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The Baby Steps of Drupal India Community

In a recent Fireside Chat organized by the Drupal India Association (DIA), Dries Buytaert, the founder and project head of Drupal, talked about how happy he is with the changes in the Indian Drupal community. The DIA also appreciated and thanked the top contributors and mentors of the Drupal Indian Community.

Rahul Dewan, the founder of Srijan, the co-host of the chat, said that Drupal India Community is the second-largest community but has fewer contributors; this probably drags us back and asks for Dries how can the community contribute more. Dries said that there had been a tremendous change, especially since the last DrupalCon in India. He said that he feels a great community has been building in India in the last few years. Dries said Rahul Dewan and Shyamala Rajaram, co-founder and CEO of Unimity Solutions, have been crucial during this change. He said he sees a lot of great things happening in India. 

Dries added that India is pretty well relative to contributing to Drupal. Many companies like Srijan, QED42, OpenSense Lab, and Acquia (with a few full-time contributors in India) are in the top 20-30 contributors. Sure there is more to do, but Dries is quite happy already, especially with the progress in the last 10 years as India has seen a lot of Drupal growth. 

Dries added that in terms of helping the Drupal community, the companies and contributors should encourage people to contribute. He said that the companies should hire either part-time or full-time employees, though he would prefer full-time. He felt that sometimes you have to find the right people to do it. Sometimes it also works as a marketing tool. Dries also added that some companies, including Acquia, do webinars to try and attract customers. In Acquia, if you join as a full-time employee, you need to find some time to create content or improve content.

When asked what the contributors could do, Dries said that everyone part of Drupal started with something small and simple; they all made their first patch or first contribution. So as the advice he said,

“If you haven't contributed to Drupal, find something easy or something you want to improve; it can be a small step like improving some documentation or answering a support question or helping with the next DrupalCamp in India. These are all valuable contributions and a great way to get involved, and you will see the skills will grow, and great things can come from that.”

He also added that many people had made great careers by contributing. He also feels that personally, it is very rewarding to know that you have contributed something that ends up in the hands of hundreds of thousands of sites, often very important sites that impact the World. Sites that help with humanitarian efforts or help with governance around the World. One small change can directly impact hundreds of thousands of sites. Dries said this makes it so special, which is why he does what he does.

Dipen Chaudhary from QED42 and Prasad Shirgaokar from Acquia took the stage to thank the Drupal community and the contributors. He began by thanking Tim Lehnen for sharing the information with them. 

Anmol Goyal from Delhi is the all-time top contributor to Drupal from India. He has been part of the Drupal community for over four years. Gaurav Mahlawat, an independent contributor, has been the top contributor from India in the last year. Dipen also thanked Gaurav Kapoor, who has consistently worked on the Drupal Project Module Ecosystem. Ankitha Shetty is a regular contributor to Drupal and was among the top three contributors last year. 

Recognizing contributing to initiatives and Drupal in a meaningful and deep way, Dipen thanked Mohit Aghera for impacting the Bugsmash Initiative. Appreciating the unsung heroes, Prasad thanked Surabhi Goktefor for organizing code sprints and events for Drupal community engagement and Sharmila S for being rock-solid support to DIA. Dipen also thanked mentors for helping young contributors come forward. He thanked Jaideep Kandari, Vaibhav Jain, Sushil Hanwate, Shimpy Gupta, and Malabya Tewan. 

Prasad then talked about the Drupal Campus Ambassador Program earlier launched in 2016. This newer version focuses on learning and is relaunched to create awareness in college students. He thanked Aastha Shrivastava, Harpreet Kaur, Komal Kolekar, and Gnanagowthaman Sankar, who designed and worked on the initiative through the last year.