4 years of Drupal and no going back!

In late 2004, I convinced a couple of friends to start an open source-based consultancy in Cairo, Egypt. I had discovered FOSS during my Master's at Université de Montréal, and going back to Microsoft technologies soon felt unbearable. I quit my job, spent a sabbatical year, then started developing Web applications on WAMP as a freelancer. I wanted to be useful to my community, instead of developing software for inhuman corporations! A few months later, I had rounded up my partners Abdel-Karim and Rady, and we moved into a room of Rady's spare apartment as OpenCraft. The name came to me in one of those flashes of intuition. Such was the spirit of the time. No business plan, no investor, just one client and a vision : a recipe for failure?

Cairo is not a friendly place for dreamers. Respect is only given to the largest and most powerful. Small businesses are doomed. In 2004, open source was a non-existing concept in a market where Microsoft, Oracle and IBM were enjoying the lion's share. Fresh computer science graduates had to work in a large company, using Java or .NET : PHP was simply unthinkable. So we recruited our best people in the underground Egyptian GNU/Linux User's Group which regrouped the very few ideologically-motivated individuals who most resembled us. It was Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a true Internet activist and one of EGLUG's founders, who suggested we try Drupal (4.6 at the time) instead of Mambo (the precursor to Joomla) which we had initially used for our web site. I registered on Drupal.org shortly afterward.

I'm pretty sure it was love at first sight. Prior to Drupal, we were developing our PHP applications manually, using design patterns we had accumulated over the years. When we looked at Drupal, we found all these patterns, neatly coded, and many more beside. There was simply no point to keep reinventing the wheel. OpenCraft was searching for its own focus, and Drupal gave us a very good reason to venture into the growing CMS market. We never looked back : more than 90% of OpenCraft's work would be done using Drupal. And from the beginning, one of our driving principles was to contribute whatever we could.

Today, OpenCraft no longer exists. But this post is about Drupal, not OpenCraft : during those 4 years, I haven't come across a framework that I'd rather adopt. Indeed, I see Drupal evolving, mostly in a good direction, and its incredible power comes from a) its ability to assimilate new technologies as they appear, and b) its diverse community that ensures that Drupal remains relevant to the Web. 2010 sure looks like a great year for us!

Comments

this some kind of great

this some kind of great thinking i respect it greeting i really need to convert to durpal but i still can take my design if you can help .. by the way im from egypt too