Drupal is Easy with Michael Anello

Community Drupal

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 Michael Anello. Learn about his volunteering, how successful DCO is and on what contributors he is most proud of.


1. Please tell us a little about yourself. How do you participate in the Drupal community and what do you do professionally?

I am an active Drupal community member, volunteering for the Drupal Association's Community Cultivation Grants committee, the Drupal Community Working Group, and the Florida Drupal Users' Group. I also host a twice-monthly DrupalEasy Podcast focused on community news and interviews.

Professionally, I am the co-founder and vice president of DrupalEasy, a Drupal training and consulting firm based in Central Florida. I am the lead trainer and curriculum developer for our Drupal Career Online (DCO) program, an intensive 12-week, online Drupal training program. The DCO has been presented 13 times, and its curriculum has been used as the basis for two sessions of Acquia U. In addition, I keep busy with Drupal client work as a full-stack developer and project coach.


2. When did you first came across Drupal? What convinced you to stay, software or the community, and why?

I started building websites for clients almost 20(!) years ago. I started out creating custom sites for all my clients using ASP, ASP.NET, Cold Fusion, and PHP. Eventually, I discovered open source content management systems and eventually found Drupal. I immediately admired Drupal's elegance and community and decided to stick around for a while.


3. What impact Drupal made on you? Is there a particular moment you remember?

Drupal has been very good to me from both, a professional and social standpoint. It has been my main source of income for the past 10 years, allowing me to help raise our family and keeping me professionally satisfied. Some of my best friends are from the Drupal community, and every Drupal event I attend, the circle of friends continues to grow. One moment that sticks out in my mind is the first Florida DrupalCamp that myself and others organized. We were blown away by the response and "community-ish" of it all.


4. How do you explain what Drupal is to other, non-Drupal people?

Drupal is used to build websites. If you surf the web, then you've used Drupal. It allows site owners to organize and manage a site's content.


5. How did you see Drupal evolving over the years? What do you think the future will bring?

If you like learning new things, then you'll love Drupal. I'm pretty confident that it will continue to evolve and the community will have to evolve along with it.


6. What are some of the contribution to open source code or community that you are most proud of?

I've been involved in a wide variety of community contributions, all of which I'm quite proud of. I've been one of the organizers of Florida DrupalCamp for ten years, I volunteer for the Drupal Association's Community Cultivation Grants committee, I've been a sprint mentor, maintained and contributed to contrib modules, I've been a core maintainer, and I am a member of the Community Working Group. 


7. Is there an initiative or a project in Drupal space that you would like to promote or highlight?

The Community Cultivation Grants committee. The Drupal Association provides funds for us to distribute to emerging Drupal communities around the world. We've funded projects on continents, and we are always looking for local communities leaders looking to take their community to the next level.


8. Is there anything else that excites you beyond Drupal? Either a new technology or a personal endeavorment. 

I continue to be excited about Drupal 8's "getting off the island" - it has encouraged me to interact with other open source communities and has, in turn, made me a better developer and trainer.