Why your company should get involved in the Drupal community
If you use Drupal either in house or as part of a service to clients you're already aware of how versatile and useful it can be if utilised well. One of the benefits of using Drupal is that it's free, but there are other benefits available to you if you decide to join in with the community.
The Drupal community is large and vast, with far reaching contacts. Being involved in such allows potential recruits (both technical and not) to become aware of your company and apply for positions they didn’t know existed.
Having staff from your company attend/host events, meetups, cons, camps etc allows the work you do to be spread via word of mouth. This should increase the breadth of your audience and may help increase the number of potential new clients and recruits.
Increased employee training/benefits
Paying/allowing employees to attend events/conferences is an extension of the second example with the added value of giving additional training opportunities to staff, especially technical. This allows them to learn more and bring that knowledge back to you. Through conferences/meet ups/code sprints/etc staff can learn new techniques, methods and technology that may aid the day to day as well as long term work carried out.
That warm fuzzy feeling
This one isn’t measurable, but allows the staff/management to have that warm fuzzy feeling that they’re giving back to a community that helps power their tech and interests their staff.
How to get involved
So that's some of the benefits of getting involved, but now the important question, how? There are a few ways to get involved, with varying ease and cost. A few ways to interact with the community are:
Company page on Drupal.org
Having a company page allows the most basic spread of company information, values, technology and staff. The company page allows your company's logo to appear on staff profiles. You also have the option for your company page to appear in the drupal marketplace listing.
Case studies on Drupal.org
The case studies section allows you to showcase your best Drupal work, and have the potential for it to be displayed on the homepage or Drupal.org. Sharing what's possible in Drupal and what you managed to achieve with it will help drive it forward.
Drupal holds many meets up and conventions across the UK and globally (such as Drupalcamp London), sponsoring them allows your company to be noticed within the Drupal community. The event will depend on levels of sponsorship and can range from mentions on social media, advertising online and at the event to exhibition space, keynote speaker mentions and beyond.
This is more up to individual developers, if a Contrib module is patched, or a piece of functionality is created and can live separately from the whole product then it can be submitted back to Drupal.org. Developers on the project have already submitted code to Drupal outside or work, proving their knowledge of Drupal practices and coding standards. Code submitted is reviewed and approved, allowing developers the potential to learn.
The more code that is submitted, the more your company's association with drupal will be spread and the more likely you are to be known/recognised.
The end bit
These are just a few reasons and ways to get involved, with more available out there. Get involved on twitter or forums to find out what's best for your staff and company.
Until next time!