I attended Drupalcamp Austin last year. The event was slick, friendly, professional. I enjoyed spending time with friends, networking, connecting, and reconnecting. The AT&T venue is fabulous - I was glad to hear that Austin is using it again this year.
The camps are a great reminder of how amazing the Drupal community is. Giving is good. Contributing is what makes the eco-system possible. Drupal has done a pretty amazing job of helping feed my family for nearly five years. As I'm not a coder or themer, my contributions continue to be writing, evangelizing, documenting, occasionally presenting, volunteering, and most recently participating on the local committee for Drupalcon Denver.
As a way of continuing my participation, it seemed appropriate that I should submit a session to the Denver conference. In Chicago I attended a couple of BOFs on Project Management tools. Then this past summer I facilitated a BOF on Project Management. I've also participated in several Drupalcon presentations in the past including:
How do you lose 1 million customers in roughly 2.5 months and lose 50% of your stock value when you have a nearly rabid customer base?
Step 1 - announce that you are going roughly double the price of the service overnight.
Step 2 - ignore all your legacy customers and let them bear the brunt of your changed pricing model.
Step 3 - pretend like you are really doing your customers favour.
How do you make it EVEN worse?
Step 1 - have your CEO issue a public apology with no substance.
Step 2 - ignore the core problem - that's the best way to avoid fixing a problem.
Step 3 - dig in deep and make the process to use your product more complicated by breaking it into two services on two web sites. Oh, and send two bills!
183 days and counting. That seems like a big number but is, in fact, shockingly short. We have 183 days until the opening days of Drupalcon Denver. To be truthful, it is fewer days than that when you take into account preregistration and training days. That is roughly 26 weeks - or just about 6 months.
This post isn't just about the con - it is an illustration of contributions that make the community hum.
My friend Rick over at Monarch Digital in Colorado Springs wrote a blog post about his journey to being part of the local committee working on making this conference a success. I think his points on inclusion are really good. My early days as part of the community really were saturated with the idea that the most valued contributions were code. I've spent a fair bit of time writing and talking about alternative contributions in the Drupal community. In fact, as Drupal becomes an older and wiser platform, more folks from the Project, Product, and Business management world will be (are) needed to help the project move forward. These points are strongly made by the necessary contributions to organize a Con or a Camp. To be fair, at the end of the day, all contributions service the code we use in our hobbies and jobs.
In November of 2006 I was figuring out what this Drupal thing was and started down a path of feeding my family with it. Four years 29 weeks ago I was motivated enough to sign up for an account on Drupal.org. Four years 2 weeks ago this blog's feed was admitted to the Planet. Less than two weeks ago I was attending Drupalcon London.
At first Drupal represented a small percentage of my job with the Western States Arts Federation and later it dominated my working life as I moved onto other opportunities. Now, to a certain extent, it represents a chunk of my social and "hobby" life. It encompasses my professional life. I've made good friends working in this CMS amongst an amazing community of generous people. It kind of boggles - all of this from a free cms/framework.
Why am I prefacing this post with this little history? Simply because it illustrates my strong motivation to give back to the Drupal community.
At work I was tasked with listing a few ways our overall team can contribute - This is an incomplete list, but gives a sense of the diverse ways people can get involved and certainly applies to our entire ecosystem.
What Does it Mean to Contribute?
The Free Dictionary says:
v. con·trib·ut·ed, con·trib·ut·ing, con·trib·utes
1. To give or supply in common with others; give to a common fund or for a common purpose.
As I sit on this airplane hurtling back towards North America - isn't electricity on an airplane fabulous?
It seemed smart to jot down some thoughts that I have on this Drupalcon.
I've now been eight Drupalcons:
- Washington DC
- San Francisco
During Tom Standage's keynote yesterday morning, I took notes on ping.fm that ended up in my twitter and facebook streams. Tom is from the Economist and has been a thought leader on social networks and contends the notion of the social network ranging from likes, favourites, forwards, attachments, and flame wars range back far beyond 200 years ago. For the last couple centuries, these kinds of networks have been suppressed by mass media. The Internet has revived these kinds of communication. He also posits that the idea of Open Source was invented several hundred years ago. Below is the video of the presentation. My tweet stream in forward chronological order is also included below that.
Day 0 and Day 1 of Drupalcon have come and gone. My first full day here had me re-connecting with folks that I haven't seen in some time. It was pretty great bumping into many of the global Drupalcon team and a few of our local team members. Also, having the chance to chat with old colleagues was pretty terrific. This culminated in a dinner and drinks and conversation.
So, the time is upon us. It is Drupalcon London and Examiner is looking for someone to make the Flag module entity aware. Do it the fastest and submit the patch first and it makes it through Examiner.com code review - you could be the owner of a tasty new XOOM tablet. You have to be attending Drupalcon London and the race ends on Thursday at midnight.
In just a few days I'll be hopping on a plane to head to London. This city has personal ties for me - I have family who live in London, I've spent many summer days there. For that reason, this Drupalcon will be nearly as special as next year's in Denver, the place that I currently call home.
I am hoping to glean much information from the London organizing committee to help inform our efforts in Denver. This will be a Con of meetings, BOFs, more meetings, and perhaps a session or two.
Examiner.com is sponsoring a little incentive. If you are going to London and would like the chance to receive a Motorola XOOM tablet, check out the @examinercom Twitter feed, keep an eye on the Examiner blog, head over to the Examiner Facebook Page and/or come to the BOF where you'll find out what on earth Examiner.com is asking; for that chance to receive that tablet.
Today was a pretty terrific day. The DCon Denver conference site has launched.
As folks, no doubt, have noticed - the overall theme for this convention will be mobile.
DrupalCon Denver's theme, "Collaborative Publishing for Every Device," is a study on the shift of web access from traditional desktops to mobile devices, phones or tablets, and with it the greater combination of platforms Drupal leverages and integrates.