Friday, April 1, 2016

DrupalCon Asia - Meeting the Indian Drupal Communities

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The first official DrupalCon in Mumbai, India brought together more than 1000 attendees - from not only India, but from allover the world. Nine communities from across India partnered with the Drupal Association to make this event a special experience for everyone involved. This is part two of my blog post series about DrupalCon Asia. Jump back to part one for my general impressions from India or read one of the various other blog posts describing DrupalCon Asia. I’d like to highlight some of the communities that were represented and involved in making DrupalCon Asia a success in this post. Amanda Gonser, the lead DrupalCon coordinator, was kind enough to provide me with a list of the Indian communities that participated in organizing DrupalCon Asia 2016. We got in touch and below are some of the highlights they shared with me (in their own words). Shyamala Rajaram from Chennai "DrupalCon Asia gave many of us a chance to actually be at a DrupalCon. It gave us a chance to see and be a part of the exciting Drupal community. It has motivated and charged the community!

We have since ventured to make at least one #sprintweekend a month and started planning for a DrupalCamp in our region to share our experience with more of us!" Find out more about the Chennai Drupal community on groups.drupal.org.

Shyamala Rajaram worked as a project manager for the Drupal 8 Mobile initiative since the beginning of 2013. She is an active member of the local Drupal chapter: Chennai Drupal Community, India. Shyamala also conducts Drupal introductory courses at colleges around the city. Shyamala has recently been elected by the global community for the Drupal Association At-Large seat - congratulations! Piyush Poddar & Prateek Jain from Jaipur "Drupal Jaipur community started with a handful of people and now we are going strong with 30+ regulars. The local community keeps organizing infrequent meetups, Drupal release parties and after having participated at DrupalCon Asia as its first official representation at a Con, we are planning an active event and activities calendar for 2016."

"Having a community booth at DrupalCon Asia to engage people and spread the love of Drupal was a great experience. At least 12 members from Jaipur attended DrupalCon and educated attendees about the Jaipur community and its activities. This brought a lot of visibility for us. Now we have got around 65 registered members on Drupal.org, 280 likes on Facebook page and are planning to host the first DrupalCamp in Jaipur this year." Find Drupal Jaipur on Drupal.orgFacebook or Twitter.

Piyush Poddar started the Jaipur Drupal community in January 2011 and has been an active lead and evangelist of Drupal and the local community since then. Piyush is based in Jaipur and works as Director of Professional Services for Axelerant.

Prateek Jain has been one of the early members and active leaders of the Jaipur Drupal Community and an evangelist of both Drupal and the community. Prateek is based in Jaipur and works as Associate Engineering Manager at Blisstering Solutions. Ujval Shah from Gujarat "The Gujarat Drupal Community started back in 2007. We organized the very first Drupal Camp India in 2008. We aim to spread Drupal using meetups, camps and code sprints. 2016 is an awesome year for our community. We have planned 1 camp, 3 meetups and code sprints as well. We were proud to represent our community at the community desk and ran a kite-flying event at DrupalCon Asia. DrupalCon Asia was an amazing and unique experience - 4 days, 1025 attendees, 32 countries, 50 promising sessions, full day summits, 72 unique speakers and lots of memorable moments. It was inspiring, Life is all about getting inspired. Presence of Drupal Key faces - Dries, Webchick, Holly Ross, Megan Sanicki, Gabor, Jeffrey (Jam), Rachel Friesen, Amanda Gonser, Larry Garfield, Campbell, Josef (dasjo), Michael Canon and many more. It was an awesome opportunity to meet, discuss and share our ideas with Drupal community's inspiration people. No more IRC Chats, Skype, Hangout Calls, LinkedIn Connections needed :), It was a well-deserved face-to-face meet up opportunity to get connected with everyone."

"Most favorable moments were a face-to-face meet up and selfie with Dries. Also a signed T-shirt from all time fav’s, a video podcast with Jeffrey (Jam), discussions with mentors and people I admire, good inputs from Gabor and Webchick, the pre-note by Dies. A+ to all sessions, many new friends, as a regional lead represented and promoted GDUG in the community summit, lots of selfies, organized a kite flying event (GDUG Team), met with all-time good Indian community friends, dance on the stage, goodies from sponsors, delicious food." Meet the Gujarat Drupal User Group on their website.

Ujval Shah is a Drupal evangelist, enjoying every bit of Drupal since 2006. He is one of the long-time Drupalistas who have worked with Drupal 4.x to 8.x. He is also leading the Gujarat Drupal User Group community. Ujval was part of the management team for very first Drupal Camp India in 2008 and hosted a couple of sessions on theming and UI. He also delivered a session at Drupal Camp Pune in 2009 and has held sessions at various meetups and local events for Drupal and Open Source. Ujval is a frequent speaker at various colleges across India on Drupal and Open Source. Chakrapani Reddivari & Hussain Abbas from Bangalore "DrupalCon Asia was special, as more than 80% of the audience got to witness their first DrupalCon ever. It was a great opportunity for the Indian Drupal community to demonstrate that we are no longer just consumers but contributing back in a big way.

It was very special for the Bangalore Drupal community because we are now recognized as one of the vibrant communities globally. In the last one to two years we have become one of the top contributors in terms of individual and organizational contributions. We are very happy that our initiatives on monthly meetups, regular sprints, and camps are proving fruitful. Dries talking about it in the keynote was a proud moment for us!" Meet Drupal Bangalore on facebooktwittermeetup or groups.drupal.org.

Chakrapani Reddivari is an active contributor to Drupal 8 and has spoken at various Drupal events in India and abroad.

Hussain Abbas is a Drupal 8 core contributor and works as Technical Architect at Axelerant. He is a regular speaker at Drupal and PHP meetups and camps, in India and all DrupalCons since DrupalCon LA. Siva Epari from Hyderabad "DrupalCon Asia was an exciting opportunity for us to meet the people from the Drupal community across the globe, who collaboratively sustain the growth of Drupal and its community. We got tons of beautiful experiences and knowledge, which we carried back to our regional community and reenergized them with a sense of contribution and collaboration. All starts from the fun filled pre-note event, a first time experience, which was unexpected from a tech conference opening session. The jokes, costumes and not to forget Dries reciting tongue twisters in local language and taking the Indian spicy food challenge :).

The keynote by Dries threw light on the future of the web and how Drupal would approach solving those problems. It was exciting to hear about BigPipe, service workers and mobile initiatives. Later, when the conference was kick-started, tons of speakers shared their knowledge on different aspects of Drupal and technology. The crucial part being the conversations happening after each session in the rooms and in the lobby. Apart from the sessions, there were BOFs and sprint planning led by xjm. One of the BOFs was about “Progressive decoupling and Drupal's front-end future” where we got a chance to directly interact with Lauriiimortendk & cottser about future of frontend.

Taking the conf to next level of fun, 8 people from Drupal Hyderabad community performed in the Flash mob. A big thanks to Rakhi Mandania and their team to train us in such a short span of time and make us shake a hip. After all this fun and excitement, the conf came to its last day. People crowded the Sprint halls to give back to the community. We helped people set up their computers with Drupal and helped them kick-start contributing patches to Drupal. The first-time sprinters room was filled with energy and gave us a hope that India can give back and move on from 'consumption' to 'contribution'. We will definitely keep the heat up and organize such sprints in our regional community. Keeping this pace up, we are planning a couple of Drupal trainings in colleges around Hyderabad and give the students/academics a glimpse of Drupal. Later in the year, we plan a camp (as we did in 2015 - http://2015.drupalhyderabad.org) and to reach out to a larger audience of professionals, businesses and community members. All fingers crossed!" Meet the Drupal community from Hyderabad on FacebookTwitterMeetup and groups.drupal.org.

Siva Epari is a Free Software Hacktivist, Project Manager, Drupal trainer, Drupal developer & Cloud developer. Rachit Gupta from Drupal Mumbai "DrupalCon Asia happening in Mumbai was a dream come true. Apparently it's the same time of the year when we do DrupalCamp :). DrupalCon has helped connecting all local regional communities which was very important to bring this community in India and Asia further. Another very important outcome of this con is that a huge number of new Drupalers (82% were first time attendee) joined the community and have learned to contribute. I believe meeting Dries and Drupal superheroes from across the globe will motivate and push them to contribute to the project and community.

Drupal Mumbai started back in 2011 as the Drupal Mumbai Meetup Group (DMMG), with an objective to revive and strengthen the local Drupal community in Mumbai. Since then over 700 members have joined the group and we have conducted more than 70 community events. Drupal Mumbai's primary purpose is to build and foster a strong community of Drupal and Open Source contributors in and around the Mumbai region. We invite and welcome Drupal enthusiasts, newbies, designers and hackers, businesses and marketers to join us. We have conducted some very large camps, our last camp had 650+ attendees - http://2015.drupalmumbai.org/. The Drupal Mumbai community has played a very active role in organizing DrupalCon Asia 2016." Meet the Drupal Mumbai community on TwitterFacebookMeetup and groups.drupal.org.

Rachit Gupta is an Open Source enthusiast and big time Drupal evangelist, who loves to innovate and build things on the web. He has been associated with Drupal for the last 7 years. Rachit started his Drupal career while in college and has since then fallen in love with the awesome community. He has also been leading the Drupal Mumbai community, which now has 700+ members, for the last 6 years. He is currently working on the Drupal Campus Ambassador Program (DrupalCAP.org), a community initiative to evangelize Drupal in Education - groups.drupal.org/drupal-campus-ambassador-program-dcap. Dipen Chaudhary, Prafful Nagwani & Harshad Gune from Pune "The Pune Drupal User Group (PDUG) was started in February of 2009 and has 100+ members from over 20 companies in participation. We have a meet-up every last Friday of the month where we have technical talks and BOF sessions. These meetups give us a way to connect with Drupalers in Pune and learn new stuff around Drupal. As an initiative members of PDG also organize workshops for college students and we saw a full day Drupal track at the coveted Open Source conference GNUnify. Pune is also the city to have the pilot for [Drupal Campus Ambassador program](https://groups.drupal.org/node/454228?nocache=1458646268) (DCAP) at SICSR, which aims to introduce Drupal to universities and engineering college by creating a network of Drupal Campus ambassadors._ Along with the numerous workshops and trainings and Drupal Camps we try to cram lots of fun in the middle, like celebrate Drupal 8 release parties and Drupal Birthday.

DrupalCon Asia was a brilliant meeting place for all of us. Here we interacted with Drupalers from other Indian and Global Committees, exchanged notes on making the meets interesting and getting more people involved. Our high point of the Con was getting a shout out by Dries during his prenote. It made us feel pretty awesome :). Find out more about the Pune Drupal group on FacebookTwitterMeetup and Drupal.org.

Dipen Chaudhary is Founder of QED42 and a long time Drupaler. He helped organize the first Drupal camp Pune in 2009 and has delivered Drupal workshops at colleges in the past. He was part of the first Drupal meetup in Pune which boasted 2 members in attendance and is extremely proud of how Drupal has grown in Pune.

Prafful Nagwani is a Technical Project Manager with Acquia and works out of Pune. He has been actively involved with arranging the PDG meet-up every month, right from getting hosts to coordinating speakers for meetups.

Harshad Gune is an Open Source evangelist and one of the front runners for Open Source in India. He is a member of the faculty and associate professor of the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research and a former board member of the Open Source Initiative. He is one of the key members behind GNUnify. Ravindra Singh and Vaibhav Jain from Delhi "We organize DrupalCamp Delhi (DCD), involve folks from NRC (Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad) and organize Drupal events (CodeSprint, meetups and global training) every month in different localities in NCR. The aim of Drupal Delhi Community is to involve as many people as possible. We have top contributors which makes our community awesome.

For us DrupalCon Asia was an international talent pool. We met world class Drupalers which was really amazing and more than expected. Having a community booth in DrupalCon Asia we got to know that lots of people are eagerly waiting for DrupalCamp Delhi 2016. So we have started the discussion the Drupal Delhi Group. Once again big thanks to the Drupal Association for making this event a success in India." To know what’s going on in Drupal Delhi Community: g.d.ofacebooktwitter

Ravindra Singh is an active Open Source contributor (Drupal, JS), mentor, speaker and Technical Architect at Srijan. He specializes in developing web based E-commerce applications and social networking applications in Drupal and PHP.

Vaibhav Jain is Technical Lead at Acquia with 5+ years of experience in Drupal development and customizations. He is an active member of the Delhi Drupal community. Bassam Ismail from Kashmir "Drupal Kashmir was started back in the fall of 2012. It has grown from a handful of people working with Drupal full-time to a community with more than 50 people with various backgrounds. Drupal Kashmir has been organizing Drupal events, sprints, and trainings for the last three years.

5 members from Drupal Kashmir were able to attend DrupalCon Asia and for most of them it was their first DrupalCon. Its was an amazing experience for everyone to see how people from all over the world came together for Drupal. Also to see more talks about Drupal 8 was a boost, as the recently built site DrupalKashmir by the community members was a part of Acquia's Drupal 8 early adaptors showcase https://www.drupal.org/drupal-8.0/early-adopters. During DrupalCon a couple of Drupal Kashmir members got their patches in Drupal 8 core and one of the members was a speaker at the conference." Meet the Drupal Kashmir community on their websitegroups.drupal.orgTwitter or Facebook.

Bassam Ismail has been working with Drupal for more than three years. He works as a frontend architect at Axelerant, is one of the co-founders of http://www.drupalkashmir.org and has been organizing Drupal events and training since 2012. The bigger picture Thanks to everyone mentioned above for sharing your experiences with me! Also, a special thanks to Amanda & Parth for helping me put this post ogether . Finally, being a map-nerd, I created another map to indicate where all these communities are based:

Map of Indian Drupal Communities co-organizing DrupalCon Asia. If you are interested in connecting with one of the Indian communities, find them via the map or search for more. You will find many more Indian Drupal communities on the g.d.o directory or you can just create your own!