149: "Help Drupal and it will help you: contribute!" - Mike Meyers

Michael E. Meyers, VP Large Scale Drupal at Acquia, knows better than most how contributing to the open source project you are relying on to build or improve your business will pay off. He and his team did just that when they successfully built and sold NowPublic.com – the first venture capital funded, Drupal-based startup – while making massive contributions to the Drupal project along the way.

He and I invite you not only to use Drupal, but also to make it better and to get involved with its community. If you're only using it without giving back, you're not getting the full benefit it could be giving you. Come to DrupalCon Amsterdam or an event near you and make a difference!

Come sprint with us! DrupalCon Amsterdam extended sprints and beyond ...

There are Drupal and open source activities going on almost every day around the world. Opportunities to learn, get involved, and make a difference abound. DrupalCon Amsterdam, the Drupal community's premier event in Europe in 2014, will run from September 29 to October 3.

"This is an opportunity for you to send developers to work alongside some of the world's leading experts in Drupal. We have code sprints for nine days," extended contribution sprints and mentoring will run from September 27 through October 5, 2014 at DrupalCon Amsterdam. "There's no substitute for meeting someone in person. It is foundational for a relationship. Go the the DrupalCon website. You can see what sprint groups you can sign up for. You can start your own group. If you always wished that Drupal had a particular feature ... if there's a bug that you really want to fix and you need help getting it into the platform ... This is your opportunity to come in and work alongside these amazing people and make your dreams and your needs happen."

If you can't make it to DrupalCon Amsterdam, find your next Drupal community event at Drupical.com – a terrific resource for finding Drupal events by event type, date, and location.

Open source at scale: Drupal

Working with an open source technology at scale – of adoption and size of developer community – like Drupal, gives organizations advantages above and beyond being 'simply open source,' especially when they do their part and share contributions with the rest of the community. "It's an opportunity to work together with organizations to solve common problems and challenges. It enables you to take a platform that meets 80% of your needs and close that 20% gap. That gives you tremendous room for innovation while providing amazing cost savings and expediting your time to market."


The Large Scale Drupal project is run as an independent group within the Acquia Office of the CTO (OCTO). "The goal behind LSD is to create a strategic alliance. We want to help all these amazing organizations that have adopted and leveraged the platform to understand the economic benefits of working together and so that working together, we can further drive down costs."

"Many of these organizations are trying to solve the same challenges and problems. Strategic alliances are a common way in the business world to solve competitive problems. We can help you be much more successful with your technology. Learn from our successes. Learn from our mistakes. Let me help you get up and running that much faster. We can help each other understand what are these catalysts for success, what are the pitfalls to avoid."

"The whole idea behind LSD is to get organizations working together to help each other be more successful, drive down costs, and create better software."

Get more out of your open source: give more

No matter how much benefit you derive from Drupal as a cost-effective, flexible toolset, you could be getting more out of it, by working with the tens of thousands of other Drupal users and developers around the world. "The more than you plug your organization into the open source communities and technologies that you rely on, the more success you're going to see across the board."

The benefits include attracting and retaining resources, "Think about all the top developers out there, "who have grown up and probably been hired in the context of an open source world, "They want to work for organizations that are innovating; that are on the forefront of generating the next set of best practices. The way that they get to do that is by developing the next generation of Drupal."

"We all want to learn and grow; we want to advance our careers. The way that we do that is by participating in these communities ... working together, learning from each other. So we want to work for organizations where we can advance, where we can be excited about these things. Organizations that integrate themselves into these communities are not only going operate better, but they are going to attract more talented and engaged employees."

Other benefits of participating in open source and the Drupal project include cost-savings, better software, faster innovation, and the ability to dedicate more resources to your unique needs and interests and scale as a company.


Companies don't have to waste money competing on IT when they are not IT companies. "As a strategic alliance, we see this all the time. We have really strong concentrations in a large number of verticals. We have more than half a dozen major media companies around the world. Organizations join because now they can sit down with their peers in the industry and start talking about [solving their commons problems]. Maybe we can tackle these together."

With Drupal, you can build a platform based on best practices in your industry and then compete on your core business value, not on building and maintaining a CMS or media players, for example. "Their technology is a cost center that enables them to deliver their business value. Every dollar they can save on their technology platform is a dollar they can spend on their content. And that's what differentiates them as a company."

LSD-member organizations "are excited about the opportunity to work with their peers. It seems counter-intuitive to a lot of people, but we've had tremendous growth as a result of organizations wanting to come in and work together with each other because they see that benefit."

Guest Dossier: Michael Meyers

  • Vice President, LSD (Large Scale Drupal), Acquia OCTO (Office of the CTO)
  • Drupal.org profile: michaelemeyers
  • Twitter: michaelemeyers
  • 1st Drupal memory: Meeting Robert Douglass and hiring him to write the first Drupal code for NowPublic.com, the first venture backed Drupal based startup company and a top 500 website, which Michael sold to Examiner.com in 2009.
  • Wow: Mike helped Examiner.com launch as the first Drupal 7 site and the first Drupal website to run on a Mongo DB (noSQL) database.
  • 1st version of Drupal: 4.5