Dries Buytaert: State of Drupal presentation (December 2020)

Last week, Drupalists gathered virtually for DrupalCon Europe 2020. As a matter of tradition, I delivered my State of Drupal keynote. You can watch a recording of my keynote, download a copy of my slides (146 MB), or read the brief summary below.

The theme of my presentation was “How to optimize for impact”. Often my DrupalCon talks are product-focused. This time, I wanted to be more reflective on the journey of building Drupal over the last 20 years.

Drupal has done a great job of embracing technological innovation. Not many technologies survive two decades of dramatic changes. I called out our current work on Headless Drupal as a recent example of keeping up with the pace of innovation. And now we’re working towards launching official JavaScript components for Drupal, starting with Decoupled Menus. You can see our progress in this video snippet:

From there, I moved on to reflecting on what I would change if I could do things differently. I covered topics like “being compelling beyond code alone”, obsessing about the user experience, and rewarding Open Source Makers to maximize the speed of innovation.

Perhaps most importantly, I’ve been surprised by a few big things since first creating Drupal, starting with the larger impact of Drupal on the Open Web. Today, this is an important part of my big picture “Why”. An important part of that vision includes cultivating a diverse, inclusive Open Source community.

Looking back, what do you think are Drupal’s biggest successes? Knowing what we know now, what would you have done differently? Has anything surprised you?