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Building a Drupal community of practice

Providing Professional Drupal Services

Building a Drupal community of practice

45 minutes (+15 minutes Q&A)



community | Training | support | organizing | business model

Drupal thrives when it is supported by robust communities of both Drupal users and developers. To ignite these communities we need to provide opportunities for people to learn about Drupal and how it can help them. To sustain these communities we need to provide support and opportunities for growth.

We have all participated in communities of interest, where a group of people interested in a topic organize and share information. In the Drupal community, this means:

  • Attending user group meetings
  • Coming to DrupalCON
  • Participating in events and training sessions
  • Posting questions and solutions in Drupal forums and IRC channels

But where do we go from here? Communities of interest need to evolve into something that cultural anthropologist Etienne Wenger calls "communities of practice." A community of practice is no longer just interested people, it's a group of active practitioners who hone their craft though hands-on, participatory and collaborative activities. Working together, members solve their day-to-day problems and learn new skills.

In the Twin Cities, we are building on the thriving community of interest and evolving a Drupal-focused community of practice. Developers, community managers and end-users do more with Drupal by:

  • Participating in a Developers Alliance (Drupal consultancy support program)
  • Building Drupal development businesses and collectives
  • Attending study groups and drop-in support groups
  • Collaborating on projects
  • Learning how to provide documentation and participate directly with the Drupal community at large

Communities of practice increase skill-building, business growth and contribute more to the Drupal community -- from the ground up rather than from the top down. It's in everyone's best interest to foster and support local communities of practice.

In this session we'll detail our process for supporting a community of practice demonstrating how this benefits Drupal businesses and Drupal itself. Come share your ideas and take away new strategies.


Cool idea! Great to see

5. July 2010 - 13:47

Cool idea! Great to see follow up after those conversations from SF Drupal Con.

And full credit, Heather, to

6. July 2010 - 16:16

And full credit, Heather, to you and Lynn Bender for giving name to and pointing me toward the theory behind what we've been experiencing in Minnesota. It's great to have a framework for discussing and moving these ideas forward in the Drupal community. Lynn's post about this: