Our contributions to Open Source

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In a recent blog post, Baddý Sonja Breidert (CEO of 1xINTERNET, a befriended Drupal agency in Germany) shared their contributions to open source and in particular Drupal. She finished her post by asking others to share how, and how much, they contribute to Open Source.

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Every website that we create at LimoenGroen is built using the amazing Drupal content management system. By using Drupal as CMS, we get so much well-tested, amazing functionality out-of-the-box. Functionality that is written by developers from all over the world. In their own time, voluntarily, or during working hours. We really feel that it’s important that we not only use the system, but also contribute to it. By reporting and fix bugs, answer questions, and by sharing contrib modules. By doing so, we keep improving the CMS. And this does not only make it a better system for ourselves, but also for the rest of the community and every organisation using Drupal for their website.

Drupal Core Accessibility maintainer Mike Gifford discussing accessibility in Drupal Core with part of the LimoenGroen team.

How does LimoenGroen contribute to Open Source?

We created an environment for our team to be able to contribute during work time and we encourage and enable them to attend and organise events. Looking back on 2018, we roughly contributed in three areas:

  • Community work
  • Events, sponsorships, and memberships
  • Source code

Community work

In 2018 we contributed a lot of time in community work:

  • Baris and Marloes were involved in organising Frontend United
  • Imre and Tessa were involved in organising Drupaljam and the Splash Awards
  • Marc organises a bi-monthly Drupal Tech Talk
  • Heine is part of the security team of Drupal
  • Baris and Imre were board members of the Dutch Drupal Association
  • Imre is involved in organising DrupalCon 2019 Amsterdam and the International Splash Awards.
  • We are always in full force at Drupaljam, Drupal Tech Talks, Drupal Europe, Frontend United, Drupal Dev Days, DrupalCamp Ghent and many other conferences.

In 2018 we had on average 14 employees (12 FTE). Every staff member gets 10% innovation time (our Sustainable Thursday*, more on this later) which can be used for community contribution, personal development or improving our own processes and tools. I think it would be safe to say that 5% of our time is spent on community contribution.

The group photo of Drupal Europe. In the front the LimoenGroen team members stand out because of their bright green clothing.

Sponsorships and memberships

In 2018 we invested in the following events and memberships:

  • Gold sponsor at DrupalJam in Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Community sponsor at Frontend United in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Gold partner of the Dutch Drupal Association
  • Organisation member of the global Drupal Association
  • We hosted a Drupal Tech Talk

In total we spent ~0,5% of our total budget in sponsorships and memberships related to the Drupal project.

Source code contribution

Like 1xINTERNET, we actively contribute source code to the Drupal Project. Either by sharing client code as a contrib module and then maintain it, or by fixing bugs and providing patches of modules we use. We support over 40 projects, received over 550 credits counts, and posted more than 2750 comments. We are currently ranked nr. 66 of the organisations that contribute most back to Drupal. We are really proud of this considering the size of our company is currently “only” 15 employees (plus 3 interns).

How much did we contribute in 2018?

I find it very hard to calculate how much we actually contribute back to the community. 1xINTERNET estimated this to be ~7,5% of their total revenue. Money-wise, we contributed less, for sure. In time and energy however, we contributed A LOT. But how much exactly, and how to calculate that into euros is very hard to determine. Mainly because we don’t keep track how our team members spend their Sustainable Thursday.

Does the exact number matter? For me; not so much. The reason we contribute is the same as why 1xINTERNET and a lot of other agencies contribute: it helps them to become more visible in the community, it leads to a better and a more enthusiastic team, it makes recruiting top talent easier and it’s just karma — you take something others made for free, it feels good to be able to give something back in return.

Because, you know, karma is a b*tch.

Colleague Marloes sharing her vision on our core values with the rest of the team

* What’s this Sustainable Thursday?

At LimoenGroen, every team member gets 10% innovation time. When working full-time, this translates to four hours per week. To make sure the innovation time doesn’t clash with project work, we block a full Thursday every two weeks. At this day, we start with a standup where everyone tells what he/she will try to achieve. This can be learning a new front-end technique, open-sourcing client code, maintaining contrib modules, improving our continues integration process, or organise an event such as Drupaljam or Frontend United. Team members decide what they want to invest time in themselves. At the end of the day we always round-up with a few live demo’s where colleagues share their learnings.

Do you want to talk more about this subject?

Comment here, tweet me at Baris Wanschers or send me an email at baris@limoengroen.nl. Thanks for reading. Oh, and if you like it, please give it some claps on Medium. Thanks!