NYC Camp: Drupal in the Greater Open Source World

By Alec Reynolds,
NYC Camp

Two continents. Three Drupal events. One summer that would define the future of Drupal. This is a three-part series detailing the fantastic advances in the Drupal world that Kalamuna co-founder Alec Reynolds witnessed in his journeys to NYC Camp, GovCon in Washington DC, and Costa Rica Drupal Camp.

NYC Camp was about company mergers and Drupal in the context of other open-source technologies. And what better place to celebrate Drupal as part of a greater community of technologies than amongst the utopian art and blue-shirted guards of the United Nations building?

New Frontiers for Drupalists

The biggest takeaway from NYC Camp was that the attendees, many long-time Drupalists, are experimenting with more new technologies beyond Drupal. Out of all the sessions I attended, only one explicitly touched upon Drupal, and even that session (an in-depth look at video integrations from the folks at Pronovix) was primarily about integrations with third-party services. NYC Camp bills itself explicitly as a “mission-driven open-source conference,” and a provoking keynote by Richard Stallman reinforced the ambitious scope of the camp.

However, far from having abandoned Drupal, the NYC Camp attendees are employing their new skills in tandem with Drupal to create larger and more complex web applications. Working to make sure Drupal remains a powerful tool that easily integrates with other technologies will help keep senior developers within the community and expand Drupal’s appeal to new types of organizations.

Bigger Drupal Shops in the Big Apple

Perhaps the reason so many attendees are exploring outside of Drupal is that their companies have either been acquired or merged into larger conglomerations that perform a variety of technology services. Team members at Media Current (acquired by Code & Theory) and FFW (formerly Blink Reaction/Pro People) seem to be further specializing their skills, often focusing on technologies that may only interface with or compliment Drupal. Clearly as Drupal-focused development shops mature into technology agnostic agencies, we’ll see more of this diversification and specialization.

Last Thoughts

Overall, witnessing the Drupal community stretching its legs in the broader technology world was extremely validating to our endeavours at Kalamuna, where we’re always experimenting with different technologies. Indeed, my co-founder Andrew Mallis presented Kalastatic, our static site framework, and my co-founder Mike Pirog presented on our Docker-powered development tool, Kalabox, at NYC Camp. This Kalamuna-created tech drew interest from firms many times larger, a testament to the power of our collaborative culture and driven team.

Finally, thanks to all the camp organizers. I had some great conversations and hope to be back to NYC Camp next year.

Alec Reynolds


When his long-standing interest in programming and this "internet thing" became relevant to his entrepreneurial inclinations, Alec found himself helping launch a series of startups. This experience has provided Alec with a deep understanding of young businesses and the product development process, where he participates from the code to the customer.