It's amazing how the Drupal community has come together to raise funds for me on Gittip. So far I've received nearly $7000 in total. Without these funds, I would have been unable to meet my costs over the past four months and devote so much time to working on Drupal 8. On Gittip giving is anonymous, so I have no idea who to thank individually -- so thank you all!
As I wrote in my last blog post announcing my fundraising drive on Gittip, my savings are finite, and my weekly income of $422 is no longer enough. In truth, to cover my costs I need $9000 a month before tax. In many ways I'm not the best guinea pig to become a fully funded core Drupal developer. I live in London, one of the world's most expensive cities, and I have a young family.
Currently I'm working at least 40 hours a week (often many more) on core. I'm one of the five people responsible for reviewing and committing changes to the Drupal 8 codebase. Since March this year I've committed 1425 patches (47% of all the commits during this timeframe) and reviewed thousands of lines of code. I'm also focusing on completing the Configuration Management Initiative (CMI). I've been able to do so much because I'm working exclusively on Drupal 8 full time.
What I'm looking for and why
I would love to be able to maintain my current commitment to working on core. In an ideal world I would be able to do so by being entirely community-funded. This means my weekly target is $2000. So I'm raising my Gittip target to this level and appealing to the community for bright ideas and solutions.
At the moment I'm not beholden to any single enterprise's or company's demands because all of the money I receive is donated anonymously through Gittip. Most of the funding opportunities I've been offered over the past few months have had corporate strings attached. I've chosen not to pursue these because I believe in the value of independence and a balance of interests. A diversely funded Drupal core team benefits Drupal and its community.
Obviously with the responsibilities I have to my family I would be remiss to not have a backup plan. It feels extremely unlikely (but you never know) that we'll be able to raise $2000 per week for me on Gittip. By the end of December my own funds will run out and I will have to get a job. This will mean that most of the forty-plus hours I currently devote to maintaining Drupal 8 core and to CMI will no longer be possible, unless I am specifically employed to do these things.
Drupal core has been built on the unpaid contributions of thousands of people, supplemented by funding for specific projects and company-sponsored contribution time for developers. Increasingly, however, some companies -- notably Acquia with the OCTO (Office of the CTO) team -- are recruiting people to work nearly 100% of their time on core.
This would make Acquia an obvious place to look for a job, but I don't think it would in the best interests of the Drupal community for me to work there at this time. Acquia's contribution to Drupal is exemplary, but contribution on such scale has led to concerns of undue influence. I'd like to help resolve these concerns rather than add to them.
Recently the WordPress company 10up wrote about the value of sponsoring full-time contribution to an open source project. We need more Drupal companies to step up and do something similar. So if your Drupal company has vision and recognises the benefits that a culture of contribution brings, get in touch!