The Benefits of Drupal Contributions
When I explain to family and friends what I do for a living, the immediate image in their mind is of the lone kid sitting in front of a computer in the middle of the night. The reality is that the work I do goes far beyond that and tends to include meeting with clients, setting expectations, and developing design and implementation plans. As part of my role here at Digett, I also look for ways in which we can help contribute to the open source community, and specifically to Drupal.
Community engagement is key
At Digett, we are continuously evaluating the needs of our clients to determine how best to achieve their goals. When looking at Drupal, this includes having a breadth of knowledge with regards to the functionality provided by Drupal Core and which contributed modules will work best for a given scenario. On those rare occasions where the required functionality does not exist, and we have a need to develop that functionality, we also ensure we are doing so in a manner that allows us to contribute back to the community.
These contributions allow us to develop better code and better solutions based on community feedback and innovation, which in turn provides direct benefits to our clients.
As an individual, my contributions allow me to further develop my skills and become more familiar with the Drupal code base and community. This iterative process creates a loop of continual feedback and improvement for our development team and encourages beneficial growth for Digett, our clients, and the Drupal community at large.
How can I benefit?
One of the big questions that is usually asked when any organization or individual begins contributing to an open source project is, “What do I/we get out of it?” With Drupal, there are several advantages:
- By using an open source project as a starting point, deployments tend to be faster and help to avoid reinvention of the wheel.
- The development of code with an eye towards community contribution results in refinements geared towards community standards and guidelines.
- Engagement with the community means that contributions will be more likely to receive reviews and feedback.
The worldwide involvement of individuals and organizations within the Drupal community provides access to virtually limitless resources and is something that would be difficult to reproduce within most organizations. By participating in the Drupal community, you can encourage growth and innovation far beyond that of any one individual.
What about you?
How do you or your organization approach contributions to the community? What benefits have you seen from doing so? How has this changed your deployment process?