At that point, the Mautic community was in a state of disarray. Acquia announced the acquisition of Mautic Inc. in May 2019, and the resulting uncertainty around the future of the open source project meant that contributions came to a standstill and there were conversations about a potential fork of the project.

Quite the situation to be stepping into and taking direct responsibility for!

I look back at those times from where we are today and it hardly seems like the same project. 

So much has changed for the better, and we have made so much progress despite all the challenges that the universe has thrown our way during that time. 

Let’s have a look back in time at just how much progress has been made.

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    New forums!

    At this time, there were no community forums through which users of Mautic could have public dialogue or support each other. With the upcoming work on the governance model this became even more important to enable positive dialogue and collaboration. One of my first projects was to migrate the old forums and users from BBPress to Discourse.
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    Establishing a governance model

    Back in 2019, the Mautic community did not really have any clear structure to allow people coming into the community to understand how they could play a part in contributing to Mautic. There also wasn’t any clarity around Acquia’s role within the community, how they expected to be involved and how decisions were made. This was the first big project I worked on - to develop a governance structure for Mautic in consultation with the community and the folks at Acquia.
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    Our first community summit

    We organised our first ever in-person community summit soon after, gathering at Contribution Day after DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019. Some of the attendees kicked off the project to update Mautic to Symfony 3, while the rest started working on the final iteration of the governance model and how we would implement the structure. Which teams would we have, and what functions would sit under each team? Who would head up each team, and how would we decide on leadership roles in the future once we were up and running?
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    Covid hits: Our first online community sprint

    Just before our first ever in-person sprint was planned, Covid closed the international borders and like everyone else, we had to pivot to digital events. We organised our first ever community sprint fully online (rather than in Ghent), with a great turnout and lots of work getting done on a range of different parts of the project from marketing to community growth, product development to documentation. This was really the start of the teams actively growing their contributor base and starting to work together on tasks.
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    Stepping up to Project Lead

    A year into my tenure it became clear that DB Hurley, the project lead and founder, was not able to dedicate enough time to support Mautic’s growth, and I was asked to step up to Project Lead. An exciting, if a little daunting, step into the unknown but I had every confidence that I would be able to lead the project and continue the growth we had seen over the previous year.
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    Frequent releases, automated tests mandatory

    After Mautic 3 was released, we moved to a monthly release cadence following semantic versioning. We decided to make a feature-based release every quarter and a major release roughly annually. Before this releases happened on an as-and-when basis, without any real regularity. This was a huge step for the community - giving users of Mautic certainty of bug fixes coming every single month, developers having the confidence that their contributions would be merged in a timely manner, and a firm commitment to continual improvement of Mautic over time. Since this time we have made a release every month, including our latest major release, Mautic 4. We also started to mandate automated test coverage for new code, which has made a huge difference - nearly 20% more code is now covered with automated testing. Huge thanks to the many developers who have worked so hard to write tests for their contributions.
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    Mautic Conference Global #1

    With the world still being in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic, our first ever conference would have to be held fully online, which happened in November 2020. With over 300 attendees from around the world, the event raised $12,000 for the Mautic Community which was fundamental in helping us to establish financial autonomy.
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    Achieving financial autonomy

    In the process of organizing Mautic Conference Global it became evident that we needed a way for Mautic to have financial autonomy from Acquia so that we could move quickly, with full transparency to the community. With their support, we established our Open Collective and GitHub Sponsors accounts, and started on the journey to developing our financial autonomy with the profits from Mautic Conference Global. Later in 2021 would see us taking part in FundOSS and raising just under $5000 thanks to matched funding, and we have also received funding from Season of Docs to work on our documentation.
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    Establishing the Partners Program

    Finding a way to highlight organisations who both financially support Mautic but also are actively contribute towards its growth in practical ways was something of a passion project for me. Some projects allow organisations to just ‘pay their way’ to become a partner, but I wanted to find a way that would also mean they had to be actively involved in improving Mautic as well. I also wanted to find a way to make the amount that needed to be contributed each month fair regardless of the geographical location of the organisation. Hence, the partners program was born. To date we have six partners and two more who are in the process of applying to become a partner, and it has been great to see the influence this has had on active contributors to Mautic.
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    Our first in-person conference

    Finally, the long wait had an end: the Mautic Community came together the 8th and 9th of November in Hasselt, Belgium for the first ever in-person conference - Mautic Conference Europe. The event started with a very promising and informative Conference Day. Around 25 attendees had the possibility to listen to 9 speakers from 6 different countries and 3 different continents. Just imagine how much global Mautic expertise came together in this event! We then had a community day, followed by a leadership team sprint. A wonderful opportunity to meet in person after so long behind the screens!
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    Our first community roadmap

    Back in February we shared our first ever community roadmap - a combination of projects worked on in the community, contributed by organisations who are using Mautic, and projects we need to kick off to address some of the challenges we face in the community. We also shared the release themes that we were planning to implement to give some focus to areas of improvement each quarter.
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    Our first developer-focused event

    Most of our events to date had been focused on the users of Mautic, so having an opportunity to bring our developers together in one place for a few days of collaboration was really fantastic. We were able to make a good amount of progress on the upgrade to Symfony 5 while also having a lot of fun. We were grateful to be co-located with the Drupal Developer Days event, which worked perfectly for us.
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    In-person community sprint - Budapest

    Getting people together in the same room to work on projects is by far and away the most rapid way to make progress and get teams working together more effectively, so it was great to have another opportunity for a community sprint in Budapest. All teams made great headway on a number of projects and we had some great evening socials as well, including visiting the thermal baths!

Wow, it's so awesome to see just how much we have achieved in the last three years, right!  I didn't even include everything - read the Mautic Blog for all the in-between things that I haven't covered.

Working at Acquia hasn't been without its challenges, balancing the needs of the company with that of the open source community, and getting the community up and running as an autonomous open source project.

I also had some great opportunities to set up and co-lead the Women of Acquia ERG where we organised lots of fun and educational events and partnered with the organisation on several DE&I initiatives, and got to join colleagues recently for a volunteering day in Reading which was great fun and really rewarding.

It has been something of a steep learning curve, but I'm really proud of everything that we have achieved together in the Mautic community over the last three years, and cannot wait for all the exciting things that lay ahead!