In the last week of October, enthusiasts from the Drupal Community from around the world met in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to attend DrupalCon Europe. The conference is an open-source, community-driven event that gathers more than 1,500 of the top digital minds using Drupal for collaboration, knowledge sharing, friendship, and moving the project forward. The purpose of the event is to share expertise, create solutions, build relationships and shape the future. 

The Summit 

In addition to the conference, Open Social hosted a summit as apart of the contribution day program. A contribution event is a get-together for collaborative work on a project. A contribution is an integral part of Drupal's growth and provides excellent opportunities to get involved in building Drupal itself.  

Open Social held the summit in the gorgeous TQ event space, a creative hub for start up’s in Amsterdam. Three expert speakers came and shared their stories and insights about using Open Social and Drupal Software. 

Attendees at the Open Social Summit

The Speakers 

Taras Kruts - Lemberg Solutions

Taras is Lead Drupal Developer at Lemberg Solutions. He spoke about how best to approach the implementation and maintenance from start to finish with an Open Social project. He had some very clear messages.

Contribute as much as possible to Open Source 

He shared his stats from inside GitHub. In 2015 he made just two contributions. In 2016 he dwarfed that amount by making 1,063 contributions. Taras emphasized how contributing is for everyone and really can be done by everyone. Every contribution will help improve the Open Social community.

Always try to build general, not custom solutions.

Taras spoke about the pitfalls of getting too caught up in customizations. Most customers will demand some customization; however, his advice was to build reliable general solutions. This process will benefit your whole community in the long run.

Speakers Open Social Summit
Taras Kruts - Lemberg Solutions (left) and Susanne Weich - Init Digital Agency (right)

Susanne Weich - Init Digital Agency

Susanne is Project Manager at Init. She shared her experiences about pitching Open Social on the German market this year. They signed the German government as one of their new clients.

Susanne explained the government tender process and how some tender documents differ in size, from a seemingly reasonable as 20 to an overwhelming 200 pages. She said within the tender pages, the requirements that are requested are sometimes demanding or unrealistic for the project timeframes.

‘Don’t be afraid to ask the client, “do you really need this requirement”?’ 

 

By challenging them and asking why they think they need it, you and the client can better understand what their community needs are and deliver realistic projects on time. 

Her most insightful advice was to show potential clients, don’t tell them. Susanne creates landing pages and profiles within Open Social based on the brand of the client. Doing a live demonstration and showing the client how easy it is to make changes to the environment, adding events or a new user profile, convinces them of Open Social’s true potential. It’s fast and it is simple. 

Bram ten Hove - Open Social

As CTO at Open Social, Bram announced exciting developments with the 7.0 release. Users can expect clearer email notification settings page, accordion block for landing pages and improved search relevancy and results sorting. Making the all over user experience much more pleasing. New features also include Group and Event management, Flexible groups, secret groups, Autocomplete search and bulk actions. Notifications with context so the user can take immediate action within the community and importantly Code optimization with improved loading, less data and caching it better!

Bram ten Hove - Open Social


He spoke about extensions that are on the road map. They include Real-time collaboration, which is very useful for businesses and co-creation platforms in general. Office 365 integration, a must-have more business and intranets and a Native App for boosting community engagement, today it is an expectation from your users. 

Bram also was an advocate for giving back and making contributions to Open Social documentation. He asked the question of how we could reduce barriers when asking people to contribute back to Open Social and Open Source in general. Many people cite a lack of time as an issue. It’s an intriguing topic that we will explore further!

The future 

Partners of Open Social in the future will benefit from increased features to offer to clients, faster delivery for your clients and the ability to launch within weeks. It’s Drupal. You have the flexibility to extend Open Social. Open Social have the ambition to increase the number of summits per year held across the globe in order to give back more to the Drupal Community.

The message is clear that the future is bright with Open Social.

Contributing to Open Social and Drupal

Would you like to get involved as well? For Open Social, our Open Social Documentation Guide is the best place to start. If you want a starting point for helping to grow Drupal, you can find out more on the 'Ways to get involved' - page on Drupal.org.