A window into our Community
Something that inspired me recently to write about DUG, are the efforts of MediaCurrent. Media Current has recently been pushing forward a series of postings talking about how they are giving back and being a lot more open about use of time to give back (which is awesome). As a result, I wanted to describe the culture of Drupal @ PSU and how we’re contributing back to Drupal and our members.
Who are we?
Recently, The Penn State Drupal User’s Group has been getting a lot of interest from people to develop things for them. The funny thing is, that PSU DUG is kind of like Fight Club; it doesn’t actually exist in the way traditional organizations do. Yes, we meet monthly, yes we all do cool things, some time in collaboration. But there is no official “I’m going to take this project to the _____ drupal team” (yet).
How do I join?
With that in mind, I wanted to let you know what we’re looking for in community members; because there isn’t a “go apply to ___ group” to become part of DUG; it’s a distributed community of people who love Drupal and love Higher Education / Penn State as well. For starters, the easiest way to get into our community is to search the job board for jobs with the word “Drupal”. We have a lot of them, some part time, many fulltime. You can find them on http://psu.jobs/ .
What’s in it for me?
So why would you want to work here? Because We Are, a community. A community of experts and novices and humble in whatever role, without labels and designations. We are a community of equals, seeking to better ourselves, our units, our university, and ultimately the web as a whole through open source contributions.
We also are a community that invests in itself. PSU DUG pushes its members to present at DrupalCamps, learn more about Drupal and each other’s workflows through open conversations, and provides free training events on campus to build up the knowledge base and empower others to do the same. We are building the tools by investing in our own people to be a powerhouse of innovation in the drupal community. We Are contributing to the ecosystem you all use every day and we love doing it.
So what kind of contributions?
Those contributions go far beyond just traditional code publishing. Yes, many PSU DUG members submit patches to drupal.org issues, write their own code in-house, and publish code on drupal.org in the form of modules, themes, distributions, and drush plugins. We write code, a lot of code, and contribute a lot of code directly back to drupal. org. But we also help run the Education focused drupalcamppa.org.
We get involved in issue queues, we answer questions on Slack and IRC channels. We (interally) answer questions on company intranets. We build bridges to other Camps, especailly DC Ohio, DrupalDelphia, and DC New Jersey through presentations, word of mouth and sharing of ideas about how we run camps and what has and has not worked well before.
We write documentation, blog on this website which aggregates to Drupal Planet to showcase what we’re working on and how we’ve learned, succeeded and failed in various development efforts.
What will I learn?
We push industry standards and norms and keep tabs on them as well as help influence them. We recommend and try to steer people towards Sublime / Vagrant / Git for local development, Virtualized infrastructure on a powerhouse of a VMWare Cluster which is cheap, fast, and supported. We push the use of automated deployment and testing engines in the form of Behat, Travis CI and Jenkins CI. We push provisioning formats like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible. Simply put, we push skills that will make you shine because in doing so, you’ll be more likely to build up our community and become immersed in it.
We Are what the drupal community was founded on. Small, distributed teams and individuals, wanting to make a living meeting goals but also wanting to make the world a better place through adoption of open source technologies.
Sign me up
If this sounds like a fun place to work, I highly encourage you to engage with our community. I feel like I woke up from a dream of where I’d want to work, and found myself in the middle of the coolest place I could imagine.