A few weeks ago, we were hosting a Drupal meetup when someone who had not come in months came (which was great - we had an amazing speaker for the evening). However, during the meetup, a discussion question came up:
Why are there so few people coming out to the Drupal meetups?
Which led to talking about rise in using other non-Drupal tools (Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, etc) and to yours truly talking about Drupal just not being a particularly exciting platform and offering features that, as a developer that goes to other meetups (such as for Python, Go, even PHP), sees that the larger community simply doesn't care about half of the things Drupal offers. Which led to the person saying:
Well, you've been a Drupal hater for years so I don't even know why you bother coming to the meetups.
I've not been able to let go of the comment as its certainly led me to do some introspection: Do I actually hate Drupal? And was that comment justified?
From my perspective (and working at a company that uses Drupal to build and app, which is not a conventional use for Drupal), there are things I certainly don't like about Drupal 8 (I'm not fond of the annotations, the theme layer is a huge hog, debugging now pretty much requires PHPStorm, creating a new entity/service/etc is really daunting to name a few,) and there are things that I love about it (the config management system and the crazy stuff you can do with it is quite amazing, the schema update system still holds up fairly well, the routing system is quite nice as well, and Drupal continues to be great for content management workflows). And considering I (and the organizers) continually try to ensure we have a meetup every month (alongside contributing to various contributed modules, and continually defending what Drupal is really good at to those outside the community), being a 'Drupal hater' seems off. Drupal (the project) has given and continues to give a lot over the years - I think the better thing to say would be I love Drupal and hate certain things about it.
Given we were having a discussion about why people aren't using Drupal, getting the label as a 'Drupal hater' through the process of mentioning what others have said to me outside the community regarding their thoughts about Drupal (despite contributing a lot to the community) feels unjustified and frankly insulting. Though I'm glad it was said to me and not a person who might have been invited out to come to a Drupal meetup. I hope this is not something that happens in other Drupal meetups and said to those that might have valuable feedback to offer about the Drupal project.