This is a guest post from Paul Rowell.
The Drupal community members are a numerous and varied breed of creatures, each with their own personality and quirks that make Drupal the awesome eco-system that it is. I’ve said this before: I love the community and the atmosphere it has. Below are some of the ways one can experience being part of this community.
There are a couple of ways I was lucky enough to engage with the Drupal community. I would like to go over these first.
Events & Meetups
There are a variety of events available for your browsing pleasure and if you decide to pluck up the courage you can even attend one yourself. A quick prod at the events page shows that over 2,800 events took place last year. This means over 7 a day so don’t try to attend them all. I myself went to DrupalCamp London (as a speaker and a volunteer) and it was a great experience, being able to talk to and meet other Drupalers (is that a thing? Pretty sure it is). They always seemed happy to talk to anyone so attend one yourself and see just how friendly they are there.
Drupal Planet is a collection of community populated tutorials, opinions, blogs, videos and more things Drupal. It is actually the first place I go to fulfill my Drupal needs in the morning. And like with many other Drupal stuff, the content is curated by the community before being placed on the list. I thoroughly recommend checking it out.
It’s always great to see what someone else can do with Drupal and the case studies section illustrates this perfectly. Encouraging you to add as much detail as you can about the goals, outcomes and why Drupal was chosen allows you to see how Drupal can be applied in various situations.
Like for many developers, Stack Exchange tends to be the place I find answers to my questions (or at least what Google thinks is an answer). I’ve always found people to be very detailed and helpful there. Some even provide the code snippets you’ll need or documentation on how to achieve what you want. Where else could you find that level of help for free?
There are other ways you get involved other than how I have. I may plan to venture into them one day but until then, here are some of the things you can look into.
Online & Local Groups
Groups.drupal.org contains a list of groups you can browse and look into joining. They vary from event meetups, code parties (my own name for them), training and more, all based on location and interest.
Chart - IRC and the Forums
I’ve used IRC before, it’s free and chatting is easy. I imagine Drupal's IRC to be similar to my other experiences whereas people will linger until something of interest to them pops up and, before you know it, several others join in and you have a bunch of words appearing on your screen. Posting questions for instant feedback would seem to be the major plus point, though doing it on the forums could provide you with multiple answers pointing out different ways to accomplish your goal.
The end bit
The things above are not the only ways you can get involved, they're just the most common. Other great ways include reviewing modules and patches to improve Drupal's functionality or to take on documentation reviews. Have a look around and see what you can do, there’s something for everyone out there.
Paul Rowell is a back-end developer for [Reading Room](https://www.readingroom.com/), a British digital communications agency based in London.