159: Meet Drupal core contributor & mentor, Kalpana Goel

Kalpana Goel - web developer with Forum One - and I sat down to chat at DrupalCon Amsterdam. We discussed the topic of Dries Buytaert's Amsterdam keynote: the potential benefits of "gamifying" and rewarding companies for supporting contributions, especially to Drupal core; Kalpana's discovery of Drupal; her contribution to the Drupal 8 web services initiative and Drupal's culture of sharing, and some of the benefits that are coming with Drupal 8.

Discovering Drupal, making Drupal better

Kalpana encountered Drupal the first time: "I was working at the White House, but at that time, we were using some 3rd part CMS and nobody was happy with that CMS. All of a sudden, my project manager starts saying, 'We are going to use Drupal.' I said, 'Okay, I'll learn about Drupal,' and here I am today!" And why has she stayed with Drupal? "I love the community; more than code, I really loved the people I met in the community."

Knowing your patch is in Drupal and being downloaded and used all the time, "It's a really great feeling. I feel like I did something for the community and open source. It's not just downloading it and using Drupal for myself (and for my company and for my projects), but also I am contributing to it. I have become part of it. And that's how I want other people to feel about it."

Benefits of using Drupal 8

"At Forum One, we use Wordpress, Drupal of course, but adopting headless Drupal, we can use another technology with Drupal. We're very excited about that. We can use Drupal as a back end and Angular.js as the front, so it gives us more room to explore and grow as a company and as developers. Going back to Larry's saying 'Get off the island,' we are not limiting ourselves, we're also adopting technologies outside Drupal."

"We use Features heavily in our current projects on Drupal 7. Everybody at Froum One is pretty excited about CMI because it seems very clean for the deployment of the content and configuration. Since we rely heavily on Features, it's going to make a big impact on us."

As to the benefits for clients of using Drupal 8, Kalpana makes an astute point: "Drupal 8 uses a variety of components from Symfony, REST web services, Twig ... so that gives an opportunity for any company to let their developers to get familiar with the different components. And then you bring your expertise to the client to solve their problems and I think it's more robust and solid that you are not limiting yourself just to Drupal, but are also including other areas of technology."

Contributor Dossier: Kalpana Goel

  • Web developer at Forum One; wrote Drupal 6 and 7 themeing guide; mentored at DrupalCon Prauge and DrupalCon Austin, participated in Drupal 8 WSCCI sprints: reviewed patches, wrote patches for core!
  • Drupal.org profile: kgoel
  • Website: http://kalpanagoel.com/
  • Twitter: kalpanagoel
  • Best Drupal memory: "When I met Webchick at the DrupalCon Chicago opening party. It was in the Field museum and I was waiting and waiting to talk to her and she is, yes ... definitely a very, very popular person in the Drupal community ... She made quite a good impression on me ... a really good one." :-)
  • Favorite Drupal project: WSCCI

Interview video