CWG has long wanted to increase its ability to improve health and equity in our community and the DA can now support these activities.

This change also ensures that the Community Working Group has the appropriate legal and insurance support for its activities, clarifies the membership process, provides term limits for membership, and provides financial support for CWG activities.

The Board was pleased to receive this proposal from the Community Working Group, and voted to adopt the proposed changes in the Dec 5, 2018 board meeting. For more details, review the original proposal from the CWG here, as well as the official charter page which reflects the new updated charter.

Build a new community website to centralize communication and promote new opportunities

Another recommendation of the Governance Task Force that we are able to immediately act on is the recommendation to centralize communication and promote new opportunities for all aspects of the Drupal community. In particular this recommendation focuses on centralizing information about events across the globe, multilingual support, an improved home for regional groups and local associations, and community governance and support.

This recommendation aligns with one of the Drupal Association 2019 goals, which is to "Help the community follow the same path, by amplifying the voices of those who define that path." (For a little more context on our 2019 goals, check out our recent newsletter).

The task force specifically recommended a new dedicated community website, with functionality in many ways similar to an updated Groups.Drupal.org, as well as multilingual support and a strategy for coordinating community messaging and efforts. I'm pleased to report that this is an area in which the Drupal Association has already begun work. While our technical implementation will remain on Drupal.org, rather than as a separate sub-site, the proposed recommendations align closely with initiatives Association staff are working on right now.

Community Liaison Rachel Lawson has already worked with members of the community to create a new Drupal.org/Community portal. This initial change is just the first step: providing a pathway for various personas to find their way to the right part of the community to meet their interest and needs. As this is being written, we are also working on enhancements in line with the Governance Task Force recommendation: support for dedicated sections for key community bodies and providing collaboration tools similar to those that were first put in place for groups.drupal.org many years ago, but enhanced for our current needs.

Expect to hear more about these changes soon.

In the meantime, if you belong to a working group or similar, Rachel Lawson would like to speak with you about making space for your use on Drupal.org/community.

A glossary of key community terms, in clear, translatable language

The Drupal community has a long history as one of the largest and most closely knit communities in open source. On the whole, this has been tremendously positive, and is something for us to take great pride in, but the Governance Task Force rightly recognized a key concern that this creates: it does not scale. A lot of the language we use to describe our community, our leadership, and our governance is undefined or taken for granted. Even for longtime very engaged members there is no guarantee that our personal understandings of key community terms are shared.

Fortunately, we should be able to improve our collective understanding of what these critical terms mean. By assembling an engaged group of community members, DA staff, and existing project leaders we should be able to create an initial glossary of this key community language, and with the help of regional leaders in our global community, ensure that the language is clear and easily translatable.

If you would like to participate in this effort, you can do so in this issue.

Improving collaboration/understanding between the Drupal Association and community

This is another of the Governance Task Force recommendations that can both receive immediate action, but will also always be an ongoing process of iteration and improvement. The recommendation to improve the ways that the Drupal Association collaborates with the community, and in turn to improve the community's understanding of the Drupal Association's work, is a critical one. As the interim Executive Director at the Association and 13-year community member, this is also work very close to my heart.  

There are many steps we can take to move this recommendation forward, but a few of the ones we've taken in the last months or are planning to take in the new year include:

Lastly, here at the Association we can and should continue to strive toward communicating the existing ways we serve the community, many of which could help to support recommendations of the Governance Task Force. For example, when Kevin Thull recently announced the unofficial Drupal recording initiative, it had not occurred to him to consider applying for the Community Cultivation Grant program. This was eye-opening for us, because if it does not occur to even a highly engaged community member like Kevin to apply for a grant, how can we expect others to be aware of the opportunity?

By publicizing Kevin's story, and those of others who have participated in these programs, we encourage others to apply for these opportunities. The pool of funding for these programs is not unlimited, but we certainly encourage community members to apply.

Just the beginning

Acting on these first recommendations is only the beginning. In part 2 we'll address the additional recommendations of the Governance Task Force, and in particular how the Drupal Association can support these more medium and long term efforts. The work of evolving Drupal's governance will be a continuous process, and the Drupal Association is only one stakeholder in the outcome, but by working together with the community we believe we can take significant strides in this direction.

Jan 24 2019
Jan 24

When I joined the Drupal Association over 4 years ago, I didn’t ‘do Drupal’ and I didn’t have the faintest idea of what ‘the community’ was. These were things I read about in the job description for DrupalCon Coordinator, but didn’t mean anything to me yet. Now, as I prepare to leave Drupal - the Association, the community, the Con, the project - I can actually ‘do Drupal’ (albeit it on a Drupal 7 site, tsk tsk I know) and have such respect and care for the people that I have been lucky to work with from the community.

The journey from Point A to Point B, has been just that - a journey, with many steps in between.

My first DrupalCon was DrupalCon Los Angeles 2015 and it was full of firsts: the first time I met the Track Team who I had seen on the planning calls for months and who were surprised how short I was ‘in real life’; the first time I walked farther than a marathon in one single building; the first time I waltzed to the front of a session room to introduce myself to one of the many volunteer speakers to thank them for contributing; the first time I gained the understanding of how big, how passionate, how special this community was and how important DrupalCon was to all of them.

Since that Con, I have done my best to serve the community that makes Drupal so successful and special. There have been many volunteers, multiple Cons, too many emails to count, and a lot of smiles. As I prepare to step down from my role at the Drupal Association, there are many moments/projects that I am proud that we achieved together:

  • We’ve gone from not tracking diversity of our speakers at all to having our DrupalCon Seattle 2019 lineup be comprised of 50% speakers from underrepresented groups.
  • We held our first DrupalCon in India to serve an incredibly enthusiastic and growing community in what was one of my most memorable Cons ever.
  • We’ve taken the challenge of creating a sustainable and productive DrupalCon Europe and approached it with new eyes and ideas, to craft a new model that is community-driven and on course to be a great event to serve our European contributors.
  • We’ve continued to open our community to new and different audiences, working to create a welcoming environment along with relevant and compelling content for anyone who Drupal impacts- from the CTO to the content editor and marketer.

There are countless other moments that I also consider special - the hugs, the thank you notes that I’ve received, the inside jokes, the staff retreats, the volunteer dinners - thank you for those. In addition to the magic I have felt within our larger community, I also am grateful to the truly fantastic team at the Drupal Association who works to serve the community every single day; I am grateful to have worked with such talented, driven, and fun teammates.

My last day will be February 1, and between now and then I'll be reaching out to all the volunteers involved in the upcoming event to put you in touch with the great team that will succeed me. I am more than confident that the Association, the community, and the project will continue to grow, change, and prosper. Thank you for letting me be part of that, it has been a true privilege to serve you.

In my time here, I learned that to do well in my job, I needed to do my best for all of you. So even though I won’t see you at DrupalCon Seattle 2019, imagine me whizzing by you at speed-walk pace with a smile, shouting lovingly at you to squeeze in the group picture, or receiving a handwritten card from me thanking you for contributing to the Con.

Jan 17 2019
Jan 17

When we say DrupalCon, the upcoming DrupalCon Seattle 2019 event is probably what first comes to mind. But while we have been selecting sessions, setting up BoFs, and letting you know about the additions to our Con, we at the Drupal Association have also been looking ahead to DrupalCons of the future. We are excited to share those with you now.

In the past, we used to announce the next DrupalCon location during the closing session of the previous Con. This was a lot of fun, but created some logistical problems for the events team, and made it difficult to do all the work we need to do to secure our next con locations. It is a multi-year process to secure a venue for DrupalCon, so we've made some changes that help us coordinate with venues, hotels, and partners without relying on a veil of secrecy.

You first saw this change during the DrupalCon Nashville Closing Session, where we announced both 2019 (Seattle) and 2020 (Minneapolis).

We're taking these changes a step further by looking far into the future to announce the North American DrupalCons for 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. We're thrilled to announce the selected cities, as well as share the process that went into making these selections.

Where DrupalCon is going

Together with each of our partner cities, we're excited to announce the upcoming locations for DrupalCon North America:

  • DrupalCon Boston 2021 (April 12-16)
  • DrupalCon Portland 2022 (Oregon, April 25-29)
  • DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023 (June 5-9)
  • DrupalCon Portland 2024 (Oregon, May 6-10)

Want to understand the process that goes into city selection? The search for each location starts four or more years before the event, and you can read on for the inside scoop into how this plan came together. Wondering why all the selected cities are in the USA? We encourage you to read our prior blog about why the sustainable choice for North American locations is in the United States for the foreseeable future.

How we got here 

Planning for the future

Historically, DrupalCon locations have been contracted a couple of years before they happened, in a city where we were excited to host the community, that we revealed in a fun fashion at our Closing Session the prior year.

However, announcing the new event only a year in advance—and selecting new cities for every event—created some logistical problems; conference center venues large enough to host DrupalCon are often booked four or more years in advance. This has meant that cities we would love to visit have often simply been booked during the dates that would work with our community needs, or are too expensive because we couldn't make multi-year commitments - which took a lot of options off the table.

In benchmarking ourselves with comparable conferences (in size, audience, and program), it became clear that many established organizations were booking multiple years in advance. This is in part due to the availability of desirable cities, but also that securing locations in the future equates to more competitive pricing.

As the Drupal Association matures and starts leading change in the community and in the open source world, we determined it was best to look farther into the future for our largest annual conference.

Creating a location pattern that the community can count on

We took a serious look at data from past attendance, the locations we're trying to reach, and where we see the most traction from the community.

In analyzing data from DrupalCons dating back to DrupalCon Austin 2014, we were able to deduce some high-level insights about our attendees:

  • 88% of attendees at DrupalCon North America come from the United States
  • In hosting a DrupalCon in a coastal city in the USA, attendance from the regional community local to those cities can be 13-17% higher than the regional attendance we see in other cities (not counting those who travel greater distances).
  • Conversely, when hosting a Con in the center of the country, attendance decreases significantly from the coastal audiences and does not significantly increase from the hosted-area region.

With the majority of our conference attendees in mind, we set out to host our conference in coastal cities, where, by ‘showing up’ our community has proven they want to go. This led us to primarily work on sourcing East Coast and West Coast cities for the upcoming years.

With our upcoming DrupalCon Seattle 2019 on the West Coast, and DrupalCon Minneapolis 2020 in the middle of the USA, we aimed to host DrupalCon 2021 on the East Coast, and from there, jump between the coasts for the foreseeable future.

The benefits of repeating cities

As we did with timing and location, we also stepped back to ask ourselves, why do we move this conference every year? The logical answer is that it makes the conference more accessible to new audiences in different areas. But our past attendee data doesn't support this conclusion. So we asked ourselves again: If it isn't bringing in large numbers of new first-time attendees, why do we search for a new city every year?

We had heard anecdotally that it was because ‘Drupalers like to go on vacation in new cities’ and that ‘it helps grow the community in a new city,’ but these answers aren't well supported by the data, so we decided to re-evaluate our strategy.

When we release our RFP to the world, we work internally with the Drupal Association Board to determine our Selection Criteria. A lot of this hasn’t changed because the Con hasn’t changed drastically in a few years. The top 5 things that we evaluated in each city’s bid were:

  • Large/versatile venue - Could the venue fit our 150+ sessions, 3,000 people for lunch, and the breadth of programming offered at our Cons?
  • Popular tourist area - Do people want to go there? Is there a wealth of activities for them post-sessions each day?
  • Strong business community - Do we already have partners in the city? Is it a place our sponsors have expressed as a city where they’d like to do business?
  • Tech-focused city - Is the city supportive of tech and open source? Are there businesses and organizations that may participate in our event because we are in their city?
  • Large and strong Drupal community - Does this city have a community that has hosted a successful camp in the past? Is there a solid community that regularly meets and would help support the planning of a Con?

It had been a few years since we selected new DrupalCon cities, so reviewing and updating the criteria seemed prudent. We added and changed the following criteria:

  • CHANGE: In the venue criteria, we included the ability to change the program around, since as the community grows and changes, we want to be able to flex our program.
  • ADD: Welcoming to all attendees. We wanted to make sure that topics such as legislative actions, political climates, and inclusiveness of the cities were taken into account to ensure that we were placing our Con in a city where all members of our community would feel welcome.
  • CHANGE: When DrupalCons were mostly managed by the community, the need for a large and strong community was imperative to the success of a Con. Since the Drupal Association has taken on the bulk of planning, pricing, and executing of the Con, the need for the community to be of a certain size is no longer a qualifying factor. In fact, by changing the focus, we could look at cities that didn’t have large community groups at the time, but maybe a Con could inspire one.

When we examined our search criteria and started matching it up with real cities that we could reach out to, the list became short. With that reality, it became apparent that we would need to begin repeating cities. We seized the opportunity to proactively address that reality.

In speaking with tech event leaders from other communities and organizations, it was helpful to get a fuller understanding regarding the benefits of repeating a city location:

  • Time: Securing multiple years can save an organization time, money and peace of mind. By doing this, you eliminate the need to do site visits and RFP gathering again the following year.
  • Staff Capacity: By hosting an event somewhere you’ve already been, the staff does not need to learn a new floor plan, crew, process, regulations, etc. It is estimated that in eliminating these normal challenges of a new venue, that the staff capacity can be reduced by 25%, freeing them up to focus on the event itself.
  • Negotiation: Planners can gather information on the facility once and focus on strategic negotiating, which translates to consistent concessions and commissions with minimal increases in rates/pricing annually.
  • Cost Savings: Event budgets can be determined early, giving the planner more time to focus on the important things like planning for the success of the event. And, if you have done all of this well in the beginning, you will have the peace of mind to know that you are prepared for surprises that inevitably come along.
  • Relationships: Multiyear contracts require a partnership. Planners, venues, and hotel partners can create a strategic plan to build the event and their services. In working with a crew for more than one year, improvements can be made and the crew is better prepared to serve the attendees the next time around.

Getting from ideas to contracts

We released our RFP on August 13, 2018, on the Drupal Association blog. It was also sent to multiple cities that met our criteria. Within our RFP, we shared our tight timeline, with the goal of signing contracts for 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 by the end of 2018. Below is a glimpse into the work that transpired between launch date and sign date.

  • September 4, 2018. Is the date that we requested cities submit their detailed bids. Per our RFP, we had multiple questions about space needs, catering, AV, diversity and inclusion, internet, hotels, and more.
  • September 5-11. Partnering with our fantastic production partner, Groundswell Marketing, we reviewed the proposals to see if any questions arose initially about the information provided. Most proposals were 30+ pages of information with pricing grids, proposed hotel blocks, and ‘why our city’ info. We ask each city for some hard numbers on regular items like a gallon of coffee or the hourly rate of an AV technician. This helps us immediately get a picture of a Con cost.
  • September 11 - September 17. For cities we hadn’t been to before, the next step was to interview the city via a Zoom call to better understand how they were a good fit for our conference. Questions like ‘how would attendees be made to feel welcome in your city?’ and ‘How easy and affordable is it to get from the airport to the Convention Center?’ are asked in our initial determination.
  • September 18 - 21. Once we determined cities that met our criteria, we dug a bit deeper into each city’s numbers. We laid out the entire Con on their floor plans to determine if we could fit and how. We inquired about real quotes for line items like our AV and our internet. We costed out catering estimates and space rental.
  • September 24 - October 26. With our list in hand, we did our due diligence visiting possible future Con locations. In these meetings we reviewed the space and discussed how the attendee experience would feel. We met representatives from various departments of the Convention Center’s team to negotiate pricing and discuss pain points. We also did a whirlwind tour of the city to get a feel of what attendees would see/do after the Con each day.
  • October 29 - November 14. We reviewed all of this information with the Drupal Association leadership team and collaboratively determined the priority of cities based on our search criteria. Going further, we then included data points on pricing, incentives, conference dates, etc, to come to a final recommendation for each year.
  • November 15 - December 3. Built a working budget with concrete numbers for each preferred city to get an accurate future picture of finances. This involved getting future pricing on catering, network, hotel rates, etc. Worked back and forth with the city to negotiate down pricing.
  • December 5. Presented recommendation to the Drupal Association Board for buy-in and support.
  • December 6 - 27. Requested contracts from our preferred venues and hotels. Each city has one Convention Center, and at least 5 hotels, so in asking for these hotels, we had about 20 contracts to review. By looping in our legal team and our insurance group, we were able to further negotiate terms that make committing to future years smart, sustainable, and safe.
  • December 28. Signed the last contract and sent it off to the cities. Signing before the end of the year met a contracting deadline that gave us a lot of financial benefits.
  • End of December. CELEBRATED the end of this intense and action-packed process, and the future of sustainable and secured DrupalCon programming.

Serving our community

We aim toward growing adoption, one of the Drupal Association’s main goals. In planning ahead and setting ourselves up for a sustainable and fiscally responsible future conference plan, we can allocate our resources better to focus on creating a successful event that drives to this goal. By making these decisions now, we work to strengthen the foundation of the Association in order to continually work to serve our incredible and growing open source community.

We appreciate the questions and interest that community members have had in this process and were happy to do a deep dive to show you the planning, strategy, and work involved in selecting a city for a future DrupalCon. We invite you to share your thoughts and comments below, and we look forward to seeing you at a Con in the future.

Jan 04 2019
Jan 04

This time last year, members of the community collaborated on a major update to the DrupalCon Code of Conduct, and it proved to be a success. Indeed, we surveyed attendees after DrupalCon Nashville and asked the following questions:

  1. “On registration, and during the event, were you made aware of the CoC and how to report violations?”
    - 73% answered “yes”
  2. “Did the existence of the CoC make you feel safer, and more empowered to fully participate at this event?”
    - 70% answered “yes”

I also said that we would review the code on an annual basis and it is now time for this year’s review period. I am, therefore, inviting proposals for changes to the code on the community project at https://www.drupal.org/project/drupalcon_coc.

As it will soon be time to commit to printing the program guide and signage for DrupalCon Seattle 2019, we will make a release of the code on the 4th February 2019. Any issues not closed by that point will rollover until DrupalCon Minneapolis 2020.

I’m looking forward to reading your proposals for how we can continue to improve our Code of Conduct!

Dec 12 2018
Dec 12

This is a guest blog by Kevin Thull (kthull).

Shout-out to Matt Westgate of Lullabot, who I met earlier this year at DrupalCorn Camp in Des Moines for casually referring to what I’ve been doing for the past five years as the “Drupal Recording Initiative.” It was yet another one of those moments when I realized that what I’ve been doing for the past five years is much bigger than just me.

Let’s recap

What began in 2013 as an effort to record sessions for camps in my local community became a passion project and a way for me to help a handful of other camps record their sessions. That was the extent of my “vision” for this project.

With the advent of Slack (specifically the Drupal Camp Organizer Slack) it became even easier for camp organizers to discover and request my services, and suddenly I was recording a dozen-plus camps per year. With more robust documentation and enough inventory to ship kits to camps that I can’t attend, I have nearly complete coverage of camps in North America.

Turning point

With this year’s milestones, funding, and recognition (and all the publicity that came with it), conversations at camps turned more toward “what’s next” and “how do you grow this” rather than “how and why.”

As I started to think along the lines of future-proofing, open-sourcing, and growth, I’ve made some steps in the right direction this past year (again with no goals or plan):

  • Tweaks to the kits and troubleshooting for more reliable recording
  • Docs moved from Google Drive to GitHub for discoverability and collaboration
  • A growing contributor list: basically anyone who has helped me in the trenches, expressed interest in doing so, recorded sessions with my equipment, or has their own set of equipment based on my setup.

The initiative

This is rough, and the point of this post is to get input from the community.

Purpose

Make the recording of Drupal and related talks at camps, summits, meetups (essentially anything outside of DrupalCon) easy, turn-key, affordable, and available.

Roadmap

The first five years evolved organically and overall successfully, but without a plan. Following are the goals for the next five years.

Training and mentorship

I’ve proven that I can do this and do it very well. My goal is to spend an increasing amount of time teaching and supporting others to repeat my success.

  • Improved camp support – I already offer support for a few camps, primarily via email and Slack before and during events; need to schedule more check-ins during events
  • Post event – Schedule post-event calls to debrief and discover gaps in documentation and training
  • Ongoing solicitation for contributors – Identify and somehow organize a group of people that can manage the recordings whether I’m on-site or not to continually spread the knowledge and coverage; the goal here is one new contact per event

Expanded coverage

While it sounds impressive to directly or indirectly record nearly all North American camps, it’s not enough. There are many more events than just camps, and there’s so much more to the world than North America.

  • Shipping kits – I’ve shipped to two events in 2018. The goal is to double that each successive year until there is sufficient global coverage of camps and larger events; smaller events like meetups would need to be covered by local equipment hubs, detailed below
  • Funding for equipment hubs – Navigating customs can prove tricky and equipment hubs within countries or regions would mitigate that risk; possible sources include crowdsourced funding or the Drupal Community Cultivation Grant (more info on this toward the end of the post)
  • Expanding beyond Drupal events – An early goal was to make a device-agnostic recording solution, so it only makes sense that it also should be content-agnostic; primary focus would be adjunct communities: WordPress, PHP, Symfony, Javascript, etc.

Improved documentation

Moving existing docs to GitHub was a step in the right direction. More visuals are needed.

  • Record a setup video
  • Record a troubleshooting video
  • Add more pics and diagrams
  • Create docs for speakers: what to bring, what to do, what not to do, how to optimize your laptop for presenting, etc.
  • Create docs for organizers: what is provided, what is needed from the venue or camp, what speakers need to know, what room monitors need to know, etc.

Higher recording success rate

In 2018, the capture rate based on my documentation and remote support was 80-85% versus 92-100% when I was on the scene. The goal here is to bridge that gap.

  • Better pre-event support and onboarding
  • Broader support for USB-c
  • Improved coverage for non-Mac audio issues
  • Better prep for volunteers and contributors for on-site coverage

Streamlined funding

This is an expensive endeavor, and I couldn’t do it without camp donations, and reimbursements for airfare and lodging. At the same time, incidental costs (food, entertainment, commuting, etc.) add up, and the current model limits me geographically.

  • Charge a flat fee of $1,000 per event (airfare and lodging typically runs $350-$750)
  • Roll surplus funds into new equipment and subsidized travel to events outside North America
  • Maintain existing crowdfunded campaign to cover personal costs (whether current GoFundMe or an alternate)
  • Potentially seek sponsorship or Drupal Community Cultivation Grant (again, see below)

Overall organization

This is definitely the squishiest part of the roadmap. Solo, this is easy to manage. But to grow, I need tools and I don’t know the best ones for this type of work.

  • Contacts – What is the best way to manage the growing list of contributors, as well as give recognition?
  • Scheduling – There should be an event calendar with ways to sign up as a recording volunteer
  • Accounting – There should be an open way to manage the funds
  • Outreach – What is the best way to publicly and continually reach out for new contributors, and to grow the base of recorded events?
  • Inventory – We need a managed inventory of equipment, who controls them, whether they are available or on loan, their condition, etc.
  • Options:

    1. Drupal.org community project
    2. GitHub project board
    3. Slack channel (they already exist in Drupal Slack and the Organizer Slack)
    4. Public meetings
    5. Other / All of the above

Content discoverability

I am not the only person recording sessions, but I am definitely the loudest and most prolific. But my tweets and siloed camp YouTube channels are not optimal for the greater community to find content. I don’t have the bandwidth to do this personally, but would contribute.

  • We absolutely need a Drupal equivalent to Wordpress.tv (several solutions are in the works, but that also has been the state of things for years)
  • Aggregate content from all events, including DrupalCon
  • Include curation and content authors to annotate various versions of the same talk, or even unpublish older or largely repetitive versions
  • Add tagging for searchability
  • Add captioning for accessibility
  • Promote local events as well as the Drupal project

Wrapping it up

I’m continually thanked and reminded of how important what I’m doing is for the community. At the same time, it’s hard for me because it feels pretty routine and relatively easy (aside from the unknowns that come with each venue setup, and the hourly hustle to connect presenters and confirm recordings). Yet recorded content is also how I first learned Drupal and it’s the very reason I began this effort.

So the next stage of this unexpected, unplanned success is to create a structure to prevent my own burnout and prevent this initiative from hitting a plateau. If you want to participate, hit me up on Drupal.org, Twitter, or send me an email.

Lastly, for those who don’t know, the Drupal Community Cultivation Grant exists for things like this. I am very grateful for the Drupal Association offering me a grant to support this program, though I hadn't yet applied (I should have and you should too).

Dec 06 2018
Dec 06

In September of this year I was privileged to be asked to serve as the Interim Executive Director for the Drupal Association, after Megan Sanicki's departure to her next adventure.

At that time, the Drupal Association board announced the formation of a search committee, to begin the process of finding the Drupal Association's next leader in earnest.

That search committee consists of the following members:

  • Adam Goodman (board chair)
  • Baddy Breidert (board member)
  • Dries Buytaert (project founder)
  • Tiffany Fariss (former board member)
  • Tim Lehnen (Interim ED)

This search committee has engaged the services of Lehman Associates, an internationally recognized executive recruiting firm. Working closely with the executive search committee and the board as a whole, Lehman Associates has developed a position profile for the Drupal Association's next leader.

View the profile

Please feel free to share this position profile with individuals you believe would be good candidates for Drupal Association leadership. If you are interested in putting your own name forward, please use the contact information listed at the bottom of the profile.

Interested parties should submit their candidacy no later than January 15th, 2019.

The search committee is excited to work together with the Lehman team to develop our pool of candidates as we go into the new year!

Dec 06 2018
Dec 06

On December 5, 2018, the Drupal Association Board met online for their regular Fall/Winter board meeting.

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

Nov 06 2018
Nov 06

Drupal training is happening around the world, and we're getting ready for 2019 now. The common purpose of DrupalGTD is to introduce newcomers to Drupal and our community in a locally organized event, either in-person or online.

Drupal training event in 2018 with FFW in Albany, NY
Drupal training event in 2018 with FFW in Albany, NY

Mark your calendars for the following dates and if you would like to host a training event, there's a place to do it now for maximum lead time.

We'll be celebrating GTD all month during February, April, June, September, and December, but we also have target dates.

2019 Drupal GTD dates

  • February 7-9
  • April 18-20
  • June 27-29
  • September 12-14
  • December 5-7

In 2019, the dates are expanding to Thursday-Saturday, rather than only Friday-Saturday. By including Thursdays, we're encouraging hosts to experiment by offering events on different days to see what works better in your locale.

Have questions about getting started?

Join the Drupal GTD Group and Slack Channel and start a conversation.

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

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.

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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. 

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