Dries Buytaert

Drupal road trip to San Francisco

About six years ago I started working on Drupal. Drupal, at that time, was an experimental platform that helped me explore new web technologies from my student dorm. Contrast this with the present. Today, there are hundreds of people contributing to the project, building and relying on that foundation, and hundreds of thousands of people downloading it. What started as a hobby project is now starting to get on the radar of some of the bigger projects and players ... It is no longer the casual hobby project it used to be.

It is fair to say that Drupal's growth makes for some interesting questions, both for me personally, and for the Drupal community at large. It makes me feel increasingly responsible, and that certainly adds some pressure. How to help run this thing as it continues to grow? Do we need a Drupal Foundation or not? How should I deal with my growing sense of responsibility? Or how to deal with being labeled an anti-Bill Gates?

I'm particularly interested to hear what other projects and people in a similar position do, or have done. So in an effort to make some connections and relationships with leaders in the FOSS community, I'll be taking a "Drupal road trip" to the San Francisco Bay Area from June 25th to June 30th.

Jeff Robbins from Lullabot is helping me contact people and set up my schedule. We set up personal meetings with some of the smartest people in the FOSS and internet community:

  • Tim O'Reilly (Founder and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates)
  • Chris DiBona (Open Source Programs Manager at Google)
  • Mitch Kapor (Co-founder of Lotus-1-2-3, founder of the Open Source Applications Foundation, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, chair of the Mozilla Foundation)
  • Jeffrey Veen (Google / Measure Map / Adaptive Path)
  • Channel Wheeler and Bradley Greenwood (Yahoo!)
  • Janice Fraser (CEO of Adaptive Path)
  • Guido van Rossum (Founder of the Python project, Google)
  • Larry M. Augustin (CEO of VA Linux)
  • Anders Tjernlund (VP of Support Services at SpikeSource)
  • Brian Behlendorf (co-founder of the Apache Foundation)

If you would like to connect us with others in the Bay Area that should be on this list, please contact us.

These meetings will give me a chance to talk to these people about what is happening with Drupal and the Drupal community, and get a chance to promote all the great work we've done together. We're going to try and make sure that Drupal can be a little more connected with the larger FOSS community. Maybe it will open up further possibilities for collaboration and support. As always, we'll let things go naturally. Most importantly, I hope to learn from these people and that alone is going to be an invaluable experience.

As well as all of these "official" meetings, I would love to connect with the local Drupal community. We're leaving at least Thursday evening (the 29th) open for a Drupal meetup, but there should be other opportunities to hang out. Check the Bay Area Drupal group for details on time and place.

— Dries Buytaert