Once in a while, an opportunity comes along that is so interesting I simply cannot say no. Almost four years ago to the day, that opportunity was to join the Drupal Association as its first Community Liaison. Indeed, I even came up with the title whilst serving on the Drupal Community Working Group.
Working in the Drupal Association has been a wonderful experience, where I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most amazing people I have ever had as colleagues and friends.
We have seen “interesting times” over the last couple of years and the way the whole association and community worked together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project and the organisations that support it has been incredible to be part of.
Making the world a better place has always been the key driver to my career and I truly believe that Drupal and the Drupal Association are doing just that.
That next opportunity
Recently, that next opportunity came by me and, again, I simply cannot say no. So, in December, I will be joining the Digital Impact Alliance, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, to help grow the community by bringing together many projects that provide tools for e-government, otherwise known as GovStack.
GovStack exists to empower governments, especially those in low-resource settings, to take ownership of their digital futures by building more effective and cost-efficient digital government services. Often, this is achieved by enabling open source, and other, projects that produce Digital Public Goods to collaborate together, improve interoperability, and work with governments to implement far more cost effectively than has been seen in the past.
Taking a look at GovStack’s Building Blocks will give you an idea of the breadth of systems and communities I will have the opportunity to work with. Yes, I will of course be updating the Drupal logos on that site ;-)
Taking many lessons from the Drupal community and association will be a huge benefit to GovStack and the digital public goods that the organisation works to help bring to countries across the world.
My approach to working with communities has always been to identify, enable, and lift members of the community into leadership roles so they can work on initiatives we have identified as needed, rather than taking on all the tasks myself. It takes longer but it makes initiatives more sustainable as I really can walk away without effect. An example of this might be the Event Organizers’ Working Group which is now following the same principle and currently onboarding in their next tranche of leadership.
Not going far
Whilst I will be stepping down from the Drupal Association, I’m not about to leave the Drupal Project! I will continue in my Drupal project maintainer role as one of the Core Mentoring Coordinators in my own time and always be looking for ways to build on the great work done by those before me.
We have many opportunities to continue to grow the Drupal community, not least Pantheon’s Gift of Open Source initiative during December and DrupalCon Portland 2022 in April.
The Core Mentoring Coordinators have already begun speaking about DrupalCon Portland, too. Especially about how we best use the event to build on our aim to grow our contributor community?
Obviously, it does mean I won’t be working at DrupalCon Portland. By strange coincidence, though, my new boss actually lives in Portland so you never know – I might sneak in for a look around! It would be good to see you all, it feels like we have been remote for too long!
(The image, if you are wondering, is the summer house at the bottom of the garden, where I usually work...)