Come Together - DrupalCamp Stockholm Keynote
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Come Together - DrupalCamp Stockholm Keynote

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How is the Drupal community like a successful startup? What are the current stressors caused by our community growth? How can we manage these and talk about them in a productive way? Do you still want ...

How is the Drupal community like a successful startup? What are the current stressors caused by our community growth? How can we manage these and talk about them in a productive way? Do you still want to change the world? All this and more.

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  • Intro, who I am. Pimp book. I’ve been involved in online communities since BBSes in the late 80s, that bit. Some explanation of what I had seen in the community. Community track, talking to webchick. One word - “anger”. Why this is important and influences Drupal 8. \n
  • In 1996 I was a DBA/engineer/hacker at a startup in Chicago. I was employee 25 or so. In a spectacularly bad bit of timing, I left just before the internet bubble really took off. Classic startup story, no sleep, lots of insanity. What was great about this - tight team, access to leadership (reported to CEO) who empowered me to do what was necessary, everyone together, huge energy, speed. Then you grow. You start having rules. You start getting handouts on your desk that look like this.\n
  • Ooooh, we have an org chart. This is the next thing, management starts showing up, reducing access and leaving you feeling isolated. Start focusing on stability and process and that creates the worst part - everything slows down. Everything needs to be approved by 8 people. Everything takes more work. More meetings, oh god the meetings. You need to grow and keep existing customers happy. Congratulations! You ae now a stable profitable company of 250 people! So why are you so miserable? You’re not working more but nothing is fun either. And its funny because the whole reason you got involved in the first place was to succeed right? Everyone here wants to change the world and here we are doing it. 5 years ago the first DrupalCon was 30 people, now look at us here.\n
  • 3000 people. I was going to put together a bunch of charts and stats about the astronomical growth of Drupal over the last several years, but lets face it they all look like this.\n
  • Awesome shit on the left, growing astronomically by year. I listened to a podcast recently that reminded me that in 2004 the global drupal-related expenditures was on the order of $200K USD. Essentially nothing. Now? Who can even imagine. Here’s a quote I heard recently from one of the founders of IGN who was talking about the stages of startup growth. \n
  • There are probably lots of people at drupalcons now who really dont have any idea who dries is. As I thought about the Drupal community over the last year, I realize there are a lot of parallels between Drupal and a successful startup and I think they are causing some similar problems to what I described in the opening.\n
  • There are probably lots of people at drupalcons now who really dont have any idea who dries is. As I thought about the Drupal community over the last year, I realize there are a lot of parallels between Drupal and a successful startup and I think they are causing some similar problems to what I described in the opening.\n
  • There are probably lots of people at drupalcons now who really dont have any idea who dries is. As I thought about the Drupal community over the last year, I realize there are a lot of parallels between Drupal and a successful startup and I think they are causing some similar problems to what I described in the opening.\n
  • The essay reflected on the experiments of the feminist movement in resisting the idea of leaders and even discarding any structure or formal division of labor. this apparent lack of structure disguised an informal, unacknowledged leadership that was in many ways more dangerous because its very existence was denied. even so-called flat organizations have a hierarchy, its just invisible. Even worse, it makes it MORE difficult to get involved because sorting it out takes a lot of effort to understand. Clay Shirky made a similar point in his DrupalCon Chicago keynote this year. It’s not like Drupal doesn’t have a hierarchy, its just not visible. This is starting to change now. For instance look at this\n
  • Angie has taken a job working side by side with Dries at Acquia, and she will be doing a lot of day to day contact with the initiative owners. And us? Lets face it we’re basically project managers and cat herders. Yeah Larry and I are doing architecture too, but I predict most of my work will be centered around consensus building and issue wrangling. But what will also happen is that people will feel farther removed from Drupal leadership. “This is the first Drupalcon... etc” Then I realized that someone at that same DrupalCon had said the same thing about ME. and im nobody. However there are reasons why this is necessary. As we saw in D7, having only two empowered maintainers doesn’t scale. Also, newcomers are comforted by seeing public roles. They know who to talk to, they know where to go when they have ideas or problems, they know that when they see someone in the queue they should take it seriously rather than just saying ‘Who is this chx bozo?’. It actually makes onboarding NEW contributors much easier, and this is something that is really important to our growth.\n
  • As companies grow they change focus too. In D7 for instance, we focused on a couple things that were aimed at growing Drupal into areas it hadn’t been able to penetrate before (UX and scalability.) As Michael said yesterday, Examiner could not have launched without the ability to scale through things like being able to use MongoDB. We also began to focus on stability more with the introduction of SimpleTest. This leads into the next thing to some extent\n
  • With a focus on stability will also come a change in process.\n
  • This is a slide from Dries’ keynote at DrupalCon Chicago. In it he discussed some process changes for D8. (explain gates and bug limit.) These changes are great for stability and great for preventing some of the problems we have seen in past cycles. However it is inevitable that they will slow down development and make some patches much more painful to shepherd through to the end. More meetings. More approvals. More rules.\n\nSo all these things shake up any organization and ours is no exception. However I don’t think it is really any of these things that causes disillusion and bitterness amongst a community. These things all represent growing pains and changing priorities, and these things happen to all people in all phases of life. The problems are different.\n
  • Looking back on my startup experience, the real bitterness set in when I began to detect that the motivations of the leadership I had respected so much in the beginning had changed from making great software and serving the needs of our users to executing an exit strategy that gained them maximum value. When motivations shift, now you have a real problem that can’t be fixed as easily as before. \n
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Come Together - DrupalCamp Stockholm Keynote Come Together - DrupalCamp Stockholm Keynote Presentation Transcript

  • COME TOGETHERPROJECT GREG DUNLAP (@HEYROCKER)DATE CLIENT 5/6/2011 DRUPALCAMP STOCKHOLM
  • 1996
  • ORG CHART
  • DRUPALCON SAN FRANCISCO
  • DRUPAL GROWTH
  • • At 50 employees you don’t know all your employees names anymore
  • • At 50 employees you don’t know all your employees names anymore• At 150 you can’t tell your employees from their spouses at the Christmas party
  • • At 50 employees you don’t know all your employees names anymore• At 150 you can’t tell your employees from their spouses at the Christmas party• At 400 your employees don’t know who YOU are.
  • Organizational Changes
  • DRUPAL 8 ORG CHART
  • Changing Priorities
  • Changing Process
  • DRUPAL 8 PROCESS
  • Priorities vsMotivation
  • Thanks