Ariane Khachatourians

November 15th, 2010

Ariane Khachatourians (arianek) is a tireless contributor and maintainer of the handbook. She’s the single most active person in setting the direction for the handbook, and by far one of the biggest contributors. Take a look at her tracker to see where she’s been lately.

She is…

And to top it off, a really nice person who just keeps working to make Drupaldom a better and happier place. And who is succeeding at that.

Ariane Profile:
Personal blog:
Other blog:
Work blog:

1. How did you get involved with Drupal?

Roundabout story, but while working on my MA in Health Geography at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, I needed a creative outlet, and started a (now defunct) small business making organic/sustainable accessories (bags, etc.), and had my friend Scott set me up a Drupal site for it, then with OSCommerce. I’d heard about Drupal somehow (wish I could remember where!) months prior, and had told Scott about it, and he started attending local meetups. Then as I got more interested in how to improve my website, I started learning some basic HTML/CSS and Drupal config.

When I was done school, and was job hunting, I did a tiny bit of Drupal contract work with Scott, and then ended up tagging along with him to DrupalCamp Seattle in 2006. There, I went to a session about what you can do with modules that was presented by Boris Mann, and… well, we all know what happens once you meet Boris. He answered all my crazy bright-eyed questions, and I was hooked on “the Drupal”. I got an entry level job at a Drupal company the next spring, and then moved to Affinity Bridge in 2008, where I’ve happily Drupalled ever since.

My involvement in the community has definitely been driven by being lucky enough to get mentored and support along the way by people like Boris Mann, Steven Wittens, Angie Byron, Károly Négyesi (aka. chx), Scott Hadfield, Rok Zlender, Greg Dunlap, Katherine Senzee, Jennifer Hodgdon (my docs partner in crime), Kat Bailey, Djun Kim, Adrian Rossouw, my fantastic coworkers at Affinity Bridge, and lots of other wonderful contributors, many now friends, who I’ve met through the Drupalverse.

2. Do you have any advice to anyone just starting with Drupal?

  • Don’t be scared to get involved! Ask questions, try things, break stuff, help out however you can. You’ll get back 20x what you give and have a blast doing it.
  • Use IRC and go to local meetups! If you aren’t getting involved in the community aspect of Drupal, you are missing out massively on both amazing (and educational) collaborative work you could be doing, and IMO, some of the best people in the world!

3. Can you explain some of the benefits of getting involved with the community and what you get out of it?

Where do I start? Like I’ve heard others say, it sounds cheesy, but Drupal has changed my life:

  • Made so many amazing friends through the community, Drupal really attracts some of the most fantastic people!
  • Learned SO MUCH just by doing. In a matter of about a year as a hobby Drupalist, I had self-learned (with some help, of course) enough to get a job at a company that was doing some Drupal work, having no background in computer science.
  • Got a great job doing exclusively Drupal work. About 3 years since laying my hands on my first Drupal site, I found myself working with an inspiring group of people doing work for Non-profits and other progressive organizations. It’s really a dream-that-I-hadn’t-yet-dreamt come true.
  • Also, helping out = major Drupal karma. You’ve probably heard this term tossed around, but it’s a really valuable by-product of helping out (whether it be through event organization, code, or docs contributions). Helping = karma, and karma means that when you have an opinion, more people listen; when you have a problem, more people help; when you take on a project, others want to jump on board. And then with a little experience and karma, you get the opportunity to mentor and give back for all the help people have given you. It’s like karma recursion. (Bad nerd jokes?) 😉
  • Finally, it can be good for your mental health. I find writing documentation incredibly soothing. What? It’s only me???

Ariane’s Contributions

Event organization

Core/patch testing (D7 image field in core)

D7 help initiative

Docs Team/Handbook