By james, 22 December, 2023
Door 22 containing Drupal Working Groups

Welcome back to the the Drupal Advent Calendar, and we’re down to the last few doors. For door 22, we are joined by Jordana Fung (jordana), who tells us about Community Working Groups.

Giving back while growing too: volunteering within Drupal

When I decided to go to my first Drupal event, I was scared, anxious and unsure. I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and looked up an event close to where I’d be while visiting family in the US. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

I fell in love with the community then and there. There’s a reason why they say “Come for the code, stay for the community”. I decided to become a more active participant in the Drupal community and looked for ways to contribute.

There are many ways to give back to Drupal.

Volunteering your time by joining the working groups and mentoring initiatives are some of the ways that many folks may not know enough about.

Community events are a great way for folks to be introduced to Drupal and deepen their knowledge and ties to the wonderful Drupal community. For a lot of folks, it may be their first Introduction to the community and the Drupal ecosystem, so having a great, friendly, safe and inclusive space is, in my opinion, very important. We can create these great spaces by learning from others and sharing best practices. The EOWG is for any and all folks who want to do that.

The Event Organizers Working Group (EOWG) is concerned with supporting community-led events within the Drupal community. These include camps, summits, training days, contribution days, and meetups. The great folks there provide and work on amazing resources, collaborating and sharing knowledge. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to check out the advent calendar post about the EOWG from day 20.

Another way folks learn and grow within Drupal is through the Mentoring initiative. Drupal mentors organize events where folks are introduced to ways to contribute to Drupal. They are introduced to initiatives and the Drupal issue queues. They learn best practices and learn to collaborate on issues for both code and non-code contributions. Mentors are some of the greatest folks I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know within Drupal. They will help and guide you on what it means to be a mentor - remember that everyone can do it, even if you don’t consider yourself a Drupal expert. Within mentoring we remind folks that it’s okay to not know everything and to be open and ask for help when needed. If you are willing and want to give back, I urge you to join us! I started mentoring when I was still relatively new in the community and learned so much! Check out the advent post about Mentoring from day 13.

The Drupal Community Working Group

I learned about the CWG when I met a few of its members at events. At that point, I was still relatively new in the community and knew I loved how welcoming and safe the community was, but I didn’t know some of the mechanics of why that was.

I then learned more about the Drupal Code of Conduct and how it was enforced.

The CWG is tasked with fostering a safe and welcoming environment within the Drupal community.

The CWG has two areas of focus:

As the teams have people from all over the world, we work asynchronously through Slack and have remote meetings through Zoom.

The Full CWG (the CHT and the CRT) meet remotely every 2 months, while the CRT meets every week. 

Besides these two teams, we also have Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), who provide knowledge and support on various topics, such as cultural differences, language, mental health, and more. These individuals assist the Conflict Resolution team in matters where specific domain knowledge is required and/or helpful.

Diagram illustrating the governance structure
The Community Working Group governance structure

The CWG helped facilitate community health by launching the Code of Conduct (CoC) training, where we can learn and work on the skills needed to be effective in processing and working on CoC incidents. We have also organized Community Health Workshops online and in person.

We’ve also worked on nudges, which are essentially templates that can be used to remind folks of our community values and principles to help encourage safe and inclusive spaces within Drupal.

Diagram showing the make up of the working group teams
The make up of the working groups

One of our favorite things to work on each year is the Aaron Winborn Award. In the last few years, the award has been crafted by other community members, which adds an extra level of #DrupalLove to it.

Photos of past Aaron Winborn Award winners
Some past Aaron Winborn Award winners

All of these initiatives are ongoing and we are always looking for feedback to learn, grow, and add to the tools and resources for ensuring community health.

In these roles, no one is expected to be perfect or to know all the things. We learn as we go and grow, and we learn from others. We encourage feedback, collaboration and asking for help and support, and accept them with open minds and open hearts. I’ve personally learned so much over the years. Besides meeting amazing people and making lifelong friends, I’ve learned so many skills that directly translate and transfer into improvements and skills in my own personal and professional lives. The people within our community are supportive, kind and are eager to collaborate and share their knowledge and experience. This all translates into one of my own personal values of doing well by doing good.

As we are always learning and growing, help is always welcome. There are probably fewer people working on keeping Drupal such a great space than you might think. Sustainability, inclusivity, diversity and collaboration are very important to the community and for that, we need to keep adding new members and perspectives to our groups. I also believe that to be sustainable we need to give others the best chance to succeed by passing on our collective knowledge through succession management. So if you are interested in volunteering or know someone who is, please do reach out to us to learn how you can help.

Our doors are open and we are excited to welcome you in!

Photo of Jordana FungJordana Fung is a longtime Open Source contributor, Drupal community member & mentor, developer, and current chair of the Drupal Community Working Group. Within the Drupal Community Working Group, she works in both the Community Health team, as well as the Conflict Resolution team to help foster a welcoming, healthy, and inclusive community. She is passionate about community health, communication, Open Source, and helping people do and be well.


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