Agiledrop is highlighting active Drupal community members through a series of interviews. Learn who are the people behind Drupal projects.
This week we talked with David Valdez. Read about what impact Drupal made on him, what contribution is he the proudest of and what Drutopia is.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself. How do you participate in the Drupal community and what do you do professionally?
I’ve been doing web development for fourteen years and Drupal the last eight.
I currently work for Agaric which is a worker-owned cooperative. This allows us to make decisions about the cooperative democratically. Equally important is that we support one another, not just professionally but personally as well.
Agaric is involved in several Drupal Projects, including Drupal Training Days, Sprint Weekends, and other local events. You can learn more here.
2. When did you first came across Drupal? What convinced you to stay, software or the community, and why?
The first time I used Drupal, I faced the well known steep learning curve. In the beginning, I disliked how difficult the CMS seemed, but later when I started to understand why things were done the way they are, I began to appreciate all the cool things you can do with it, how well thought the subsystems were and how Drupal dramatically improves between one version to the next.
And later, when I had questions about specific problems or bugs, I found many talented people working on the project and giving support. It was amazing and I felt motivated to also contribute back to the community. In this way, I learned a ton of new things, and at the same time, I was helping other people.
3. What impact Drupal made on you? Is there a particular moment you remember?
Drupal gave a new direction to my career. At the time I was working on several different technologies and frameworks. Drupal motivated me to become a specialist, so I left my job and sought out an opportunity to work in a Drupal shop, where I could spend more time improving my Drupal skills.
Having that in mind, I travelled to DrupalCon Austin at 2014 (it was my first time in the USA), and I was convinced, that I wanted to work in a Drupal shop to be more involved in the project.
4. How do you explain what Drupal is to other, non-Drupal people?
Firstly, I usually try to explain what Free Software is about, how this allows projects like Drupal to become so good and how it helps many people.
5. How did you see Drupal evolving over the years? What do you think the future will bring?
Drupal has always been considered as a Content Management Framework, and I believe Drupal 8 is following this path to become one of the most solid options to build any project.
6. What are some of the contribution to open source code or community that you are most proud of?
There are a few contributions at the Core which allowed me to interact in the whole process to fix a bug on Drupal 8.
For instance, at Drupal 8.1 the permalinks were broken on the comments, so I helped to write the patch, discuss changes and wrote the tests, to make sure this bug won’t happen again.
I learned by reading the feedback from other, more experienced developers, and at the same time, I understood how Drupal works (at least in the parts related to the bug).
And learning from those issues helped me to contribute in fixing other smaller core bugs and fixing bugs in a several contributed modules, from porting small modules as Image Resize Filter, to contribute to well-known modules as Migrate Plus.
7. Is there an initiative or a project in Drupal space that you would like to promote or highlight?
Yes, we at Agaric have been working on Drutopia (https://www.drutopia.org), which is a series of Drupal distributions for nonprofits and other low-budget groups.
8. Is there anything else that excites you beyond Drupal? Either a new technology or a personal endeavorment.
I live in Mexico and I’m a member of a PHP Group (https://phpmexico.mx), where we talk about good practices, help each other improve our skills and keep informed of other cool technologies.