7th September 2016

Get paid time to contribute to open-source projects

Kristiaan Van den Eynde
Senior Developer

Group is a module that I’ve worked on for almost three years now as a personal project. It’s a more powerful alternative to Organic Groups - you can read about it in my previous posts, Group: an alternative to Organic Groups and 9 reasons Group for Drupal 8 is awesome.

On joining Deeson, I never imagined that I would get so much time to work on Group and that I would make so much progress with it as a result. Being paid to contribute to the open source community is one of the reasons why I enjoy working here so much.

Allow me to take you back to the run-up to DrupalCamp London 2015. We wanted to get a version of Group ready that we could demo at the event. So, Deeson allowed me to work on it, fully paid, for almost two weeks. This was excellent because I was able to produce a first alpha – something stable that needed a little polishing. We demonstrated it at DrupalCamp London and the event was a great success.

After that I continued working on Group in my spare time, fitting it into my schedule whenever I could. But it soon became apparent that it wasn’t going to be enough. In the aftermath of DrupalCamp we received around 200 additional installs. We blogged about it and soon it was receiving a lot of coverage in the Drupal community. As a result my inbox began to explode with questions, feedback and support requests from users. It was an amazing start.

The amount of work that Group was generating was quickly becoming unmanageable. It was time to act. I spoke to our Managing Director Simon Wakeman and we decided that I should work on Group for one day a week. One day a week doesn’t sound like a lot, but it made a massive difference to the evolution of the module. One fifth of my time is now spent being paid to work on my own Drupal project, which is awesome. Today, we have a beta release of Group for Drupal 8 and by the end of the year we should have a release candidate.

Since Group is a very complex module, I have learned a lot about Drupal 8 in the process of developing it which has been great. But it’s not only me that benefits from projects like this; Deeson is now one of the top contributors of Drupal code in Europe, and more importantly, the wider Drupal community is benefiting too. So, everyone wins.

The opportunity to be paid whilst contributing to the Drupal community is fantastic, and it’s a rare find in the industry. Many agencies promise this paid contribution time, but most of them fail to deliver, or else they “offer” time outside of work with just pizza for payment. Thankfully, Deeson is different; they respect the need for these projects and the value they add in terms of job satisfaction. I’m pleased to say that several of our developers are now working on their own exciting projects and getting paid to do so.

To anyone who is thinking of joining Deeson I would say that being paid to work on your own open source projects is a huge plus. Web development has evolved; these days developers’ lives are often impacted by time-consuming development projects. Imagine if you could instead work on those projects during company time. It would mean a significant boost to your work-life balance and an excellent way to develop your career. What’s not to love about that?

If you're interested in joining Deeson, head over to our careers page to find out more.