Drupal's Innovation and Future: 2024 and Beyond—Part 1

Drupal's Future Is Shaped by Its Community

The web landscape is in constant flux, and Drupal's continued success hinges on its ability to adapt and innovate. From passionate individuals and committed agencies and end users to the coordinating efforts of the Drupal Association, the Drupal community drives initiatives, tackles challenges, and reimagines what's possible. 

To gain frontline insights, we connected with experts from diverse corners of the Drupal community, exploring the trends shaping Drupal's future and how it's rising to meet the evolving needs of the web.

Alex Moreno Lopez: Innovation & the Drupal Association

While the Drupal community is the core of its success, the Drupal Association plays a vital role: It maintains infrastructure, orchestrates initiatives, and promotes innovation, fostering a safe and inclusive space for everyone within the community. To understand the DA's strategy for Drupal's future, we connected with Alex Moreno Lopez, Program Manager and Drupal Innovation Coordinator at the Association.

Alex Moreno Lopez

Moreno responded, "At this point, everyone should have heard that innovation is a key goal for the Drupal Association. Innovation can mean a lot of different things for different people. Drupal is a hugely decentralized community, and the way innovation happens in Drupal is also decentralized."

Alex Moreno emphasized that innovation in Drupal often stems from contributed modules, contributions in Core, and strategic initiatives. He underscored that this innovation transcends any individual role or group, highlighting the collaborative nature of Drupal's development community. Moreno further elaborated on the initiation of key projects such as the Contribution Health Dashboards and the Bounty program, which are aimed at fostering contributions and providing guidance to contributors on where their efforts would be most impactful.

On top of that, we need to attract younger talent. That will play a key role in the next months and years in modernizing Drupal and ensuring it is in the right spot to surf the next wave.

Michael Anello:  Learn, Create, Collaborate

Growing Drupal means attracting and training new enthusiasts. We turned to Michael Anello, who is deeply involved in Drupal through his work at DrupalEasy and is known for his extensive experience in training and consulting.  Given his background, we were interested in his perspective on Drupal's future in 2024 and how programs like Drupal Career Online at DrupalEasy Academy contribute to the community's growth and expertise.

Michael Anello

Anello shared his insights, stating, "I’m hoping that the Drupal community is realizing that now, more than ever, an emphasis on bringing in new talent to the Drupal community is vital to our long-term health. At DrupalEasy, we will continue to strive to bring world-class training for those new to Drupal as well as those looking to improve their skills. We will be focusing on continuing to update our curriculum to include evolving best practices and AI tools that make us all more efficient and effective developers."

"I sincerely hope that initiatives like Automatic Updates, Project Browser, and Promote Drupal will bring in new users to the Drupal community and demonstrate our commitment to making Drupal easier to use for a wide variety of sites," he continued. 

AmyJune Hineline: Inclusivity

A Free and Open-Source platform's strength lies in the diversity of its contributors. We connected with Amy June Hineline, Certification Community Architect at The Linux Foundation, who is deeply rooted in Drupal and broader free and open source communities, particularly in accessibility. Here's her take on ensuring inclusivity in free and open-source communities in 2024.

AmyJune Hineline

"Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords. They are integral to who we are and what we stand for as an open-source community. In 2024, I see leaders staying engaged with the community, gathering feedback, and iterating on strategies to ensure that the open-source space remains accessible and welcoming for individuals from all backgrounds and abilities."

Ryan Szrama: Drupal Commerce Evolves

Drupal Commerce significantly expands Drupal's capabilities, making it suitable for a wide variety of e-commerce use cases. To learn more, we discussed Centarro's position at the forefront of Drupal Commerce and the developments they foresee for the platform in 2024 with Ryan Szrama, CEO at Centarro and co-founder of Commerce Guys.

Ryan Szrama

Ryan replied, "When it comes to Drupal Commerce, I think the most important developments will be what happens around the project, not necessarily directly in its code. Much like the Drupal Association is charting a fresh course for marketing Drupal as a whole, we're following their lead to improve the marketing of Drupal Commerce.

This will mean modernizing more of the project website, migrating project documentation to ReadTheDocs (updating it as we go), documenting the Commerce Kickstart project template, and more. We ended 2023 with a great Commerce Core release, too, rolling out a store dashboard that helps merchants track the performance of their stores while also giving us a channel to communicate upcoming changes, new features, and other recommendations within the dashboard itself."

Szrama outlined expectations for a concentrated effort on B2B order management and recurring billing feature sets... In alignment with overarching initiatives for Drupal Commerce, plans entail refining Centarro's properties to better mirror the platform and its support for merchants...

Fei Lauren: Diversity, Inclusivity, & Drupal's Future

Drupal's evolution also encompasses efforts to build a more representative and welcoming community. We spoke with Fei Lauren, Scrum Master, Front End Developer, and DDI initiative lead, about the ongoing efforts of the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion initiative and its contribution to Drupal's evolution and success in 2024.

Fei Lauren

"This is the first time that a Diversity & Inclusion Lead has also held a seat on the Drupal Association’s Board of Directors. It’s always been important to me in the context of leadership that I work to build trust by demonstrating that change is possible. But this year my hope is to share what I am learning as a board member and help others feel empowered to step into roles where they can also affect positive change in our community."

Fei outlined the project's focus on removing barriers for marginalized and underrepresented members who wish to attend or speak at DrupalCon, stating, 

"One very personal project within DDI has been working to remove barriers for marginalized and underrepresented members who want to attend or speak at DrupalCon. I have been talking to members of the community about this for a couple of years, but I am now part of a newly formed DrupalCon Working Group. 

The #diversity-inclusion Slack channel has become a community hub and through this work, I hope we can also establish ourselves as a valuable source of feedback and information for those who need to make informed decisions about policy change."

These conversations highlight Drupal’s unique capacity for innovation, adaptation, and inclusivity. With a dedicated and visionary community, Drupal's future as a leading CMS remains bright. 

Are you eager to share your experiences, predictions, or ideas about Drupal's future? We invite you to share your voice! Fill out our form [Drupal's Innovation and Future: 2024 and Beyond (google.com)] and be considered for our article series showcasing diverse perspectives from across the Drupal community.

Want to know more about how you can participate and share your insights? Check out our latest blog: Drupal's Innovation and Future: Share Your Perspectives! | TheDropTimes

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