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Transcript of a lightning session: Why Drupal?
By David Hernandez // 18 May 2017

This post is a translation of the transcript of the lightning talk I gave during DrupalCamp Spain 2017 in Madrid. The title of the talk was “Why Drupal” and talked about my personal reasons for developing with Drupal. You can find the slides, with the transcript in Spanish here.

Why Drupal?

Why Drupal?

We all agree that Drupal is a great tool. In our daily jobs we use Drupal because we think it gives us an advantage over our competitors; because it suits the needs of the clients; because it speeds-up our development; because we produce a high quality product.

But, as programmers, why do we choose to work with a company that uses Drupal?

I do not know why you choose to use Drupal, but in this session, I will tell you why I do.

But before jumping to the conclusions, let’s start from the beginning.

About me

I am David Hernández and for me, it is a privilege to be here, sharing this lightning talk with all of you.

Privilege

And I mean it.

I work for a company that allowed me to come today to this conference, instead of spending it working. And they pay me well enough to be able to afford spending 3 days in Madrid without trouble.

I was born to a family that allowed me to finish my studies, and to live abroad to continue my training.

I live in a country that has one of the best passports in the world for traveling and most of the borders are open for me with no trouble.

The colour of my skin makes it that in most places, everybody is helpful and mindful. A colour that does not make me a suspect by default.

My gender doesn’t cause people to question why I have not settled yet, and why I do not yet have a family and children. My gender always helped me to find good jobs and better conditions than the fifty percent of the population of my country, under the same conditions.

The problem of privilege

And this continues forever. And it is a problem. But does it have a solution?

In my opinion, there is a really simple solution.

The end of privilege

To end privilege. But, as this is extremely complicated, we need to continue moving in that direction in little steps.

Do I have more privileges than the other person? If so, then I have to use those privileges to help them and to help the rest of the people who also lack this privilege.

Are there people abusing their privilege? If so, then I have to confront them, even if their abuse does not directly affects me or even if it helps me, to stop the abuse of the less privileged people.

When we gain something before another person, we need to ask ourselves why did we receive it. Was it because we had more merits, or was it because we have more privileges? We have to make the differences of privileges more visible so people are aware of those differences.

But… How is all of this related to Drupal?

Free Software

The answer is the Free / Libre Software.

Free Software allows anyone to use it - with no exception. But it is not only limited to use - it also allows anyone to study, modify, distribute, or even sell the software.

These four liberties of Free Software allows us to fight against the big companies trying to establish a monopoly. A monopoly that prevents people with less resources or from other countries to use their software.

Promoting the use of Free Software we help people with less privileges to use a software that will help them reduce the weight of the privilege difference. We allow small companies to access high quality software that is normally only accessible to big corporations that can afford those kind of developments from scratch. And in this way, we help those small companies or companies from country “less” developed to compete with bigger and more powerful companies.

Let’s use our privileged position to help the rest of the world to access those tools more easily. Let’s give them more tools and more power. Let’s contribute code. Let’s spread the use of Free Software. Let’s complain when we are forced to use a private software when a free / libre alternative exists.

Drupal

And that’s the reason I use Drupal. And also the reason I use Apache, MySQL, PHP, Firefox, Linux, Vim, Elm, LibreOffice and so many more tools. That’s the reason I always ask or look for a free / libre alternative before being forced to use a private solution.

And for all of those reasons I want a more inclusive Drupal community, where there is room for any kind of person, even if they do not think like me. Because all these different people help me see the privileges I have and this knowledge, helps me fight to soften those differences on privilege.

And for all those reasons I want a community where there is no one who is above other member of the community. Where someone with more privilege can impose their decisions over people with less privileges.