The South African Drupal community needs to collaborate, share work and even share mistakes to constantly improve. That’s the message from the community following a meetup at the Rogerwilco offices last week.
It was agreed at the meeting that the community needed to communicate its presence and involvement. That was particularly underscored by low representation of South African drupalistas at last year’s Drupalcon.
The meeting on February 24 started exactly as you would expect it - with loads of people stuck in traffic. Groups of drupalistas carpooled from the city centre and the Deep South to our offices in Durbanville’s Deep North.
About 30 people piled into the creative studio where Jason Lewis, Drupal Cape Town host, greeted everyone by introducing the night’s two speakers.
First up was Bryan Gruneberg from DevSpot.io who discussed "Cutting Drupal Commerce some SLACK: How we use Slack, AWS, ReactPHP, and drush to control Drupal Commerce". He outlined a common problem which developers face daily - a project was suggested with a proposed timeline of six months but the actual deadline was two weeks. Working with this tight deadline, a decision was made to focus all efforts on the site and requirements, but none on an admin interface. To make the process easier, a decision was made to use messaging platform Slack in a very inventive way. A Slack bot was created that integrated with react php to send basic queries to the server automatically. Sending the Slack bot a basic command fired a query which sent results back in Slack.
Rogerwilco chief executive Charlie Stewart followed with a discussion about the importance of recognising Drupal as a serious development tool. He mentioned how people needed to stop comparing Drupal to Wordpress and Joomla! as Drupal played in a higher bracket. He added that while there weren’t many Drupal sites, of the top 1 000 websites, Drupal had a decent market share.
Stewart went on to discuss how South Africa was perfectly positioned as an offshore Drupal development hub for European and US businesses. This because we’re cheap for international companies, we speak English and we complement the European market.
Another point raised during the meetup was that South Africans don’t ask for Drupal. It was agreed there needed to be more awareness about Drupal. We need to get our work out there, get people involved and grow the community so that decision makers start to specify the framework in their RFPs.