min read
May 4, 2020
April 18, 2020

DIA Contribution Weekend, April 2020

DIA Contribution Weekend, April 2020
Table of contents

What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.

     - Ted Kennedy

This especially rings true in the time we're living in now.

Because of a much needed country-wide lockdown here in India to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease, everyone has been locked-out in their homes and have socially distanced themselves form their communities. This, of course, includes the Drupal India community as well. And what better way to bring this community together than an online pan-India contribution weekend organized by Drupal India Association.

First-ever fully-remote pan-India contribution event

Today, on 18th April 2020, Drupal India Association (DIA) conducted it's first online 'Contribution Weekend'. It's the first event of its kind in that it was completely remote and saw participation from Drupalers across India.

We had 116 RSVPs, 22 Mentors, 96 Issues on Contribkanban board.

Thank you, organizers!

Before I talk more about the event, I would like to give a huge shout-out to everyone who was involved in the planning of this amazing event and a special shout-out to Rakhi Mandhania, Surabhi Gokte & Sharmila Kumaran (#WomenInDrupal FTW) for managing this so well. The planning team worked super hard to make this a success. They took time out of their personal and professional lives to have various meetings for issue triaging, communication and marketing for the event, arranging for speakers and much more. Thank you, everyone, who contributed to planning this.

The introductory hour for new/first-time contributors

DIA Contribution Weekend April 2020

We started the event at 8:45 in the morning,(Yes, That's 8:45 in the morning!) with a special session for new and first-time contributors. A big shout-out to all the newcomers and especially the mentors who took time out this early in the morning to volunteer for mentoring them. And boy did we have a lot of mentors! We had a mentor-to-mentee ratio of 5:1! Don't you feel special now mentees!

Main event

The main event started at 10:00 AM with more than 40 people joining in. And more people kept pouring in as the event went by. At a time we had around 70 people in the call!

Drupal India Association

Rakhi, our host, got us started and handed over the call to Mukesh Agarwal. Mukesh is CEO of Innoraft, one of the member organizations of DIA, and introduced us to DIA, its goals and purposes and the role it is going to play in representing the Indian Drupal community to the world. Major goals of DIA can be summarised as:

  1. Becoming an exemplary community leadership organization to the rest of the Drupal world
  2. Developing thought leaders in Drupal who will enhance India’s image in the Drupal world
  3. Becoming a major influencer and enabler in the adoption of Drupal in the Gulf & ASEAN region
  4. Making India an innovation hub for Drupal
  5. Making Impactful Contribution to community & the extended stakeholders of Drupal

Drupal Association needs our help!

Mukesh's introduction was followed by Tanisha Kalia, a representative from the Drupal Association, and she talked about DA and the financial effects of COVID-19 on DA and the larger Drupal community. DA is a very important entity for the whole Drupal community. Among the numerous things they do for the community, a few are:

  • Managing, hosting and conducting DrupalCons
  • Managing the infrastructure of

Tanisha mentioned that the majority of DA's funding comes from the revenues of DrupalCon events and the almost inevitable possibility of cancellation/postponement of DrupalCon NA has put DA in a big financial hole. DA needs the community's support. 
Tanisha encouraged community members to either donate to DA directly via #DrupalCares initiative or support DA by purchasing/subscribing to be a member of DA, the cost of which starts from just 15 USD.

As of this moment, DA has reached 25% of its USD 500,000 goal:

DrupalCares Goal DIA Contribution Weekend 2020

As an individual member or an organization, you can help DA sustain the COVID-19 Impact and help reach its goal. Read more here:

Tanisha also talked about the initiative taken by prominent members in the community to encourage donations and financial contributions. Some of these are:

  • From now until April 30, Vanessa and Dries are offering a dollar-for-dollar match for new, individual contributions to the Drupal Association - up to a total match of $100K! More details:
  • Gábor Hojtsy, Acquia, will be donating 9EUR for every module ported to Drupal 9 for a total of up to 900EUR. More details:
  • Jeff Geerling, @geerlingguy, will be donating 2$ for every like on his recent Youtube video for a total of up to 1000USD. Video link:

A big thanks to all of you! 

Thanks to an amazing community, we had 6 new individual memberships registered before the introduction call finished.

Code-of-Conduct and Tips for the day

Next up Rakhi communicated the Code-of-Conduct to all the contributors and shared the various channels for communication that people could use throughout the day.
We were using channels on DIA slack. There were various channels set up for clear and effective communication:

  1. #new-contributors: For first-timers and newcomers.
  2. #regular-contributors: For experienced contributors.
  3. #issue-reviews-contribution day: For issues ready for review.

This setup was really efficient and was instrumental in keeping people engaged and active throughout the day.

Hussain kicking off the day 

Rakhi then handed over to Hussain Abbas from Axelerant who joined us as guest speaker for the sprint. He started by talking about the power of open source and how open source has in past sustained and in fact grown in face of financial crises. Truly, Open Source is here to stay!
Hussain then proceeded with talking about the path for Drupal core and contributes projects to Drupal 9 and how we can make sure that projects we frequently use and maintain can be made ready for Drupal 9. The Drupal community has created various tools to help us with these:

  1. drupal-check: A PHP CLI tool to get a report of any deprecated code used. This can be integrated into build processes and continuous integration systems.
  2. drupal-rector: A tool for automated deprecation fixes for some common cases.
  3. Upgrade status module: A wrapper module around drupal-check internals that generates a full site report of contributed and custom modules used in the site. This report can be used to assess the overall Drupal 9 compatibility of the modules.
  4. Upgrade rector: A user interface on top of drupal-rector, which also integrated with Upgrade Status.

Read more about these tools in the official Drupal documentation:

After Hussain finished his session and just before we were about to wrap up the call, we realized that Rachel Lawson, Community Liason - Drupal Association, has joined us in the call. The presence of the Community Liason from DA also inspired & motivated us to give our best to this contribution weekend.

Let's code!

After all the sessions, it was time for the code contribution now. From the start, one could tell that it was going to be a productive day. Just under an hour we made significant progress and moved a lot of issues to RTBC or Fixed.

Start of the day:

Start of the day

An hour into contribution:

An hour into contribution

Come for the code, Stay for the community!

Highlights of the day were the appreciation that the mentors received from the newcomers and first-time contributors for their help and support. We had a first-time contributor who had been contributing back to the WordPress community in the past as well as trying their hands-on Drupal contribution for the first time. They really loved the experience and appreciated the welcome and support they received from the community. In their own words: "You all (Drupal community) are awesome and doing great work!"

Words of appreciation from a wordpress community member.

With our spirits high we continued the rest of the day with the contribution. And to have the feeling of togetherness in this endeavour, we had the zoom bridge open throughout the day so that people could freely reach out to each other. We even had regular check-ins every couple of hours so that everyone feels connected.

We ended the even at 3:30 pm with a call where everyone shared their experience and appreciation for the community. It turned out to be a very fruitful day of contribution. By the end of it, we were able to move around 50 issues from needs work/active to RTBC/Fixed.Thanks to all amazing mentors for their support to make this happen: 







In the end, this would never have been possible without all you contributors who supported the event with writing patches, reviewing/testing them,  showing up to the event motivating all organizers. We hope for your continued participation over the coming Sprints.

My experience

Overall, it was a very productive day! I really enjoyed this new experience of contributing from the comfort of my home and it was also a much-welcomed distraction from the grim time we all have been having because of the current pandemic. I appreciate the opportunity to work with everyone from the community and would love to do it again soon.

Oh yes! That reminds me of something! Guess what? We already have another contribution weekend planned for next month! It's planned for May 16th and I would love to see and work with the community again. Read more about the event here:

See you all again on 16th next month.

Until then, stay safe!

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