The Drupal Contribution Ladder: A Gift and a Challenge to You from Boston

(See related Drupalcon activities in comments below) As Drupal’s popularity sky-rockets, so does the volume of issues and sense of urgency for problems to get solved fast. To keep up, we need to get more people contributing to core. There are a lot of people who would like to contribute to Drupal core, but they’re not sure how, they don’t feel qualified, and the time commitment feels prohibitive. Meanwhile, as Drupal’s code base becomes more complex, the learning curve for contributing to Drupal core gets steeper. To get more people contributing to core, we need to make it easier to work on core. The Boston Drupal Users Group has decided to dedicate five monthly meetings between October 2011 and Drupalcon Denver to create and test an easier on-ramp for people who want to get more involved. The vision is this:
  • Make a list of all the different ways people contribute to Drupal core.
  • Organize the list like a ladder. The first few steps are easy for anyone, minimal knowledge of Drupal required. As you ascend the ladder, taking any consecutive step up the ladder is within reach, as long as you’ve taken the first steps.
  • For each rung in the ladder, we’re providing clear instructions and goals that make it easy to get up and running with something new in 15-30 minutes. (This way, people can contribute in one-off 1- or 2-hour sittings and get real, valuable work done.)
  • Drupal groups meet regularly all around the world. If each group dedicates a few hours to making contributions and helping members work their way up the ladder, together we can close a ton of issues and bring more people into work on Drupal core.
This presentation will give an overview of results and lessons learned in Boston through the months leading up to Drupalcon Denver. Boston’s gift to you: We will send you home with a stack of materials to share with your hometown Drupal meetup group to make it easy for you and your group’s members to work your way up the Drupal ladder. Boston’s challenge to you and your group: Contribute!
Time slot: 
Wednesday 10:45am-11:45am
Drupal community
Experience level: 
Questions answered by this session: 
How can I learn more about Drupal? (We'll show you one more way.)
What does it take to contribute to Drupal core? (Everyone can contribute something. Really.)
Where do I start? (Depends where you are on the ladder. We'll show you.)
I've only got 2 hours. What can I do? (Lots!)
Do you have resources I can use and share with my own Drupal meetup group? (Yes!)



I'm kind of biased (I work with Bryan, go to the same group meetings, and consider this work a key part of talent development - both part of my job & passion), BUT I think this is a really important topic for discussion in the broader community, and think that this session would be a great addition to the DrupalCon menu of sessions.

Director, Learning Services

This is a great initiative. Not just for new members in the community but also for members like me, with over three years in the never ending, super interesting world of Drupal.

My areas of contribution have been focusing around testing and bringing issues. This is important work, I know. Sometimes I even get to answer questions from less experienced members in the community, about technical stuff, not to complicated I guess. But my heart and mind tells me that I would love to evolve. Maybe start to learn more about the coding part, about hooks and functions and what not.

But as time goes by the harder it gets to actually start diving deeper in to these stuff and to learn about all these things I'd LOVE to get my head around. By knowing more about Drupal nuts and bolts the more useful one gets. Not just in testing and posting dev. issues, but actually bringing the patches and carrying ones own weight, at least.

In the process to learn more one have to know where you are (knowledge wise), where to go and how to get there. I haven't come across anything within the Drupal community that actually discuss these things, in a serious manner.

I would love know more, as well as contributing with my own experience around this. Great initiative!

How did I miss this--what a fantastic idea for a session. Thank you so much for doing this!

I'm conflicted with this timeslot, is there any chance that you will be available for a BOF on this subject. Would love to talk to others about this, but an not sure I can make it to the actual presentation. Any others interested in a BOF? Thanks.


Hi Folks,
There will be two related BoFs and a "Learn Drupal" distro sprint; we'd be excited for you to come; if you cannot, but want to contribute in some way, you can contact us with interest level to be added to a mailing list.

Wednesday 3:45p - Room 502
The Drupal Contribution Ladder: Develop Learning Materials on Configuration Management and D8 Multilingual Initiatives

Thursday 10:45a - Room 502
The Drupal Contribution Ladder: Planning for and Learn Drupal Distribution

Friday 9:00a - Room 401
Sprint: Participate in Learn Drupal distro development; Contact us with interest level to be added to a mailing list.

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