Last week I attended DrupalCon Chicago – my first DrupalCon since I started working on Drupal related projects in the Interoperability team. Overall, my impression of the event was “wow”. It has been a while since I have seen such a large group (3,000+) of people this passionate about a single piece of software. It didn’t take long for me to realize why: these weren’t just users of the software – they were part of the software. Everyone is bought in, everyone has a stake and a say. This is what Open Source is all about and I must say I dig it.
I spent several hours working the Microsoft booth which was an excellent way to get the vibe of the community – particularly around where Microsoft can and should play a part. Most common question? “What exactly does Microsoft have to do with Drupal?”. The answer is simple: we are working hard along with many partners in the community to make Drupal shine on Windows / Windows Azure and SQL Server for those who would be interested taking advantage of that capability. We did not come to sell Windows or SQL Server but rather to explain what is possible, provide choice and last but not least listen to what people actually want Microsoft to do! I learned a lot about interesting integration scenarios with other Microsoft products and services that I had not even thought about that are of interest to the community. And the semi-surprising bit: not a single whiff of hostility from a single person through the entire event. A number folks had no qualms about telling me that they were a LAMP shop and told me why, but more often than not it was followed by “…but I understand why you guys are here and I appreciate your participation in the community.” This is a classy bunch, and I appreciate the opportunity to have been there.
I look forward to continuing to engage more with the Drupal community at large alongside my colleagues Grace, Mark, Alessandro and many others who are committed to a long term partnership. I look forward to your feedback as well on the Drupal projects that we are working on and what we should be working on!
Sr. Technical Ambassador