I started in open-source tech from a community background nine years ago. Instantly I saw the potential of technology in connecting community online and offline. I was and continue to be inspired by open-source and awed by what could be delivered when people worked together, utilised skills and shared information openly.
I'm not an outsider to Drupal in that I've been building in it for over three years and I've managed and built on over 30 sites; many as migrations from Joomla. But I feel like an outsider in that I'm not an actual developer and I've not been a part of the broader Drupal community (see more below).
I am passionate about open source, and community. Drupal 8 represents a new direction and new opportunites and challenges to connect with people and end users in a crowded world. Sustaining, growing and reinvigorating the community is very necessary.
You don't know me ('cept maybe on twitter), we haven't run into each other at events, I don't know all the history and all the detail of all the baggage; but sometimes fresh eyes are integral when turning a corner and moving on a brand new path. I have fresh eyes and enthusiasm and I'm super nice, and smart and I listen and I observe and I connect.
Statement of Candidacy Video:
Board meeting attendence:
Have you served on a board or committee?:
If so, tell us about it.:
I've served on four community boards over a number of years; in a couple of instances taking on the role of Secretary. My community interest has always been in grass roots, community participation; keeping these organisations strong often relies on putting your hand up to sit on a board so that it can meet its governance requirements.
I've sat on numerous committees and attended many different types of community meetings at local and regional levels.
What perspective will you bring to the board when discussing strategic topics?:
I bring a number of perspectives. My last role was as CEO of a Drupal development org that built in Australia for not for profit and government organisations. Unfortunately, when I put my hand up to take over it was in a dire financial position, despite the existing potential the profit and loss, balance sheet and pipeline was critically deficient and there was no option but to recommend the business close. It was an incredibly challenging time, from a business perspective the only viable option. It means I am very experienced in reading and understanding financial statements and in making necessary decisions in order to maintain viability. I had been a project manager with the organisation for eight years and an operations manager for three years.
I am a hands on site builder without knowing how to code, I've built sites in Drupal 7 and one in Drupal 8.
I know how to build, configure and train in Drupal so that people from a non-technical background can take their system, run with it and use it to it's full potential.
From a business and operation manager perspective I bring experience in the selling and marketing of Drupal - from the macro - what is it and why? to the micro - this is why it specifically fits for you. I understand the pain points of organisations with restricted budgets who need to make the best decisions with the information they have available to them. And to this end I've seen Drupal and Drupal upgrades becoming a difficult sell; which is a problem because I believe that the way organisations web use *should* evolve means that sites being more than a standard communication portal will be integral over the coming years; and Drupal offers the flexibility required.
Regionally I'm based in rural Australia, but I've worked remotely and in a business that didn't have the budget to engage in DrupalCons etc. Remoteness is a unique challenge that offers opportunity. From a business perspective not being engaged with the Drupal community at any level contributed to it's instability; strategic business engagement and the importance of how business can and should engage for their own strategic health and the health of the Drupal project is something I bring.
I'm passionate about digital divide and access from a disability perspective, but also from a rural/city perspective.
As aspect that impacted on business viability and reluctance to start a Drupal business is the lack of developers within Australia - and particularly front end themers. The business risks and costs of not being able to get staff is critical; but there are opportunities to engage and upskill people to increase adoption. How to move beyond Drupal as something most accessible to developers to something accessible to all is critical from my perspective.
What existing board topics are you most passionate about? and why?:
Growing Drupal adoption through existing channels and partner channels; and increasing each beyond community to more potential end users. At every level the strength of Drupal hinges on the strength and participation of the community and end users.
As a non developer I've found it difficult to identify a place or entry points within the existing community; it's not that they don't exist or that people aren't welcome once in, but ensuring barriers to entry, engagement and participation are low is integral to the future of drupal in my opinion.
We go nowhere without people loving, using, participating, and advocating for Drupal. And the strength and the sustainability of Drupal.org as a glue in this is vital.
What additional strategic topics would you like to introduce?:
Encouraging participation and collaboration between tech and non-tech people through Drupal site building activities. I believe people best learn and see the potential in systems by doing; it seems a natural progression that the people that have come together to build software to make the world a better place will also come together to build examples of how that software can be implemented and built to create a better place. Inspiring organisations and letting people understand the full potential of what is and can be possible.
What unique skills would you bring to the board?:
I am a community optimist with a lot of positive energy. I'm passionate about inclusion and the future of technology. I have a unique ability to connect disparate teams and to inspire and create the conditions for collaboration - remote and place based.
How have your past contributions to Drupal prepared you for board candidacy?:
Recognising the lack of networks I had within the community I've spent the better part of the last year building and engaging with the community. Coming in as an "outsider", but one that is very comfortable building and using Drupal (although not a "real" dev) has been interesting.
Through twitter I've built up networks into the community and found many wonderfully talented people. I've also tested the appetite for people to contribute to practical projects and I've worked with people on small bits through that.
Having never had the opportunity to participate in a global sprint, I initiated and helped organise a remote global sprint with a focus on accessibiltiy (a passion) - it was very cool to get to work with seasoned drupalistas and people that like me were new to working on issues (core at that) - it was a really nice model and an opportunity to better engage with the Drupal slack as well. I'm now helping to implement some changes to documentation to make the entry points to drupal participation a bit "friendlier" to those that coming from the outside in.
Why should we vote for you?:
We are at a pivotal point in community direction; in terms of Drupal but also in terms of technology uptake and use more broadly. Globally we are going to see huge disruption through technology. Open source can lead the way in maintaining equitable, open and transparent access to technology and opening doors and windows for non technical people to use, engage and understand.
The health of Drupal.org in realising and global, organisational or community vision is paramount to the longevity and success of Drupal. I am someone that is an active and willing participant in contributing to seeing the organisation go from strenght to strength and continue to support the exiting community and extend reach.