Collaboration with FOSS Communities Help Cross-Pollination of Ideas: Nico Grienauer

Drupical Founder Speaks About Drupal Developer Days 2023, Vienna
Nico Grienauer
Nico Grienauer

Nico Grienauer

Nico Grienauer is the founder of Drupical, a map driven ready reference for all Drupal events. He wears several caps in the Drupal community. Nico is a board member of Drupal Association Austria. He is also the co-founder and CEO of acolono, a Drupal firm. In this interview with Thomas Alias K, former sub-editor at TheDropTimes (TDT),  Nico Grienauer speaks primarily about Drupal Developer Days 2023, scheduled for July 19 to 22 in Vienna, Austria. #DDD 2023 is an event exclusively for Drupal Developers covering 63 sessions, including 3 keynote addresses, over 8 tracks. Nico is a co-organiser of the event together with Christian Ziegler, Jeremy Chinquist, and Gábor Hojtsy.  

“Non-coding contributions might not always receive the same immediate recognition as coding contributions, but their value is immense and should not be underestimated," states Nico.

Let us skip to the interview:  

TDT [1]: You are a person who is very much active in the Drupal community initiatives and is also a board member of the Drupal Austria Association. What are your suggestions to improve community engagement in the region?

Nico Grienauer: Indeed, fostering a vibrant and engaged community is crucial to the success of any open-source initiative. I believe there are several strategies we can implement to enhance community engagement in our region.

Firstly, we could and should host regular meetups and workshops. These events are educational and provide a platform for community members to network, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. They are an excellent way to bring together individuals with a shared interest in Drupal, from beginners to experienced developers.

Secondly, we should consider establishing mentorship programs. Experienced Drupal users can guide newcomers, helping them navigate through the initial learning curve. This approach can foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging, which is essential in any community. Perhaps these programmes should also be in the local language, to prevent language barriers.

Thirdly, we need to promote our community and its activities actively. Utilising social media platforms, blogs, and newsletters can help us reach a broader audience and attract new members. We should highlight the benefits of joining our community, such as gaining new skills, networking opportunities, and the chance to contribute to an open-source project.

Lastly, collaboration with other open-source communities can be mutually beneficial. We can organise joint events or projects, providing an opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas and skills. This strategy can widen our reach and introduce more people to the benefits of Drupal.

Therefore, we initiated the Open Minds Award in 2017, where we brought together multiple OS CMS communities with the Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Hardware, and Open Source scene.

By implementing these strategies, I believe we can significantly enhance community engagement in our region, driving the growth and development of Drupal.

TDT [2]: Now coming to Drupal Dev Days Vienna. First of all, why is it named so?

Nico: The Drupal Developer Days is named as such to reflect its primary purpose: it is a dedicated event for Drupal developers. The name underscores the focus on the technical aspects of Drupal, providing an opportunity for developers to learn, collaborate, and contribute to the Drupal community. It is our annual event, and this year we are pleased to be responsible for it.

Drupal Developer Days
Group photo from a former Drupal Developer Days event. Nico can be spoted where the green arrow points to. 

TDT [3]: What major outcomes do you expect from the 2023 edition of Drupal Developer Days Vienna?

Nico: Finally, we are coming together again in person to work on the heart of Drupal. We will also have lots of fun in Vienna with a programme alongside the sessions. See some already:

And if you ask me, I am looking forward to meeting old and new friends!

TDT [4]: You have made numerous non-coding contributions to Drupal. Do non-coding contributions receive less applause? How important are they?

Nico: Non-coding contributions might not always receive the same immediate recognition as coding contributions, but their value is immense and should not be underestimated. They form the backbone of any open-source community. These contributions, which can range from project management and event organisation to documentation, translations, or even just creating some logos for a project page ;P, can help to create a more inclusive, diverse and welcoming community.

The beauty of an open-source community is that everyone can have a role to play, and every contribution, no matter how small, helps to push the project forward. So, let's celebrate every contribution, coding or non-coding, because each one is a step towards our shared vision.

TDT [5]: Is there anything you are especially looking forward to at DDD this year?

Nico: We will have more than 60 sessions with really great topics and speakers from around the world. This is awesome! Also, I am looking forward to the keynotes, of course. For me, I like to be at BoFs and try to move things around and get things done or discussed. It's just easier when everyone is in one room and not separated by a monitor.

And excuse the shameless plug: I am really looking forward to the "English Comedy Night", which we (acolono) are organising as a social event. And there will also be a surprise act at the Official Party, which no one should miss. :)

I can’t wait to meet as many of you as possible.

Let's unite in purpose and passion and have something that will continue to resonate and inspire long after we've returned to our daily lives. :)

Disclaimer: The information provided about the interviewee has been gathered from publicly available resources. The responsibility for the responses shared in the interview solely rests with the featured individual.

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