In the coming year, to build a rock-solid foundation for enterprise Schema.org-first content architecture, I'd like to convince an organization to use the Schema.org Blueprints module. To help "sell" my ideas and services, I am reworking my Drupal.org profile and website. Drupal is how I make my living. Therefore, my Drupal.org profile is a critical part of my online resume. For anyone like me whose work is directly tied to the Drupal community, there is a lot of value in having a well-thought Drupal.org profile and biography.
The value of having a Drupal.org profile begins with the simple fact that you are now an official member of the Drupal community. If your resume reflects ten years of Drupal experience, your Drupal.org profile confirms it by displaying how long you have been a member of Drupal.org. Your Drupal.org account also tracks every interaction you have had on Drupal.org. When I say every interaction, I mean every interaction, positive and negative, which reminds us to be professional and considerate on Drupal.org and adhere to Drupal's code of conduct. For example, one of my earliest posts describes my interaction with quicksketch, the previous maintainer of the Webform module. That post may have foreshadowed that I would become the maintainer of the Webform module many years later.
The Drupal Association, with community input, has done a fantastic job of creating and evolving Drupal.org's user profiles to include everything from general biographical information and preferences to tracking our different roles and accomplishments within the community. Some of the information is automatically collected, while other information you have to enter and maintain manually. For example, your issue queue posts, projects, documentation, speaking events, association membership, and commit credits are automatically added to your profile. You can log in and edit your profile to add your mentors, expertise, highlighted contributions, community roles, work history, and event attendance. Your biography is the most important and flexible information you can add to your profile.
Your biography is an opportunity to say something about yourself, your career, and contributions to the Drupal community. Some people leave this biography blank, while others enter a paragraph or link to their personal website/blog. This approach is acceptable because there is a wealth of information automatically added to the Drupal.org profile; however, not taking the time to think about it and adding a biography is a missed opportunity. I took advantage of this opportunity, want to share my thoughts, and encourage you to create your Drupal.org biography.
A Drupal.org profile is part of a larger online professional presence, including a personal website/blog and a LinkedIn page. Since there is a lot of overlap between what I want to say on my Drupal.org profile and personal website, I've used the same content on both and added some additional work-related information on my website.
My biography can be relatively simple and direct at this point in my career. The introduction text is friendly, engaging, and fun, with a link to my first website. Immediately after the intro, I wanted to call out my role and contributions to the Drupal community with links to more information. When it came to speaking at Drupal camps and events, I was so grateful that the Drupal.tv website provides a personalized search that displays an up-to-date list of recordings of most of my sessions at Drupal Camps. I pinged, via Drupal Slack, Kevin Thull (kthull), and Ashraf Abed (ashrafabed) to thank them for their work on recording and collecting the Drupal communities videos. I also linked to a list of my Talking Drupal podcasts. These links are examples of how the Drupal community has created a network of valuable content and relationships which we can include in our biographies.
The rest of my biography highlights my two main projects on Drupal.org; the Webform module and Schema.org Blueprints module. The Webform module is one of Drupal's most popular and recognized modules; meanwhile, the Schema.org Blueprints module has no reported installations. Still, the Schema.org Blueprints module has the potential to change how we build content architectures in Drupal. For each project, I aim to state what I am doing with clear call-to-actions to learn more. The last paragraph of my biography includes my mission statement with one final call to action to contact me.
For you, determining what should be included on your Drupal.org profile biography depends on your experience, expertise, and overall career goals. I've learned over the past decade of contributing to Drupal to start by saying hi and then tell people what you are working on and know that it’s okay to promote yourself.
Discussing how we promote ourselves as individuals and organizations within the Drupal community helps strengthen our community. Stepping back a little further in a later blog post, I want to explore what it's like to work in the Drupal community from the perspective of learning the software, understanding and contributing to the community, and creating a career or business around Drupal.
For now, I would like to leave you with some questions.
- What approach did you take for creating and managing your Drupal.org profile and biography?
- What information needs to be added to our Drupal.org profiles?
- Is talking about what it is like working in the Drupal community a valuable discussion?
Lastly, please share your thoughts, suggestions, and links to noteworthy articles and blog posts in the comments below.