DrupalCon Asia group photoI spent most of last week on the campus of IIT Bombay for the first DrupalCon Asia. Frankly, it changed my Drupal life, and I'd like to share why.

Knowing is only half the battle

Last May we released issue credits and comment attributions on Drupal.org. At that time, I suspected that this would tell us two things: that contribution to Drupal is funded more by companies than pure volunteerism and that the diversity of contributors would be greater than we are able to see in Drupal Cores (not that Drupal Cores is not awesome, it just does only what it does). The jury is still out on my first point: we are just getting the right quantity of commits with this data and we haven't done a real analysis. But the second point proved to be true very quickly. Especially when it comes to India.

In preparing for my #Driesnote intro at DrupalCon Asia, I asked Josh to pull some stats for me. Based on his reasearch, we learned some really interesting numbers:

  • India is the second largest region of users for Drupal.org—behind only the United States in traffic. In 2014, India represented 9.6% of our traffic (that's 4,691,785 sessions)." For 2015, the percentage of traffic from India has gone up to 10.48%—still second largest.
  • As of February 2nd, 1,290 credits were awarded to users who from reported timezones in Asia. (Out of a total of 8819 credits awarded.) That is 14.6% of issue credits!
  • 1815 of total credits (Nov-Jan) were for Drupal core. 279 of those credits were from Asia. (15.4% of credits awarded.)
  • 47 organizations from Asia are listed in the Drupal Marketplace. 9 are Drupal Association Supporting Partners.

So, I knew going in that Asia, and India in particular, was having a really big impact on the project, approaching the US and a combined Europe for participation in code. We also knew that India had a huge camp scene, with many camps of several hundered, and one above 1,000, attendees.

Asia, by the Drupal numbers, is truly impressive. But numbers are only half the story.

When I was pregnant, my friends and relatives would all give me lots of advice. One thing I heard all the time was "Sleep when the baby sleeps. You are going to be exhausted, let the house chores go and let yourself rest instead." At the time, I thought sleep was something you did when there was nothing left to do with your day, but I tried to internalize that and planned for it in my maternity leave. I knew I was going to be tired. Then I actually had the baby. I was tired. TIRED. And I went from intellectually understanding that I would need more rest to knowing it with every cell of my body, because I was living it.

DrupalCon Asia was like that for me. I knew intellectually (because of the numbers) that this was a vibrant, active community. It was not until I saw that community in action that I realized just what that really meant. I saw them organize Bollywood style flash mobs and create intricate replicas of the conference logo with sand. (SAND!) I listened to and talked with hundreds of people who wanted to share their Drupal experience. I posed for a lot of selfies. A LOT OF SELFIES.

Working in the future

I loved joking with colleagues back in the states that I was tweeting from the future becasue time zones are fun that way. I even made the joke from the main stage. It ocurred to me later that (time zones aside) it really is true. In many ways, Asia is the future of Drupal. We still have lots of room to grow project adoption and contribution in the US and Europe, but Asia is probably smack dab in the middle of its hockey stick moment. We're going to see a lot more users, a lot more contribution, and a lot more adopters from that continent in the next 5 years. Given that there are about 1.2 billion people in India alone (the country leading the growth in Asia), simple math tells us that this region will easily eclipse every other region in our community if it can stay the course.

The work coming out of Asia is also future forward. With companies like TCS, Cap Gemini, and Accenture heavily invested in the success of the project, we are seeing more and more name brand and enterprise adoptions of Drupal coming out of Asia. We also have an Asian Drupal shop community that is pushing the boundaries of Drupal away from strictly CMS and into the app server and other headless use cases. Axelerant, Blisstering Solutions, and Srijan are just a few of the companies I talked to at the Con, and I learned that they are all investing heavily into the future of Drupal that Dries keeps referencing.

Embracing the future

I filled in for Megan Sanicki on a panel at the Con discussing contribution in India. One of the main questions we explored was what Indians needed to do to make a bigger difference for Drupal. There were lots of great ideas about how and where to contribute to get more recognition and responsibility within the community. But most importantly, I think Drupal leadership—in the project and in the Association—need to be proactively searching for the leaders from Asia who can serve in visible leadership roles. If Asia is going to increase in importance to the project, we need to embrace that future now.

I am really terrible about prognosticating, but I know one thing is true: Drupal five years from now is going to look radically different from Drupal today. The code, the product, and the community will not be the same. In many ways, that's exciting: the future holds new possibilities, new people, and new fun! In other ways, it's sad: old traditions and long-time community members lost. In other ways, it's scary: you wonder, "what will my role be? Will I matter to the project then?" But change IS coming, so we're going to have to do our best to tackle all those feelings using our community values and lots of communication.

When it comes to our future, I am certain of this though: the Asian community is ready for it. And if the wider Drupal community is smart, we'll be ready for them.

Flickr photo: Michael Cannon


Shyamala’s picture

Thank you for making our Drupal Dream come true by bringing DrupalCon to Asia. The Talent and opportunity is Big in India and I believe DrupalCon Asia was the right step and the right time. We are such a diverse country, hope with more valuable Drupal contributions coming in, we see DrupalCons every year in India!



holly.ross.drupal’s picture

Thanks Shyamala - we are so glad we helped make this happen and can't wait to see what happens next!

neerajskydiver’s picture

It was really good to meet Drupalers from around the world with whom we used to interact virtually. This DrupalCon has inspired many of individuals as well as organization from India to contribute back to community to get better visibility and recognition in Marketplace. I am sure we will see bigger participation from Indian community in future DrupalCon too.

Kenndillard’s picture

WOW! Insightful, timely and well communicated. I agree that Drupal in 5 years not only will but it HAS to look different. I salute you for framing it in this manner. Again, well done! Now I have to figure out how to make it to the next International event. ;)


sachin00700’s picture

Thank you Thank you Thank you Drupal Association for making our Drupal Dream come true by bringing DrupalCon to Asia.

It was really good to meet Drupalers from around the world and knowledge sharing.

sushantpaste’s picture

This Drupalcon is awesome !!

We got the opportunity to meet the peoples and connect with them. Lot's of selfie is what all takling about this DrupalCon :)

This will definitely help Drupal community to grow in India much faster. We need this kind of Big events in India once in Year :)

dibyadel’s picture

Itwas an amazing

phbsehat’s picture

waiting for your visit to my country,
This my page about being pregnant for help some people

richdadloc’s picture

Thank you for making our Drupal Dream come true by bringing DrupalCon to Asia. It was really good to meet Drupalers from around the world with whom we used to interact virtually. http://mcpebox.com/add-ons-for-minecraft-pe/