My Big Surprise at Drupal Camp LA 2008? Dmitri Gaskin!

So, those who know me might be asking why I was at Drupal Camp, or, more importantly, what exactly is Drupal camp. Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) and also a content management framework. In a discussion about the hot CMS’, three are at the top of the pile, Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. One of the really great things about open source applications is that there are thousands of individuals who contribute to building, testing and furthering the software. Drupal has just such a community with thousands of contributors. Here is where Dmitri Gaskin comes in. But first…

I was walking around the conference, in Drupal terms large at around 430 attendees, but rather small for conferences held at the LA Convention Center, and noticed a young boy who seemed to be attending with a relative and maybe just hanging around waiting for the sessions to finish. As I was sitting at a table in the break room checking my emails, this boy sits down and pulls out a Mac with a ton of stickers and does some work.

A short time later I see him as the next sessions are starting and I am walking into the Beginners track and he is entering the Developers track with his laptop under his arm. I figured he was in the wrong place.

During my session, the presenter starts talking about one of the contributed modules as being developed by Dmitri and then she starts talking about the very talented 12 year old. That’s right, twelve years old. I’m thinking this can’t be, 12? During the next break session, they mention that Dmitri is one of the real powerhouses in the Drupal development world! More importantly, they mention that there is an Awesome Testing Party scheduled that is being moderated by, you guessed it, Dmitri Gaskin!

I think it is great to know that there are still wunderkids out there. I have to admit this is the first one I have seen up close. At another time, it might have bothered me that me, the adult, was walking into the Beginners track while the 12 year old was going into the techie Developers track.

In any event, kudos to Dmitri. Kudos also to his family for supporting and encouraging him. I think we are going to continue to see some great things from him over the next, 60 or 70 years. When I was twelve, my biggest accomplishment was learning to hit a curve ball. Technology is great!

In my next post, I’ll explain why I was at Drupal Camp.


5 Responses to “My Big Surprise at Drupal Camp LA 2008? Dmitri Gaskin!”

  1. 1 Dave September 15, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Saw your post on Drupal Planet and I agree that dmitrig01 is pretty awesome!

    By the way, you should just enable the “Comments Count” FeedFlare in your FeedBurner feed instead of that out-of-place comments count you have that doesn’t look very nice. 🙂

  2. 2 Igor Gasowski September 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    As the father of Dmitri Gaskin, I wanted to extend my heartfelt thank you for your kind post about Dmitri.
    For the first few years that Dmitri programmed for Drupal, he was reticent to reveal his age. He was involved, but undercover, so to speak. However, as he became more and more active in the community, his desire grew to attend conferences, give talks and most of all, get to know the other programmers in the community better. We were all a bit worried about what the response of the community would be. It could spark jealousy, feelings of betrayal, etc. He finally gave a talk at a DrupalCamp in Berkeley in the fall of 2007. The word spread like wildfire that dmitrig01 was only 12 years old. Without exception, the community fully embraced the news. Ever since, they have been extremely supportive and generous towards him. The Drupal community has made such a positive contribution towards our son’s life – it is remarkable.

    This is another lesser known boon of Drupal – the community of developers, in addition to being extremely smart, are a very warm, generous and supportive crowd. I feel deeply grateful. Having just launched my own agency ( that helps companies build online communities to strengthen their brand, I am happy to tout Drupal whenever and however I can.

  3. 3 A October 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

    thanks for the information on this super kid…i wish he was old enough to be hired but then by the time he is he would have started his own company:-)impressive

  4. 4 Yugandhar May 23, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Great… A real student is one who is always enthusiastic about what had happened till now, what is happening now and what will happen next. And Dmitri, is one such WizKid. Thanks to his parents for their support that we got this wonderful kid for the Drupal Community !

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