To seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield
by Kieran Lal
I'd like to let everyone know that I have joined Acquia as a product manager. It's a position that naturally aligns with my interests and skills and all my activity in the Drupal community over the past few years.
As a product manager, I'll be helping define those value-added products and services that Dries and Jay have been talking about. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and a great way to create value for the community.
Over four years ago, I set out on an adventure with three goals in mind. First of all, I wanted to help create a software platform. My early work experiences had taught me that the most value creation in software came from software platforms.
Secondly, I wanted to work with a lot of smart people. I had been completely spoiled, as full-time staff, with full access to all of IBM's research, product, and services groups. I knew the only other place with this caliber of resources was in open source. In the open source community, good code and ideas attract even more of the same.
Thirdly, having spent years working closely with some of the best computer scientists on the planet, I was confident that systems level software was on the right track. However, it seemed that a majority of the interesting innovations in software would be happening in HCI with the creation of new user experiences. With these goals in mind, I set off on my adventure.
I think I can best describe my philosophy on life with a quote from a famous Canadian, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been." - Wayne Gretzky.
My first contribution to Drupal was to unfork CivicSpace. From there I, a.k.a Amazon, worked on documentation. For the CivicSpace 4.6 release, we hired so many hobby developers from the community to get modules upgraded that Dries removed the commit notifications from the developers mailing list.
In August 2005, I met 35 members of the Drupal community at OSCON and was finally able to explain where I was skating to. I committed to three goals with Dries and Boris: support the project module, create a legal entity to support the Drupal project, and help improve the user experience.
Today I am working on a number of different projects related to Drupal, most of them are related to where I think the puck is going to be. These include advertising, memberships, project recommendations, marketing, Drupal.org redesign, scaling Drupal.org, test driven development, performance, coordinating the security team, improving APIs for Web services, and configuring and updating distributions of Drupal.
Acquia will sponsor some of my strategic efforts where it aligns with my role as product manager. At the same time, they have assured my independence for my work with the Drupal Association. This next adventure will support the Drupal community's growth and will create opportunities for new user experiences. If you would like to help, please contact me.