DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019: Pivot Points - Recognizing Opportunity, Turning Challenges to Strengths.

Oct 29, 2019

Matthew Saunders
Self, Littleton, United States

Like many in our community, I came to opensource though a non-traditional path. In this session I will share my journey to open source technology professional from a beginning where my parents were told, while I was bright, I would never learn to read or write - my learning disabilities were considered too far a reach to allow it.

Through a series of pivots I learned to read and write, became an accomplished child vocalist, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Theatre, earned a certification in Non-Profit Management, went on to complete a Masters of Fine Arts in Theater and became a technology professional.

I metamorphosed.

At many points in my life, I was in the right place at the right time, grabbing opportunities where they could be found. Whether it was learning to read because I wanted to sing in a choir, or happening to be part of a crazy online project with a Dance company when the World Wide Web was in its nascent form, or pushing the boundaries of what an MFA in arts administration really ought to be - understanding those moments where your life pivots and taking full advantage of them can make the difference between success and failure.

I’ll also openly share my own pitfalls -- professional, medical, and academic. Any of them could have become a weak link in the chain that brought me to my current role, but I clawed my way through and kept going.

This session is directed at anybody who lives their professional life through the lens of:

* Imposter's Syndrome
* Having Learning Differences like dyslexia and ADD that challenge success
* Finding their way to Drupal in non-traditional ways and feels "different"
* A parent of a child with these kinds of challenges
* Surviving of an acute condition (I'm a cancer survivor) that impacts you professionally and personally

This will demonstrate:
* Recognition of your own moments when everything can pivot, in ways that will positively impact your life and career
* Realisation that perceived weaknesses can, in fact, be strengths
* Shared Experiences, I hope my experiences resonate with some of your own.

In the end, this will be a celebration of the diverse ways people can, and do come to amazing communities like ours.

Hi! I'm Karim Boudjema, the developer and site-builder of this site. I'm currently working as a freelance Drupal developer.

I was wondering how could I giving back to the Drupal community all what it gave to me during the last 10 years, that's how the idea of this site came to me ... (read more)

Hi! I’m Santiago Rico, the web designer and themer of this site.

When Karim proposed me to design and theme this site for the Drupal community, I accepted immediately because the community is the main reason why I love Drupal so much.