Garvita Kapur has been busy making the most of Drupal in a leading higher education setting. For the past year she has been manager of web engineering at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, where her web communications staff builds sites for college departments in Drupal and Symfony.
A major part of her role deals with working with provider and practice profiles and building APIs to make data accessible for other sites to use. As a medical college, there's a clear imperative to ensure they remain in compliance with all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules, and their choice of an open source platform figures into that prominently.
I had a chance to catch up with Garvita after attending Cornell Drupal Camp and DrupalCon Los Angeles back to back. It's clear that she is making an astute future for herself in Drupal and open source solutions.
Would you share your stock response when someone asks, "Why do you use Drupal?"
It's developer friendly. It's user friendly. There is a module for almost everything you many need. Most of all, it's the Drupal community.
What presently stands out most about the Drupal community, particularly in higher education?
There is a wide adoption of Drupal in higher ed and it has grown rapidly. They are all experiencing similar problems/issues and operate under similar constraints, e.g., single sign-on, emergency updates, and dealing with cost recovery models. There is a lot of help out there in form of Drupal groups and Google groups; you just have to look in the right places.
What was something unexpected you noticed at DrupalCon Los Angeles?
DrupalCon LA was the first DrupalCon I attended, so I didn't know what to expect. But the keenness of the Drupal community and the general attitude and enthusiasm of the people was very contagious. I personally found it very motivating.
Tell us how Drupal 8 being object-oriented will affect your work.
This will make things easier with quicker development and great APIs out of the box with Drupal, and sharing content with other sites will be easier. Also, it's always hard to find good Drupal developers, and this move will open up the talent pool to the wider PHP community.
Is there any open source software tool or service you wish existed?
A good resource management tool and even a good documentation tool.
Do you have a favorite quote, or can you coin one for us now?
Okay I think I just coined one: "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who do it in Drupal and those who don't."
Read more interviews and articles from DrupalCon Los Angeles 2015.