Joining the Drupal Community: IRC, Forums and the Issue Queue


Drupal community iconChris Shattuck is, according to website, "an evangelistic supporter of the Drupal project."

He gave a great talk at DrupalCamp Colorado 2009 about getting involved in the Drupal community. I think the topic is really important to newbies in the Drupal community. I took some notes during the talk, which I'll paste below.

There are three main ways that people in the Drupal community interact with each other online in a public environment:


The convention is to use your nickname when you join IRC so other uses get a sense of continuity. Drupal has much more IRC activity than Joomla, for example, or Wordpress. In addition to conversation and collaboration, there's a lot of coordination with local Drupal User Groups.

When asking a question, consider:

  • What do you want?
  • What have you tried?
  • What do you use?
  • What reference material might help?

If you want to get onto chat right now, visit to join the discussion without downloading an IRC client, such as FireFox's ChatZilla plugin. (Once you download an IRC client, join freenode and find #drupal.)


Forums are a great place to discuss complex issues and learn by helping others. Since forums get indexed by Google, your response will be archived and can be found by anybody at a later date.

Forum topics include questions for clarification, questions about technical issues, and general discussion.

Don't post the same discussion to multiple forums. For example, post a question to only one forum. This helps avoid angry responses about cross-posting.

You can track a user's discussion at[id]/track.

Issue Queue

The Drupal Issue Queue is where issues about Drupal modules and documentation are discussed. You may be intimidated to participate in the issue queue because it seems like you need to know a lot about Drupal in order to make a positive contribution.

As opposed to forum topics (which can veer off into any direction,) the goal of the issue queue is to drive each issue toward a resolution which will improve Drupal.

As a new user, you can take on the role of a "finder," someone who verifies the problem, searches for possible duplicates, and creates the issue in the issue queue. Users more experienced in Drupal can provide feedback and fine-tune the solutions until they're "ready for prime time."

Final Note

Chris gave a really good talk. Does anyone else find it funny that a talk about building community was so sparsely attended? Maybe Drupalers are just anti-social!

DrupalCon Denver empty room pic

This post is a summary of a talk that Chris Shattuck gave at DrupalCamp Colorado on June 28, 2009.

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