Scaling the Drupal Community

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The Drupal ecosystem is changing ... a lot. We have venture financed startups, we're powering 2% of the interwebs, and our community has already seen exponential growth–in 5 years has gone from ~25,000 to ~1,000,000 members–and it can be baffling (and a little terrifying) to think of the community growing bigger still. And yet, the community of contributors is what drives Drupal, and so in order to grow Drupal, we must also grow ourselves. What does this look like, and how can we protect what brought us here in the first place, while still creating smooth onramps for those who are new? How do the changes to the ecosystem around Drupal (major governments leaning on it, Fortune 500 companies building whole business off it, money flying everwhere) affect the work we do?

This session will analyze some of the growing pains the Drupal community has already experienced and those that it is actively thrashing through. It will also attempt to impart some tips and guidance on how to make it through our project’s next decade without us all stabbing each other. ;)

NOTE: We gave this in DrupalCon Chicago as an unstructured interview format. This time we will explore some new angles as well as use some actual slides and stuff. Woah. ;

Intended audience

Sounds cliché, I know, but hopefully everyone. Those outside the Drupal community wondering "How does that all work?" those within the Drupal community who are passionate about continuing the awesome, those within the community who are pissed off and looking for answers, and those "formerly" of the Drupal community who are skeptical about the whole hippie open source love thing. Hopefully even someone without any familiarity with the Drupal community who is interested in general information about how a website filled with opinionated, perfectionistic, multi-cultural people holds itself together.

Questions answered by this session

What is the history of the Drupal project and some demographics about its community?

When disagreements in the community arise, what are some good and bad ways to handle that?

How has the Drupal community sustained such massive, massive growth without splintering and forking?

What are some major "mine fields" we've encountered as a community, and how have we/are we working around those?

If I implement Drupal for a Fortune 500 company's intranet am I still changing the world?

Comments (1)

Dear DrupalCon London organizer

I think session slides are due today, but I can't seem to edit this node to add them, since I don't own it. And Greg's on vacation. Please don't cancel our session! :) Ping me on IRC and I can send you the slides.

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