Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became involved with technology
I am an experienced Human Resources specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry for almost 8 years.
I got introduced to Drupal technology after I joined Unimity Solutions in 2017, through Shyamala Rajaram - Director of UniMity and Drupal India Association. I started participating in DrupalCamps, the first being DrupalCamp Goa 2019 and then DrupalCamp Pune 2019.
Though I am not a Drupal techie, I fell in love with the Drupal community. I wanted to make a contribution of my own and, eventually, I organised the first-ever DrupalCamp in Chennai 2019 with other 2 organisers. Thanks to my team's effort it was a grand success!
My contributions to Drupal are non-code contributions and it's been 2 years since I became a part of the Drupal community.
You've been actively championing the Contribution sprints (a flagship event of Drupal India Association), tell us more about this!
I have always been a non-code contributor to Drupal Community and I have been a part of Drupal India Association since August 2019. And I have organised 4 contribution Sprints this year.
My plans to organise code sprints every month was hit because of the prevailing pandemic situation, but because of my spirit and enthusiasm to go forward with it, myself and Surabhi conducted 100% virtual code sprints through Zoom.
Tell us about your favourite Drupal event
My favourite and very close to my heart is DrupalCamp Chennai 2019, which I organised.
The excitement of organising the camp started 3 months earlier with the support of around 30 volunteers from the Chennai Drupal Community. The uniqueness of this camp are:
A training and recruitment drive before the camp
Introduced HerSecondinnings - a non-profit organisation working towards creating a platform to make women financially independent, emotionally strong and socially empowered. They work collaboratively with female professionals returning from a career break
Acquia certification discounts
Organic Camp (non-plastic environment)
Cultural events after the camp
DrupalCamp Goa is also special to me as it was the first event in which I made my presentation on the topic " Inspiring youngsters to become Drupal evangelists."
I got the chance to meet many people from different parts of the world and I returned back home from each camp with a lot of wonderful memories.
What has your experience of being part of the Drupal community been like?
"I have no words to express my feelings in being a part of this incredible community. I have learnt a lot and I have realised that the strength, support and unity of this community will help me achieve success in my career."
The Drupal Association of India has been making impressive strides regarding inclusivity. What has been the driver for this?
Involvement with the Drupal community has made me understand more about inclusivity and its importance. As a member of the Drupal India Association, I gained knowledge that inclusion regardless of people's abilities or disability increased positive performance results.
As someone in a HR role, working directly with people, what can you say about changes you've seen regarding inclusivity in the Drupal Community during your career?
Importance of non-code contributions
Unity, cooperation and support amongst the members of the community
More people have started to give back to Drupal through coding and non-coding
What is your own opinion (or experience) of inclusion and diversity within the Drupal community?
To me, inclusion and diversity play a very important role in the Drupal community.
It keeps the members very happy
Creates a global impact
Engenders goodwill within the community
What challenges have you overcome in your career?
As I have been a volunteer only for limited camps, I have not faced many challenges. Thankfully, due to the guidance and support of Shyamala Rajaram, I have been able to actively involve both in my profession and Drupal Community activities without any problems.
What advice would you give to a woman starting out in tech that you wish you'd been told?
My advice to a woman which I wished that someone had given me is, "Ask yourself if what you're doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow".
"Every hurdle that you jump over in your life brings you closer to your targets. Having a role model who is the same gender as you and has achieved success in life can go a long way in helping you reach your goal."
What does your role in the Drupal community look like over the next few years?
I expect my role in the Drupal community to be more influential. I look forward to inspiring more youngsters to become Drupal Evangelists. I am hoping to volunteer and participate in more Drupal Camps or Conferences.
Thank you so much to Sharmila for her openness and honesty!