R: What challenges you've faced; technical and career-wise?
E: It’s been difficult to stay on track moving forward with learning and working on my own while juggling other obligations. I’d really love to be in a position where I could work with Drupal full time and continue learning. I do keep coming back for the community, it’s completely true. The mentoring folks have been a complete pleasure to work with, I’m very grateful to all of them. I’m also highly vulnerable to rabbit holes and seem to have a particular penchant for tangling with DevOps matters setting up environments when maybe I should take an easier way out in order to focus on the actual project.
R: What inspires you? What keeps you passionate about your work?
E: Seeing issues in the world that need support and fixes and coming together to make those things happen. There are so many ways to help. Listening to call-ins on NPR made me want to be a librarian so I could help people find the information they need. I want to encourage more people around the world to learn how to research and think critically, or to connect with others who have complementary skills. I’d love to help people get relevant info when they need it, like in times of crisis. For example; Where can I get food and shelter when my home has been destroyed by wind or water or war?
In the spirit of that, I’m working on a project called Hope One Source with Chris Teitzel and Tim Underwood. It’s a Drupal site that connects people experiencing homelessness with local social services and a lifeline phone. It’s mostly a texting service and it can auto send messages based on your profile. In the future, I’d like to help them expand the services to other cities and countries, migrate to D8 and fine tune the user experience.
R: What does the future of Drupal look like, in your opinion? More adoption, new features, any major changes?
E: I would like to get the mentoring program running at full strength. I stepped away for a couple years and it’s very different now. I had a lot of catching up to do at DrupalCon Baltimore. I’ve been really impressed by the work the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion group has been doing and look to them for guidance and good examples. There are lots of folks out there who have so much to contribute and I’d like to help them feel welcome and needed.
R: What advice would you give your younger self / someone who is just starting out?
E: Don’t give up. But if it’s not working perfectly, look for a different path or take a side path. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do one specific thing, focus on the end goal and reassess regularly.