When I vote, I'm going to be looking at four criteria. Here they are.
Experience - Has the candidate had experience working in the non-profit space? Has the candidate had board experience? Does the candidate have educational background that supports the board's needs? Does the candidate have work experience that supports the board's needs?
Community Interaction - Has the candidate been involved in the community through Camps, Cons, presenting, code contributions, and other kinds of participation?
EDIT: Criteria 1 and 2 for me are both important, neither one is more important than the other.
Technology Background - How long has the candidate been involved with technologies that support Drupal? How long has the candidate worked in Open Source? How long has the candidate worked with Drupal itself? This doesn't necessarily mean coding - it means how long have they spent time in the space in their own discipline.
ALL THESE BEING EQUAL
Diversity - Does this person have specific attributes, by way of diversity, that we would like to target?
This is cross posted from Donna Benjamin's request for the candidates to post responses from the questions fielded during the phone call.
I bring 17 years from the technology world, 13 years in Opensource, 6 years of highly active participation in the Drupal community, 8 years of nonprofit management in a US based Technology focused nonprofit, two VP board positions in nonprofits including policy development, and two university qualifications - one a Masters - focused on organizational management for nonprofits.
I'm passionate about Drupal and adore the Drupal Community.
You can read more about my candidacy as I continue to write about it here: At Large Election 2012 - The Drupal Association.
1) stevepurkiss: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the Drupal Association, what would it be and why?
I think it is critical to not cycle onto the Drupal Association board with a strong personal agenda. The point should be about serving the Drupal community as a whole and not seek to disrupt the DA because of an axe to grind. It is a natural progression, when working with experience board members, to direct the overall mission of a nonprofit in a 10,000 foot view. So, my first job would be to observe and absorb. I do think that the Drupal Association needs to continue to focus on outreach with a goal of strengthening membership in underserved populations. This includes untapped markets with potential and culturally diverse populations who can add their uniqueness to our own. The magic wand is hard work continuing to push forward the DA's mission and expand.
2) Senpai: QUESTION: How much money should the DA spend each year on furthering Drupal? Followup Q: How much of that money should come from the users of Drupal vs sponsorships or advertising?
This question is a bit like asking "How long is a piece of string". The amount that the DA should spend ought to be budget driven, so we really should be looking at percentages rather than how much. Some of the other candidates expressed that "The DA should spend it all!". This is naive at best and reckless at worst. All non-profits should have 3-4 months worth of operating budget at hand to weather bad times or needed expenditures such as new servers. This is just simple math. The exception to this rule is if the nonprofit has a desire to build an endowment for scholarships, grants programs, etc. In this case, the goal is to build up enough of a reserve, for this fund, to pay out scholarships/grants/program cash largely through interest. Outside of remaining fiscally viable and being a responsible 501(c)3, every last available dollar should go towards supporting the Drupal community.
How and for Whom can I Vote?
With elections opening up at 00:00 24 September UTC, there are bound to be questions about how one can vote. I'm sure that people are wondering who they can vote for as well. I've put together a little cheat sheet below on how to register to vote and then a list of candidates you may vote for. I do hope that you'll spread the word (and that you will vote for me).
Do I Qualify to Vote?
1) Anyone with an account on Drupal.org (D.O), who has been active in the past 12 months, and created that account before 31 August is eligible to vote.
2) Use your D.O login details to login to https://association.drupal.org/user to be added to the electoral roll
3) When the polls open you will be able to vote at https://association.drupal.org/vote2013
4) Polls are open for two weeks.
Spread the Word!
Encourage members of the community to vote. Write a blog post about the election. Tweet it and hash tag is #VoteDrupal. Get on Google+ and shout it out. Use Facebook and Linkedin!
Multiculturalism and Diversity
My last two blog posts were about why I want to serve on the Board and how my experiences make me a good choice for the position. This one is about my belief in diversity and a commitment to multiculturalism and recruiting youth. A couple of weeks ago I was writing on the Marketing of Drupal about the current cultural fabric of the Association.
We must put a focus on helping internationalise the project (do-ocracy or not) in order to fuel sustainable growth across the globe. And we must understand and embrace the cultural differences of how different peoples approach contributions and participation in the project. This will allow us to nurture future leaders that would never have come to the surface in the current environment greatly enhancing and enriching who we are as a community. We must not simply say that we're a do-ocracy so those that do things will lead - if we don't make a conscious decision to move beyond this mind set, the squeakiest wheels will continue to be oiled and we will live in an unintended never intended circle of hegemony.
I've described myself as a cuckoo. I'm that fellow who defies the standard path for making a career in technology. My background is in Theatre and Visual Arts. This is the VERY reason you should consider me an amazing candidate for the Drupal Association Board. I have a strong background in non-profits and non-profit leadership.
So here is how it happened. When I completed my degree at Bishops University in Quebec, I had a pretty marketable skill. I could read lighting plans for the theatre and I could hang and focus lighting instruments. I knew the difference between a fresnel and parcan. I knew how to run a followspot and how it differed from an ellipsoidal. I knew that a gel wasn't something that you put in your hair and a gobo wasn't really a character from Fraggle Rock. So I supplemented my income as a bookstore guy with lighting work. I did pretty well at it, but quickly realised that the hours were hectic and the work was exhausting. I enrolled at the University of Ottawa and completed a certification in Arts Administration and I focused on Nonprofit Organizational Management.
One of the main requirements at the end of the program was to work in an Arts Organization for several months. I found work at an experimental dance company in Ottawa, Canada called Le Groupe de La Place Royale and quickly dug into helping produce marketing materials for the annual fund raiser called "The Edge". The year I worked "The Edge", the team had set up a wonderful experiment between dance companies across cities to allow real time collaboration over high speed video link.
This is the first in a series of posts I'm going to write leading up to the Drupal Association elections. I've put my hat into the ring because I feel like I can make a substantiative contribution to all of you through helping with good governance of the Drupal Association. I want to encourage others to do the same!
A friend in the community asked, "Why on earth would you want to do this? It'll eat your time and what will you get back for doing it???" This is pretty simple to answer.
I believe in contributing value back to supportive communities. I am grateful to the men and women who have made Drupal successful. When one views the world through a filter of gratitude, it has the effect of increasing a person's desire to contribute and help nurture those who are also participatory. You genuinely care about the people who are also involved in that community and they genuinely care about you. For me, this belief has borne itself within the Drupal community so many times that it is hard to express how thankful I am for you all.
While I started experimenting with Drupal in 2006 it really became the way I've earn my living in 2007. When I started participating in the community, first by attending meetups but later by making presentations, evangelizing, contributing a bit to documentation, engaging in governance discussions for the community, and helping organize events, what I gave came back double. This deepened my commitment to the community as a whole. When I've had challenges, suggestions and help are only as far away as an IRC client.
A few days ago I was giving a presentation on Project Management at Drupalcon Munich. While talking about my background, I mentioned how Technical Theatre has parallels to Project Management in Web development. Drupal itself has parallels to the act of building a show for the theatre when you are in the act of building a site.
Technical Theatre is the art of the technology behind the modern theatre. It is also known as stagecraft.
Stagecraft is a generic term referring to the technical aspects of theatrical, film, and video production. It includes, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hanging and focusing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, procurement of props, stage management, and recording and mixing of sound.
About two months ago I joined the Trellon team as CTO. There were tentative conversations shortly after I announced my departure from Examiner. Those conversations quickly became solid for both the Trellon team and me. After a week of great discussions, we all decided the fit was right. Since then, I've been enjoying merging my uniqueness into the Trellon culture.
I bring the last 13 years of my career to Trellon. I've spent that time defining, honing, and adjusting project/development processes across a wide variety of companies. I cut my teeth managing the builds of custom PHP MySQL applications. Then I fell head over heels with Drupal in 2006, fully transitioning to largely working with the platform in 2007. It was just in time for Drupalcon in Barcelona. That's when the magic really happened and I became part of the community.
Drupalcon Munich is just around the corner. I'm busy revamping my presentation on Project Management, thinking hard about what I've learned since the last couple of times I've presented on this subject. The truth is, I'm constantly learning new tips and tricks from the people I work with. These days, I'm busy learning the styles of an almost whole new crew of folks. One guy, Morbus is a well known quantity.
My role at Trellon is somewhat different than what I was doing at Examiner. Examiner was leveraging my overall experiences and allowing me to take part in some strategic decisions - but wasn't fully making use of my experience since 1995 when I got into the crazy business of information technology. Strangely enough, my work in Technical Theatre was some of the best preparation for the Internet world. I'll write more on that another time.
In Munich, come to my session and learn why:
A couple of days ago, I attended meetup in Boulder. I like to try and get to local meetups on a regular basis - they give me a chance to hear what others are doing in the community, shake some hands, and break bread. There was a discussion on responsive design and a couple of pretty cool related demos. All this inspired me to upgrade my site to D7. Fortunately, being between Examiner and starting with Trellon gave me some time to work on this project.
Step 1 - I needed a copy of the database. I used PHPMyAdmin on the site to export a copy of the database
Step 2 - On my localhost, I imported the database using Bigdump MySQL import tool.
Step 3 - I grabbed a copy of my Drupal site code and updated it and its contrib modules to the lastest versions in D6. Drupal 7 will not allow you to upgrade your instance of Drupal 6 to 7 unless you are at the latest security release.
Step 4 - I grabbed the latest version of D7 and the D7 equivalent versions of D7 contrib modules and went ahead and upgraded locally.
Step 5 - I started looking through a bunch of different contrib themes and finally settled on TouchPro.
Step 6 - Installed Backup and Migrate locally. This module allows you to backup and restore databases really quickly. I created a new MySQL database on my localhost, and backed up the database to that database. I pointed the settings.php file at the new instance of the database just to verify it would work.
Step 7 - I started the process of re-configuring the site. I also made some CSS additions to the theme to support padding, bordering, and background on images that have a "left" or "right" alignment in the tag. Mostly it was straight forward, but I did encounter a few interesting twists:
- Tokens in D7 have changed. This meant that the paths defined in Path for aliasing were all broken. If you are upgrading and find your self challenged because when defining your patterns for paths indicates you must have at least one token, take a look at this thread on Drupal.org.
- Default RSS feeds from core have changed a little bit. There also appears to be a bug that displays unpublished content in core feeds. The feed I have used to push to Planet Drupal is http://www.dogstar.org/drupal/taxonomy/term/6/0/feed - I needed to recreate this path. I used views and created a custom defined path for the new feed.
- XML Sitemap takes an extra push where you tell Drupal which sitemap it should update at admin/config/search/xmlsitemap.