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Drupal, Backdrop, and the awesomeness of open source

I don’t have as much time as I’d like anymore to contribute to the open source community, but when the entire Drupal community came together to address a highly critical security issue just before Easter, I got to witness a global-scale, multicultural, coordinated reaction, that made me regain hope for the human race. It even motivated me enough to write the third blog of my entire life...

Greg N 22 June 2018

There’s hope for the human race after all

Having said that, and although I don’t do social media and avoid writing blogs, I felt compelled today to write this post, right after our weekly Backdrop CMS dev meeting. Please bear with me as I blabber, I promise I am getting somewhere…

Background: So, I’m a mostly self-taught computer and network engineer, with a passion for open source, Drupal, and Backdrop content management systems (CMSs). The latter two (and web development in general) have been merely a hobby of mine for the past nine years or so. I've been a member of the Drupal community for 8+ years, and a member of the Backdrop CMS community for 4+ years (almost ever since the fork came to life, back in 2013).

A series of coincidences brought me to DrupalSouth Gold Coast in 2016 (my first Drupal event ever!) to present on Backdrop CMS. This in turn brought me to Salsa Digital, a Drupal agency in Melbourne, Australia (we are so cool, that our office is in a church! :) ). I’ve been honing my Drupal Dev skills professionally at Salsa for almost 18 months now, and loving every minute! During this time, Con, Salsa’s Managing Director, never wastes a chance to mention that he strongly believes that Drupal 8 is "the future", and he always makes a face each time I bring up Backdrop (nope, I will not go there :) ). I have nicknamed myself "The Heretic" (get it? ...Drupal 8 ...Backdrop).

So, big commotion yesterday with the highly critical security update for Drupal core. Hanging around Slack/Gitter channels in anticipation of the release, I realised that the entire Drupal community was on standby, ready to start patching their sites. It was no different for me and the other Salsa engineers, who woke up and were ready to start in the early am (time difference here in Melbourne made the release window 5am-6:30am). Lots of work, breaks and fixes, and anxiety because unfortunately the release was a day before the Easter public holidays, so customers wanted to leave early for the long weekend and were "pushing" for an as-early-as-possible user acceptance testing (UAT) round.

Finally, the day came to an end! Everyone was so tired. I personally went to bed just before midnight, and had this great feeling that "I had done my bit for the day". This is something I do every night. I self-evaluate and ask myself "Have you done your bit to save the world? Did you help enough people today?"

Having been awake for about 20 hours (not something unusual for me for those who know me), I thought that I would hibernate for the rest of the next day, but I actually woke up at about 6am. First thought? "Hey, I can make it for the Backdrop weekly dev meeting! I hope that the rest of the crew had enough rest and they can make it too."

So the meeting goes on and right before the end, Nate asks if anyone has anything to add. I won't write the rest, please watch the last three minutes of the video and return to continue reading.

So, this blog post is my way of sharing the "look at how awesome open-source is!" moment I had during these last three three minutes of the meeting. There are a lot of high 5s and a shout-out to the Drupal and Backdrop Security Teams for coordinating efforts for yesterday's highly critical security release. It's not just the words being said; you can actually see it in everyone's expression that there is so much love between Drupal and Backdrop CMSs and appreciation of the effort!

This is what I have slacked to everyone in Salsa Digital:

And here it is.

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