It all started at DrupalCon Barcelona, when Shailesh Gogate, VP at Faichi Solutions, met Johanna Boel Bergmann, the Account Manager, Drupal Businesses at the Drupal Association.
Johanna had never heard of Faichi; she had never seen it in the Drupal.org Marketplace. This even though our company has been working with big enterprise clients for the past five years, as well as contributing to Drupal.org.
We specialize in the development and integration of enterprise products and applications. We have released over 40 products and 70 web and mobile apps for customers. Twenty percent of our Drupalers are Acquia Certified.
So our low profile was an eye-opener for Shailesh. When he returned to India, he shared his findings with Faichi’s engineers and senior management. They took the feedback very seriously. They decided to create a plan to show their presence: not only in the Drupal Marketplace, but to the whole Drupal community.
What Faichi was doing wrong
First we analyzed Faichi’s lack of presence in the Marketplace, even though a few Faichi Drupalers were contributing to Drupal.org.
What was Faichi doing wrong?
The senior team checked the account of every developer and discovered some easy fixes. A few developers had not updated company names properly in their profiles; other developers, who were making contributions, were unaware of Drupal’s credit system.
As soon as the credit system was corrected for existing commits in Drupal.org, Faichi began to get commits in the Drupal Marketplace.
Dedicated time for Drupal contributions
Building on that success, the Faichi team was encouraged to contribute more. Working collaboratively, the Drupal team decided to schedule dedicated time -- four hours a week, two hours two days per week — just for making Drupal.org contributions.
Who should contribute; how and what they should contribute
I. Drupal contribution process for everybody:
With this company-level initiative, all Drupalers were committed to contributions, not just the few who’d been contributing to date. To get everyone up to speed, experienced contributors created a quick to do/cheat sheet and gave new contributors a 30-minute walkthrough of the process, including how to employ proper coding conventions and use the crediting system.
II. Leveraging strengths of the team:
To help even further, virtual team leads, experienced in contributing, were assigned to facilitate various projects. Since team members had already worked together, it was easy for the leads to leverage the strengths of each team member and assign issues in which he/she was already proficient.
III. What to contribute:
a. Existing issues on Drupal.org
On a Drupal Contribution day, the office became a war room for two hours. Each developer picked an issue from Drupal.org for Drupal 7, Drupal 8, or Drupal core, and started working on it. Initially the team was just creating patches, which were reviewed by the assigned Drupal contribution leads. Once team members became confident and proficient enough, developers began to contribute directly and fix the tickets.
b. New modules and ideas for Drupal.org
A few developers had ideas for new modules. For that, Faichi conducted brainstorming sessions, with senior Drupal architects included, to evaluate the new ideas and do feasibility studies for the new modules. If an idea or module showed promise, the developers created a dedicated task list--reviewed by the senior architect—and then created a sandbox in Drupal.org .
The module development and timeline is closely monitored with the target of getting the module not only into the DEV version of Drupal 7, but to get it ported to Drupal 8 as well.
Keep the team motivated
It was challenging to keep engineers motivated, given the day-to-day demands of new and long-term clients. So we created a Drupal Contribution Incentive policy to recognize and reward good work. Sample incentives include:
- Appreciation messages on the company board for module contribution in Drupal 7/8.
- Gift vouchers such as, shopping, dinners/lunches etc.
- Complete sponsorship for team members who want to be Acquia Certified
- A “Drupal Bash Day” for Acquia Certified Developers.
Building a Center of Excellence (COE) and achieving 99 percent employee retention
Faichi does not have a retention problem, due primarily to the positive energy created by the Drupal contribution wave within the company. The team is very positive and they continue to contribute to Drupal.org with the same passion. It has also helped new Drupalers who join Faichi. The Faichi induction program now includes training for all new joiners to help them become contributors to Drupal.org.
Higher customer satisfaction rate
Developers who make contributions to Drupal.org can become masters of Drupal, which not only helps the engineers, but also serves new and existing clients by improving overall quality.
Encouraged by the initiative to contribute to Drupal.org, our engineers powered Faichi into a Top 10 position in the marketplace -- up from #400 in six months.
The “Drupal Contribution Day” initiative, kick-started after DrupalCon Barcelona last year, has helped Faichi attracting visibility in the Drupal Marketplace.
In his DrupalCon Asia keynote, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert mentioned Faichi as one of the top two contributors from Asia.
Now, with our experience of working with customers and contributions for Drupal.org, we are rolling out additional useful tools and frameworks.
We are also looking forward to DrupalCon NewOrleans, to share our tools and learn more about the community.
Johanna Boel Bergmann will definitely know Faichi this year. And we’re confidant that many other Drupalists will have heard of Faichi too.