Suchi Garg Reveals Key Responsibilities and Exciting Experiences at DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023
TheDropTimes (TDT) recently interviewed Suchi Garg, a respected technical manager at Salsa Digital and DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023 organizing committee member, to gain valuable insights into her role and responsibilities at Drupal Con.
Suchi, who has been an integral part of the Speakers review committee for several DrupalCons, shared her thoughts on the honour and immense responsibility that comes with the position. She also discussed her first-time experience as a marketing committee member, highlighting the valuable learning and growth she gained from the opportunity.
Read the whole conversation with Kazima Abbas, sub-editor, TDT, below.
TDT : Can you tell us about your experience and journey with Drupal?
Suchi Garg: Sure. I did my post-graduation in Marketing and Finance, and after that, I started working as an executive assistant to the MD at a cement consulting agency in India (1997). As luck would have it, I was pushed into IT and PHP development, and I, with my boss, worked on a time-management software for the organization in PHP. After that, I worked for a travel blog company as a PHP dev and was introduced to Drupal in 2006. Drupal 4.2 - oh lord - the kind of things I did on my first project makes me cringe even now. And I never looked back. Since 2009, I have been working with Drupal almost exclusively and have been a developer, tech lead, trainer, mentor, solutions architect, and even some project management!
TDT : How has your experience as a Technical Manager at Salsa Digital influenced your understanding and leadership in the Drupal ecosystem?
Suchi: I have been in leadership positions for some time now and have closely observed leadership in the Drupal ecosystem. While in India, I was in the leadership position at Acquia India.
TDT : You have been actively involved in the Drupal community for many years. Could you share some of your notable contributions and experiences in Drupal?
Suchi: I have attended several DrupalCons, and have spoken at 4 DrupalCons. In the past few years, I have been volunteering at all the DrupalCons. I have also been volunteering and speaking at DrupalSouth. While in India, I attended almost all Drupal camps (pre-2017) - and spoke/mentored/volunteered. Currently, I am involved in organizing the Melbourne Drupal meetup (monthly). I am also a member of the EOWG board. In addition to these non-code contributions, I have also been an active code contributor to drupal.org.
TDT : As a member of the Speaker's Review Committee and Marketing Committee of DrupalCon, what are your responsibilities, and how do you aim to contribute to the event's success?
Suchi: I have been a part of the Speakers review committee for the past few DrupalCons, which is an honour and immense responsibility. My responsibilities are to review the submitted sessions and rate that on a scale based on predefined criteria. Based on our ratings, the final session selection is made. This was the first time I was a part of the marketing committee, and it was indeed a great experience. Responsibilities included writing and reviewing marketing material like social media posts, blog posts, speaker cards, etc.
TDT : You have more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry. Could you share some insights into how your extensive experience has shaped your approach to Drupal and your role as a technical manager?
Suchi: I think it has made me empathetic. I can understand the other side of the conversation quite well. I have also learned to be patient and to be a good listener.
TDT : How do you balance your passion for development and your role as a technical leader? How do you stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in the Drupal ecosystem?
Suchi: This is a difficult question—I sometimes have to pull myself back and say to myself—this needs to be done by the developer and not me! I keep reading Drupal news, ensuring I am updated on the latest trends. Also, I like to try things hands-on, which helps.
TDT : As a member of the Indian Drupal community and now actively participating in the Australian Drupal community, what are some key differences or similarities you've observed between the two communities?
Suchi: Things have changed considerably due to Covid. So I don't think it would be fair to compare. Now the Indian community would have also changed significantly. But if I were to say something—this is more of a cultural thing—in India, there is generally lesser respect for work-life balance.
TDT : Finally, what are your future aspirations or goals within the Drupal community? Are there any specific initiatives or projects you would like to contribute to in the coming years?
Suchi: I would like to keep contributing as much as possible.
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