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by Ricardo Amaro
Some years ago I was working for the public sector and had some innovative ideas for using free and open source software in order to make things more agile, stable and cheaper. This involved not only changing the users' desktops but more importantly the online presence, the public services and the deciders' mentality. It was then I came to know software like Typo3, Plone, Mambo/Joomla, Wordpress and ultimately Drupal.
Dragged by inspiration to draw some guidance projects, I started a quest to bring the added value and freedom this software offered to people.
This opportunity was given to me by my next job as a manager in a big media company. They had a classified ads newspaper with an online presence and wanted to get the best solution available. They ended up with a proprietary solution that wasn’t working out. By the time I built my Internet development team, we had chosen Drupal as the platform.
I was already amazed by attending previous DrupalCons, where the exciting community spirit made me think on only one thing: "These are the people that are changing the world and here is where I want to be!"
By the end of 2011 the Drupal Classified Ads Site ocasiao.pt was nearly launched and I got an invitation by Acquia to join the Ops team. - "Working on the biggest Drupal hosting company with the world’s best Drupal experts?? Hell yeah!"
And so I started... looking, listening, learning and giving the best of me to this incredible team. But of course the free time I had to give to the community was gone, due to the small set of bodies, the oncalls, the fires we were fighting…
By the middle of 2012, we had a tiny Ops group, when John O'Keefe took the driving wheel and... nailed it! We suddenly saw Ops grow in the US to the responsive and proactive team we have today. John also made me realize on one of our 1-1's that I needed to get back to the community and offer all the new stuff I had learned. After a presentation on Multi Region in 2012 in DrupalCon Munich, I offered a Drupal Docker presentation in DrupalCon Prague. All that was like a symbiosis of shared effort that was giving results back to the community. Meanwhile I offered myself to the drupal-infrastructure team and this was surprisingly well received.
First I got started on getting the DrupalCamp's and DrupalCon's archive into static, secure pages and organizing a landing page for them. Parallel to this, I invested some time in security investigations, such as blocking certain pages from bots and hackers.
Second, I got shared responsibility with chx on managing more than 130 IRC channels specific to the Drupal community. If you want you can find me at #drupal-infrastructure everyday giving some support and help. While the main priority is making Acquia’s customers successful, we always try to give back some time to the long queue of Drupal infrastructure tickets.
Finally, I exhort everyone to give back, help the community and add value to Drupal. For me it’s really worth it, because I feel part of the change, and together with people who are passionate about Drupal and open source, we can write our own world!