LightSky has been using Drupal for quite some time, but because of a lot of factors haven’t contributed as much during that time as we probably should. Mike and I implemented a philosophical change about a year ago to make a concerted effort to give back. It has been small steps for us though, we are a small organization and in a growing phase, so our resources to give back have been limited. Starting with attending some Drupal camps, to building modules, contributing to core, and growing from there, we have made a pretty big effort on our end to help support the Drupal community and we think you should too.
Agencies like us aren’t the only ones to give back though, companies of all different backgrounds across the globe use Drupal, and give back to the community. Some, more directly than others, but even passively, giving back to the community is what keeps Drupal sustainable, and makes the platform so desirable.
How Can a Widget Factory Give Back to Drupal?
This is an interesting question, but it isn’t as complicated as one might think. Look at all of our clients for example, they all give back to Drupal and many of them have no web experience, and can’t write or interpret even the most basic of code. They give back through us. They choose to partner with a company that gives back to the Drupal community, and that is a big deal. There is great value in their support of the community for their company and their bottom line. Open source projects are often some of the most cost effective choices in the software world, and Drupal is really no different.
Experience Not Needed
Contributing doesn’t have to be through a third party though. Content on Drupal.org can be updated by anyone with a user account. Making documentation changes to a module that your organization is using, or building better documentation is a great way to give back, and anyone can do it. But the way that I recommend companies give back is speaking at a Drupal camp. Do a case study, it doesn’t have to be technical, show people how Drupal has helped your company.
Drupal allows our clients to to have an enterprise level product, that is community based, and completely flexible, and often Drupal provides them a solution that no other software could really match. But what created this excellent product is the community, and without people giving back regularly, this product would never exist. So if you aren’t giving back, think about how you can, and if your Drupal firm isn’t giving back, make sure that they know you think they should.