Community Spotlight: Scott Reynen

Scott Reynen has done some fun things in the Drupal community. Some notable examples:

  • Coordinated many meetups in Denver ensuring they happen, with interesting topics, and tasty pizza options
  • Helped to organize several Drupalcamps in Colorado (which will be June 29th/30 in 2013)
  • Presents on various topics at Drupalcamps
  • Helps as one of the 3 site maintainers for groups.drupal.org
  • Is an active Project Application queue reviewer heavily interested in new-contributor-onboarding and project quality
  • Takes care of abandoned projects and ownership requests in the Webmasters queue
  • And does a pretty darn good job as the maintainer for modules like @font-your-face.

How did you get involved with Drupal?

About 4 years ago, I took a job as a developer with Aten Design Group, where we do mostly Drupal projects. At the time, I was pretty skeptical of content management systems, after frustrating experiences with both WordPress and Joomla. But I quickly grew to appreciate Drupal’s modular architecture.

What do you do with Drupal these days?

Most of my Drupal time is spent building websites for clients. I’m fortunate to be able to work on projects I really care about, like the International Center for Transitional Justice, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and the United Nations Development Programme. Apart from client work, I use Drupal as a platform to explore new ideas. With a wide variety of code and a huge active community, Drupal serves as a great incubator.

You’re involved with the Drupal community locally and internationally – can you describe some of the things you do and why you like them?

I co-maintain Drupal Groups (groups.drupal.org), deal with abandoned projects on Drupal.org, do some work on project review applications, help organize the local Denver Drupal meetup, actively mentor a few people, and contribute some modules. I think I like all of this because I feel like I’m actively building the future, either through directly improving the web, or by enabling other people to improve the web.

What got you started in the project application review process?

I didn’t go through the application review process to get my own Git (previously CVS) access, and didn’t realize the process existed for a long time. So I think some feeling of debt played a part in my getting involved. But I also believe the future of Drupal depends on people who aren’t yet involved, and the application process, if not handled well, can very easily be a point where we turn away this next generation of contributors.

What are some of your favorite moments from that process?

It’s always nice to get thanks from new contributors for my feedback, or to discover a cool new module before it even has a release. But I think my favorite moment was when klausi arrived. Before that, I felt like I had to stay actively involved or the whole process might fall apart. When klausi started doing a superhuman number of reviews, I could comfortably step away from the queue for a short (or even long) period of time and avoid both catastrophe and burnout.

Read a previous Community Spotlight about Klaus Purer (klausi).

Are there any cool projects you’ve learned about through that process?

Commerce Registration is, I think, a great example of why the review process is important to the wider community. After some quick minor bug fixes in the review process, that project was approved and is now part of the Conference Organizing Distribution, used in every DrupalCon site. And the maintainer has gone on to contribute several other modules, a few to Drupal Commons that will be part of the next version of the Drupal Groups site. A more frustrating project review could have easily meant the Drupal community losing all of this.

What changes do you hope will come in the project review process?

Mostly I think we just need more people with the right mindset. Right now, the “needs review” backlog is gradually disappearing, largely thanks to a lot of new reviewers. I think we just need to keep more of these reviewers involved and make sure they know, as jthorson recently wrote, “the role of reviewers in this process is that of a ‘mentor’, not ‘traffic cop’”.

What is your favorite part about the Drupal community?

It’s rare to hear someone say “I don’t care” in the Drupal community. There’s plenty of work that goes off the rails on passionate debate over what color to paint the bike shed, and that can grow tedious. But our bike sheds are the best-painted on the web (12 coats!), because people really care. I like that.

Tell us a little about your background or things that interest you outside Drupal?

When I was young, I hit myself in the forehead with a boomerang. I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the concept, but I’d never had one actually come back. This one did, just as I was turning to see where it had landed. Stitches weren’t great back then, so I still have a scar. I still have problems with tools doing what I say rather than what I expect.

Community Spotlight: Jess (xjm)

Jess (Drupal.org username xjm) is a Drupal developer, core contributor, module maintainer, and mentor, and just plain all-around awesome! She is a web developer for the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Family Medicine. She also volunteers at th…