New type of drupal one-day camp: DrupalConTribute

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Our mission is to lower the barrier to and increase contributions to Core and Contrib modules, themes and documentation by taking participants through the process step-by-step, in the presence of (and with direct guidance from) experienced contributors.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be large numbers of people out there on the fringes of full Community participation; people who use Drupal on a daily basis - for their primary source of income even - who very much want to contribute to but for a variety of reasons (intimidation, insecurity about their skill level, fear of looking stupid or being ridiculed, etc.), but haven't done so yet. The purpose of DrupalConTribute events is to ease to transition to active participation in a controlled and supportive setting.

It's like riding a bike!

Regular contributors often tell stories about their first time: how afraid and intimidated they were, and then how easy it was in practice. It was a rite of passage. Once they did it, from then on it was easy. These events are designed to provide support for this transitional experience and to aggressively grow the number of contributors in the Drupal Community.

DrupalConTribute Event Features

  • All DrupalConTribute events will have small groups (cohorts) of approximately 20 learners (and eventually multiples of these) for maximum access to support.
  • The Events run one (probably weekend) day.
  • Participants bring their own laptops and skillsets, everything else will be provided via the use of thumb drive or downloadable VM installers with Drupal QuickStart pre-installed (or maybe a customized fork thereof). Free WiFi will be provided at the event.
  • There will be a place for every type of contribution: modules, themes, documentation.
  • There will be a morning prep and lecture session, followed by a catered lunch break, then a longer hands-on section.
  • The leaders of each cohort will be comprised of one or more Facilitators and a Maintainer for each of the respective issue queues which will be the Topic Projects of that particular event.
  • the Event will cover such critical topics such as issue queue etiquette, best practices (what they are and how to find them) for all the steps involved in the process, the GPL license and other common Open Source licenses and what they mean, using Git in the context of, and other peripheral and foundation topics. These concepts will be immediately be out into practice in the hands-on section of the Event.
  • What will NOT be covered: core competences in each area (these skills must be provided by the participants) - coding, themeing, technical writing.
  • All leadership is provided by volunteer members. No monetary compensation is expected or provided.
  • There will be sponsorship opportunities.
  • The goal is to keep the cost of participation nominal ($20 or so) to encourage and enable participation.
  • The Event leadership will decide and announce the specific Module, Theme and Documentation projects for each Event in advance. There will be one of each type per cohort.
  • Based on the skills and preferences of the participants, each participant will select a single issue from the queue of the previously announced Topic Project. This acts as a base for introducing and reinforcing the idea of the Code Sprint as it obtains to the Drupal Community.
  • we expect to achieve a 100% completion/success rate, using the following combination of strategies:
    • The Maintainer, Co-Maintainer or another person authorized to perform technical content review and commit patches into the issue queue for each announced module, theme and documentation for the Event will be present to answer questions, review and discuss patches, and expedite the commit process.
    • "Success" means that a participant has completed the entire process, solved the issue, and seen their patch reviewed and committed as part of the issue queue on
    • Participants will use peer-to-peer discussion and problem-solving to help each other solve their particular issue, thereby emulating and reinforcing community relationships.
    • New friendships and professional support relationships will be fostered between members of each cohort that will bleed (hopefully) over into the outside post-event world. Post-event informal cohort "reunions" are planned if there is interest
    • The small size of the cohorts (approx 20 individuals) will facilitate plenty of support for each participant.
    • Use of standardized tools via the VM provided will allow best practices and processes to be taught and reinforced through hands-on supervised application, and also facilitate cooperation between members of the cohort.
    • We hope to keep the event fun, light, open and low-stress by providing this support scaffolding to ensure a successful outcome
  • These Events are intended to be held by local Drupal community members EVERYWHERE. The first DrupalConTribute will tentatively be held in New York City in Q4 2011. This will be our "pilot event". No final date has been decided as yet. Lessons learned from the pilot event will provide the beta testing for our process, and afterwards organization materials will be created and posted here for use by any group that wishes to hold an event in their locale.
  • These are NOT-FOR-PROFIT events. All we require for others to use any materials and processes we gather is that, wherever you are, you do the same. Pay it forward, people.

  • Ideally the Event will provide some fun, memento (badge, patch, t-shirt, etc) of the program that celebrates the participants' successful completion of their patch commit as a rite of passage.
  • Have an afterparty in the evening after the Event.

We're just getting started, and need lots of help organizing our first DrupalConTribute event - so if you're interested and want to do something positive to increase Community Contribution, please join the group, post your ideas and help out!


Curriculum refinements to come

kbell's picture

I met with webchick at DIWD here in NYC about a week ago, and together we radically refined the curriculum for this conference. Without question any excellence that arises from this conference idea will be due entirely to Angie's influence. Any mistakes or missteps are entirely my own. I will be posting the notes (a revised curriculum outline) from that meeting in a couple of days.

In the meantime, please note that the first post in this thread was the original idea for the conference, as first posted under the name of a (potential) new group on g.d.o., which upon greggles, webchick and gusaus' advice became a post here on the Dojo instead.

Thank you so much - webchick, gusaus and greggles for your interest and invaluable advice and feedback. It is greatly appreciated.


--Kelly Bell
Gotham City Drupal
twitter: @kbell | @gothamdrupal

Are you familiar with the "Boston Initiative"

jeckman's picture

Sounds quite similar - effort within the Boston Drupal Group to increase community involvement.

See and

But doing this in the context of the regularly scheduled user group meetings rather than as a "camp."

more prep = better outcomes

heather's picture

We talked about an event like this at DrupalCamp Derry this past weekend. Would be a nice addition to the mix of events here. I've always liked sprints and collaboration as the best part of my DrupalCon experience. I think the sprints in London were so good because of the structure, and also the physical layout as well. Notes here:

Jacob Singh has some good notes about running code sprints, which might be of some interest:

He sees three major "types" of sprint events:

  • General "grab an issue" sprint.
  • Organized "grab an issue" sprint.
  • Dedicated project w/ goals sprint.

With preparation time increasing in direct proportion to the "tangible results".

The work being done to improve "initiative pages" will mean these kinds of sprints and events can be more effective because effort is centralized.

Completely agree!

kbell's picture

Thanks for the links - the layout ideas are very intriguing. Because we're working in small cohorts of 20 or less, it's a little different, but it's certainly great info to keep in mind. To reference Jacob's post, DrupalContribute events are designed along "organized 'grab-an-issue' sprint" lines. The initiative pages are a definite touchpoint in both our organization and in our goals - thank you for bringing those up as well.

The entire idea for doing this was an effort to do two things:
1. to engage more developers as d.o. contributors (lower the fear/intimidation factor, provide supportive/safe environment/people)
2. to make ALL code sprints more effective - the idea being that if more people are working from the same starting point in terms of tools and practices, they might both participate MORE and MORE EFFECTIVELY at their local code sprints and in independent d.o. contribution work.

I've been asked several times about charging for this event, typically as in "why don't you charge a lot of money for this kind fo training, since it greatly increases the value of any developer's skills?". My answer to that is that we're trying to train people to VOLUNTEER their time more effectively, and as such only a minimal fee should be charged. Minimal, to me, is $20-$25, and I don't want it to be a barrier of any kind. If the events are subsidized by sponsors (and early interest seems to indicate that they will be, at least to some degree) then we can improve our reach. BUT this program will not be dependent on finding an expensive venue to run. The idea is that with cohorts needing to be small anyway, this event can be run on a local level in someone's house, in a pinch, and if demand is greater that resources can provide to house larger numbers, the events can be run more frequently - all of this is unlike a typical local camp or con. It's designed from the ground up for portability and repeatability - it's a stand-alone curriculum, in other words.

Good luck in Derry - and thank you very much for the interest!

--Kelly Bell
Gotham City Drupal
twitter: @kbell | @gothamdrupal

Seattle's Drupal in a Day

eric_sea's picture

Seattle took took a different approach to 'Drupal in a Day' with the recent Drupal Clinic ( The planning materials, curriculum and videos are all on the Drupal Kata website.

People may also be interested in the Seattle Barn Raising, also on the Drupal Kata (

This comment was not meant for a Drupal Camp thread--it is Intro to Drupal not core or module related... hmm... no way to move it or delete it.

We will have one at Spain

juampynr's picture

We have started organizing at the Spanish Group a #DrupalConTribute event to stabilize the Twitter module. It will be held on November.

I am organizing the tasks so people can:

  • Assist, discuss and submit and review patches for bugs first and then for other issues.
  • Add simpletests to areas not tested yet.
  • Review and update documentation.
  • Create a list of related projects and attempt to contact its maintainers to join forces.

Post is in Spanish I am afraid:

"real" Code Sprint vs DrupalContribute event

kbell's picture

To clarify, it sounds to me like your event in Spain is a "real" code sprint, with contributors who already know how to contribute, is that correct?

DrupalContribute events will typically used a prepared curriculum and are designed to walk a NEW potential contributor through the process of learning to contribute on, and hopefully they will leave the event transformed from a "wannabe" to an "is" contributor. Make sense?

We ARE using the code sprint as our general model for curriculum design purposes, but the events in themselves aren't necessarily a real code sprint. We'll be using a sandbox account, but the module in question won't be an active contrib module, and is intended to be used only for learning purposes. Individual local DUGs can run it as a real code sprint too, if they want, but they would need to be certain that the module maintainer is present to answer questions and ensure that every person in the cohort successfully achieves a "commit" by the end of the camp, because that is the intent behind this event, and the measure of "success". Though this is the goal, the process is euqlly important - a walk through all the tools and techniques required to succeed.

Good luck with your Twitter module code sprint, and thank you for your interest in DrupalContribute - please do keep up with us and feel free to host your own events using the curriculum we develop, when the materials are available.


--Kelly Bell
Gotham City Drupal
twitter: @kbell | @gothamdrupal

It is a mix of a sprint and DrupalConTribute event

juampynr's picture

Not exactly, we also encourage Drupalers who have not contributed yet to come, listen, see and participate. WE

I am the Twitter module maintainer, hence, as a way of capturing new contributors I am explaining that if someone sends me a patch that fixes something, I will give authorship.

I will post again here once the event finishes hoping I will have some conclusions.



joelwallis's picture

I really loved your idea! I'm a PHP developer who's doing your first steps in module development, and I intend to contribute to modules ASAP with a good, optimized and standard coding. An event to incentive code collaboration seems very interesting! \o/

+1 for your idea!

Here's the "abbreviated one-day plan" for the camp.

kbell's picture

Rather than wait until I can get it all prettied-up and perfect, I thought I'd go ahead and post the bare bones for discussion. I think you'll find that while it covers the obvious, there might be features of the WAY the information is presented that are unique compared to what we've seen and done in the past. This is also cross-posted at, with additional comments in response to the Boston Initiative's reach-out.

VERY abbreviated day plan:
0. Intro (d.o username, QuickStart distributed on thumb drives distributed if not already installed - pre-install link/instructions will be provided)
1. Tools (git - vers.ctrl, xdebug, xhprof, dreditor, drush, etc.) QuickStart
2. Git, Sandbox
3. Issue Queue process and etiquette
4. Coding standards (devel, coder, security standards, etc.)
5. Testing / find the bug (modules are set up with known issues to be discovered, covers frequently-encountered types of bugs, sql injection, standards violations, theme, etc)
6. dreditor and queue etiquette (again)
7. review process (partners review each other's work)
8. rolling patches

9. commit process


IMPORTANT: In each section, we will do the thing we're talking about as we encounter it. The idea is that we're doing a "walk" of the contribution process, where as we traverse the topic tree, we enact the principles learned at each step, so the learners can't forget what we're talking about and the info is reinforced by doing at each step. Learners will work with partners in select sections of process.

--Kelly Bell
Gotham City Drupal
twitter: @kbell | @gothamdrupal

DrupalConTribute Twitter was a success

juampynr's picture

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share with you all the the organization and results of the DrupalConTribute Twitter event.

The General description mainly explained what was the situation of the module, which were the targets, the requirements and how to participate (either presently or remotely). It was clearly stated that everyone, no matter if he or she had experience contributing, was invited to come as there will be people who could help guiding them.

Tasks were organized in areas such as bugs, documentation, support and simpletests. All of them were issues from the module's issue queue.

During the event we gave an status of the module and recorded screencasts on how to create and submit a patch in an issue and how the maintainer reviews, applies it and commits it giving authorship. These were in Spanish and have not been published yet. We also helped people people in how to operate with the issue queue and how to set up a clone of the module's repository in order to create patches.

The event was a success, with 15 people in Madrid, 10 in Castellón, and remote people working from other cities of Spain, Norway and Perú. Many people who never had contributed helped solving issues and some of them are still actively helping with it. As a result, it helped a lot to clean up the module issue queue.

Congratulations! I can't wait

kbell's picture

Congratulations! I can't wait to hear some of your feedback on how the teaching aspects of the sprint went - what methods you used, what worked, what needs more refinement - for the new contributors you came across. So exciting.

I love your module BTW - thank you for that - and I really hope we can collaborate on some ConTribute stuff together.

Happy New Year!

--Kelly Bell
Gotham City Drupal
twitter: @kbell | @gothamdrupal


Pun's picture

I missed it, hope to make the next one.

Next one on the 15th of december

juampynr's picture

We are hosting a Drupalcontribute Devel event on the 15th of December at Valencia, Spain. People can attend to it remotely or come to Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia, where the local teams will gather.

More details at (sorry it is in Spanish).

Drupalcontribute for devel

pcambra's picture

Jumping in here to report that the "Develcontribute" day in Valencia was a good success with ~10 participants on site we had people joining from Madrid, Barcelona (~15) and other Spanish locations remotely.

Indeed this could be called just a codesprint, but as it normally is focused in just one module, and taking advantage the chance of having one maintainer available (at least) for solving stuff is really interesting.

Juampy and I are going to continue with a similar format in the near future, next locations are London (23F) inside of a more general codesprint and Drupalcamp Bolivia (20F)

As far as I know "DrupalContribute" is getting quite popular in Drupal Latino sphere (sorry, links in Spanish), Peru and Brazil are good examples
Also, guidelines are translated from this post in Drupal latino:

We've also proposed this session for Portland, relating lessons learned and promoting the format:

Curriculum and Training

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