When Drupal friends become family

Many of my longest friendships were born in the Drupal community. I’ve been attending DrupalCons, Drupal Camps, and other events since DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 and centered most of my professional life around contributing to the project as a developer and a teacher. In 2010 that included serving as a mentor in the Google Summer of Code program for a new contributor who wanted to work on Drupal Commerce’s affiliate module, bojanz.

Bojan at MCDonald's

Bojan Živanović and I got to know each other that summer through many IRC chats and coding sessions. After he completed his project successfully, we met at DrupalCon Copenhagen and celebrated at McDonald's. I sure knew how to treat a friend! Wink

I later convinced him to join Commerce Guys’s development team based in Paris. He served on our client services team before diving head first into Commerce Kickstart 2.x development and then creating a whole suite of modules to support usage based billing for subscription services like Platform.sh.

Around DrupalCon Austin in 2014, it appeared Bojan's mission with Commerce Guys might be complete. However, I saw an opportunity for him to develop further as a leader in our company and community. I was already busy leading client services with our U.S. team and then with acquiring and refocusing Commerce Guys around Drupal Commerce. It made perfect sense to me to appoint him to be project lead for Commerce 2.x.

That decision has served Commerce Guys and Drupal Commerce well over the last several years. Bojan brought renewed vigor to the project and discipline around competitive research and automated test coverage that far exceeded my own. He's also proven to be an able mentor in his own right, helping dozens of contributors and whole agency teams learn Drupal 8 development in general and Commerce 2.x development in particular.

Today is Bojan's birthday, and reflecting on our almost 8 years of friendship has obviously made me sentimental. At our first meeting in Copenhagen, my daughter Éowyn was just taking her first steps and wouldn't ever remember meeting Bojan. Today she sees him regularly during company Zoom calls and his occasional visit to our home in Greenville, SC. He's not just some random person from daddy's work, he's Uncle Bojan and a trusted friend.

We're all wishing you a happy birthday, Bojan, and we're grateful for your years of contribution and leadership in our midst. I'll have to hit the 2.x queue this evening to send you a birthday present disguised as a patch.

Ready to fly: DrupalCon SF

DrupalCon San Francisco will mark my first time traveling with a rolling carry-on instead of the duffel I've brought to every conference / camp since Barcelona. It's a good thing, because Packt was kind enough to send along several copies of their new Ubercart book for me to give away in the Commerce Guys Ubercart Training. I look forward to shedding those pounds on Sunday and replacing them with some sweet new Drupal shirts throughout the week.

Assuming the rest of the team makes it through the volcanic ash, I'm also looking forward to getting on stage in the Sponsor Theater (E. Mezzanine, 236-238) to talk about the latest news with Commerce Guys. Our sponsorship affords us the opportunity to bring together the whole crew for the first time to talk about our vision for the future of e-commerce on Drupal and how we're working to make it a reality. Mark the time in your schedule - Tuesday, 9:45 - 10:45 AM - or stop by the Commerce Guys booth to get the skinny in person / express your interest in relocating to Jackson, MI...

I'll be unveiling the Drupal Commerce demo site during our sponsor spotlight and will discuss it in further detail in my session, From Ubercart to Drupal Commerce. The session will be on Wednesday, 9:45 - 10:45 AM in room 306 Trellon. We had a great crowd in Portland show up to see / hear the latest last week, and I look forward to delivering a slightly more organized presentation in San Francisco.

I'm looking forward to a lot of great sessions, too, and I can't wait to meet up with some old Drupal friends and new contributors to Drupal Commerce. If you're eager to meet up, leave me a note in the comments or use my contact form. I'm happy to hook up for dinner or find you around the venue, and you can always stop by the Commerce Guys table to get in touch.

E-commerce will be huge on Drupal 7, and DrupalCon will be the kick-off. We'll be following up with Drupal Commerce presentations at the CMS Expo in early May, Web Content 2010 in early June, and hopefully a Drupal Camp or two in June / July. But first... I have to survive this next week.