Last month at DrupalCon Portland, I was honoured to receive the Aaron Winborn Award, named after one of Drupal’s most kindhearted and prolific contributors, who we lost far too soon to ALS back in 2015. (If you were not lucky enough to know Aaron, you can read more about him through many others’ words in his Community Spotlight)
I am tremendously grateful to so, SO many people who have mentored and encouraged me along this journey, from all the way back when I was a wee Google Summer of Code student in 2005 trying to figure out what on earth a “hook” was. :D Each and every time I became excited and passionate about a new way to help the project—joining ALL of the teams (Documentation, Webmasters, Security, etc.), becoming a Drupal core maintainer, joining the Drupal Association Board, improving contribution tools and processes, driving user experience improvements and quality assurance efforts, scaling the governance of the project, etc.—folks would rally to help set me up for success, and assist in ripping blockers out of the way.
The Drupal community really is something incredibly special. There’s an innate desire to enthusiastically share knowledge, to celebrate the wins of others, and to jump in and help where help is needed. We’ve forged long-standing friendships (and at least a couple of marriages! :D), we’ve had many, many laughs (and also a few cries), and we’ve all come together from all over the world to build something truly amazing. Come for the Code, stay for the Community, indeed. :) So an immense THANK YOU to each and every one of you who contributes every day to making this community so truly awesome. (That word gets overused a lot, especially by me ;), but in this case it is extremely apt. <3)
Incidentally, a few people have also asked how I did not have this award before. First, I was a founding member of the Drupal Community Working Group, so receiving it back then would’ve been a supreme conflict of interest. :P Additionally, much of my community work over the years has also been sponsored by Lullabot and Acquia, so that it could have a bigger impact, and this was a *very* unique privilege that most other community contributors do not have. The list of previous winners includes such community luminaries as Gábor Hojtsy, Dr. Nikki Stevens, Baddý Sonja Breidert, and more. I’m *very* happy they all got the spotlight before me. :)
While these days I'm making community happen over at MongoDB, I'm still very much involved in the Drupal community, and it was GREAT to see so many friendly faces at DrupalCon! :D Thank you SO much again for this incredible honour. <3