Last week, three of us from Binbiriz and our partner Diwowi attended DrupalCon Lille 2023 in Lille, France. It was a great event. Drupalists from all over the world shared experiences, exchanged ideas, wrote code, networked, contributed to Drupal, and also had fun.
This event encouraged me and my company partner Burak, who have been working in the Drupal Turkey community for a long time, albeit in a limited way, to revitalize the community in Turkey, and it was also a good start for our new team member Özgür to get involved in the Swiss community.
After DrupalCon, I wanted to express my opinions and suggestions in several different articles. As a "newbie" who joined drupal.org 11 years and 3 months ago (I will explain my newbie status below), I may have missing, redundant, true or false statements in these articles. I write this with confidence that the community will be more tolerant due to my newbie status, and that my suggestions and criticisms will be considered as a contribution.
My first DrupalCon: DrupalCon Lille 2023
I met Drupal for the first time in 2008 with Drupal 6. I was active in an association at the time and some of my friends were praising Drupal. They created a site with a beautiful design and we enriched it with a lot of contents. Back then, I was only producing content on Drupal.
As I am an electronics and communication engineer by training, I have learned C and C++ languages, which are used extensively in embedded systems. Relying on this, I decided to move to the software field. In 2012, I started working at Nemedya, Turkey's first Drupal company. At that time, Drupal was experiencing its most popular period, particularly after the White House started using Drupal. The Turkish government has also preferred to use Drupal. Then, we agreed with TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) to develop their website. . We worked very hard as a team and successfully delivered the project. Afterwards, I took part in many projects, first as a developer and then as a project manager.
Later on, we founded Binbiriz as a start-up company and we did different R&D projects. In the last 2 years, we turned Binbiriz's route back to custom software development, and continue with Drupal as well as different technologies.
I felt the need to check while writing this article. I became a member of Drupal.org about 11 years ago. Although this is a sign of experience, I had never attended DrupalCon. As a team, we thought we should attend one and came to Lille. I'm glad we did.
For one of the evening events, Trivia Night, during DrupalCon, the team we formed (L'Équipe) was given 3 extra points for the 3 of us who came from Turkey and participated for the first time because of our "newbie" status. Although both Burak's and my Drupal backgrounds are relatively old, we saw how the community works, how we do teamwork, and the power of the community. Yes, we are newbies in this aspect. Everyone we have met has gone through this phase once. We also went through it, albeit a little late.
First of all, thanks to those who contributed
There was a great community effort at DrupalCon Lille. People helped each other. Friendships were established to be developed further and existing friendships were strengthened. We would like to thank everyone who contributed with sincerity. But we have some special thanks to some others:
It is really a great achievement to complete such a big event with very few shortcomings. To Marine Gandy and Nicolas Loye and the entire French Drupal Association for their endless energy, running everywhere and solving every problem...
Her contributions to Promote Drupal are already indisputable. But besides that, I would like to thank Suzanne for bringing her lovely baby to every meeting where she was a moderator and making the environment even more beautiful.
To Dan, who patiently answered our very simple questions and helped us so much.
To Fei, who is very interested in our proposals on diversity, inclusion, and enlarging the community. They put a special effort into understanding them, and will probably follow them in the management of the association...
To Baddy, who inspires the community with her contribution, complementary role, and motivation...
To Iro and David, members of the L'Équipe team, with whom we had a lot of fun at Trivia Night, giving each other "logical" answers...
To Federico who objected to the military-based keynote and spoke out for our common discourse on peace ...
To Seferiba, who insists on and attracts attention to the issue of representation in Drupal...
I would like to thank the localization team and especially Felip, Thomas, Gábor, and Burak for solving the chronic problem of translating singular and plural words into Turkish that Drupal Turkey has been dealing with for 8 years. See #3014243: Misconfigured plural forms for Turkish locale ve #2503057: Turkish may have wrong default plural setup
Drupal Association Board Members and Dries Buytaert
To DA and Dries, the main architects of us being able to use Drupal and be at DrupalCon.
What did I like at DrupalCon Lille?
- First and foremost, I liked the collectivism. Who else could develop such software, secure it, and increase its features...
- Lille is a beautiful city, I visited it for the first time and I loved it.
- Of course the extraordinary "la baguette" presentation. We all wanted to bite the end of the baguette 🙂 🙂
- I can't remember his name, but, we called him 'Valuebound kid' among us. He won a T-shirt from Acquia's toy grabber and gave it to everyone and us 🙂
- Lil' Rooster, the cute mascot whose name I can't spell properly (which I copied and pasted from Acquia's article - it's their responsibility if it's still wrong).
- Dries keynote and presentation were instructive, as always. The village description, the darkness that awaits the village, and the way out... Dries is a real captain.
What didn't I like at DrupalCon Lille?
- Coming from Turkey, I can claim that there are very few cuisines as rich as Anatolian cuisine. The Styrian cuisine of Graz, where I am currently living, is not bad either. Before coming to Lille, I didn't have high expectations about the food, but I didn't think I would have such bad food. I realized from Paul Johnson's posts (https://x.com/pdjohnson/status/1714957722905419839?s=20) that I am not alone. I think we deserve better food. The night before we left Lille, Özgür and I went to a Lebanese restaurant. We feasted our stomachs. I can recommend it to those who are curious :)
- On the 2nd day of DrupalCon, we found ourselves in an unexpected keynote speech: “Fly Higher - How to lead fearlessly?” A former American military officer told us about leadership and how to deal with fear. I will try to write an article on this topic later, but it should be mentioned briefly: We don't need to listen/learn leadership and fearlessness from military personnel.
Why to Attend DrupalCon?
- To see how much a piece of software costs. See how much work goes into things that our customers say "What's the big deal?"
- To understand that you can't do anything alone, but you can accomplish many things with the community.
- To understand that everyone can contribute to a greater or lesser extent according to their level, not only by writing code, but also in many areas such as marketing, translation, community-building, and how valuable these contributions are.
- To meet software developers, companies, managers, and marketing experts from all over the world who speak different languages and have different cultures.
- To create a commercial network and improve your business relationships.
- To have original Drupal t-shirts, toys, stickers, and many more 🙂
The Power of Community
While we have been doing business as "a-lot-takers and little-makers" until now, from now on, we have set our sights on contributing to the Drupal community more as "a-lot-makers and little-takers". This is the biggest impact DrupalCon has had on us. Let's extend the community and let's grow together too...
(*) Maker / Taker: These are the concepts discussed by Dries Buythaert in his article titled “Balancing Makers and Takers to scale and sustain Open Source” written in 2019. In this article briefly; companies that contribute to open-source software are called "makers", and those who make money from it without contributing are called "takers". After these determinations, radical changes were made to the contribution model in Drupal to encourage "takers".