NZ conference to spotlight Drupal's growth

Australia's CTO to keynote DrupalSouth Business Day

The DrupalSouth conference, held next month in Wellington, New Zealand, will be a chance to register growth of the open source Web platform on both sides of the Tasman according to organisers.

It will be the first DrupalSouth conference to be held since the inaugural DrupalCon Sydney in February last year, which was the first DrupalCon held in the southern hemisphere.

"Prior to DrupalCon being down here, we used to have DrupalSouth conferences in New Zealand and Drupal Downunder conferences in Australia and this is really a continuation of that, and it's really about the community putting on the conference," conference organiser Josh Waihi said.

"It'll probably be a good long while before an official DrupalCon comes back to Australia, so it's important that we run our own local events," Melbourne-based Drupal developer and conference volunteer Donna Benjamin said.

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"Drupal is definitely taking off big guns in Australia at the moment — it's huge," Benjamin added.

"The demand is incredible. The growth in the community is extensive, but one of the things that I think is interesting is that in some ways the New Zealand Drupal market is more mature than the Australia one."

In the past Drupal has had strong uptake in New Zealand government agencies, Waihi said. "That's led to a good level of market [penetration] at least in Wellington and it has had wide adoption in the private sector as well."

In March last year New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs awarded a one-year contract to deliver a whole-of-government Web platform to SilverStripe; however, Waihi said there was interest in the DrupalSouth Business Day from within NZ government organisations.

John Sheridan, the Australian government's chief technology officer, is addressing the Business Day event. "We really wanted to show New Zealand how important Drupal is especially inside of government; so it being open licence, no lock-in, lower costs in terms of implementing things. The Australian government has really embraced that."

"From a Drupal community perspective we're procured a bunch of speakers from overseas that are really significant contributors to the Drupal," Waihi said. Keynote speakers at the conference proper include Emma Jane Westby, Larry Garfield and Acquia's Jeffrey "Jam" McGuire.

DrupalSouth takes place 14-16 February at Te Papa.

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