The Collaboration Situation
by Martyn Eley
One of the biggest pleasures in working at Acquia is the culture that Drupal and open source encourages. The Drupal community has more than 10,000 active developers, 25,000 contributors and over 2,700 core contributors, powering Drupal’s development at an impressive speed. This innovative work to break through barriers is something we all benefit from.
Enterprises choose Drupal because it works for them and helps to power their businesses. But an added benefit to this, unusually in the commercial world, is that large enterprises work together for the greater good of their discipline. The Large Scale Drupal (LSD) programme is an alliance of enterprise Drupal users from around the world who meet regularly to discuss and collaborate on common problems.
These enterprises, some of the heaviest Drupal users in the world, work collaboratively together, progressing the Drupal framework through teamwork and fellowship in the form of forums, working groups, training and development projects. Seeing senior developers from some of the world’s biggest brands work together in this way is truly a sight to behold.
Member organisations, including Cancer Research UK and Johnson & Johnson, not only input ideas and expertise, they work with other developers, peers and leaders to further develop their knowledge. The alliance also gives them insight into the future of the platform and the knowledge that this impressive contributor pool is ensuring that Drupal is a long-term platform. There’s also the not-to-be-sniffed at benefit of sharing development costs with other members.
Andrew Godleman of Cancer Research UK is a huge fan of LSD. In his blog last year he talked about the collaborative atmosphere that LSD offers. The Cancer Research UK team came away with some great ideas that were actively pursued afterwards. But what I find interesting is the satisfaction that large organisations get from their contributions too, as Andrew says:
“As well as taking advice and expertise from others, contributing to the Drupal effort and other companies’ projects was a good experience too.”
Andrew also found that it was good for his team at Cancer Research UK, who helped write content for Drupal 8 in their first session.
“Taking talented team members out of their usual work environment and letting them work in new ways refreshes their efforts when they get back to the office”
I hear this feedback often and recently heard of two large UK charities that are aiming to hook up at the next DrupalCon to share recent experiences and develop something together. This is also happening between commercial organisations within the alliance too. I hope to bring you more information on some of the work that’s being done soon.
In a cynical world, LSD makes for a very interesting atmosphere. It’s also great for us – LSD is helping to cement Drupal as the platform of choice for large-scale projects.
The next LSD meeting will be in September at DrupalCon in Barcelona – we’ll let you know of any exciting developments.