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Saving time and money for the Drupal community

March 3rd, 2017

As you know, we've been highlighting the work of the Drupal Association Engineering Team during our membership campaign. Every day, this small team moves the needle forward so that we all have a better experience as users of Drupal.org. In this post, we explore how the team's recent work results in faster, less expensive Drupal development.  

Helping Drupal development move faster with DrupalCI

DrupalCI testbots are the next generation of testing infrastructure for Drupal.org, funded by the Drupal Association and maintained by the Engineering team. For any project on the site, DrupalCI testing can be enabled from the Automated Testing link on the Project page. Every time a contribution to the Drupal project needs to be tested, DrupalCI spins up a testbot on AWS to test those changes. The DrupalCI testbots are helping Drupal contributors to test patches faster than ever before and they are more cost effective than our last generation testbots, both in price-per-test and in expense to maintain.

In recent months, we've added a number of new features including:

We're proud to say that our work on DrupalCI has increased the speed of Drupal development, saving time and money!

We'd also like to thank the volunteers who've helped us to bring this project to life: Mile23, jthorson, nick_schuch, dasrecht, ricardoamaro, mikey_p, chx, shyamala, webchick, and jhedstrom.

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Making the greatest impact with member and donor funds with a leaner Drupal.org

Drupal.org is more portable and maintainable because of updates in 2016 that streamline our infrastructure. We've virtualized the majority of the infrastructure and standardized on Debian 8 images. We've also updated our configuration and user management from Puppet 3 + LDAP to Puppet 4 + Hiera. Dev sites are more robust and we can create staging and development environments faster than before.

All of this makes Drupal.org more cost-effective to run, easier to maintain, and increases our development velocity when we're working on new features to support the community. These efficiencies help to conserve membership and donor funds for other programs to help the Drupal community, like fiscal sponsorship for camps, and Community Cultivation Grants.

Improving developers' lives by supporting Composer workflows for Drupal

Composer is the defacto standard for managing dependencies in the PHP world. Over the course of 2016, the Drupal Association Engineering Team developed Composer endpoints for Drupal allowing Drupal developers to use Composer to manage dependencies, and allowing PHP developers at large to manage Drupal as part of their larger PHP projects in this standard workflow.

Composer is a force multiplier for enterprise site owners and developers within the Drupal community and at large. By supporting Composer, we've further opened Drupal to the wider PHP community, thus bringing new people into the fold to contribute.

A big thanks to everyone who helped with Composer: seldeak - the creator of Composer and Packagist.org, webflo - the creator and maintainer of http://packagist.drupal-composer.org, timmillwood, dixon_, badjava, cweagans, tstoeckler, mile23, and also Appnovation, who sponsored the initial development of Drupal.org's composer endpoints.

A more secure home for the Drupal community

Keeping Drupal.org secure is also the responsibility of the Drupal Association Engineering Team (though we rely on some trusted volunteers to help - thanks, mlhess and basic!). From heartbleed, to dirtycow, to cloudbleed - the team is always ready to respond when a vulnerability is disclosed. But the team is not just reactive - they also take proactive steps to keep Drupal.org and all our users' data safe. From ensuring that most of our servers are only available to each other on a back-end network, to putting in protections against DDOS attacks, to building anti-spam tools to prevent bad actors from registering accounts on the site- the Engineering Team is looking to prevent problems before they happen.

We'll keep at it, with your support

Every day, we're on call to keep Drupal.org running and improving. The list of small changes we make to have a big impact on your Drupal.org experience grows by the day. You can help sustain the work of the Drupal Association by joining as a member. Thank you!