Mobilizing Bangkok/Thailand Drupal community - first large meetup at Microsoft

svenryen's picture

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

  1. (meetup page)
  2. (This group)
  3. (Facebook)
  4. (Forum)

Presenting and sharing by Drupal developers

Group photo with most participants


Great job and congrats!!!

HappyJiyoung's picture

So great to see this news and your thoughtful and useful guideline and insights!
I was also feeling a little obstacles on language while organizing meetups in Beijing and also topics or contents for the meetups.
Thus I made so spread out my thoughts and concerns and plans more with Drupalists out there or reaching out to broad spectrum where I can contribute better and also encourage others also get involved. :)

Best of luck and keep up the great work!!

Jiyoung from Beijing

Sven, I am currently in

Tom Tran's picture

Sven, I am currently in Thailand and doing some private workshop for a corporate audience (Oracle & .NET devs, YESSS!!). I would love to do some presentations in Bangkok but had booked a ticket back to Ha Noi before the coming Meetup, that's just too bad.

Bilingual community:
Case 1: English presenter, Local audience
The same here in our country, English level is a big hurdle but with a bit luck you can identify local people who are pretty good in English or who went abroad and can do the ad hoc translation for difficult presentations.

Case 2:
On the other hand, if content is presented in a local language it's probably not too difficult for you to understand, as it's mostly beginner/medium level and very likely taken from an original English source anyway.

Case 3: Exchanging ideas. See Case 1, you need a damn good local Drupaler with some level of English.

I know how hard it is to grow a regular Drupal meetup in Asia but keep working on it, you doing really a lot for South East Asian Drupal community. Next time I might be able to join, maybe in Singapore. You are welcome anytime to help us out in Vietnam as well.

HappyJiyoung's picture

:) I didn't care about Drupal or in fact know drupal much rather than one time installing on my ISS server and didn't see anything impressive at one sight(you know).

I went to learn wordpress and SEO and I ended up learning Drupal 6 last year March from my teacher Peter from
I was curious to see if I could spot him in the photos! haha~

Anyway!! Keep up the great work!!! Go ASIA! :)

drupalinthailand's picture

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Great Post Sven!

kattekrab's picture

Great Post Sven! Thanks for sharing this experience. Bi-lingualism is an issue we need to embrace - making sure there's info to help people learn Drupal in their own language is so important! I'd be very keen to hear ways we can all work towards this goal!

One thing I think is important - is that you don't need to feel like an expert to share what you know. If you've only just managed to install drupal, blog about it, or do a short talk in your own language - every little bit helps!


Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association
Executive Director

Tom Tran's picture


Below I am speaking specifically about my experience for the DUG in Vietnam.

Learning Drupal with Videos is the best way and the barrier of language is close to zero if people are seriously committed to learning Drupal.

There are bazillion resources out there, so the only work that needs to be done is pointing totally newbies to those resources, e.g NodeOne,,, CodeKarate, Youtube, it's just up to the people if they really want to learn or not. has extensive localized documentation about main concepts, best practices with varying translation quality though. Meetings are great to help people understand things if they get stuck.

A goal would it be to increase the quality of topics exchanged during these meetings especially if veteran Western Drupal expats are participating. And motivate local Drupalers to contribute code, this is harder in my view than just understanding how Drupal works.

How can we organize code sprints with a critical mass of people who are willing to help?

How can experienced Western Drupalers help mentor a local team doing meaningful code contribution sprints once they have gathered together?

Concept of code voluntarism is still tough to get across often times.

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