I started hearing about Drupal 8 back in 2014, how this CMS would start using Symfony components, an idea I as a PHP and Symfony developer found very cool.
That is when I got involved with Drupal, not the CMS, but the community.
I got invited to my first DrupalCon back in 2015. That was the biggest conference I have ever been to, thousands of people were there. When I entered the conference building I saw several things, one of them was that the code of conduct was very visible and printed. I also got a t-shirt that fit me really well – A rarity at most tech conferences I go to. The gender and racial diversity also seemed fairly high, I immediately felt comfortable and like I belonged – Super cool first impression.
I as many other geeks have social anxiety, so I was still overwhelmed with all these people, and I did not know who to talk to. Luckily Larry was there so I had someone to hug.
I went to many great talks as there were a lot of tracks – Including the Symfony one where I was speaking. A conference well worth going to for EVERYONE, this is also something that I like: They try to make every DrupalCon affordable for everyone.
That evening I felt a bit shy again and stood somewhere, all on my own, and couldn’t see the two people out of thousands, that I knew. Then someone walked up to me and just started talking to me, making me feel welcome. I said I don’t do Drupal at all and they said that that’s nice! We talked about what I do and they were very interested.
This year I went to a local DrupalCamp here in Switzerland, drupal mountain camp, it was an event a lot more focused on Drupal, as you could expect, so I did not attend as many talks as I did at DrupalCon, but again the inclusiveness and the atmosphere was in the air – I felt so very very welcome and safe (Except maybe when sledging down a mountain…).
They mentioned the code of conduct in the beginning of the conference and then proceeded to organise an awesome event with winter sports around it.
I spoke at DrupalMountainCamp giving an introduction to Neo4j, a talk I have given many times with various results. People were extremely interested in graph databases, the concepts and how they work and they asked a lot of questions. Again – When I told them I don’t do Drupal noone even tried to convince me to start, that is where our communities differ a bit.
I think that we can learn from Drupal, embrace our differences, and each other, and accept that we do different things and we are different people and it doesn’t matter because that is what makes community work, that is what makes us awesome. Diversity matters, Drupal got this.
Thank you to the Drupal community for showing how to be inclusive the right way and how to not try to convince someone to try or be someone they are not, but rather support that person and try to learn from them, this is the best behaviour a community could ever have.
And hugs! So much hugs.