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DrupalCon Amsterdam: Initial results of the Drupal Business Survey and what that means for the DrupalCon Amsterdam Business Track

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 14:32

This week we got the results of the Drupal Business Survey. Detailed analysis will be posted over the next few weeks, but in this blog post I wanted to set out the headline findings. I also want to draw initial conclusions to guide people preparing to submit sessions for the DrupalCon Amsterdam Business Track.

The survey comprised 3 questionnaires — one for leaders of Drupal businesses, one for staff, and one for clients. We got the most responses to the leaders survey. Unfortunately there were fewest responses to the client survey. This is the data I’d be most interested in for assessing how we as a community fare at running our businesses, so I’ll look into other ways to gather this feedback more proactively.

I’ll provide more analysis in the coming weeks on my blog

The Initial Findings

The client responses we did get were generally favourable to Drupal businesses, with the only consistently weak area being marketing and promotion. Clients praised Drupal businesses in comparison with other agencies they’ve dealt with as having “Less ego, more agility”, being “less pushy” and having “management teams that understand web development”.

The staff responses were also generally positive. 100% of respondents rated their company as ‘nice to work with’. The weakest area was again marketing and promotion, with sales and pitching close behind. General business management, and project management were only thought to be ‘ok’.

What was interesting was that these findings matched almost exactly to the Leaders survey, showing that those in charge of Drupal businesses have a pretty good awareness of the strong and weak points of their companies.

Interestingly, both the leaders and staff of Drupal businesses complained about clients having ‘unrealistic expectations’, ‘unrealistic budgets’, and even ‘being out of touch with their real needs’. This suggests a need for Drupal agencies to become better at helping clients scope and plan projects during the sales and initial discovery phases.

Guidance For DrupalCon Business Track Sessions

From these initial findings I’ve drawn some very broad conclusions to help give some guidance on the kind of sessions it would be good to see at DrupalCon Europe this autumn.

I’d really like to encourage sessions in these areas:

  • Strategies and tactics for marketing Drupal businesses and their services to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming in this golden age for Drupal - identifying potential clients, contacting them, attracting them to find out more about your business and Drupal, and educating them about the benefits.
  • Techniques and tools for setting up projects for success during the sales and discovery phases - by making sure the project is defined well, everyone shares the same expectations, everyone knows what success will look like, and there’s a much higher chance of the project going well and the client being happy.
  • Good communications during a project so that it continues to run smoothly
  • Good management practice tips and tools for agency-style businesses so that they are stable and able to grow quickly

So - if you run an agency, what do you do in these areas that you should share with other Drupal businesses? If you’re a client, would you like to share your feedback and wish list for Drupal suppliers to follow? if you have experience of agency businesses outside of the Drupal space what can you share from that?

These areas are just guidance, and all submissions are welcome, but these areas will be reviewed particularly favourably as we have identified these needs in the target audience for the business track.

Make your submission

You can submit your session proposal via the DrupalCon Amsterdam website

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help. Email me at


Thanks go to Janne Kalliola of Exove and Stephanie El-Hajj of the Drupal Association for help in running the business track and feedback on the survey design. Thanks also to Vesa Palmu for feedback on the survey. And of course, thanks to everyone who responded.

Steve Parks, Wunderroot
The DrupalCon Amsterdam Drupal Business Track Lead

Categories: Elsewhere

Code Karate: Drupal 7 Multiblock Module

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 13:26

In this episode, we are taking a looksie at the Drupal 7 Multiblock module. This gem, allows you to create separate instances of your site blocks.

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Cathy Theys: Give and get good patch reviews session AND SymfonyCon interview!

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 09:09

In a massive Cathy Theys double-header this week, hear parts rescued from our conversation at SyfonyCon Warsaw, which was plagued by technical difficulties and check out Cathy's insightful session, "Patch Reviews: Get good reviews, give good reviews. Faster." It is full of practical advice to take your contribution to Drupal and open source software to the next level. In the podcast interview, we talk about the opportunities Drupal has given Cathy; some of the benefits of the refactoring that has gone into Drupal 8; joining up with the Symfony community: mutual learning, different styles of contribution, Drupal's new relevance; and the business case for open source contribution and sustainability.

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Drupal Media Team: Media Team Sprints at DrupalCon Austin

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 09:05

The Drupal Media team will be sprinting all week at DrupalCon Austin!

Sprint Days Resources

All of the sprint tasks are visible in our DrupalCon Austin Trello board which we and all the sprinters will be using to coordinate efforts and progress all week. If you would like access to this board, see Dave Reid (and make sure to sign up for an account on Trello).

Sprint Areas Drupal core issues

Leads: Dave Reid (davereid), Janez Urevc (slashrsm)

This team will be working on any Drupal core issues tagged with "Media Initiative".

Some specific issues we'd like to tackle in Austin:

  • #1399846: Backport the make unused file cleanup configurable to Drupal 7.
  • #2128791, #2148353, #2078473: Ensure that file entities use a proper access controller and is used for hook_file_download().
  • #1308152: Add module://, theme:// and profile:// stream wrappers to access system files
Drupal 8 contrib module development

Leads: Dave Reid (davereid), Janez Urevc (slashrsm)

The modules we are working on:

Drupal 7 contrib module beta blockers

Leads: Devin Carlson (devincarlson), Brant Wynn (brantwynn)

This team will be working on the following in the hopes to be able to release 7.x-2.0-beta1 versions of the primary Media and File entity modules. website

Leads: Brandon Neil (bneil), Willy Karam (willyk)

We use a Trello board to organize the tasks for

Sign up!

Make sure to sign up on the Sprint attendance availability Google spreadsheet under the 'Drupal Media Initiative' section, if you plan on attending any of the days.

Not going to be in Austin?

No problem! There are still several ways to participate. We will all be in the #drupal-media IRC channel during the sprints and would be more than happy to help assign issues to work on or point people in the right direction.

We also will gladly accept your Drupal Media user story submissions as we start to finalize our plans and development for Drupal 8.

Categories: Elsewhere

ThinkShout: Meet the ThinkShout Team at DrupalCon Austin

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 09:00

Next week, ten members of the ThinkShout crew will ship out to Austin, Texas for DrupalCon 2014. This is our largest delegation yet and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We’ve got Drupal 8 on the brain and we’re sure you do, too.

If you plan on attending DrupalCon in Austin, we’re always down to talk shop - or not shop. We’ll be all over the place during those four days, but here’s where you can find us:

Exhibit Hall

We’ll be sharing booth 508 with our partner and preferred nonprofit payment processor, iATS Payments. Stop by! We’d love to talk to you about the exciting work we’re doing with the iATS Drupal Module. Dan Ruscoe himself will be available to discuss his work.

Official Sessions

“Student, Counselor, Advocate: The Many Hats of Content Strategists ”
Wednesday, 1:00-2:00pm,
Room: 16 - Pantheon, 4th Floor

Brett Heckman and Brett Meyer will will provide you with some valuable techniques to help you facilitate a great discovery process.

Birds of a Feather (BoF)

The ThinkShout team will be leading a great variety of BoF sessions next week. Join in the conversations - we want to hear from you!


Title: Leveraging Salesforce with Drupal with Tauno Hogue
Room: 8A - JustDigital | 3rd floor
Time: Tuesday, 2:15-3:15pm

Title: Unmoderated Small Sample User Testing with Brett Meyer (@brett_meyer) & Sean Larkin (@sean_larkin)
Room: 10A - Ashday | 3rd floor
Time: Tuesday, 2:15-3:15pm

Title: Static Site Generators & Wireframes with Eric Paxton & Brett Heckman
Room: 8A - JustDigital | 3rd floor
Time: Tuesday, 3:45-4:45pm


Title: Building Your Drupal-Based Business: What Keeps You Up at Night? with Sean Larkin (@sean_larkin) w/Chris Wolz (@cwolz) of Forum One (@forumone)
Room: 8B - Unicon | 3rd floor
Time slot: Wednesday, 10:45-11:45

Title: Email Marketing with Drupal with Lev Tsypin (@levelos)
Room: 10A - Ashday | 3rd floor
Time: Wednesday, 3:45-4:45pm


Title: Nonprofit Fundraising with Drupal with Lev Tsypin (@levelos)
Room: 8C - VLM | 3rd floor
Time: Thursday, 10:45-11:45am

Title: Leveraging Drupal Commerce for a Nonprofit Payment Provider with Dan Ruscoe (@danruscoe) and Stephen Bestbier of iATS Payments
Room: 8A - JustDigital | 3rd floor
Time slot: Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

Title: Discovery Workshop with Brett Heckman & Brett Meyer (@brett_meyer)
Room: 10A - Ashday | 3rd floor
Time: Thursday, 1:00-2:00pm

If you can’t make it, no worries. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to fill you in one what you missed. Twitter, email, carrier pigeon, whatever works for you. To those of you Austin-bound, we’ll see you there. Bring on the breakfast tacos!

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon Austin News: An Offer of Free Rides for DrupalCon Attendees

Fri, 30/05/2014 - 01:24

The new rideshare platform Lyft is offering a special deal for DrupalCon Austin attendees. Conference attendees can download the Lyft app and get 2 weeks of free rides up to $25 per ride. If you enter the code "DRUPALCON" before your first ride, you will receive an additional free ride up to $25 (which can be used in any of Lyft's 60 other existing cities).

Categories: Elsewhere