Coders with a Cause at Droplabs: Uniting the Drupal and Time Banking Communities

  • Posted on: 2 May 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

This past Saturday, April 28th, Droplabs hosted a barn raising and code sprint for the Arroyo S.E.C.O. Time Bank community, which brought together regulars from Droplabs and the Downtown Los Angeles Drupal group with members of time banking communities from neighborhoods all over the Los Angeles area, including Echo Park, Mar Vista, Palms, Culver City and Arroyo Seco.

The time banks are non-profit community collectives with a mission to facilitate the cooperative exchange of goods and services among its hundreds of members. Since September 2011, the time banks have been using Drupal to manage their community website and currency system at http://arroyoseco.timebanks.org. For more about time banking and the features in Community Weaver, see our video from the Downtown LA Drupal meetup that was recorded in February, 2012: http://droplabs.net/video/banking-on-drupal-at-the-echo-park-time-bank

There was something for everyone at this two-day event and we had a total of 26 people who attended one or both days. This was an excellent opportunity for the experienced developers in the Drupal community help mentor others into using Drupal's best practices for site development and getting some practical hands-on experience with the Features module.

We used the Features module and configuration-in-code methodology to help make feature development, maintenance and updates to their site much easier. The Features modules that we created are being prepared to share with TimeBanks USA, which will directly benefit the 370+ time banks that have their own sites that use the same Drupal distribution.

About the Barn Raising

After reviewing the agenda and task list, our group split into teams. The focus of one team, led by Ron Golan and Lee Vodra, was on reducing the organization's paper process and moving applications to join the time banks online using Webform.

In this photo, long-time Drupal developer Chris Paul led the team that created "Neighborhood" pages with Views, taxonomies and custom content types for the dozen or so communities that use a shared Community Weaver platform.

Another team, led by Christefano Reyes, performed system administration tasks for the other teams with Drush and used Features to move parts of Community Weaver's configuration to code. These efforts were broadcasted over a video conference with members of other time banks.

One of the many high points of the day was the food brought by the members of the time bank. It was as beautiful as it was delicious. Many thanks to Jennie Cooks!

Can you say "chocolate Nutella bacon croissants"?

At the end of the day, each team did a show-and-tell and explained what they'd been working on. We brought out a projector and went through the new features, one by one, as we demoed them for the whole group.

It was a successful event that sets a good precedent for future barn raisings. Amazingly, the day kept to the schedule that was originally announced, giving everyone a chance at the end of the day to relax and socialize.

Everyone at Droplabs is grateful to all those who attended. We look forward to hosting many more code sprints like this one and we are delighted that Droplabs is now an affiliated organization with the Arroyo S.E.C.O. community.