The Secrets of Building and Participating in Open Source Communities

Location: D133
Tags: community
Average rating: ****.
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Everyone knows that the most successful open source projects are those that are built around thriving communities and an active and creative developer base. But how exactly is a participatory open source community built and nurtured?

Likewise, the most successful open source projects also benefit from an active non-developer base of users that are influential in shaping how the community evolves and flourishes. But what does “active participation” actually mean and how involved should non-developer adopters and end-users be in the building and support of open source communities?

In this session, Drupal project lead and Acquia co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert will share his secrets for building and participating in a thriving open source community and how collaboration amongst developer communities and non-developer adopters is critical to a healthy and sustainable project. He’ll describe the mind set, mechanisms, and policies that are essential for community growth and share examples of both success and failure that he’s directly experienced while succeeding with the Drupal project. He will discuss how to turn a developer-only community into a healthy open source ecosystem which includes designers, developers, documentation writers and even corporate adopters and evangelists.

Community managers will come away with clear action plans for kick-starting their development efforts and strategic adopters of open source will learn how to leverage open source project participation to multiply return on investment.

Photo of Dries Buytaert

Dries Buytaert


Dries Buytaert, Drupal Project Lead and Acquia CTO & co-founder

Dries is the original creator and project lead for the Drupal open source web publishing and collaboration platform. He serves as president of the Drupal Association, a non-profit organization formed to help Drupal flourish. A native of Belgium, Dries holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from Ghent University.

Originally written as a bulletin board system, Drupal is a free and open source modular framework and content management system (CMS) written in the programming language PHP. Drupal, like many modern CMS’s, allows the system administrator to organize the content, customize the presentation, automate administrative tasks, and manage site visitors and contributors. Although there is a sophisticated programming interface, most tasks can be accomplished with little or no programming. Drupal is sometimes described as a “web application framework”, as its capabilities extend from content management to enabling a wide range of services and transactions.

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