October 1st, 2010
Greg (drupal.org user greggles) is a developer, site builder, security analyst, and trainer for Growing Venture Solutions.
Greg’s many contributions to Drupal:
- Founder and “(dis)organizer” of the Denver Drupal User Group meetings
- Maintainer of popular modules such as Pathauto, Comment Notify and Token
- Co-lead of Groups.Drupal.org building and maintenance
- Co-Creater of Hyperlocal news installation profile
- Active Member of the Drupal Security Team
- Author of Cracking Drupal, the only book about using Drupal security
- Organizer and presenter at Drupalcamps
- Member of the Drupal Association General Assembly
- Supporter of improvements in the drupal.org infrastructure and the drupal.org redesign
Greg has presented at Drupalcons since Sunnyvale in 2007. His favorite presentations include Using Token Module as a Developer from Drupalcon DC in 2009 and Strategies for Community Contributions from Drupalcon San Francisco in 2010.
Photo by Jason Chinn.
And we asked him a few questions:
1. How did you get involved with Drupal?
It was actually when I became the secretary for my neighborhood organization. I enjoyed the ideas of Open Source and used Linux a bit, but when I was secretary I needed a CMS and tried out Drupal via Fantastico. Then I had a job with relatively little demands on my time. For about 4 months I would prune old issues in the Drupal core issue queue and hit the bug bingo for hours a day just trying to move things forward - writing small bits of code or asking questions to better understand a poorly explained problem. I think this is the best way to learn Drupal: find a problem, adopt it as if it’s your own, and you will end up learning weird parts of the whole system.
2. Do you have any advice to anyone just starting with Drupal?
Two things: First, you will get out of it what you put in. If you are super involved you will benefit greatly. The more you work the more people will respect you and help you when you need it. It’s been an amazing growth experience for me.
Second: don’t sit around waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Ask for help. Jump in where you can. If you wait for instruction you’ll miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities.
3. Can you explain some of the benefits of getting involved with the community and what you get out of it?
Is my personal self-actualization giving Drupal too much credit? Not to overstate it too much, but my involvement in Drupal has enabled my family to achieve many of our dreams. My wife has always wanted to live and travel in Latin America - being a well-known Drupal developer allowed me to work from the road as we toured Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile! I wanted to write a book and my involvement in the Drupal Security Team helped give me the knowledge necessary to have the skills in the “right place at the right time” (presenting at Drupalcon Boston on security) when Wiley Publishing was looking for someone to write Cracking Drupal. Now I’ve got a 6 month old daughter and working with Drupal gives me the freedom to help take care of her during the day as I work from home. All of those dreams required me to first give an enormous amount of my time becoming an expert, helping others, and contributing to the community in various ways to establish myself.