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Introducing: The Mediacurrent Contrib Half Hour

Not sure what this whole "patch" thing is? Have a core change that you can't quite finish? Running into a problem with a contrib module, or a theme, or a 3rd party library, and not sure how to fix it? New to maintaining a module and unsure of what to do next? Wondering how to get your module through the security opt-in process? Is your project's issue queue getting you down? Join us every Thursday at noon EST for the Mediacurrent Contrib Half Hour where we'll be available to help solve contrib challenges.

Each week we'll host a live meeting to give step-by-step guidance on some best practices for contributing to Drupal, and provide Q and A assistance for our favorite open source (OSS) content management system (CMS). The meetings will be lead by yours truly, Damien McKenna, a prolific contributor to the Drupal community, and my coworkers here at Mediacurrent.

Why?

Two years ago when I started a weekly internal call to discuss our contributions, I made the mistake of focusing it too narrowly. Following a scrum standup format was good for finding out what contributions my coworkers were working on and helped compile all those monthly Contrib Committee Review blog posts I've written. However, it didn't work so well for helping people learn how to use the tools available to us on drupal.org, which I've always found to be a major stumbling block to people being effective Drupal developers.

Meanwhile, some of our coworkers started up a weekly internal meeting focused on accessibility that followed a more open-ended structure - they'd start with a demo or presentation and then branch off into general questions and answers. I participated a few times and saw that their conversations were much more active than the contrib meeting - they were onto something here! Furthermore, after some time they collaborated with others outside of Mediacurrent to create the monthly community accessibility meetings, which has been a great success.

Taking some cues from these most excellent people, we're restructuring our meeting to be more demo focused and are opening the meeting up to the wider community!

When and Where

We'll meet every week on Thursdays at noon EST. We're planning to use the Zoom video conferencing platform for our calls and will be available from URL: https://zoom.us/j/570818413. Each meeting will also be recorded and uploaded to our Youtube channel, where we'll quickly build up a repository of discussions and advice.

Note: the Zoom service will enable your computer's microphone and video camera automatically unless told otherwise. To disable these options, open the Zoom client on your computer, open the preferences, then on the "Audio" tab click the checkbox labeled "Always mute microphone when joining meeting" to disable the mic initially, and on the "Video" tab click the checkbox labeled "Turn off my video when joining meeting" to disable the video initially.

Schedule

Our tentative schedule is as follows:

  • November 30th: Finding and testing a bugfix.
  • December 7th: Keeping track of patches with Composer, Drush Make or PATCHES.txt.
  • December 14th: Options for local development.
  • December 21st: No meeting due to end-of-year vacation.
  • December 28th: No meeting due to end-of-year vacation.
  • January 4th: Rerolling patches.
  • January 11th: Creating a fix for a Drupal bug.
  • January 18th: How to report a security problem.
  • January 25th: Finding and improving documentation.
  • February 1st: Writing tests.
  • February 8th: Planning a release.
  • February 15th: Creating new releases.

After that we'll see what topics people would like to cover.

Each week we'll start off with a 5-15 minute demo around that week's topic, with the remainder of the time available for additional discussion and general questions and answers.

About us

Mediacurrent has been a top sponsor of contributions to the Drupal ecosystem, ranking strongly on Dries Buytaert's two annual contrib sponsorship reports (2015-2016, 2016-2017). Since 2015 Mediacurrent's Contrib Committee has brought monthly reviews highlighting our staffs' achievements within the Drupal community and beyond. We follow a Contrib First mantra whereby our development processes are focused around contributing, which lessens our clients' long term maintenance requirements, while increaseing the functionality and fixes available to the community. We believe that other development agencies and site owners should contribute to open source projects to ensure their stability, security and long term viability.

Thursday, November 30th, noon EST!

As mentioned, our first meeting will be on Thursday, November 16th, starting at noon EST / 9am PST / 5pm GMT. The meeting will use the Zoom service at the following URL: https://zoom.us/j/570818413; we'll also post the URL to our Twitter account and in the #contribute channel on the Drupal slack. We hope you'll be able to join us!

Headshot

Meet team member, Damien McKenna

In his role as Community Lead, Damien directs internal initiatives that strengthen Mediacurrent’s commitment to open-source principles, collaboration, and sharing knowledge to strengthen the Drupal community. Regularly ranked as one of the ten most active contributors on drupal.org, Damien has been a significant member of the Drupal community since 2007. In addition to writing documentation, writing & reviewing patches and mentoring others, Damien maintains Metatag, Views, Twitter, Panelizer and several other SEO-focused modules.

Prior to Mediacurrent, Damien spent five years building content management systems and frameworks using multiple languages (PHP, ColdFusion, Ruby), before he was first introduced to Drupal in 2007. A year later, he delved deeper into Drupal 5's architecture while migrating two popular skiing sites off a proprietary system. While becoming increasingly involved in his local Drupal community, Damien led the development of several successful content-rich platforms including a US radio station network spanning ten individual sites. Damien joined Mediacurrent in 2012 as a Lead Drupal Architect, where he was involved with planning the architecture of new sites, project estimates, and lots of hands-on development work.

When not working with Drupal, Damien enjoys playing ukulele and spending time with family in their home in Central Florida.

Learn more about Damien >

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