Investing in Excellence Puts London on Drupal Map
Top 15? We'll take it! Because, when it comes to Drupal, we're committed to being the best -- and seeing the Digital Echidna name amongst the globe's top-15 Drupal 8 commit mentions by contributor affiliation is something of which we're definitely proud!
I look at the list, mentioned in xjm's blog post on Contribution, Influence, and Drupal 8, and see five European companies (in places like Switzerland, German, and France), seven American-based companies, one Australian company.
Digital Echidna, based in London, ON, is representing the Forest City and Canada as a whole in building and growing Drupal globally. We believe strongly in the platform and it's been a huge part of our growth. In just the past two years, we've tripled in staff size, have expanded our physical location in the Burridge Block, we've opened up a satellite office space in Toronto, and we're poised for more growth.
The reason? Our people and their commitment to doing great work and giving back to the Drupal community.
As a business owner, I can only try to create an environment that allows this to happen. It's up to the people that work here to take advantage of it. Fortunately, they've done just that and have benefitted from some great leadership by people like our own staff member Scott Reeves, who has worked his way up the Drupal ranks to where he's been a co-maintainer of the Drupal 8 theme system for almost two years and has been one of the Drupal core mentoring leads for just shy of a year. He's put in literally thousands of hours working away on Drupal 8's theme system and Twig. The bulk of this work was done outside of working hours and was driven by Scott's own desire to contribute and drive change.
But he's not the only one here. From staffers like Luke Bainbridge and Mike Gossmann doing presentations at Drupal conferences, to developers sharing their knowledge at Echidna-hosted LonDUG events, Echidna is walking the talk.
As a company, we foster this environment by focusing on three things:
It's great to ask people to contribute to open-source technology, but the reality is that not everyone can dedicate hours of their personal time to the cause. Whether it's outside interests, family, friends, or just downtime, it's important to recognize that what people do outside of work is important to who they are as a person. A more well-rounded person is a better employee.
So we allocate time for staff members to work on projects that will help contribute to Drupal. And we recognize that coming up with a solution on a project likely has value beyond that project. Sharing that knowledge and experience with the community at large is worth the investment in time.
And it's important to manage the workload. You don't want to burn out someone so that they have no interest in contributing.
We're always happy to welcome people interested in learning about Drupal into our office. That's why we host events like LonDUG; it's why we sponsor Drupal conferences and camps; and it's why we welcome local students into our office to expose them to the opportunities and potential of Drupal
This comes in many forms. Financial is a big one -- it's putting your money where your mouth is and allocating work hours to things that may not have a direct impact on your business, but can have an exponentially greater indirect impact on the environment.
It's about encouraging and paying for people to go to Drupal conferences and events to learn more, interact with others, and feel part of a greater community. The nature of open-source is collaborative and part of that is sharing knowledge, experience, and innovation. I want our people to be a part of that.
In fact, Digital Echidna is a Drupal Association Supporting Partner -- a designation that sees our resources dedicated to supporting drupal.org, Drupal 8, and other related projects and activities.
Closer to home, that includes funding local events and seminars, supporting local tech causes, and dedicating resources to grow the community.
Putting London on the Map
Because, in the end, that's what we're trying to do here in London -- grow that tech community so that we're seen as a hub of innovation and talent.
It's not just us. There are some great companies out there, large and small, who are doing some amazing things. Some, like us, use Drupal; others don't. But there's a wealth of talent out there, some great work being done, and we're all helping to put London on the map.
I can't tell you how proud I am that Digital Echidna's expertise is helping to shape the future of Drupal. But that doesn't happen by accident -- it takes finding the right people and giving them the tools, resources, and time to shine.
Drupal's got some strong roots in the Forest City. And we're committed to making sure it continues to grow.