Father's Day is coming up this weekend, and we thought we could celebrate this today by telling you a little bit more about Driest Buytaert, the founder of the Drupal open-source content management system.
Would you be surprised to learn that this programming wizkid learned to code before he could read? Yeah, me neither.
Drupal: Early days
In 2000, when he was studying at the University of Antwerp for his undergraduate degree in computer science, he developed a small internal website to be used by the eight students who shared an ADSL connection in their dorms via a wireless connection–which was pretty rare at the time.
After they graduated, the group decided to move the site online so they could keep in touch. The domain name "drop.org" was available, and Dries chose to use it because the word "drop" in Dutch means "village".
For the first few years, Drupal was mostly a place to experiment with web development technologies like moderation and syndication. A community quickly began to build around it, and Drupal was born.
Drupal: Turning into an open-source CMS
Soon enough, other Drupal users began flooding Dries with comments about the Drupal system. Unable to handle it all, he made it into an open-source system so anyone could use the code and make their own changes and developments. This open-source nature is still one of Drupal's strenghts today.
Between 2001 and 2007, Dries worked on the Drupal system… for free. He made no money on the system and simply worked to make it better, along with the growing community (now close to 1 million strong) of contributors.
In 2007, Dries founded Acquia, a Drupal support and hosting company with over 2,000 customers, including Al-Jazeera. The White House, NASA and Twitter use Drupal as their CMS of choice… not a bad list of recommendations! The company's received millions of dollars in venture capital from several major backers of the tech world.
Today, Dries is a busy guy who leads a company, gives talks and spreads the word about Drupal all over the world. He just recently gave his annual State of Drupal talk at DrupalCon in Austin, Texas: