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A good year as Drupal contributor

Few days ago Dries Buytaert, the creator of Drupal, published a report about who develops Drupal the most, who sponsors that devel...

Few days ago Dries Buytaert, the creator of Drupal, published a report about who develops Drupal the most, who sponsors that development and how is the development distributed geographically.

As some may know, I did an internship at MD Systems during 2016 as a Drupal 8 developer. At that time, I was excited about meeting new people, learning from great developers and getting involved in a community of developers for the first time of my life. Few has changed since then but I am aware now that a community that supports people from all around the world, will always bring a good experience in terms of learning.

Why am I writing this blog post?

Many reasons, first, I think it is a good way and time to thank to MD Systems for all the great support during my internship and later, after I came back to my country (Bolivia). Because the post that I mentioned some lines above, places me among the 15th top contributor of Drupal in the world, during 2016 and 2017. It was hard to believe, but companies like MD Systems, that support the community with paid contribution time are the ones who foster a lot, the development of tools like Drupal.

Second, I think is important to write about how awesome is to be part of this community. What I thought that would be a working-only experience, has become one the most important things to me. The discussions that take place in are filled with constructive talks, detailed reviews and fresh ideas for new features. As a not native English speaker, fear was the more often feeling I had when I started to contribute to Drupal but it ended up to be an unfounded feeling. I could see people from Switzerland, Germany, Serbia and other non-english-speakers countries contributing with enthusiasm and passion about what they were doing.

Third, it is also really important to thank to IAESTE Bolivia for helping me on the process for applying on the internship in Switzerland. Nothing would have been possible without their support.

Learning from top people

post_cover While sometimes it feels hard to get involved in a community, the Drupal one welcomed me since the first day. I am glad that I learned from Miro, a great leader, boss and friend who has taught me lots of things about work ethics with open source software; Sascha one of the greatest developers I have ever met; and all the people from MD Systems. During my time in Zurich I could not only contribute with code but also take part of Drupal users group meetings. And finally, myself being part of the Drupal Developer Days in Milan, Italy in 2016.

Work done during this year

Numbers give enough information about how much people is contributing but I think it is also important to talk about what work is being done. During this year, I contributed as much as I could on the following projects:

  1. Paragraphs, a module that seeks to improve the content creators experience. In this project, I mainly focused on fixing bugs, about revisions, multilingual constraints; new features, reuse of Paragraphs entities, behaviors for adding extra functionality to each Paragraph and improvements in UX and UI.

  2. Diff, one of the old loved ones, it displays the differences between revisions comparing the changes inline, github like. In this module, I fixed lots of bugs, changed the settings management from being field storage based to entity field based, added a new way for displaying changes named as the “Visual Inline” layout, added image display on revision comparison, added a new changes summary on the revisions listing view and make each layout a plugin so it can be extended.

  3. TMGMT, the translation management tool, an awesome module for managing translations in Drupal sites, with support to lots of translator providers. This module was the first one that I worked on, added state icons to translations jobs, job items and local tasks, fixed bugs on translation and some code clean up.

  4. Inmail, a module for processing incoming emails and execute actions based on the mail content. In this project I contributed with some UI changes, better display for the mail.

  5. OpenCalais UI, a module I created for using the OpenCalais web service for analyzing content to extract semantic tags, it is a sandbox with no certain plans for it besides the inclusion of the Drupal distribution I am working on right now.

  6. Drupal PKM, my graduation project for my Systems Engineering degree, a Drupal distribution to support students on the learning process, it works as a Personal Knowledge Management Tool that allows users to create notes, analyze text, and link content for creating a ontology-like graph. There are big plans for this project and I will have news about it soon.

  7. Selection note, WIP module, it lets users to select some text from a node and add a relation to another node. It will be an important piece of my future Drupal PKM distribution.

Future and plans

Well, I might not have many plans for the current year in terms of new projects but with any doubt I will continue contributing to the Drupal community with patches, reviews and new modules. I am eager to hear from people in the issue queue, as always there is a lot of work to be done, but those new challenges will be the main part on the evolution of new tools.

Feel free to contact me if you wanna talk more about Drupal, IAESTE and the modules I worked on. Let’s hope that the next year, more people around the world will be contributing to Drupal. Thanks again to MD Systems, IAESTE Bolivia, the Drupal community and Dries Buytaert.

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