kattekrab’s picture

Hey Jam,

In 50 words or less, what will you bring to the board of the Drupal Association?


horncologne’s picture

I would bring a multilingual, multicultural, a non-US-centric perspective, communication- and marketing skills to the board. I’m on the side of the contributors – all of us. If you’re giving back to Drupal, we’re on the same side; however and wherever it is that you contribute.

kattekrab’s picture

Thanks Jam :)

horncologne’s picture

A little shorter, still the same sentiments!

" If you’re contributing to Drupal, we’re on the same side – however and wherever it is that you contribute. I would bring multilingual-, multicultural-, non-US-centric perspective; experience from international community- and business worlds; as well as communication- and marketing skills to the board."

horncologne’s picture

To have a single, handy place to read all about me, here's a recap of my answers from session one.

  1. stevepurkiss: QUESTION: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the Drupal Association, what would it be and why?
    • The solution to any hard, complex problem will usually be hard, complex, and require a lot of effort and patience to pursue to resolution. Planning what I'd do with a magic wand makes me uncomfortable, since I think we have real challenges that we need to face in the real world.
  2. Senpai: QUESTION: How much money should the DA spend each year on furthering Drupal? Followup Q: How much of that money should come from the users of Drupal vs sponsorships or advertising?
    • The Drupal Association's entire spending beyond operating costs should be to support and grow the Drupal project, obviously. The exact amount spent should balance current needs against future plans. That is, the DA might need to save up for a big project in the future, might need to rein in something if money is tight, or whatever is appropriate. No matter what the situation, the DA should probably be putting some money aside for future needs in any case.

      As to the exact mix of revenues, the DA can be an important fundraiser for the project and should be more active in supporting or facilitating support for things like the D8 initiatives in future. The initiative owners and teams should not be left on their own to find time *and* money to get their piece of the core-development puzzle done on their own. These projects benefit the entire project and should not be left to chance or goodwill.

  3. KatteKrab: QUESTION: How would you help make the Drupal Association reach out to parts of the world that aren't yet active in our community? How can we be more international?
    • We cannot make a difference with grand gestures only. It is not a matter of "if you build it, they will come" and a big event or two. This also makes it a hard problem for the DA to address. Wherever the motivation and action come from, the community will need to go to new places, new potential users, and show them Drupal; show them Drupal can make a difference to people's lives; empower them to earn money, do business, and change the world. The change will not happen overnight; it will be the result of outreach, personal visits, facilitating local meet-ups, new adoption, training courses, blood, sweat, and tears.
    • We need to change the perception that Drupal is American.
    • We need to make it clear Drupal is great for all sizes of site and organization.
    • On a technical level, immaculate mobile (developer- and user) experiences out of the box would be huge, too. Much of the developing world relies entirely on mobile technology for its web access. Supporting that would open the way for more great things for Drupal.
  4. dstol: QUESTION: What is your biggest annoyance with Drupal.Org currently? [the website]
    • The site is trying to be too many things to too many people: showcase, job portal (to some extent), code repo for the whole project, documentation repo ... It's no wonder people say we're hard to approach! (To be clear: this is no one's "fault"; the site was created a long time ago and has grown wildly since then. We can see now that things that made sense for a smaller community don't work at scale.) I was part of the effort to design once we got the domain squatters off it a couple years ago. We made it a marketing site, with different "entry funnels" for developers, designers, users, and decision makers. I'd say we should split the marketing and other extraneous parts away from our code repository home-base. Why not make,, and other sites as needed? Api.d.o, groups.d.o, association.d.o, localize.d.o, are perfect example of how well targeted, mission-specific Drupal sites can work. I'd say needs to be our community and project welcome mat. It should invite people in, get them excited, and be something Drupalists are proud to send people to, instead of being, "This is where we do all our work, sorry if it's kind of a mess. I'll send you the right links."
  5. steveoliver: QUESTION: What role do you see for the DA in developing and/or certifying formalized Drupal training/testing?
    • I think it is time for the community to bite the bullet and do Drupal certification. People around the world are asking for it; there are places where Drupal shops are getting calls from people saying, "My government department is adopting Drupal, to keep my job / get promoted / whatevs, I need to be a certified Drupal admin/user/something. Where can I get that?" The Drupal Association should open an *open* consultation and discovery process with the community and some outside experts on what to do and how to do it. When a consensus is in place, it needs to be assessed and refined by qualified experts into an actionable plan. At that point, the DA should do what it takes to make it a reality. Let's be clear though: this will cost money. The DA will need financial buy-in at one or more levels: certifications will need to cost something (and to be worth anything in the broader world, they'll have to be reviewed and renewed at regular intervals), companies offering training will need to support the certification in practice and in cash. The demand is there; if the DA and the community don't run this process, someone else will step in and set up programs like the Red Hat Certified Engineer and others.
  6. beeradb_: QUESTION: What community leadership have you show that you think positions you well to be a community representative on the board?
    • I co-founded a local user group, helped set up the national Drupal Association in Germany, and organize the first German Drupal Camp.
    • I've created a lot of Drupal marketing material.
    • I've presented at numerous Drupal community events around the world about doing business with open source software, but more importantly, met and spoken with large numbers of Drupalists at those events.
    • Being multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and a grass-roots Drupalist gives me insight into many perspectives within our community.
    • My nomination for the DA Board elections includes this and more in more detail:
  7. j_matthew_s: QUESTION My question is related to Governance VS Operations at the DA. Where are the lines between what the Board should do vs Staff? For example - who should be directing mission vs strategic planning vs program management?
    • It seems clear to me that the DA board is there to create policy. It can, of course, make suggestions about policy implementation, demand metrics, measurable goals or results, but it is up to staff to build strategies, tactics, and plans to achieve the DA's goals. This should not stop individual board members being part of implementing any given plan, but the board itself is there to act in the Drupal community's best interests, to know its members, to understand its needs, and be visionaries and stewards for its future.
  8. joebachana: QUESTION What is the greatest threat to the Drupal project today and what should the DA's role be in ameliorating/resolving that threat?
    • The biggest threat we face is losing momentum. We need to reach critical mass outside of North America. Even in Europe, Drupal's "2nd market", where we can see increasing/healthy Drupal adoption in some places (Scandinavia, UK, BeNeLux), Germany, Italy, and elsewhere is nowhere near sustainable levels of Drupal adoption or business. This is my home market and a focus for me in any case, but we need to change the *perception* that Drupal is American. This might not be the DA's job, but Drupal speakers (companies, individuals, DA representatives, whoever) need to be showing up at non-Drupal events to raise the project's profile. "We" can mean all sorts of things, but it needs to happen. I love the Drupal Road Shows that the Austrian community has been doing in the last year. The DA could help set up the planning, booking, preparation, kits and stuff for actions like that. Target areas to assess and attack ;-) include: universities, chambers of commerce, geek nights, FOSS user groups, conferences (tech, education, government, open source, media, publishing, etc.), and more.
  9. starl3n: QUESTION: how do candidates define the Drupal 'community'? And, developers Vs users...
    • If you're making a positive difference to the Drupal project, you're in. That starts with downloading and using Drupal. It's not much, but you're another user, another sibling-in-arms. Everything above and beyond that is a huge win for the Drupal project, since it's all (theoretically) voluntary beyond there. Anyone filing bug reports, coding, writing anything (documentation, blog posts, how-to's), marketing, running any size Drupal gathering, teaching, designing for/with Drupal, etc. ... *and* anyone supporting any of the above are part of my community.
  10. beeradb_: QUESTION: If you weren't running, which of the other candidates do you think would be great for the board?
    • Looking at the list of candidates, it would be a very hard decision for me to make this year. I see lots of ways they could each contribute.
horncologne’s picture

Keeping all my campaign on one page for you! I've also made these answers as short and sweet as I can to reduce the amount of reading you all have to do in this campaign :-)

  1. highermath: QUESTION: Should the Infra team be represented on the (governance) board or the advisory board. Or both?
    • My gut feeling is that an infrastructure specialist should be added to the advisory board. This leads me to ask what the balance of other "specialist" roles should be. In any case, something as valuable as the underpinnings of our project's home should not be subject to the community election process.
  2. highermath: QUESTION: What should be the number one goal of the Board?
    • The number one goal of the Drupal Association Board should be to find the path to helping the Drupal Project be sustainably successful around the world.
  3. highermath: QUESTION: What should be the relationship between the Board, the ED and the staff.
    • The board should be exploring ways to help the Drupal project grow globally and succeed sustainably in the long term. It should define a future vision of the project and set policy in light of that vision. In cooperation with the Executive Director, specific goals, targets, metric and milestones can be agreed upon. It is then up to the ED to create and implement action plans with the DA staff to realize those goals.
  4. KatteKrab: QUESTION: In 2012 the DA was trying to achieve 6 goals as outlined here Which one in particular would you champion?
    • Given the number of Drupal Community events I have attended, volunteered, and presented at, number 5, "Regional events targeted at developers organized by DA staff" ( is a natural for me. There is no substitute for in person gatherings to get excited about Drupal and kick off great contributions.
  5. jthorson: QUESTION: What specific initiatives would you suggest as a DA board member, to help drive growth of the Drupal community in new regions and communities which may not currently be represented?
    • "Regional events targeted at developers organized by DA staff" ( sounds like a good start to me!

      Realistically, there are two sides to this that I have already mentioned in my answers to the session 1 questions. It will take more than DA policies or initiatives to make it happen:

      1) "We cannot make a difference with grand gestures only. It is not a matter of "if you build it, they will come" and a big event or two. This also makes it a hard problem for the DA to address. Wherever the motivation and action come from, the community will need to go to new places, new potential users, and show them Drupal; show them Drupal can make a difference to people's lives; empower them to earn money, do business, and change the world. The change will not happen overnight; it will be the result of outreach, personal visits, facilitating local meet-ups, new adoption, training courses, blood, sweat, and tears."

      2) "On a technical level, immaculate mobile (developer- and user) experiences out of the box would be huge, too. Much of the developing world relies entirely on mobile technology for its web access. Supporting that would open the way for more great things for Drupal."

  6. ChrisChinchilla: QUESTION: How would you engage new users who are passionate about Drupal but aren't developers?
    • Passionate Drupal users who are not developers (like myself!) make huge contributions to our community and our project. Presuming that they're already passionate about it, like you posit, information is the key: Make a site or handbook or poster "There are 1000 ways to make a difference" and list all the ways non-coding users help the project. For example: design, marketing, filing bug reports, being UX test subjects, and SO MUCH MORE! Most of these activities also happen to be a lot of fun and good ways to sink roots into Drupal.
  7. mortendk: QUESTION: Who would you vote on - if you had to choose 2 of the others?
    • To be honest, each of the candidates could bring a lot to the board. I am having trouble even deciding as things stand (given that I *can* vote for myself and that I am uniquely qualified for this position). Morituri, te salutant!
  8. nnewton: QUESTION: How do you feel volunteer positions fit into the vision of an ED/board/staff split in the DA? What happens when volunteers overlap with staff?
    • Drupal has mostly been built by volunteers over the last 12 years and this tradition should be treasured and those who can donate their time should be appreciated and thanked by all of us. If there is work that volunteers can do that helps the DA – especially its staff – do more or better work, that volunteerism should be treasured.


  9. bertboerland: QUESTION: What makes the Drupal Association successful?
    • If the Drupal project can grow and succeed globally and sustainably in the long term, the Drupal Association will have the right to claim part of that success as being the result of its efforts. If the project fails to achieve this long term success, the DA will also share the blame.
horncologne’s picture

Keeping all my answers in one place, for your reading convenience!

  1. simesy_: QUESTION: I'm interested in what the other candidates think about Narayan as a candidate who will fill the gap of having infrastructure representation on the board.
    • Narayan, like all of the candidates, could bring real value to the board. However, something as important as the voice of the foundations of our project's home should not be decided by community elections. I'd say the advisory board would be the place to create one or more specialist appointments.
  2. pcambra: QUESTION: What would be the best way to improve the relationship between the DA and the local communities to build better and bigger events?
    • To build bigger and better events, we need to stop creating 100 individual, artisanal, glass-blown events every year. So many camp teams start from scratch and repeat the efforts, failures, and learnings of those who've done it before.

      As a community, we know how to write it once, iterate, and develop best practices *in code*. We should be doing that for other aspects of the project like events.

      One of my pet projects for the last few months happens to be which is a **work in progress** and also a growing collection of checklists, schedules, and best practices to help community event teams get a head start on their camps, summits, or sprints. Over time, I have a vision of expressing much of this knowledge in code as well, as additional functionality for COD (the Drupal Conference Organizing Distribution:

      The DA can use this tool and make plans for other similar ones to enable and empower members of our community and others to get more done, better, safer, and faster.

  3. HornCologne: QUESTION: Do you think the DA should work more closely with Dries to make sure that initiatives for Drupal 9 are funded and therefore on time and successful?
    • This is not a completely fair question, since the DA may not interfere in the direction the Drupal project's code takes ... That being said, the current painful experience some Drupal 7 initiative leaders are having getting support for less "sexy" initiative is painful and puts Drupal at risk. I wonder if mechanisms can be developed to do things like aid fundraising, materially support initiative leaders, or spread donations between various initiatives. /thinking_out_loud
smira’s picture

I've met Jam at DrupalCamps in Italy and most recently had a chance to spend some social time with him in DrupalCon Munich.

I am confident he will be a positive force as Board Member because he is an outstanding communicator, and he's passionate about Drupal.

Sometimes you meet people that just "make sense" and are a pleasure to talk to. They make you feel like what you say matters and have constructive comments to add to it. Jam is one of these people.

In the social setting we where in at DrupalCon he mostly spoke about Drupal and interesting "controversial" topics like community, competition, and growth, and I could clearly see how he was equally knowledgeable and passionate about it.
Most importantly he has clear solutions, and took the time to eloquently explain them to us!

Thank you Jam for becoming a candidate and for your willingness to serve the community, you have my vote!


horncologne’s picture

Thanks for the kind words (and your vote!). I'd love to serve the community on the DA Board.