Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Open source synergies

Today I was in London to help users understand how to use a new Drupal site I am developing for an educational research project in London. Tonight I attended the inaugral meeting of the Drupal for NGOs group because it coincided with my trip and seemed like a useful way to spend my evening.

Now I am sitting in All Bar One in Holborn, who had a sign outside inviting people to come and hot desk here. My time is short or I'll miss the last tube so here it is. Today's training was exciting and interesting - lots of user feedback, occasional friction but amazing progress and vision going forward. Tonight was amazing.

The synergies between open source , theeducation sector and NGOs is mind-boggling and the passion, commitment and professionalism I met this evening was heart-warming. This is where I want to be, where I want to work and be useful.

I learned that the scary timeframe I have of delivering a Drupal site as a public prototype in 2 weeks is unheard of. Six months seems to be considered a reasonable timeframe. I met the guy that designed one of the Drupal core themes and designed it with a view to accessibility. I met a couple of guys that are stuck on some aspects of a stunning social network site for people with cancer - and learned from them what are the technical blockers to their project. I met with a compatriot from Dublin who works for Concern (the "fasting charity" all us Irish know and love so well) - he's over to learn more about Drupal and off to Bristol with a bunch of tonight's attendees to be trained in scrums - think agile development rather than scrummage. I met a young developer from Brighton as young as my kids that referenced Douglas Adams (a boy thing) and Bucky Fuller - an over there, totally creative thing.

My mind is full of ideas, creativity and the potential of open source and Drupal to empower. But now I must dash to catch last tube back to Balham. What a day, what a night, bring on more of the same.