About Me: 

Hi. I'm Marcel and i love Drupal. I am born in Cluj-Napoca, the heart of the famous romanian region called Transylvania and also the youth heart of Europe in 2015, when it was the European Youth Capital. I was really happy to have the chance of taking my small part into the volunteering activities involved. Holding this prestigious title was a unique opportunity for a city to demonstrate how its young people can bring a city alive through community involvement and participation, youth-focused activities and creativity. Cluj-Napoca is the second largest city in Romania, after the capital Bucharest. Due to the 11 universities present here, the city is considered one of the best places to study in this part of Europe and also a good source of high caliber IT talent.

Even so, my previous experience is mostly  based on the activity on my small networking and telecommunication company, ZetNet, which I started myself back in 2003, after actually quiting my Telecommunication studies at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, but keeping in touch with some teachers in there after. With ZetNet, I managed to provide the best Internet connectivity services for a couple of thousands people  in my city, while high Internet connectivity was not that affordable for normal people. I provided speeds of upto 100 Mbps when that was just a dream for some, and later with the help of Interlan, I even tested the  1000 Mbps Gigabyte speeds on national connections between my network and other small and medium players. At the same time others big fat companies with huge profits and no recent investments into  modern infrastructure were bragging about and advertising (to the fools) their ADSL connections of just upto 2 Mbps like the speed of light.

So I managed to  bring the biggest national IX in Romania to my city, hosting an Interlan device in my own datacenter, and  interconnecting all small players in Cluj-Napoca, into the biggest national IX , bringing better services to all local clients. If you're wondering what a IX (Inter Exchange) is, here you have a short video about : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuBde4Sn3f0.
INTERLAN IX is a non-profit organization started in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, by small ISPs with the objective of defending the small internet service providers interests, while big companies did not even allowed them to interconnect into their RONIX (Romanian Network interexchange - the only national IX in Romania back then) based on a requirement of a high company income. Kind of an Open-Source community. Just that physically connected. Starting with cheap cables and devices thrown over the poles and buildings, and evolving to fiber optics and high performance devices hosted into racks in a professional datacenter. Showing again the power of a tight community. So Interlan got bigger and bigger, surpassing the RONIX traffic spikes and averages and hosting local presences of big sites like Youtube. Kind of like Drupal surpassed allot of big players in its field. :) Later Ronix and other big players asked to take part into Interlan too, but Interlan had their word to say now, but while allowing them to join, it was possible only as partners, for a higher fee, and not as members, based on their too high annual turnover. Interlan has been mentioned and congratulated  at the european IXs gathering in Amsterdam ( The 2012 Euro-IX Forum) for it's results and for opening a point on presence in a different city that  the one they started in, and in a so small ammount of time. Interlan is now a member of the Euro-IX ( https://www.euro-ix.net/ixps/ixp-profile/?id=37)

All that until after almost 10 years later, big companies competition kinda forced me to quit, pumping big money borrowed from banks into customer aquisition based on dumping prices and free internet offers for six months or more. I just reached the step were I needed a helping hand, which I was not able to get at that time.

But I'm happy I was able to provide internet connectivity to people which could not afford one back then, and besides this, not only provide them connectivity, but the best one for almost 10 years. My small company was able to be in the European Top 10 providers based on bandwith speed, on the statistics of  speedtest.net site, publicly available back then.  And it was so nice to work with satisfied customers in very friendly environment.

While working at ZetNet, besides learning from all fields related of running a business: management, marketing and communications, finance and accounting, I also learned or further developed my previous experience in the technological field, from networking and web services administration to web developing and designing. Using the power of Linux and open-source software and after previous experience of designing websites from scratch in Html, CSS, PHP, Mysql, I always liked to try to do it a bit better and more efficient. So I discovered the power of open-source CMS systems. I discovered Drupal and it's community about the same time while playing a bit with Joomla, Wordpress and other not so good for me CMSs, many just pretending to be open-source ones. I developed  some websites based on Drupal for my own personal usage and for others, mostly friends. That's when I started to fall in love with Drupal and its flexibility and scalability. I knew it from the start Drupal's a winner. That's why, a bit later I also started a local romanian community group on groups.drupal.org/Romania, trying to gather some local drupalists together in there. I was kinda disappointed and sad too about it back then, seeing no real response in new romanians intersted into Drupal,  since we have many good programmers in Romania. Only until after a couple of years later, when the romanian community got to be a more vibrant group and even managed to host some DrupalCons and DrupalCamps too, and now even some big romanian  companies are getting involved into Drupal, sendind their people to international Drupalcons and sponsoring a couple of good Drupal modules.

Currently I am living in UK , while often travelling back home in Romania too, and I would love to get involved as much as I can in the international and local open source community of Drupal, which I highly admire and respect for all the efforts they've put until now into such a great product, and for their phenomenal results.

Thank you!

Board meeting attendence: 
none
Have you served on a board or committee?: 
No
If so, tell us about it.: 
n/a
What perspective will you bring to the board when discussing strategic topics?: 
Previous small business owner , both developer and designer, I would like to see a nicer user interface and more good quality responsive templates contributed back to the community, and put into an much easier to deploy and use Drupal user experience. I would also like to push the thinking toward a more contingent, scenario-based mind-set that’s better suited to today’s fast-moving strategy environment, in which awareness of emerging cross-cutting technology trends, such as the impact of sensors and the burgeoning "Internet of Things" is a must.
What existing board topics are you most passionate about? and why?: 
Strengthening Drupal Association’s sustainability is of course a top priority, in order for the Association to be able to really support the growth of its Project/s and move it forward, while also being able to provide real support to partners which can take Drupal adoption further into the market. There is allot of talent pool and young developers in many countries which they could benefit allot from using Drupal and they might love it from the start. Thus Drupal, while might be even taught in schools, needs at least its local advocates ready to initiate new Drupalists and raise the interest into those new areas before all those talented people are lost in favor of a maybe easier at a first glance other choice, or who knows what else, a better promoted alternative, or maybe something local or proprietary. Which might prove worst in the long run for their use cases. But those people while they might be a huge help for the community from the start, they might be lost if they get intimate with something else, even if they will know they made a bad decision after. Another step learning curve after a previous frustrating one, might be enough to keep them out of converting later.
What additional strategic topics would you like to introduce?: 
Since high power focused laser can cut steel like butter, the same concept can be applied to Drupal. Drupal current high power focused on specific use-cases, making Drupal distributions that are easy to implement into specific use cases, could make Drupal cutting into and shaping the future. Instead of adding to the current strategic topics, why not bring a focused perspective into the already existing ones, "Understanding what the Project needs to move forward" and "Growing Drupal adoption through our own channels and partner channels" Altogether with seeing the big picture of Encouraging a "Drupal for All" , a "Laser-sharp focus on latest technology" and specific use cases strategy, integrating latest technologies into drupal , but mostly vice-versa , thus keeping the pace with the high speed development of technology. Here when I say technology I don't necessarily refer to other good external software and libraries, but also and mostly to an Android and IOS app for example, or Drupal being built into, or communicating and exchanging raw data with devices and machines. For example a restaurant processing orders automatically with the help of a dedicated drupal distribution running from an app client or touch screen devices integrated in the restaurant table. Or, the employees of a company clocking with fingerprints on a fingerprint device connected to a drupal intranet site, which keeps a database of the employees. And why not, maybe using modules like Actions, Rules or Context we might power up in the future even the step motor engines of home-made Drupal intelligent robots that we can communicate with, based on voice and image recognition input, robots that could say : "Hi $currentUser ! Welcome to the office!" to the employees above and that could also ask the new customer if they would like a cup of coffee :) ?
What unique skills would you bring to the board?: 
An innovative, inventive and visionary mind perspective, while also realistic, altruistic, strategic and organised.
How have your past contributions to Drupal prepared you for board candidacy?: 
I used Drupal for many years. Since I'm not a top PHP programmer I only had some patches and a sandbox module contribution , but while I was actively using Drupal, I tried to always leave feedback and bug issues if not some small patches too, even including pictures and animated gifs for specific use, about core and contributed modules. I contributed with translations back from drupal 6 and I prepared and hosted a l10n_server (internalization server) which soon became unnecessary, as http://localize.drupal.org/ launched. I always advocate Drupal outside the community and convinced friends, both developers and designers, and other small businesses to start using it. One of this small businesses managed to evolve into a much bigger business, following the famous Alibaba.com site as a model while running a Drupal site. I also started many years ago the romanian group on http://groups.drupal.org/romania.
Why should we vote for you?: 
My seriousness (not without a dose of humor :) ) and dedication, added to the responses to the questions above. Each vote would be a great honor for me. Should you elect me, I will listen to your views and opinions and work with loyalty for the DA and the community. Thank you!

Questions for the Candidate