The Most Valuable Asset Is Time
This website was first approved for Drupal Planet over four months ago, and I'd encourage any readers to hazard a guess as to how much Drupal relevant content I've written since I achieved that milestone. If you guessed zero, you'd be spot on.
This got me thinking as to why this is, and it just comes back to the same word over and over again; Time. For the last two years plus I've worked in a demanding job where I've been able to make use of large amounts of work put in by the Drupal community to solve numerous problems, be it through new modules, advice on the forums or even the odd un-committed patch. Sadly during that time the amount of reciprocal effort I've been able to put back into the community has decreased substantially. I've been able to help test the odd bug fix, or raise some issues for modules, but thats about it. I maintain a module with what I consider to be a decent user base (500+), but I looked at the page the other day and it said my last commit was over a year ago. I knew I'd been slack, but not quite that bad.
It's a discussion that's been had many times before, but for those members of the Drupal community who have busy full time jobs and a busy family life, their ability to contribute back for the benefit of all gets compromised, often to the persons' frustration. Our company encourages us when appropriate to give back to the Drupal community (or Magento, as there are multiple technology stacks in use at the company) which is the first step but we are not afforded any time to do so. It has to be squeezed in, and as a result, almost never happens.
Some tremendous advances and works are taking place in the Drupal world with existing modules and projects (Commerce Kickstart anyone?) and all the new things coming to Drupal 8 but it still seems to me that too few large organisations using Drupal (unless they were founded around Drupal, such as Acquia and Commerce Guys) have a culture that allows for substantial contribution to the community. I guess what I'm saying is, It'd be nice to be able to help a bit more, a feeling I'm sure is shared across the community at large by many. I'd also be really interested to hear from anyone who's been able to help change the culture in their company to get them to be a bit more community centric, even if it's just a little.