Community Spotlight on Emanuel Greucean, Maurits Dekkers, and Ernő Zsemlye

May 20th, 2014

For this month’s community spotlight, we wanted to showcase three stellar Drupalistas who went above and beyond at the Dev Days Szeged sprints. Emanuel Greucean (gremy), Maurits Dekkers (Mauzeh), and Ernő Zsemlye (zserno) all made big contributions to the project at Dev Days Szeged. Here’s a little bit about each.

Emanuel Greucean (gremy)

How did you get involved with Drupal?

I got involved with Drupal right after college, in 2009. I went to a job interview, showed the employers my enthusiasm about web development and my very not impressive profile, one of which was a Joomla website, and they accepted me. At this job, I got initiated in the art of web development and got a solid education in Drupal. At my first day on the job, I was given the Drupal Developer’s “Bible” (Pro Drupal Development, 2nd edition), and was told that I had to know it by heart.

What do you think open source represents?

For me, open source represents the opportunity to have access to awesome products for free. It also represents the opportunity to join a community of passionate developers and to learn a lot, and also to pass on your knowledge. If you are a contributor, it’s also an opportunity to leave a mark, and a joy to know that your work is being used by millions of people.

Why did you choose to work in Szeged on beta blocking, and what is your fondest memory from Szeged?

One reason for working on beta blockers in Szeged was the desire to get Drupal 8 as close as possible to being released, because I really want to start using it in Production.

One of my fondest memories from Szeged might be the moment when I actually finished the last missing “Change Record” issue, and with this Drupal 8 change records were up to date for the first time in three years. Also I really appreciate all the help I received from people I had never met before. They initiated me into contributing to the community.

Are you working on any fun projects at the moment?

Yes. I am currently collaborating with Kalamuna, a Drupal shop from San Francisco’s East Bay Area. They are really great colleagues, and I have the opportunity to work on great projects with them. One of the projects I am most excited about is Kalabox, and I have to say that I am really enthusiastic about its future.

Maurits Dekkers (Mauzeh)

How did you get involved with Drupal?

I got involved with Drupal through a client about three years ago. They were using Drupal mainly for its ability to allow site builders to create their own fieldable data structures. Until then I had mostly worked with Zend Framework and Symfony, and I never even knew there was an open source system that could do this! Or course, now I know that there is so much more about Drupal that is awesome, and I cannot imagine a web development life without it!

What do you think open source represents?

For me, open source represents people (!) who provide their time, effort, and financial resources on something that provides only indirect value. An open source developer spends their free time working on a feature not knowing whether it will actually make it into the final product (unless they are the project lead…). For some this might be an unrewarding way of working because there appear to be few direct, short-term, rewards. So if you contribute something to open source software, you must do it for reasons unrelated to direct income or revenue. Therefore, the passion that people have for the product comes from a much deeper belief.

Why did you choose to work in Szeged on Drupal 8 beta blocking/debugging, and what is your fondest memory from Szeged

Despite working with open source software on a daily basis, and lurking around in the issue queues, I never had the guts to really get involved. I realized that getting to know the people behind the nicknames would certainly help because I could just walk over and ask something. So when I saw the announcement for Szeged, I jumped in straight away. And I’m really glad I did. I most remember the people I was working with and having beers with at night, with Cathy (YesCT) being just amazing to get people up to speed. Her passion for the community is really remarkable. I wanted to learn more about how the Entity API works in Drupal 8, and was directed to tstoeckler and plach, from whom I learned very much very quickly.

Are you working on any fun projects at the moment?

I’m currently working as a freelancer for a few Drupal site building shops. Since I just started as a freelancer in November last year, I’m working quite a lot to make sure I have some financial room to contribute some more to D8.

Ernő Zsemlye (zserno)

How did you get involved with Drupal?

It all started during my 4th year at the university. I needed a few more credits for the upcoming semester and stumbled upon a new elective course titled “Open Source Content Management Systems” held by a guy called Kristof Van Tomme. I had absolutely no idea about the topic but it sounded pretty cool so I applied. The first lecture was about open source in general and a brief introduction to the Drupal world. At the end of the lecture, Kristof mentioned that he was looking for interns for his new company. I applied the next day and I am sure that was the best move in my career to date. 🙂

What do you think open source represents?

I could compare it to traveling. Once you experience what traveling to new places feels like, you suddenly start to feel as if you had been looking at the world through a small and dirty window. Then you also realize how small you are in this life. This is so true for open source.

Why did you choose to work in Szeged on Drupal 8 beta blocking/debugging, and what is your fondest memory from Szeged?

I wanted to work on something that would give me the opportunity to dive deep into Drupal 8 and learn as much as possible about the new system. I was assigned to an Entity API beta blocker. After having spent my first 3 days on getting my head around all the new things in D8, I got stuck. The next day Berdir pinged me on IRC that he wanted to discuss the next steps with me in person. We talked for about 5 minutes but that was enough to put me back on track with the issue and also gave me great inspiration that I could talk to a real rockstar in person.

Are you working on any fun projects at the moment?

I am working at the Central European University as a web developer. We are a small team of four people who maintain virtually any web presence of the whole university: main institutional site with heavy traffic, custom websites for each departments, research groups, alumni campaigns, student groups, etc. It is a constant challenge to use our limited resources to address all arising needs successfully. So we are continuously looking for new ways to create reusable solutions across all these websites. And this is lots of fun. For example I just finished building a custom installation profile based on the fantastic Panopoly distribution so firing up a new website became ridiculously easy.

Gremy, mauzeh, and zserno were just a few of a huge number of rock stars who worked hard and made great contributions at Szeged. Thank you so much to everyone who turned out for the sprints! The next major sprint event will be at DrupalCon Austin. Our community organizers (led by YesCT) have worked hard to make sure we’ll have seven days of sprints that culminate in a huge sprint on Friday, June 6. We hope to see you there.