By james, 13 December, 2023
Door 13 containing a green DrupalIcon as the Mentoring logo

It’s day 13 and we’ve fewer than half of the doors remaining. For today’s door we’re taking a break from modules to talk about mentoring with Anto Jose (antojose).

I would like to use this calendar day to tell you about my experience mentoring at DrupalCons.

I signed up for mentoring at DrupalCon Lille, not because I thought of myself particularly as mentoring material, but because of the joy I found years back, when trying to help some people get their first taste of contributing, first during DrupalCon Asia 2016, and then during DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019, and then in a couple of online DrupalCons. I wanted to experience that joy again.

Drupal had a big impact on my career, and it brought me many good things.

Photo of Anto mentoring
Anto mentoring at DrupalCon Lille, 2023. Photo by Bram Driesen.

By 2016, after working with Drupal for 6 years, being able to attend DrupalCon Asia that year, in Mumbai, was such a wonderful opportunity for me. It was my first introduction to all that community love.

About what exactly made me sign up as a mentor then - I think, it was something in a writeup about it, where it talked about helping people, something I loved doing. And to get in as a mentor, you had to have at least one core commit. I had one super-big core commit to my name - the removal of an extra comma in a line of comment. :-) And that was enough to get me in. Lucky me.

And once I got to Mumbai, and experienced the joy of seeing all the people behind those usernames, it made me so happy.

We had a mentors’ orientation session during one of those days, where the poor scared me spoke to a small crowd of people about who I am, and how I came there, and what I wished to do on the mentoring day. I knew very little, and I just wanted to help in any way I could.

And then came the mentored contribution day. My first time as a contribution mentor.

I saw a lot of good people who wanted to contribute back to Drupal. I didn’t know exactly how I could help them, but based on what I learned in the orientation session, I just set about doing what I did best. Trying to make those people go back happy. I think that made me forget all the insecurities I had about my skill levels. I found many ways to help.

Photo of live commit at DrupalCon Asia 2016
Live commit at DrupalCon Asia 2016. Photo by Amazee Labs.

And I was super fortunate in being able to help quite a few people that day. One team I helped, were able to get their core contribution committed live, on the stage, by webchick.

And, oh man, that was such a joy. The joy on their faces. The feeling they all went back with. It made me super happy. And a bit sad that it was all ending that day. I went back home waiting for my next DrupalCon. Full of the DrupalCon spirit. I went back with a feeling of having found my tribe.

The first thing I did after coming back, was starting my city’s Drupal group, along with Aneesh. It changed the way I worked, and it changed the way we all did Drupal.

Year after year, DrupalCon after DrupalCon, this is what I come back for, to experience that joy. To see those happy faces. And to go back with the Drupal spirit.

I hope this gave you a glimpse into the wonderful time that I got to experience at these mentored contribution days at DrupalCons. Interested in having a taste of this joy? Come sign up for the next one.

Cheers, and Happy Drupalling!!!

Photo of Anto JoseAnto Jose lives in Kerala, India, and runs a Drupal consultancy called Drup1 Consulting, with all the best people he can find. He loves to travel and make friends, and Drupal has helped him do all of that. He has been working with Drupal since 2010, and has been mentoring at DrupalCons since 2016.



Photo of mentors at DrupalCon Lille 2023
DrupalCon Lille 2023 mentors.  Photo by Bram Driesen.


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