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Paying for the plumbing

Your session in a few words: 
Funding strategies for Drupal development
September 4, 2009 - 16:10 - 17:00
Business development and strategy
Session Type: 
Level of expertise: 

It's easy to make a living building Drupal solutions, and there's a good business case for contributing your work. But increasingly, we all depend on "tools to build tools", such as CCK, Views, Drupal core enhancements, and other frameworks or API's that make our work point-and-click.

How do we fund these initiatives, or other work that provides a long-term return on investment, without any immediate gains in the short term?

I'm hoping to build a panel of developers, business owners and grant organizations that can help discuss ways of funding, supporting, and sustaining open source development initiatives.

Very interested

Once businesses, organizations, and groups figure out how much better and cheaper it is to sponsor free software work up front, proprietary software is buried. That's on the short term funding side, but if there were as much coordination and activity on that side as there ought to be, it should lead to the next step of more Drupal shops joining in funding and supporting the building blocks...

Right now we rely quite a lot on the volunteer time of amazing developers and enlightened employment practices of large users of Drupal.

benjamin, Agaric

[see also ]


I'll be there. At my business (Zivtech), we won't work on a project unless we're free to contribute back the Drupal related code we create. This mostly ends up taking the form of patches to core and contrib (both added functionality and bug squashing), but when possible we try to generalize our work for wider consumption/adoption.

For core development outside of patches, we usually have to fund this work ourselves. But, since our Drupal development business hinges largely on the expertise of our developers, and so we consider whatever work we do on core to be a part of our marketing budget.

Anyway, I'd be happy to contribute if you need additional presenters, but either way I'll be there.

Calling for DA involvement.

Really interesting topic, and I think this is critical for the sustainability of the Drupal project.

Really at this point the Drupal Association which is the only organization inside Drupal that can really handle money, should be worring more if not about funding some development themselves, about providing a sustainable model and the channels for the community itself to fund the projects (modules).

As an example I couldn't care less about redesign, which seems to be what they like most to throw the money at. Instead I'd like to know that module maintainers have their modules properly updated and supported for the next version of Drupal and the have the resources they need... Or that we have at least a funded position for the Security Team, which plays a critical role for the whole project.

Also as a module maintainer I've had to turn down the occasional 50$ donation offers for the module's development with a polite "better donate to the Drupal project" because for me they're not really worth the invoicing work and the legal issues (can I accept donations as a company?). But I'd like to be able to know their money is at least spent on some good (any other) module development.

IMHO we are wasting tons of resources on the things that matter less which makes us forget about the things that really matter. Still worse, we don't have the channels in place for individuals or companies to put their money behind what they thing is important (without directly hiring someone to do the job, which is a lot of overhead).