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Sponsored Post: Reclaim Control of Your Server, Running Drupal on a Freedom Host

May 21, 2015 at 4:01pm

This article was submitted by our Premium Hosting Supporter Linode.

We’ve all experienced these before: slooow server hardware; unlimited disk space that is capped once you begin to actually fill it; local directory software installs because you’re not allowed to alter the root system. Managed hosting emerged to help solve these problems. And it did - but sacrificed the true power of a host’s infrastructure. Fortunately, an alternative exists that overcomes the deficiencies of both shared and managed hosting. I call it a “Freedom Host.”

What is a Freedom Host?

A Freedom Host respects your needs and creativity. It gives you full root access to the server leaving you with the most powerful processors and lightning-fast, solid-state storage.
Why choose a Freedom Host?

“Getting off the Island.”

This counters a long-standing community practice of exclusively using Drupal. We now see large opportunities in combining Drupal with other powerful auxiliary software. Managed providers have long offered users click-to-deploy for Drupal; but where’s the Node.js button? HA Proxy button? Split-DNS? Magento? These options don’t exist on a managed host.

A Freedom Host allows you to run what you want when you want.

Security is a priority when running your Drupal website, right? You verify file permissions, sanitize all site forms and enforce strict password rules to protect against risky Internet traffic. But what about protection from other websites on the same server? What about local containers running on the same private subnet as your own? A Freedom Host, whether dedicated or VPS, offers you greater security than what’s provided through today’s shared-hosting or containers.

How do I get Managed comfort with Freedom’s power?

Deployment - Deploying on a Freedom Host doesn’t have to be difficult. Between pre-made images, StackScripts, cPanel, or Bitnami, plenty of Drupal deployment options exist.

Drush – You can install Drush in seconds with full functionality on any Freedom Host.

Control Panels - While many Freedom Hosts provide you with a remote terminal to get started, you can install and run the GUI you want, not just what you’re limited to.

Backups & Monitoring - Any reputable Freedom Host provides a backup solution but additional options are limitless. Save your Drupal site as a tarball, dump your MariaDB/MySQL database or mirror to an external slave server. You can even image the entire server to backup or test locally in VirtualBox. System metric software, including Longview, New Relic or Piwik, measure, graph and store server traffic.

So, what can I do with all this Freedom?

While impossible to compile a full list, some interesting Drupal projects I’ve seen include:

  • swapping out “Zen” PHP for Facebook’s HHVM for speed improvements in Drupal 8
  • testing Drupal 8 using PHP7
  • compiling Nginx to include custom features for Drupal
  • custom compiling a kernel for improved performance.

A Freedom Host provides options when choosing what and how you run your Drupal website. Options aside, a Freedom Host is more powerful and less expensive than most managed providers. You can’t lose with Freedom.

This article was written by Ricardo N Feliciano. He is currently a Developer Evangelist for Linode, and is an Information Systems Technician in the U.S. Navy.

Categories: Planet Drupal

DrupalCon New Orleans and Louisiana’s Religious Freedom Bill

May 20, 2015 at 6:10pm

Yesterday (May 19), the Louisiana Legislature’s House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted 10-2 to return HB707 to the calendar, effectively voting it down, at least for the current session. The bill would allow businesses to refuse, in accordance with religious beliefs, to provide goods and services on the basis of a patron’s sexuality.

Described as the protection of “the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions”, were the bill to pass it would preclude the state from taking “any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.”

However, hours after the committee’s vote, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order in an attempt to accomplish much of what HB707 is intended to achieve. We’re aware that at least some of the bill’s opponents doubt the executive order may create substantive law. We’re also aware that the U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling (before its current term ends in late June) that preempts any contradictory Louisiana law.

Why We’re Talking About Louisiana

Earlier this year, we chose New Orleans as the site for DrupalCon North America 2016. Section 86-33 of New Orleans’ municipal code explicitly forbids discrimination by public businesses and stores. In much the same spirit as New Orleans’ code, we want to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that no one at any DrupalCon should be denied service, assistance, or support because of who they are or whom they love.

Community. Collaboration. Openness. These are our ethos. At our core, we’re as committed to these values being principles for how we treat each other as we are for how we do our work.

The very nature of open source means contributions can come from anyone. That means muting voices is inconsistent with our values. That means we believe inclusivity is progress. And that means it’s important we speak when our community asks questions about the risk of discrimination.

Along with logistics—such as available event space, and costs—our DrupalCon site selection process has always considered whether we’d be able to truly celebrate the diversity of the Drupal community and the spirit of the Drupal Code of Conduct. We believe, despite the bill and executive order, that we can still create a safe, diverse, celebratory space for our community in New Orleans next year. We’re happy to bring the diversity of DrupalCon to New Orleans, and we’re confident it’ll be a fantastic event.

Talk To Us

We want to hear about your experiences at DrupalCon New Orleans—any and all of them. Tell us your opinions, voice your perspectives, and share what you see. In the meantime, comment on this post, or email us, with your questions and insights.

Categories: Planet Drupal

What's new on Drupal.org - April 2015

May 16, 2015 at 6:45pm

Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Drupal.org Working Groups.

Better account creation

Community User Role Expanded

The community user role which we introduced in March will now be automatically granted to users who reach a certain level of participation on Drupal.org. While the exact activities that can grant this role will not be explicitly published (as we do with other spam prevention measures) the activities are representative of those an engaged community member would take while participating on Drupal.org.

Existing users who have already reached the required level of contribution will receive the role upon their next activity on Drupal.org. As of the end of April the automatic role granting had extended the Community user role to more than 5000 users.

Content Strategy and Visual Design System for Drupal.org

and

Making Drupal.org Search Usable

During April the Association staff focused on communicating the results and recommendations of our Content Strategy work with the Working Groups and the Drupal Association Board of Directors.

A deep investigation of the current organization of content on Drupal.org, the workflow provided by Drupal.org for our User Personas, and the governance of content on Drupal.org has brought us to a comprehensive proposal for the future state of Drupal.org.

These proposals involve creating new sections on Drupal.org that better match to common user activities and better content types to support those activities. As we begin organizing Drupal.org into new and updated content types we’ll also be rolling in our initiative to improve search on Drupal.org. As we work on each content type we’ll be assessing the search facets for each type.

The next step to move this proposal forward has been to create issues for the specific proposals that have evolved from the content strategy project to date and the feedback from the Working Groups.

This issue and child issues that follow are based on the findings of the Content Strategy project performed by the Drupal Association staff in partnership with Forum One Communications during December 2014 - April 2015.

Community Initiatives (D8 Blockers)

DrupalCI

Drupal Association staff and community volunteers have continued pushing hard to get DrupalCI production ready and integrated with Drupal.org.

The community helped tremendously by providing some formal guidance into the minimum viable and ideal state of the test environments.
Association staff has the primary environment successfully running all tests, and will be working on the additional environments as well as the Drupal.org integration in the run up to DrupalCon Los Angeles.

Again - tremendous thanks to our community volunteers who sprinted with us in Portland: Jeremy Thorson, Nick Schuch, Bastian Widmer, Ricardo Amaro, Paul Mitchum, Mike Prasuhn, Karoly Negyesi-- and to Shayamala Rajaram, Angie Byron, and Jonathan Hedstrom who helped us from afar!

Localize.Drupal.org

In partnership with the community members who have been working on the port of localize.Drupal.org to Drupal 7, association staff have been working to get this migration across the finish line.

We focused fire on the issues found in click-testing, and hope to deploy localize.Drupal.org on Drupal 7 in May.

Revenue-related projects (funding our work)

Try Drupal

We’ve created Try Drupal with our Premium Hosting Supporters to make it easier for CMS evaluators and Drupal.org newcomers to test and work with a Drupal demo site. The Program will showcase a selection of Hosting Companies where a new user can quickly (in less than 20 minutes) sign up and have a Drupal demo site up and running for them to use for free.

DrupalCons

It’s almost time for DrupalCon Los Angeles! In the run up to DrupalCon Los Angeles we’ve been fixing bugs on Events.Drupal.org and preparing for the launch of the DrupalCon Barcelona full site.

We’ve also just started planning out our work for the next Cons to be announced at DrupalCon Los Angeles - more to come there after Los Angeles!

Sustaining Support and Maintenance

Pre-Production Infra Rebuild

An issue was reported to the Drupal.org infrastructure team that uncovered an installed rootkit on our pre-production (dev and staging) environment on April 19th. We stopped all services on these servers. The access was gained through an open VNC port on our OpenStack environment that allowed hijacking of an open console session. The attacker was attempting to create a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on targeted IPs.

There is no evidence that information was taken from our staging database or that user information was compromised.

To ensure site integrity, we rebuilt our staging and development environments. Our infrastructure team took the opportunity during the rebuild to address some best practices and better security configuration options. The majority of these environments are now on Amazon Web Services. Particularly for our development environments, this gives us options for more easily scaling up and down our development needs, and gives us more separation between production and pre-production servers.

---
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra.

Categories: Planet Drupal

2015 At-Large Election Data Released

May 4, 2015 at 8:35pm

It was just a few weeks ago that we welcomed Addison Berry as our new At-Large board director after a very eventful elections process. Almost as soon as we announced the news, we heard feedback via Twitter and the announcement blog post comments that there was strong interest in seeing the voting data. In our transparent community, it only seemed natural to share the aggregated voting data.

We agreed, but because we had not previously shared any of that data publicly, we decided to take it to the board for discussion before doing so. One thing we did NOT want to do is discourage candidates from further community participation by exposing voting data without their knowledge. So, at the 15 April board meeting, we discussed the requests.

The board members were all in agreement that sharing the data is a good thing. The one concern was that because this issue had not been raised before, we had not asked the candidates or shared with them that voting data would be shared. It was agreed that in future elections, we will inform candidates on the self-nomination page that their data will be shared. For sharing this election's data, we went back and asked candidates to opt-in to share their voting results.

So, what we are sharing this year is a first step toward broader transparency around elections data. This year, we can only share with you an image file with data obscured for candidates who did not opt-in. The file does show you the progression of the IRV voting runoff, but we recognize that an image file is not highly usable.

However, the discussion we had around sharing voting data was really informative and actually fun (I love data!). We have already developed a number of stories for the next iteration of the elections module that we deploy, and these will allow us to potentially track and share a lot more aggregate data. It would be great, for example, to know where the votes came from geographically. It would also be great to release the data in a more usable way, like a CSV file. Feel free to share what you would like to see from future elections in the comments below. Just know that we are committed to only share aggregated data and will never drill down to share how a particular voter voted.

With that, it's time to share the voting data. Remember that we use IRV voting, so the image below shows that process - getting to a candidate with more than 50% of the votes (as opposed to a simple majority). The result is that the candidates with the fewest #1 placements are eliminated in each round until one candidate has a majority. You can see the votes of candidates being transferred in each round. Things become much clearer in the end when you can see the final 5 candidates:

  • Ani Gupta
  • Anonymous
  • Enzo
  • Michael Schmid (not named, but he is the remaining candidate when the winner is declared)
  • Addison Berry (the winner!)

Thank you again for the push to share this data and we look forward to do even more in the next election:

Categories: Planet Drupal

They’re back! Personalized membership certificates are here.

May 1, 2015 at 12:44pm

We all like to show our love for Drupal, and over the past few years, we’ve let Drupal show it loves you! Due to popular demand, we are bringing back a fun gift to Drupal Association members -- personalized certificates of membership. In 2014, we delivered these downloadable certificates to over 600 members and we hope to break this record during the months of May and June this year.

Join as a member or renew your current membership anytime before June 30 and you’ll receive a personalized certificate of membership.

Sign me up

This is a token of our gratitude for your support of Drupal and the community. Thanks for everything you do for Drupal.

Personal blog tags: Membership
Categories: Planet Drupal

A great big thank you to our Members

April 20, 2015 at 3:50pm

Membership badgeI want to give a big thank you to all of our new and renewing members who gave funds to continue the work of the Drupal Association in the first quarter of this year. We couldn't do much without your support. Shout outs to all of you!

Membership Makes a Difference

We had several recap blog posts a few weeks ago, but just as a reminder, your membership is incredibly important not only to us, but to the project too! Dues from memberships go to fund intiaitves like our community cultivation grants, which help people around the world build their local Drupal communities and improve the project. For more information on how membership makes a difference, check out this infographic or see what changes are coming in 2015.

Thank You, Members!!

There are 845 fantastic members on our list of first quarter donors. You can find the list here. Let's give them a big thank you all together!

 

Personal blog tags: Membership
Categories: Planet Drupal

Blink Reaction and Propeople Are Joining Forces

April 20, 2015 at 2:27pm

Blink Reaction Pro People LogoThe following blog was written by Drupal Association Supporting Partner and DrupalCon Los Angeles Diamond Sponsor Blink Reaction and Propeople.

DrupalCons are a very important time of the year for the Drupal community. It is a time for us to come together and continue our collaboration that we share throughout the year in a virtual space and establish goals and plans to move forward in a way that is in the community’s best interest. It is also a time to take stock of our accomplishments, and who we are as a community. One of our favorite moments in DrupalCons is the group picture: it’s always amazing to see how the community stands together and continues to grow.

This year’s DrupalCon in Los Angeles is especially important to us because this is where we will unveil the name of the new Drupal agency that consists of the companies formerly known as Blink Reaction and Propeople. We have come together to create a new digital agency, the largest one in the world with a focus on Drupal, and we are very excited about what this means.

Our combined agency is part of the Intellecta Group (listed on the NASDAQ OMX) , and consists of 400+ employees in 19 offices in 11 countries on 4 continents. This is an amazing reach for an organization that is so passionate about Drupal! We’re excited for this unique opportunity to support the Drupal project and the community in ways that would have been impossible prior to the merger.

For example, we’re eager to begin promoting Drupal as a solution for the biggest enterprises on a global scale. Locally, we can influence awareness and excitement in our 19 local communities, helping the next generation find opportunity and excitement in Drupal.

We now have the ability to affect change in a multitude of cultures, in the many diverse communities where each of our offices are located. Where there aren’t yet camps, we can lead their initiation. Where there are Cons, we can help to inspire the next generation of Drupal leaders. We are committed to building up the next generation of talent via our orchestrated public and private training efforts, and look forward to beginning that work at DrupalCon Los Angeles.

So please, stop by booth 300 to say hello and learn more about the new company, and our future within the community. We look forward to seeing all of our friends in the Drupal community, old and new, and are even more excited to discuss how we’ll work with the community for many years to come.

About us.

Blink Reaction and Propeople are joining forces to create a new digital agency built on technology, driven by data, and focused on user experience. The two companies have delivered state-of-the-art Drupal solutions for a variety of the open-source platform’s largest customers. The agencies’ collective portfolio includes brands such as Pfizer, NBC, Stanford University, the City of Copenhagen and General Electric.

Blink Reaction and Propeople are a part of the Intelleca Group. The companies in the group are Blink Reaction LLC, Bysted AB, Bysted A/S, Hilanders AB, Intellecta Corporate AB, ISBIT GAMES AB, Propeople Group ApS, Rewir AB, River Cresco AB, Unreel AB and Wow Events AB. Intellecta AB is noted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and employs around 550 people in Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Ukraine, Brazil, USA, Vietnam and China.

Categories: Planet Drupal

We Love Our Volunteers!

April 16, 2015 at 2:15pm

Volunteers sprintingThis week is National Volunteer Week, a week to recognize that volunteerism is a building block to a strong and thriving community.  The Drupal Community is no different: as an open-source project our volunteers are vital to the health and growth of our project.  There are so many roles and levels of contribution within our Drupal ecosystem that we at the Drupal Association wanted to highlight how much your contribution means to us and our work.  I took some time and asked around, here’s some of the glowing praise our staff has to say about our phenomenal volunteers. 

Amanda Gonser“I am continually impressed with the volunteers that I get to work with.  Not only do they rock at their jobs, but they are so dedicated to the work that they do for Drupal and the Cons specifically!  Anyone who has volunteered for a Con knows that it is a large undertaking, and a responsibility that isn't taken lightly. These volunteers come back each week with positive attitudes, valuable ideas and great results.  Although I have only been at the Association for a little over six months, I can truly say that these volunteers are what gives our Cons the 'special sauce' and I am lucky to get to work with volunteers from around the globe on a daily basis.” 

- Amanda Gosner, DrupalCon Coordinator

Holly Ross“Most of my day is spent with Drupal Association staff, who have the luxury of getting paid to think about Drupal for 8 hours a day. A good chunk of my job is working with volunteers though-- the Board of Directors, Drupal.org Working Groups, Community Organizers, DrupalCon session speakers. So many of you give so much of your time and your smarts back to the project and the community, and it's my privilege and duty to learn from you all.”

- Holly Ross, Executive Director

Neil Drumm"I look forward to working working with community volunteers to help build and improve Drupal.org. The site would not be where it is today without everyone's work."

- Neil Drumm, Drupal.org Lead Architect

 

Megan Sanicki“I want to thank Cathy and Jared for being my sprint mentor at DrupalCon Latin America. I made my first comment on the issue queue. It felt so good to cross into that world finally, even if it is was just a baby toe crossing over.”

- Megan Sanicki, COO

 

Leigh Carver“It feels like I’m hearing news every day about the amazing programs our community members put together all over the world — from Los Angeles to Uganda and beyond. Without help from amazing community volunteers who donate time working on social media, in the issue queues, or even volunteers who take a brief moment to drop a note in my inbox (“have you seen this?”), these stories would never be shared with our wider community.” 

- Leigh Carver, Content Writer

Today, we invite you to take a few minutes to recognize your fellow Drupal contributors by tweeting or sending a message via IRC to appreciate each other.  After all, without our volunteers, our Drupal Community would not be as lively, bright, and welcoming.  Want to lend a hand?  Our get involved page has plenty of ways to volunteer with the project.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Announcing Our New Drupal Co-Marketing Initiative

April 14, 2015 at 3:35pm

expo imageMarketing is a key factor to growing Drupal adoption and spreading the goodness of Drupal. One way to do that is by exhibiting at key industry events. The CMS Garden team has done a great job getting Drupal included in some key events in Europe and now the Drupal Association will take on a parallel effort.

The initiative will be an experimental “co-marketing” campaign to promote Drupal in the European marketplace. It is called a “co-marketing” campaign because it will be crowdfunded by a group of Drupal businesses (if you would like to find out how your Drupal business can get involved, keep reading). This is a pilot program that will allow us to experiment with the best ways to promote Drupal in the global marketplace and reach the CMS evaluator audience.

Why Europe? Data from our DrupalCon surveys show that relative to DrupalCon North America, DrupalCon Europe has a higher percentage of developer attendees but a lower percentage of CMS “evaluator” attendees. From that standpoint, it makes sense to target Europe evaluators in this pilot program. The evaluators we are targeting in the pilot program are digital marketers who have significant sway over CMS selection.

So what’s the plan?

This year, Drupal Association will secure exhibit space at two European digital marketing industry events (dmexco in Germany and Festival of Marketing in the UK). We will exhibit as Drupal and together with representatives from the anchor sponsors who have already signed on (including Wunderkraut (Germany), Wunder (UK) and Deeson (UK), we will promote Drupal and the sponsoring companies’ expertise and successes with Digital Marketing and Drupal. Leads generated from the exhibit presence will go to the sponsoring companies. We are offering first right of refusal to sponsor the effort to Drupal Premium Supporting Partners, followed by other Supporters.

Why these two events? There are many events in Europe that target the audiences we want to reach. After researching attendee types, costs and other factors, we determined the abovementioned events make the most sense for this pilot project.

If you would like to learn more about how your business can participate in this exciting initiative, please contact Johanna Bergmann. johanna@association.drupal.org.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal Newsletter: Jobs, Events, News, and Conversation

April 13, 2015 at 4:58pm

Drupal Newsletter header

A long, long time ago—7 years, if you remember—the Drupal Newsletter faded away. On March 26th, the Drupal Association rebooted it. The community does so much that we want to share.

We partnered with TheWeeklyDrop to bring blog posts, articles, podcasts, and more to your inbox. Now, once a week, we’re taking all the effort out of keeping up with the best in Drupal news and events.

The fourth issue hit more than 32,000 inboxes on April 9. Inside it, subscribers from all around the world found Drupal 7.36 and Webform 7.x-3.24 releases, an introduction to D8Upgrade.org (a service offering advice for when you should upgrade to Drupal 8), and more.

To get the newsletter, subscribe via your Drupal.org profile.

The (Renewed) Drupal Newsletter

The Drupal Newsletter will be an opt-in-only thing. Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll get the newsletter in your inbox once a week, every Thursday, at about 06:30 PT / 13:30 GMT.

What kind of content will you get?

  • Drupal 8 progress updates
  • Jobs, so you can find work (or people who get work done)
  • Tutorials, guides, and podcasts
  • Events throughout the community
  • Projects and releases
  • News and conversation

It’s all brought to you by TheWeeklyDrop and us, the Drupal Association. It’s content hand-picked by humans, not bots or aggregators. You’ll get an uncluttered, distraction-free snapshot of the latest from the Drupal community. (Though we could be swayed by community vote to add gratuitous pictures of cats.)

It’s Like the Amazon Dash Button

Ok, no, it’s not. That’s not true. Unless you want it to be, in which case it sort of is.

Subscribe and never run out of the latest news, announcements, and innovations from the Drupal community. We made an animated gif to show you how.

Drupal Newsletter opt-in steps

  1. Log in to your Drupal.org profile <www.drupal.org/user>.
  2. Choose Edit.
  3. Scroll to the bottom, to the Subscribe to section.
  4. Check the box next to Drupal Weekly Newsletter.
  5. Hit the Save button.
Keep Up with the Drupal Community

The Drupal Newsletter is the easiest way to keep up with the Drupal community. Don’t already have a Drupal.org account? Create your profile today.

Oh, and two more things:

  1. Please add newsletter@drupal.org to your address book as an approved sender, so the newsletter doesn’t get lost in a pesky spam folder.
  2. Tell us what you think. Comment on this post, or send feedback to newsletter@drupal.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Personal blog tags: Drupal Newsletter
Categories: Planet Drupal

New Try Drupal Program

April 10, 2015 at 4:05pm

One of the Drupal Association's primary missions is to grow the adoption of Drupal.  We are about to launch a new program on April 15th called Try Drupal.  The program will make it easy and fast for evaluators to try Drupal and have a simple, great experience while on Drupal.org.

We’ve created Try Drupal with our Premium Hosting Supporters to make it easier for CMS evaluators and Drupal.org newcomers to test and work with a Drupal demo site.  The Program will showcase a selection of Hosting Companies where a new user can quickly (in less than 20 minutes) sign up and have a Drupal demo site up and running for them to use for free. 

This is part of the Drupal Association’s initiative to develop a new revenue stream through advertising programs on Drupal.org.  This revenue will help fund various site initiatives by the Association to improve Drupal.org performance, and make it easier to use and more secure.  After interviewing many members of the community, we determined that new advertising products should be useful to Drupal.org visitors, support our mission to grow the adoption of Drupal, and should not interfere with visitors contributing to the project.

Try Drupal

To ensure a positive Drupal experience, partners need to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Users are directed to a self-serve sign up platform
  • Users can create a free account for the demo site that accommodates a trial installation of Drupal 7 or 8
  • Users can create a website in 20 minutes or less
  • The demo site should be available to the user for a minimum of one day upon sign up
  • The partner cannot include a paywall or require a credit card upon sign up

The Try Drupal program will be featured on the homepage of Drupal.org.  It will launch with a larger iterative change to the homepage, with an emphasis on helping users move from newcomer, to learner, to skilled Drupal community members.

It’s important that we fund Drupal.org improvements, and that we do so in a responsible way that respects the community. We anticipate rolling out more key advertising programs throughout 2015, stay tuned for more updates.  Thanks for taking the time to read about our initiatives, and please tell us your thoughts!

Categories: Planet Drupal

What's new on Drupal.org - March 2015

April 9, 2015 at 1:35pm

Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Drupal.org Working Groups.

Better account creation

Community User Role

The Community user role is the next step of a larger project of improving user role progression on Drupal.org. We began this work by streamlining the account creation and login workflow, which makes it easier for newcomers to jump into Drupal.org and contribute without losing context. The Community user role extends this work further by providing new tools to our existing community members and broadly expanding the base of users who can help shepherd newcomers into the community.

We started by simply adding a “New” indicator to all user accounts under 90 days old. It’s a small but critical change that helps long standing community members recognize newcomers to the fold, and encourages them to give these new users a warm welcome and a bit of extra help.

The basis of the Community user role is the old spam fighter role, which previously was manually granted to only a small subset of users. This role has primarily been responsible for confirming that other users on the site are not spammers (by granting them ‘trusted’, now called ‘confirmed’). The expanded Community role has the same job - to confirm that users are human - but will now be a role that can be automatically achieved when users reach a certain level of engagement on Drupal.org. We expect as many as 10,000 users to receive this role in the initial grant when the new feature is enabled. This should dramatically increase the attention paid to confirm new users, and make the process of confirming new users at code sprints and training days much, much easier.

The role itself has already been created, and the ‘confirm’ button appears on user profiles. Early April we’ll make sure that users with Community role can confirm users within comments as well - and then enable the initial role grant along with a communication to all Community users.

Organization and user profile improvements

Issue Comment Attribution and maintainer Credit UI

In mid march we launched the UI for attributing comments as individuals - as individuals on behalf of an organization - or as individuals on behalf of an organization and/or a customer.

Since the release of the comment attribution feature 3 weeks ago, we’ve seen 5,564 comments in the issue queues attributed to an organization, representing around 14% of total comments in the issues queues.

We’ve also just launched the UI for project maintainers to take the attribution data and store final credit for the users and organizations.

All these steps bring a greater level of transparency and introspection to the project and let give us some real data about how Drupal is driven forward. Work on this attribution system will be ongoing, with an option to explicitly attribute comments as a volunteer being released shortly, and work towards integrating these attributions into commit messages coming up soon. We’ll also be updating both organization and user profiles to better display the work that has been credited in issues.

Making Drupal.org Search Usable

We have scheduled time with a community member that has extensive Solr configuration experience to see what quick wins we can achieve through better configuration.

More extensive search improvements are going to come out of the content strategy work as we define the most important information to show per content type when they appear as a result in search.

Content Strategy and Redesign

The draft Governance plan outline was finished and presented to Working Group members last month. This follows previously shared draft Drupal.org Content Model. Forum One was busy working on the first draft version of the updated Site map for Drupal.org.

In the second half of the month we were focused on working out detailed content types outline. We had a set of brainstorming meetings, where we discussed how all those potential new content types could be implemented technically. Those brainstorms, as well as helpful feedback from the Working Groups, led us to some of the new ideas and changes to the original plans. Hence we are now working on the next revision of all content strategy deliverables, revision which will incorporate all feedback from the Working Group members we have so far.

At this point all the different conversations about separate parts of the whole content strategy project fall into place and we see a clear picture of future state content strategy and information architecture of Drupal.org. We are excited to transfer this vision into a set of slides we can share with the Working Groups, Board and the Drupal Community.

DrupalCI (community initiative and Drupal 8 blocker)

We’ve just wrapped up hosting the DrupalCI sprint made possible by Drupal 8 accelerate. It was a herculean effort, but we made tremendous progress.

The architecture of the complete stack was built out, the test runner code built to it’s final form, containers for test environments created, and we ran through the complete chain from API → Test Runner → Results Site. There is still significant work ahead, but the community members who joined us in Portland did phenomenal work and put in long nights and extra days to produce an impressive testing suite.

Association staff architected the integration point between Drupal.org and the DrupalCI API and designed the UI for interacting with DrupalCI in the issue queues. On April 8th, association staff and the community volunteers we sprinted with met to recap the sprint and discuss the roadmap items that remain.

Special thanks to our community volunteers who sprinted with us in Portland: Jeremy Thorson, Nick Schuch, Bastian Widmer, Ricardo Amaro, Paul Mitchum, Mike Prasuhn,
Karoly Negyesi-- and to Shayamala Rajaram, Angie Byron, and Jonathan Hedstrom who helped us from afar!

Revenue-related projects (funding our work)

Try Drupal

Early in April, we’ll be releasing some small changes to the Drupal.org home page -- changes that we will continue to iterate on over the course of the coming months. Primarily we’re trying to create rational pathways through the front page for each of our user personas, as well as updating the homepage to better promote and support some of our revenue programs. Try Drupal is one such program that serves both goals.

For Newcomers to the Drupal community Try Drupal will ensure that their first experience with Drupal is first class, by helping these users create a Drupal site in 20 minutes or less. In return, our partners providing this service get to put the best of their work forward together with the best of Drupal.

DrupalCon Barcelona

Even as we ramp up to DrupalCon Los Angeles in May, we’re getting ready to release the full site for DrupalCon Barcelona. This will be the second site on the new events.Drupal.org unified site, so we’ve be proving out some of the work we did to make it multi-event friendly, and making some additional adjustments and changes as we need them.

We’ll also be preparing for announcements for next year’s cons (Shh!) so there’s some additional UX and feature work underway to support those upcoming sites as well.

Sustaining Support and Maintenance

Elections 2015

Elections were a great success this year. Improvements to the candidate profiles, ballot pages, and voting UI helped us reach our highest level of community engagement in Board elections. 24 candidates from 14 countries nominated, and with 1,432 ballots cast, we doubled our voter turnout compared to last year.

Congratulations to Addison Berry who joins as the new Director-at-Large from the community!

We’re collecting feedback on the experience from both candidates and voters and will continue to improve the elections process next year.

Fastly

The Drupal.org updates infrastructure (updates.drupal.org) is next to receive an architecture refresh. We are working to move the updates infrastructure to use a similar “instance purge” model, allowing for updates to be delivered more quickly. This also lets us set a very long TTL because new updates will purge the previous versions.

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As always, we’d like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra.

Personal blog tags: whats new on Drupal.org
Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal Association CTO: Year 1

April 8, 2015 at 11:00pm

My first day as Chief Technology Officer for the Drupal Association was the 31st of March 2014. I like to joke that I started a day before April Fool's Day on purpose.

As the first CTO for the Drupal Association, I'd like to highlight a few of the lessons I've learned and the accomplishments of the Drupal.org Product and Engineering Team over the past year.

Learning

In my first week... I learned... and learned... and learned. Listening is an important skill for any leader, but it is never more important than when you are picking up the 13-year history of the website you are inheriting as your responsibility.

I have been actively building and managing teams that build with Drupal since the early days of Drupal 6. Even before beginning to use Drupal, I've been focused on growing product and engineering teams that build big complex sites. It excited me to get involved with Drupal, doing what I feel I do pretty well, at a whole new level. I felt I knew a lot about the software, but had a relatively shallow experience with the site that powers the community.

In that first week, I learned that I had an amazing team of four—two of which were new to the team themselves—to help me learn the ropes. I also learned that they were overworked, more than overbooked, and still recovering from the Drupal.org upgrade to Drupal 7 that occurred in the fall of 2013.

Drupal.org ecosystem of sites and services

I learned that Drupal.org is not built solely on Drupal. It is an intricate combination of technologies of which Drupal is only a fraction of that whole. Drupal.org is over 16 websites, CDN services, Git repositories, some Python in interesting places, some Puppet and some Jenkins and so much more. The volunteers that built our infrastructure were—and continue to be—amazing. They also have very, very understanding employers.

I learned that the Drupal Association is a phenomenal group of professionals (16 when I started) that are truly committed to our open source community.

Expect the worst, but assume the best

In my second week, we bled—not literally, mind you. Heartbleed was my trial by fire. It was an excellent opportunity to meet key infrastructure and security team volunteers. They are an amazing group of professionals.

In that process of securing Drupal.org from a threat that was rocking the Internet, I found the mantra that would come to define how to look at a site the size and scale of Drupal.org. Expect the worst, but assume the best.

Whether it be security, spam, or regressions on deployment, the best way to make sure your site can respond is to expect the worst possible behavior by untrusted users. At the same time, we are an open source community that aspires to be inviting and to grow. We have to assume every new user of Drupal.org is a potential future Drupal contributor that wants to make us better. That is quite the dichotomy to operate within as a team of technologists.

Grow, grow, grow

Drupal.org team growth in 2014

I mentioned that when I started, I had a team of 4 in an organization of 16. The Drupal.org product and engineering team is now 11.5 members strong—and the association just hired its 34th employee. That is incredibly rapid growth for a small organization to go through in one year.

Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time setting or norms and forming our culture. As a developing team, we had to pick our tools for communication and project management. We implemented new processes for defining the priority of our work. We established patterns of communication to make sure we regularly involved in the community—working groups in particular—in our iterations of getting things done. We have also been an incredibly productive team for one forming so quickly.

Governance, communication and the community

Governance for Drupal.org was established in early 2013. When I started, a good portion of my first few months was figuring out how to integrate myself and the team I was building into the working groups.

These working groups had gone through a couple of years worth of ideation processes and had a strong communication focus with their work. What the working groups did not have was enough sustained volunteer contribution and support to build the tools they were identifying as a need. Additionally, they were in a tough place where they had the authority to make decisions, but they didn't necessarily have a way to make sure those decisions were implemented.

My goal since beginning this work was figuring out a way to get all the cool community ideas implemented faster. A the same time, it is also my role to figure out how to make Drupal.org and the tools and infrastructure our community funds through the Drupal Association sustainable. These tools have to help us grow our community and help increase the skills of the learners in our community that will one day become the experts in our community.

My team's biggest challenge is continuing to make our ecosystem better as fast as we can while letting the community know where we are focusing our energies and getting the community to get involved when they have the time and interest.

With the guidance of the working groups and the Drupal Association Board, we were able to establish a strategic roadmap that helps communicate what is coming next for Drupal.org.

Getting things done

So what have we done in the past year? While growing a team and building new norms and processes, we were able to accomplish quite a lot...

Support for semantic versioning

We updated Drupal.org processes to support semantic versioning. 8.0.0 here we come! This also means we will be able to have more frequent Drupal releases reducing the time between new versions—8.1.0, 8.2.0 on deck.

Better infrastructure and deployments

We improved page load times—doing this included changes such as CDN-fronting our infrastructure and upgrading hardware that was long overdue for a refresh. The infrastructure is amazing, but there are few volunteers that understand it enough to keep maintained at the level the community needs. We now have dedicated DevOps engineers that are making sure our technology stack is performant and stable.

There are over 400 behavior driven design (BDD) tests that now allow us to more confidently make deployments to Drupal.org.

And we make a lot of deployments to Drupal.org... about 68 a month to just Drupal.org customizations. (About 3 commits per month are volunteers with the balance made by staff.)

When we deploy big stuff (there is a lot of small stuff), we let people know about it. The change notification process has a subscription option and we post those notices to our twitter handle at @drupal_infra.

Credit for organizations that contribute

Animation of the organization attribution UI.

Recently, users were given the ability to attribute their comments in the issue queue to the organization that gave them the time to make the contribution (their employer) or paid for the contribution (a customer). That is a huge leap for our community. It is going to give us a path to tracking how Drupal core, contributed modules and themes are made possible by the awesome organizations that are using Drupal.

There is an excellent UI for maintainers to give credit to the users can commit, and we are expanding this to allow that credit to extend to the organizations involved.

Improved account creation and new user experience

We have done a huge amount of work making creating a new account easier for users—and harder for spammers. We made it much easier for a user to create their Drupal.org profile from a subsite. These were important steps toward better user profiles.

A label now appears beneath the user picture of new users for the first 90 days they are on Drupal.org to help us welcome them and get them involved.

Coming soon, users that have contributed significantly to Druapl.org will get the "community" role on Drupal.org will be able to confirm new users to make it easier for them to post. This will make it easier for sprint organizers to help us engage with new users

User profiles are getting better

User profile pictures have been implemented—which seems small, but it has a big impact in a comment thread. You now have a decent URL to hand out for your Drupal.org profile (e.g. drupal.org/u/joshuami). Mentor fields also show the pictures of mentors. We made it easier for us to synchronize data between Drupal.org subsites.

By moving our crediting system to issue comments—rather than just commits—we are expanding what the definition of "contribution" is for our community.

With better data about our contributors, we'll be able to better highlight how people are involved.

Launch of Drupal Jobs

In August of 2014, we launched Drupal Jobs to help connect Drupal employers with job seekers. It continues to grow and we are now up to over 1,000 job seekers. We average over 200 open positions per month on Drupal Jobs.

Responsive updates to Bluecheese (Drupal.org's theme)

As a special New Year's present to the awesome volunteers that helped add responsive elements to our theme, our team merged those changes to the Bluecheese theme making Drupal.org much easier to use on mobile devices.

Launching and maintaining 3 Drupal Cons sites and the new Drupal Events

DrupalCons Austin, Amsterdam and Latin America all had sites built on Drupal to launch, maintain and archive. DrupalCon Los Angeles is the first site on our new Drupal Events platform that is totally changing the way we approach our ticket and registration process. Also, this site will allow us to maintain a single living archive of all Con session presentations and profile data.

User research

Dreyfus Model of Acquisition modified to Drupal.org user personas

Starting at DrupalCon Austin, working with user research coach Whitney Hess, the team interviewed more than 30 community members of all types. That research was turned into the research that made up our skills acquisition model for our new personas.

Content strategy

Forum One was selected to help us build out a new content model, site map and governance plan for Drupal.org.

Next steps

The summary above does not come close to covering all of the great work. The Drupal.org product and engineering team has an awesome roadmap planned for the coming months.

  • More profile improvements for users and organizations
  • New content model and governance from the content strategy work
  • Drupal.org style guide and design system
  • DrupalCI - next version of continuous integration testing for Drupal.org
  • Issue workflow improvements to make contributing and maintaining easier
  • Better search and discovery
  • Improved data to help find and select modules, themes and distrobutions
  • Updates to Drupal Groups (groups.drupal.org) and Drupal Translations (localize.drupal.org)
Thank you

To the supporting partners that made all of this work possible, thank you. To the community volunteers that gave of their time to contribute code and ideas and feedback, thank you.

One last thank you, I feel absolutely blessed to work with such an awesome team of designers and developers, a project manager, a product manager and some incredible working group members.

I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Please help us welcome Matt, Tina, and Bradley

March 31, 2015 at 1:49pm

After a very busy year and a half, we're nearly done shoring up on new hires here at the Drupal Association. We’ve been working hard to bring in the best talent around, and are thrilled to announce our three new staff members: Matt, Tina, and Brad!

Matt Tsugawa, CFO, Finance and HR Team

Matt TMatt (mtsugawa) is joining the Association as our new CFO, where he will be responsible for Finance and HR, and will help develop and drive the strategy of the organization as a member of our leadership team. He brings a rich professional history with him: he has worked in industries across the country and around the world. Early in his career, Matt worked in Japan as a management consultant at the professional services firms, KPMG and Arthur Andersen. After spending a few years as an analyst and business development manager in New York at A&E Television Networks, Matt returned to Portland, where he was born and raised.

Most recently, Matt worked in the energy efficiency industry as the Head of Finance. He holds a BA from University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA from Yale. When not at work, Matt enjoys “managing" his three children and overgrown puppy with his wife, and when not doing that, he is an enthusiastic, if not yet expert, practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Tina Krauss, DrupalCon Coordinator, Events Team

Tina KTina (tinakrauss) is the newest member of the DrupalCon team, and came on board in mid March. As a DrupalCon Coordinator, Tina will work with each con’s volunteers, assist in con programming and logistics, and work with website content. Tina is also focused on customer support and responds to tickets submitted to our Contact Us form related to the Cons.

A native of Germany, Tina moved to Portland, Oregon several years ago, where she currently resides. In her free time, Tina is an adventurer. She loves to travel around the world -- the farther, the better! She also enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, backpacking, skiing, and more.

Bradley Fields, Content Manager, Marcomm and Membership Team

Bradley FieldsBradley (bradleyfields) joins the Marketing and Communications team as Content Manager. He will focus on the planning, creation, and maintenance of content—across all of the Association-managed platforms—that engages and strengthens the Drupal community. For the last six years, he worked to help associations, federal agencies, and universities make their content work better for all sorts of users and audiences.

When he is not at his desk, Bradley is curating Spotify playlists, watching one of his 50+ animated Disney movies, on the hunt for great whisky, or reading Offscreen magazine. He wishes he were Batman, but his superhero powers are definitely still under development.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Clever Ways to Raise Funds for D8 Accelerate

March 30, 2015 at 4:53pm

Drupal 8 Accelerate benefit concertWhat’s the most clever way to raise funds for Drupal? Ask Ralf Hendel of Comm Press in Hamburg Germany.

The Drupal Association is working with the Drupal 8 branch maintainers to provide $250,000 in Drupal 8 Acceleration Grants that will be awarded to individuals and groups, helping them get Drupal 8 from beta to release.

Now The Association needs to raise the funds to support the grants and we are working with the Association Board to kick off a D8 Accelerate fundraiser. We are asking community members to help out and donate here. We all want to get D8 released so we can enjoy all the launch parties!

The good news is that we only need to raise $125,000 as a community because all donations will be matched! The Association contributed $62,500 and the Association Board raised another $62,500 from Anchor Donors: Acquia, Appnovation, Drupalize.me by Lullabot, Palantir.net, Phase2, PreviousNext, and Wunderkraut.

Having Anchor Partners means…
Every dollar you donate is matched, doubling your impact.

Ralf Hendel, CEO of Comm Press, heard the call and took action in the most creative way. Over the last few years, Ralf learned how to play the piano (very well I might add) and he recently held a benefit recital where he played Bach, Schubert, and Skrjabin. Those attending were asked to donate to D8 Accelerate and together they raised €345. Of course, with the matching funds from our Anchor Partners, that contribution is €690.

At The Drupal Association, we are always amazed at the many talents our community has and we are especially thankful to Ralf for sharing his passion for music and Drupal with others and raising these funds.

There’s so many clever ways to raise funds to help D8 get across the finish line. What ideas do you have? Or if feel like going the traditional route, you can donate here.

Thanks for considering this opportunity to get Drupal 8 released sooner. If you would like to learn more about how D8 Accelerate grants are being given out, please read Angie Byron’s blog post.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal Dev Day in NYC

March 25, 2015 at 7:54pm

The NYC Drupal Users Group is holding a Drupal Dev Day conference (#D3NYC15) on April 19th at John Jay College. People are pretty excited about this, and we're looking forward to some of the many ways we'll be able to give back to the community in doing so.

With D3NYC15, we're focusing on getting back to creating a grassroots community-building event right in our hometown. First and foremost, the event is in the 'unconference' format, which is an informal way of polling the attendees and creating meaningful sessions that are relevant to those that have shown up. We anticipate expert-lead sessions as well as BoFs.

As part of growing our community, we're planning a Drupal training session in the morning for those new community members. Alex Ross (bleen18) has graciously consented to volunteer his considerable talents to this effort.

In addition to this, we will also have a Drupal mentoring room ('drupal ladders') where a number of Drupalists in NYC have offered to help coach people on contrib work they are doing. Lastly, we're looking forward to our Drupal 8 sprint effort.

While the event is only a day long, it is our hope that D3NYC15 will serve as a launching point for both new and experienced users within the NYC community to help with the D8 issue queue. Even if our community just tackles one item off the queue that day, it will be a big win-- every little bit helps get Drupal 8 into final release.

If you're in the New York City area, or want to visit, join us for a day of coding and fun. Registration can be done at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/drupal-dev-day-nyc-2015-registration-16240282121, and more info about the camp can be found at www.drupalcamp.nyc. We are very much looking for sponsors to help defray the costs of the camp. The sponsorship packages are modestly priced at $500 and $1000, and in addition to great benefits you get the continued admiration of the NYC Drupal community as well as the knowledge that you are investing both in the NYC Drupal talent pool as well as the advancement of Drupal itself.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Lessons from DrupalCamp London

March 25, 2015 at 7:36pm

DrupalCamp London wrapped up on March 1st, making it the third large Drupal event in London since DrupalCon London in 2011. Over the past three years, the local events team has learned a great deal about planning a successful DrupalCamp in one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world.

“The tricky part,” said Ben Wilding (kazillian), one of the lead DrupalCamp London organizers, “is getting the core group who will commit to the camp. There are always lots of people who say they'll volunteer, but ultimately, you need a core group of people who will make it happen."

When planning a DrupalCamp, Wilding says there are seven main points to keep in mind.

1. Find your core supporters

“In the years we’ve been planning DrupalCamp London, we've encountered two challenges: informing the local community enough, versus not giving them too much info. Things went slowly in year one since there was a revolving door problem as different people showed up to the planning meetings each month. Ultimately, it boiled down to the same five or six people who turned up at all the meetings, and they became the decision maker group.

“When it comes to planning a camp with your local community, open it up. Get as many local people involved as you can, but don’t be surprised if those numbers dwindle quite rapidly down to a core few. Then, closer to time, engage with the actual community who has volunteered to help out on the weekend-of. We actually had that as a ticket type— you could buy a free volunteer ticket. We probably had about thirty so, but we capped it. There are always dropouts at the last minute, so we always let a few new people come on board — but we always cap the volunteer tickets.

2. Define the most important jobs

Wilding says that, when it comes to planning a DrupalCamp, having clearly defined jobs is critical to success.

“We had one person in charge of supporting the volunteers on site,” Wilding says. “That person is responsible for updating everyone on what’s going on and managing the volunteers on the day-of. Our volunteer coordinator does a walk around with the volunteers on the first day at the venue. Another helpful tool he uses is a spreadsheet where he maps volunteers to specific rooms and tasks.

“Especially with a job like managing volunteers, or handling the website, we’ve found that it’s best to make sure that one person owns it, and it’s not too difficult for them to manage."

3. Plan ahead

“Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need — like months and months more time,” advises Wilding. For DrupalCamp London, the team stars more than ten months out on certain elements, such as the website, approaching the venue, and coordinating the team.

“Start anything you can as early as you can,” says Wilding. “The first thing, the hardest thing to get sorted out, is the venue — getting a space to commit for free. One you have that space, a lot of other things can fall into place if you’re being sensible about it and starting early."

“We get really involved with the whole team about four months out,” Wilding continues. “Our camp is always the last weekend in February, so it’s awkwardly placed where Christmas sits. We do things in October and November, the ball gets rolling, and then Christmas happens and we lose 5 weeks. When planning your camp, look out for anything holiday related in your calendar, like major public holidays. Be wary that you don’t sit back. Plan around it."

4. Use personal networks

One way to get great things at low to no cost is through utilizing your community members’ personal networks.

“The more people you reach out to, the better, and the more people you’ve got looking through their personal contacts, the better,” says Wilding. "The time to manage speakers and sponsorships is a lot, so it’s best if possible if you can get someone to really own that. It’s something that’s easy to pass around a group of volunteers— you have to have one key person to own it."

Personal networks have helped the London team get keynote speakers, their venue, even their sponsor.

“We’ve been very fortunate that we get the venue in central London for three days straight. It usually costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, but we got it donated.

“It goes back with personal relationships that one of the organizers had with the university — he had done some free lectures promoting Drupal. It’s also about finding the right venue who benefits from the event, too. The computing department at the university we host our DrupalCamp at is very keen to find industry connections for students, so we always donate lots of tickets to their students so they can promote it internally.

“The way it stands now, the university students get the opportunity to meet the best of the best of the Drupal world, and the community benefits from the introduction of new users as well. Housing DrupalCamp London within the city university means they get the benefit of real world enterprise business and technology paired up with their students, which is ideal for them."

5. Be Prepared for Complications

Wilding notes that organizing DrupalCamps can be complicated in unexpected places.

“This year, we had the BBC as a diamond sponsor,” said Wilding. “We had a contact on their end who was great. However, we had to put everything through their legal department and their marketing department. It was a good lesson for us in that, when you get to a certain level of sponsorship, the complications and the amount of work you have to put in to manage those relationships is incredible."

However, there are ways to address normal pain areas and cut down on the headaches for everyone.

“Registration can be pretty difficult,” said Wilding. “Printing names out on lanyards takes ages, and sometimes someone can’t find someone’s badge because God knows where it went, and there are long queues. We managed to make it much easier this year — we had ten volunteers by the doors in the morning for the first two days, and with 500 people coming in, we knew it could take a long time.

“So instead of printing badges, we just let people sign them on their own. For the actual registration process, we used an app called check me in. People RSVPd for the camp through EventBrite, and  so when they walked in, they could check in with the door volunteers, all of whom had the app on their phone. After that, attendees could grab their lanyard, T-shirt, and tote bag. It was so much better than having 150 disgruntled in a queue at the start of the event."

6. Enjoy your successes

Every DrupalCamp has great moments, and DrupalCamp London was no exception.

“We had Dr. Sue Black as the keynote for DrupalCamp on Saturday, and it was a bit of a different angle than what we usually have,” Wilding said. “We wanted to go beyond the normal Drupal talk for the keynote, so we had Dr. Black come speak about her experiences of promoting women’s engagement with technology — and also saving Bletchley park, too.

"One of Dr. Black's favorite projects that she does and does a lot of fundraising for is called Techmums (http://techmums.co/). She promotes technology amongst mothers in poorer, lower income households, and trains them to use it. One success story was how they trained a mum on how to put an attachment on an email. It was totally new to this woman who was running her own business. Before that, she was sending samples across town… she was sending her son at the end of the day across town, on a bus, with these samples for clients to look at. And this totally changed her life.

“After the talk, Dr/ Black had a huge queue of people who wanted to help with her various projects. It was so great that we were able to help our community share knowledge, and hopefully we benefitted the world a bit."

7. Thank your supporters

“I’d like to issue another huge thanks to the volunteers and sponsors again because DrupalCamp wouldn’t happen without them,” said Wilding in conclusion.

“We’ve had a few people step back from organizing this year so we’re looking for new people to get involved and get engaged next year. If you’re interested in helping out, keep an eye on the Twitter account (@drupalcampldn and #dclondon). We’re taking a break for a few months — but keep an eye on Twitter, and the Drupal London User Group. We’ll make some noise in a couple months time, and get people together who want to chat about stepping in and helping out. We’re always looking for new people, and are happy to answer any questions people have."

Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal Association Board Meeting: 18 March 2015

March 25, 2015 at 7:14pm

In our March board meeting we took a look at the month of February and all the goodness that the Association and the community have managed to stir up. Spoiler alert: it's a lot. We've got lots of impressive changes on Drupal.org, some big community events to recap, and elections. If you missed the meeting, no worries! I'm going to recap some main points below, but you can always watch the recording, review the minutes, or check out the meeting materials (or all of the above, because overacheiver). Here's what we talked about:

Operational Update

  • We have three new staff starting at the Association. We'll have a new post on our blog shortly to introduce them all, but the long and short of it is this: Our DrupalCon team is now at 100% strength again, our marketing team can now get even more great Drupal content out into the universe, and adding a CFO to our team means that well be able to position the Association to better tell our financial story and project into the future.
  • There is a brand (re)new newsletter going out - the Drupal Newsletter. Those of you who have been in the community for a while may remember that the last issue went out in 2008. We recently resuscitated the newsletter subscriptions functionality on your Drupal.org profile AND partnered with Bob Kepford to bring the Weekly Drop (plus a little extra Association goodness) to you once a week. Not subscribed? Go edit your D.O profile and you can subcribe right there!
  • We are moving our dashboards into a publicly viewable/slick looking location. Up until now we've been sharing our dashboard data as tables in our monthly board update. It was better than not tracking numbers, but did not allow us to share context for our metrics and frankly, tables are really hard for mere humans to parse. We'll be moving all our metrics into SimpleKPI over time, but for now, take a look at the pretty that is the Drupal.org Dashboard.

DrupalCon Latin America

We were thrilled to be in Bogota, Colombia for DrupalCon Latin America in February. Although we are really excited about what we accomplished, it did not happen without several very real bumps in the road. First, our attendance goal was 400, but we only hit 263, and one-third of those came in during the last two weeks. Managing the budget and logistics when attendance was so up in the air was a real challenge, but the DrupalCon team managed to ensure that we beat our budget expectations, so there was no negative financial impact for the Association. Most importantly, we learned a lot and saw some great outcomes:

  • Many of the sessions offered live translation between English, Spanish, and Portugese. Additionally, the amazing Lingotek donated translations service so that more than 25 of the session recordings are also available in those languages. This experience with multiple languages will help us in future events, as well as with Drupal.org and other resources we help steward.
  • We had amazing sprint participation - 38% of attendees stuck around on the final day and battled through a 2-hour internet outage (quite happily, I might add) to make their contributions to the project. Huge thanks to the sprint mentors who help make the day so successful.
  • Overall, we think we saw a huge community lift from the event. We had several candidates from Latin America throw their hat in the ring for a board seat in the elections, and we had an increased participation in Global Training Days by Latin American shops. We hope that means that our Latin American community is more closely connected now and that this participation will carry forward and grow into the future.

Working Group Updates

A lot of the Working Groups work right now is actually rethinking how they work. There are three Drupal.org working groups - Infrastructure, Content, and Software. As the Drupal Association staff has grown and taken on real work, we've had to define how the staff and Working Groups collaborate as we go. the new wrinkle is that there are other Working Groups out there that fall under the Drupal (as opposed to Drupal.org) structure that overlap or relate to the D.O working groups. 

For example, the Content Working Group is currently working on a content strategy to completment the user persona research we did and inform an iterative reimagination of Drupal.org. Turns out, a significant portion of that strategy relates to the Documentation Working Group. We didn't figure that out until well into the process, and missed the opportunity to get their feedback and incorporate their needs from the outset. It seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time, we were working with the Drupal.org Working Groups only, which was basically our known universe.

To remedy these kinds of issues, we plan to bring many of the Working Groups together in Los Angeles and are trying to map some process that will ensure that all the right players are brought in at the right time, So, charters are being adjusted, more communication is being planned. We know it's been rough at times, but are committed to finding a path forward that works for everyone.

That's all she wrote...

Have questions, ideas, thoughts concerns? Leave 'em in the comments! I would sincerely love to hear from you. Just to know that one person read this post... these take forever to write! :)

Categories: Planet Drupal

2015 At-Large Board Elections Announced

March 25, 2015 at 2:00pm

Everyone on the staff and Board of the Drupal Association would like to congratulate our newest board member:

Addison Berry.

In addition to congratulating Addison, please join me in thanking the 23 other candidates who put themselves out there in service of Drupal and stood for election. 

This was the fourth election we've held for At-Large board seats at the Drupal Association. This year we had two specific goals for the elections:

  • Increase the diversity of the candidates - Although we only had one female candidate, we saw great success by other measures of diversity. 24 candidates came from 14 different countries - including South American and Asian countries. 
  • Increase voter turnout - We fielded 1,432 votes in this election. Our pool of eligible voters was 159,758, so that means our voter tunrout was .89%. This is still low, but a vast improvement over the last election, which saw a .36% turnout. 

Our next steps will be to reach out to the candidates for their evaluation of the elections experience. We also want to hear from you. Please tell us about your experience with the elections process in the comments below so that we can include them in our planning for the 2016 elections.

Flickr photo: Kodak Views

Categories: Planet Drupal

Viva DrupalCon Latin America

March 23, 2015 at 9:51pm

2015 started out strong with our first DrupalCon of the year, which took place from 10-12 February in Bogota, Columbia. Nothing feels better than to bring the power of DrupalCon to a new region where attendees can revel in their love for Drupal, the community, and enjoy time together. As people listened to the Driesnote, attended sessions and sprints, and celebrated with some Tejo, we heard a lot of “this is a real Con” and “it feels so good to experience this in my own backyard”.

Driesnote crowdSharing the gift of DrupalCon with the Latin American community was a joy for Drupal Association staff and community organizers. It wouldn’t have happened without help from Aldibier Morales, Carlos Ospina, Ivan Chaquea, Nick Vidal, and Jairo Pinzon, who helped organize the event. Conversely, it better connected the Drupal Association with this region, helping us better understand the high level of contribution as well as new ways to support this region.

263 people attended DrupalCon Latin America from 23 countries including 12 Latin American countries. 63% of attendees said that this was their first DrupalCon, which underscores why it’s so important to bring DrupalCon to new parts of the world. Attendees were primarily developers from Drupal Shops, but there was more diversity than expected. The event also attracted a higher level of beginners than expected and 14% of attendees were women, which falls between DrupalCon Europe (10% women) and DrupalCon North America (22%). Below are some demographic tables that compare DrupalCon Latin America with DrupalCon Austin.

SprintersAs you can imagine, the most attended sessions were focused on Drupal 8. DrupalCon Latin America was the first event to offer translated sessions and all sessions were recorded and posted to the DrupalCon YouTube Channel. Thanks to Lingotek, 20 additional session recordings were translated, too, and can be found on Youtube.

One of the big takeaways for Drupal Association staff was finding out how many attendees contribute to Drupal. When Megan Sanicki, COO, asked in her keynote introduction presentation how many people contributed, a large number of hands went up. It explains why DrupalCon Latin America had the largest percentage of attendees attend the sprint compared to any other DrupalCon --  38.4% of attendees showed up to make a difference. Thanks to the sprint leads, YesCT, alimac, DevelCuy, jackbravo and the other 19 sprint mentors, 101 people were able to participate in the sprints.

We’re also happy that financially the event achieved its budget goals. When planning DrupalCon Latin America, we knew that hosting the event in a new region would create budget challenges. We accepted that and were willing to operate this DrupalCon at a loss. We see this as an investment in a region that will grow because DrupalCon was hosted here. Below is the high level budget and further below is a more detailed view into the expenses.

DrupalCon Latin America Budget

Budget

Actual

Income $150,150 $104,513.74 Expenses $250,750 $188,034.40 Net Profit -$99,920 -$83,520.66

Overall, DrupalCon Latin America was a success! Session evaluations came back strong and the event received a high Net Promoter Score of 80. Also, attendees felt that they received more value than expected (see chart below).

While we hoped for larger numbers, it’s important to point out that DrupalCon Amsterdam in 2005 had about 100 attendees. When the event returned in 2014, it hosted 2,300 people. All regions have to start somewhere and DrupalCons have the power to infuse community members with a burst of energy and passion that helps the community grow. We saw this immediately after DrupalCon Latin America with the growth of Global Training Days. Last year, the region hosted 7 trainings total, but right after DrupalCon Latin America, the region hosted 10 - not even ¼ of the way into the year. Additionally, three Latin American community members nominated themselves in the Drupal Association At-Large Board Elections.

We are thrilled that we were able to bring DrupalCon to new regions of the world. Be sure and attend the closing session of DrupalCon Los Angeles to find out where we are bringing DrupalCon next.


DRUPALCON STATISTICS

DEMOGRAPHIC COMPARISONS

Business (sales, marketing) Front end (design, themer) C-Level Site Builder Other (PM, Trainer, etc) Site Administrator

Job Function

Austin

Latin America

Developer 40% 48% Business (sales, marketing) 11% 12% Front end (design, themer) 13% 10% C-Level 9% 9% Site Builder 11% 8% Other (PM, Trainer, etc) 9% 12% Site Administrator 7% 3%

 

How I use Drupal

Austin

Latin America

Drupal Shop 47% 61% Site Owner 30% 12% Freelance 5% 9% Evaluating 6% 4% Hobbyist 2% 2%

 

Skill Level

Austin

Latin America

Advanced 37% 40% Intermediate 39% 38% Beginner 23% 22%

 

SESSION STATISTICS

DrupalCon Latin America: Highest Attended Sessions

Count

#d8rules - Web-automation with Rules in Drupal 8 87 An Overview of the Drupal 8 Plugin System 70 Drupal 8 CMI on Managed Workflow 67 Getting Content to a Phone in less than 1000ms 58 AngularJS + Drupal = Un Dúo Superheróico! 52 DevOps, por donde comenzar? 49 The Future of Commerce on Drupal 8 (and beyond) 43 I Want it All and I Want it Now: Configuration Management and CI 38 SEO for Drupal 37

 

DrupalCon Latin America: Youtube views (as of 3/11/2015)

# of views

DrupalCon Latin America 2015: Keynote by Dries Buytaert 1053 DrupalCon Latin America 2015: Keynote by Larry Garfield 546 DrupalCon Latin America 2015: The Future of Commerce on Drupal 8 (and beyond) 407 DrupalCon Latin America 2015: Drupal 8 CMI on Managed Workflow 241 DrupalCon Latin America 2015: AngularJS + Drupal = Un Dúo Superheróico! 238


DRUPALCON FINANCIALS

Expenses

 

  Staff Wages, Benefits, Overhead $106,621.54 Catering $11,784.76 Staff Travel & Accommodations $11,552.25 Event Planning $9,244.45 Registration Materials, Conference Supplies, Tees $8,180.90 Taxes, Fees, VAT $7,009.54 Speaker Fees, Travel Awards, Etc $6,973.16 Translation $6,772.00 IT, Wifi, Electrical $6,705.89 Archiving $5,500.00 Design $4,500.00 Conference Facility $3,013.78 Shipping $176.13 Total Expenses $188,034.4

 

Categories: Planet Drupal

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