Around 40 Drupalists and people curious to learn Drupal gathered right before Christmas on 20 Dec 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The first regular large scale Drupal meeting in Bangkok saw many Drupal developers sharing their experience and demoing their sites. Hans Christian Schrøder, immediate former president of Drupal Association Norway and myself (Sven Berg Ryen), president of Drupal Developer Network (Singapore) shared experience of organizing meetups and ways to get the community engaged. The venue was kindly sponsored in kind by Microsoft Thailand through Prisda Gomutputra.
Earlier in 2012, a meetup was organized in July by Sven and Hans Christian, and another meetup in September by Sven. It's now great to see that there will be regular meetups at a venue that offers projector and classroom facilities.
Interest in regular meetups
As the local developers presented themselves, it was very clear that there was a strong interest to learn about Drupal. Experienced Drupal developers were also sharing a lot, both in English and Thai. Towards the end, a poll was taken, and the group decided to meet once a month on Mondays. The next meeting will be held 28 Jan at Microsoft Bangkok, 38th Fl. CRC Tower, All Seasons Place.
Challenge of bilingual drupal communities
Language was not a problem at the meetup. A few people spoke in English and a few people in Thai. The key elements of the Thai conversations were translated to English without disrupting the flow of the meetup. As the majority of people in the room spoke Thai, this was really okay.
The main challenge when it comes to language is in finding learning resources for those new to Drupal. There is very little knowledge shared in Thai about Drupal, which represents a problem for those not fluent in English.
A good way to increase and grow the Drupal community in Thailand will be sharing of knowledge in blogs and online articles that can be found through online search. Hopefully local Thai developers can also share/present at meetups partially in Thai.
Should slides be in English/Thai? I actually can't say for sure, though the focus for growing drupal in Thai needs to be put on creating resources in Thai language, so that the meetup and community is most welcoming to developers that find Thai more convenient than English.
Visiting Thailand as a drupalist?
Come present something and share your knowledge with local drupalists. There's a contact form on the meetup page that you can use to get in touch with the organizers. With the many options for beach, sun and relaxation in Thailand, you might even want to use the Drupal meetup as an excuse to spend time in Thailand ;)
Thailand Drupal resources
- http://www.meetup.com/Drupal-Meetup-Bangkok/ (meetup page)
- http://groups.drupal.org/thailand (This group)
- http://www.facebook.com/DrupalThailand (Facebook)
- http://drupal.in.th/ (Forum)
Presenting and sharing by Drupal developers
Group photo with most participants