The Drop Times: Tech Talks, Brand Strategies, and the Future of Drupal: Highlights from The DropTimes

An enterprise web solution is inherently complex. Its endless integrations with various applications that are added or loaded off as per the changing requirements, multiple front-ends that provide varied and personalised digital experiences, the cultural nuances catered to in its l10n editions, the time-zone differences that are to be taken care of, etc., etc., are the most basic parts that add to the complexity.

Continuous investment, development and deployment are part and parcel of such a solution. Even so, it becomes amiable only if the complexity is masked out in the simplicity of the consumer touch points.

Two separate sets of consumers should be considered there. One is the enterprise consumers, the content creators and marketers, who are the immediate benefactors of the solution. The second, a more prominent set, is the customers to whom the enterprises cater.

Drupal, the platform for building a digital experience, invested heavily in satisfying the end customers. That was what Drupal agencies were doing all these years. They got an exoskeleton on which they built the end-user experiences. But what about the enterprise consumers themselves? Weren’t they the ones who ultimately decided to ditch or continue using the services? How good were their experiences sans the involvement of a hired developer?

The decision to simplify the touch points of enterprise consumers is a development and design decision. These content creators and marketers will benefit the most from the Starshot Initiative. It supports the marketing team by reducing the go-to-market time and eases the content creators by providing the most valuable tools out of the box. A complex solution is now draped in a simple cassock.

The first story I’m sharing today concerns Drupal’s new brand strategy and future directions. The Starshot Initiative manifests this strategy and the direction the project is taking. An interview with Shawn Perritt, Senior Director of Brand & Creative at Acquia, shines a light on this brand refresh. Read Shawn’s conversation with Alka Elizabeth, our sub-editor.

Montreal became the hub for tech talks in the past week. We conducted one-question interviews with three featured speakers at Evolve Drupal Montreal. Kazima Abbas, our sub-editor, spoke with Josh Koenig, co-founder of Pantheon, Joe Kwan, Manager of Web Development at the University of Waterloo, and the formidable Mike Herchel, Senior Front-end Developer at Agileana. Their answers form part of the feature published here.

Kazima also conducted an exclusive interview with Baddý Sonja Breidert, CEO and Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET. The interview focused on the agency’s support for the Starshot Initiative based on its experience with ‘Try Drupal’, which implements a default Drupal deployment for enterprises. It explains why they did not wait or hesitate to offer all-out support for the new initiative.

Alka Elizabeth and Ben Peter Mathew, our community manager, had jointly covered the Starshot Session on ‘Strategic Milestones in Product Definition’ led by Dries Buytaert and Cristina Chumillas on June 7. The report can be read here.

The next two stories are our signature stories, written by our founder and lead, Anoop John, CTO of Zyxware Technologies. From the start, Anoop was vocal about ‘DrupalCollab’, an idea he had been nurturing for years. As part of the initiative, he has published a list of the largest 500+ cities in the world with a sizable population of people tagged ‘Drupal developers’ on LinkedIn. You can read the analysis here. The second story published with this list is, On Using LinkedIn to Analyze the Size of the Drupal Community, an article on the methodology for this analysis using LinkedIn, associated errors and justifications. Based on these stories, Anoop is trying to build momentum to restart local Drupal meetups in as many cities as possible. Also, read his LinkedIn article on the initiative here.

Mautic 5.1 Andromeda Edition was released last week with major updates. Read our report here. We published a quick review of the Drupal Quick Exit Module developed by Oomph Inc. Ben Peter Mathew spoke with Alyssa Varsanyi of Oomph to produce this report.

To ensure brevity, I shall list the rest of the important stories below without much ado.

That is for the week, dear readers. I wish you all a very sacred Eid Ul Adha. Let the festival of sacrifice be a time to ponder the things we are ready to give up for the better common good.

To get timely updates, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Also, join us on Drupal Slack at #thedroptimes.

Thanks and regards.

Sebin A. Jacob,
Editor-in-Chief, The DropTimes