The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -- Alice Walker
This is a continuation of The history behind growing Drupal in Latin America.
My original article got interesting feedback:
@develCuy From your post, I can't tell what you disagreed with. I definitely agree that local communities are critical for Drupal's growth.— Dries Buytaert (@Dries) February 8, 2015
What I do agree to disagree with
Straight answer: There are things Dries did not mentions in his article, there is a lot missing! Yet it is a nice wrap-up for people outside of Latin America and demonstrates that Dries was briefly informed on what is happening in our region, but at the same time, it leaves me with the impression that some important happenings were completely ignored.
On the other hand, the head of Drupal is not obligated to know everything that is happening in the world of Drupal from start to end, but my expectations were a bit higher. My conclusion is that Dries was in a rush, he had to publish something before attending Drupalcon Latinamerica (I don’t know the reasons).
The good and remarkable from Dries' post
Just to set it clear, I’m not saying “everything is wrong”, there is actually good stuff to quote:
- “the Latin American Drupal community and how active and passionate the people are”
- “ The region is fun and beautiful, with […] amazing sites”
- “The region has a huge number of talented developers working at agencies large and small”
- “they are contributing code back to the project […] also investing time and energy translating Drupal educational videos, conducting camps in Spanish”
- “DrupalCon Latin America [..] is the fruit of many hours spent by passionate volunteers”
- “we have seen an increase in energy for the project and a bump in engagement”
If you are part of these great happenings, you have to feel pretty proud of your hard work, sweat and tears, you finally got some recognition and great visibility of your contributions.
What is missing and why it pissed me off
At least 2 important things:
- Regional events: Drupal Summit Latino and DrupalPicchu and Drupalcamp Centro America
- Giving credit to the community leaders
Dries has a lot of visibility in the community and I had a mix of good and bad feelings when reading his article, the bad ones were basically because of three things:
- The world will remember that the Drupal Latina community is pretty active, but will not remember the regional events and the awesome people which made them possible: “The unknown heroes”.
- The world will see Drupalcon LatinAmerica as the only regional event that ever happened here, full credit to that event, no credit to the people that worked hard to get there (past regional events).
- The world will know that Latinos contribute back to the project somehow, but a few will know about amazing projects made-in-latam like the Drupal Console.
That pissed me off! That is why I stick to thinking that Dries’s article could have been better had he made a general summary first, and later in his talk he could have given more details. Just linking to more complete info, such as the presentation by Megan Sanicki at Drupalcon Latinamerica and the keynote by Larry Garfield at Drupalcon Latinamerica would be really helpful to many folks.
Yup, that is me providing unrequested advice! I KNOW! What I mean is, if you are a community leader, don’t write incomplete info, write a summary and link to the complete info by others who cover the topic in more depth, you don’t have to know everything!
What I think about what is missing
I tried to be a bit soft in my original post, in means of a peaceful and constructive critique, but failed to be clear. So let’s translate the three sections.
“Expectations fall behind the reality” meant to say: “Hey Dries, Latinamerica is in your blind spot, why don’t you attend the event FIRST, talk with people and then write your impressions AFTER”.
“There is not mere chance, but unknown heroes” meant to say: “There are people doing other things than the ones you mention, they might feel ignored. How about meeting the community FIRST, getting informed on how Drupal is actually growing in Latinamerica, then talking about the great happenings, AFTER”.
This is not that soft and is my starting point for the rest of this article: “Authority comes from hard work”, ouch! Well, Dries is a hero, he is the leader of Drupal, he does a lot of things for the community that he shouldn’t be obliged to do (sacrifice), he earned top authority in this community, BUT he can’t do everything, everyone has limitations even Dries.
How to fix this “situation”
As mentioned above, Megan and Larry were giving credit and encouraging people at Drupalcon Latinamerica. I feel myself pretty happy with them and what they said. Actually Megan did honorable mentions of some people that are doing great things happen in our region, and she did an special mention of Nancy and me. It was an incredible moment! we were saying to ourselves: “we should not forget we did something we can feel proud of for life” (big smiles, tear drops, …).
How about “The Unknown Heroes”? Well, this is an opportunity for Dries to fix this. Two ideas come to my mind:
- Empower Megan’s work on giving credit to people, let her research a bit more on the history of local communities in the world and ask her to periodically make a public report of their histories, not just at Drupalcon.
- Support Larry’s work on giving credit to core and contrib contributors, he knows how to get people excited about contributing back, he provide people with motivation and to move our passion from the roots: freedom!
Just my 2c ;)