Contributing to Open Source, what's your math?

Nick Veenhof

1xINTERNET made a great post about calculating how much you are giving back and contributing to Open Source. Open Source makes our business model possible and some people in the company, and certainly yours truly, made a career out of it. Our CEO even started Dropsolid as he thought we could approach this differently. If this makes a difference for us, why not for some of our employees as well, or could it even have a big impact in recruitment?

Delivering Open Digital Experiences with Open Source components on our own Dropsolid Platform is also very interesting for clients. We are able to deliver quality projects for a budget someone once could only dream of. The downside is that you're not the only one that has this magical ability, so it is a competitive landscape. The question then is how you can stand out, how can you make that difference.

Let's honor 1xINTERNET by doing our math.

How do we contribute

Our contribution to the Drupal project can be divided in the same 3 areas:

  • Community work
  • Event, Sponsorships, and memberships
  • Source code

Community work

In 2018 (but also 2019!) we spent a lot of time helping the Belgian Drupal Community. We organised Drupal User Group meetings, helped with organising Drupalcamp Belgium and are currently actively involved in organising Drupal Developer Days. Next to that is yours truly also active with the European Splash Awards as an organisational member and active as Chair of the Belgian Drupal Community. We also had several speakers from Dropsolid on all these events and I've also volunteered as Drupalcon Track Chair or Co-Chair for the DevOps track, both Drupal Europe and Drupalcon Amsterdam. Attending those meetings during the day or evening is an investment of time, but it's well worth it. And next to that we gave back to the community by going to Drupalcamp Kiev and Drupal Mountain Camp to share the knowledge.

Summing up all of the above, time spent on community activities adds up to around 1 FTE. This includes time spent to organise it, give back with speaker preparations and time spent to organise those sponsorships and facilitate our employees to attend. To put in perspective, in 2018 we had on average 65 people working for Dropsolid.

Sponsorships and memberships

Since 2018 we invested in the following events and memberships

  • Silver Sponsor for Drupal Europe 2018
  • Gold Sponsor for Drupalcamp Belgium
  • Gold Drupaljam XL 2019
  • Diamond Sponsor Drupalcon Amsterdam 2019
  • Organisation Member of Belgian Drupal Community
  • Organisation Member of the Drupal Association
  • Supporting Partner of the Drupal Association
  • Donation to the Promote Drupal Fund
  • Employ a Provisional member of the Drupal Security Team

in total we invested close to 1% of our total yearly spent in sponsorships, travel to and memberships related to the Drupal project.

Drupal.org contributions

Without a doubt we actively contribute back to the Drupal.org source code. Some contributions are also meetings from the community events and other important milestones that matter for the community. All efforts matter, not just code.

We contributed our complete install profile Dropsolid Rocketship and all our paragraphs that come with it. Dropsolid has a dedicated R&D team that consists out of 8 people. This team has a Drupal Backend & Frontend R&D Engineer, a couple DevOps engineers, 2 machine learning geniuses and myself. Next to that we supported one of our employees in his personal pet project drupalcontributions.org. Let's take a look at that site to come up with some numbers.

We support over 30 projects, have over 207 credits, with just 58 credits in the last 3 months and 181 comments in the last 3 months. I dare to say that we are ramping it up.

We rank, at the writing of this article, #42 of the organisations that contribute most back to Drupal in the last 3 months. Compared to 1xINTERNET (in the original article they ranked at the time #42) we have a bigger headcount, but nevertheless I am equally proud, just as they are, to see this happen and to make an impact. 

Not only do we contribute with our own agenda, we also contract Swentel to spend just 1 day a month on Drupal contributions without any agreed agenda. By just supporting 1 day a month, this accounted to 17 comments in the last 30 days alone. To make a point, just counting credits isn't fair. It's how you come together and find a common solution. Communication is key and we support this with hard earned money.

How much did we contribute since 2018?

So, given that from the 8 R&D persons, we at least contribute back 1 FTE to the Drupal ecosystem. Combined with contributions that happen from client projects by our development teams and the core contribution sponsorships for Swentel, we easily get to 2 FTE's to contribute back on a total headcount of 65. 

If we add up the efforts, next to the payroll, in community work, sponsorships and memberships Dropsolid contributes an equivalent of +- 4.5% of our annual yearly spent in 2018. This number will even be bigger this year as Dropsolid is a Diamond Sponsor for Drupalcon Amsterdam 2019. We're aiming to send more than 20 payroll employees to Drupalcon and have 3 selected sessions! We're also not cutting back on our efforts to contribute back, on the contrary!

War on Talent

Being visible in the ecosystem with code contributions, event contributions and sponsorships, it helps to be a company people want to work for. Obviously this is not the only motivation but given that in our technical teams we employ around 1/4th of the employees as remote developers, a good company brand is important. We see that this works and this helps us to attract and retain highly skilled employees. We now have employees in countries such as Portugal, Slovenia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, ...

 

Lead, don't just follow

By actively participating, whether it is code or events or anything that decides the future of Drupal or for that matter Digital Experiences, you are ahead of the curve. This allows for more competitive offers towards clients and this helps you win deals that as a follower of the pack might not be possible. Dropsolid believes in taking the lead when it comes to being the best Drupal partner in Greater Europe, and is proud to believe we are. Up to you to believe us or not ;-)

Are you a client or looking for a job and are interested in hearing more, don't hesitate to contact us.

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Nick Veenhof