Open Source

Day 1: DrupalCon Mentoring

I signed up for my free (!) DrupalCon ticket today. It's in New Orleans this year, and will be my fourth DrupalCon. SiteGround gave me a free ticket! Thanks, SiteGround. That was pretty rad.

There I am, innocently filling out the registration form, when I see the question: Do you plan to sprint? Well, yes, obviously. But then I see…”Yes, I am a sprint mentor.” And what do I do? I sign up to be a sprint mentor. Why would I do this? I am not a sprint expert! I've only been to three of them!

There's something about DrupalCon that compels me to foolishness. I get wishy-washy during the rest of the year, I think about breaking up with Drupal, but then I go to DrupalCon and get all twitterpated again. (It's strange and stupid how we hate the things we love the most.)

Two years ago at DrupalCon I was planning to sprint like a regular old contributor. I walked over to the documentation table (at my heart I am a technical writer) and somehow ended up leading a whole table of newbies through their first documentation sprint. It was informal mentoring (I didn't get a shirt!) and I was totally unprepared, but also… I wasn't. That's the thing. You don't have to be a sprint expert to be a mentor. You just have to know more than somebody else. I'd been to two sprints, already. I'd talked at length with some other Drupalers about how documentation could be improved and how it could be a lot easier for noobs to contribute. So despite walking in a little hungover with no preparation, I had a great time. I was so energized at the end of the day. I felt proud of what I was putting in, and what they were getting out of it.

It was also the first year I actually thought about the work I did at a sprint after it was over. So even though I totally faded out about 10 days after DrupalCon, that was 10 days more than I'd ever been involved before!

So, this year I signed up to be a sprint mentor from the start. It made me nervous, which means it was probably a good idea (that's my working theory about life right now, I'll let you know how it goes if the anxiety doesn't kill me first).

I don't really know what my place is in open-source, or even in the Drupal community. When there are checkboxes to check or labels to put on myself, I mostly get stuck. I do it all. I'm both a C-level executive and a developer. I'm both a designer and a sales person. I'm all of it. I'm always kinda half-in, a little involved and a little distant. But that's true in any community I'm part of. I've always been on the edges. This year is about moving to the center. Attending to the communities I want to be part of. Attending to their problems. But that's for a future post.

Anyway, by the end of this year, I want to have my first commit to the Drupal project–whether it's core or contrib, I want to finally check that one off. I just OFFICIALLY added it to my 2016 goals list, so that means it's real.

I have a lot more to say about all of this. But part of the glory and the pain of #the100dayproject is that I gotta ship. So for now this is where I leave you.

I'm pretty much winging it, but I'm open to feedback. If you like something in particular, let me know and I'll probably write more about that, because ego. One of these days I'll put comments in!

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