Fund xjm as a Drupal core release manager

Contributors at DrupalCon Prague stand or sit with laptops and talk. Photo credit: Illek Petr.
By xjm, December 5, 2022

Hi, I'm xjm

My username is xjm. Friends call me Jess. I'm a Drupal core committer, one of eighteen people who are trusted to accept (merge) code changes to the main Drupal project for the hundreds of thousands of sites that rely on it.

My role on the committer team is that of a release manager. We're the folks who actually create the Drupal core releases that you can install on your site.

quietone enjoys a coffee while collaborating with sprinters at DrupalSouth in 2019
Future release manager quietone collaborates with sprinters at DrupalSouth in 2019. Photo credit: DrupalSouth

There are four of us for Drupal 9 and 10: catch and I have been handling core's release management since before 8.0.0, and more recently, we've recruited quietone and longwave as provisional release managers to round out the team.

'Security update required!' replaced with 'xjm says hi!' in the Drupal user interface
When your Drupal site says "Security update required!", you can think of that as me saying "Hi."

I'm also a member of the Drupal Security Team, and I've been involved in basically every security release of Drupal core since 8.0.0 was released back in 2015. 

I'm seeking funding

For nearly a decade, I was funded full-time to contribute to core initiatives and releases. As part of Acquia's Drupal Acceleration Team, I helped pull Drupal 8 back from the brink of unmanageable technical debt and ever-slipping release schedules, and helped define practices to prevent those difficulties from recurring. I helped complete core features like Migrate, Media, Layout Builder, and JSON:API. I contributed to over 50 core security advisories. I ensured that Drupal 9 and 10 shipped safely and on schedule. 

I had the joy of accomplishing these things together with our amazing Drupal contributor community, but also specifically on a dedicated team of the most talented, collaborative, supportive, and inspiring people I've ever worked with. DAT, you rock, and you're in my heart always. ❤️

On November 30, I was laid off. This meant that more than half the dedicated release management funding that keeps core stable and secure disappeared overnight. I retain my governance roles as committer, release manager, and Security Team member, and I'm contributing what I can as a volunteer while dealing with my unexpected lack of employment.

Releases created by each core release manager per year: 28 by xjm, 11 by catch, 6 by mcdruid, and 4 by quietone.
With full-time funding, I'm able to create two-thirds of Drupal core's total releases each year. 

Volunteer contributions are an essential part of our community, but it's unsustainable and unhealthy to expect volunteers to permanently perform the responsibilities of a full-time salaried position, especially for as high-pressure and time-sensitive a role as that of a release manager.

Full-time funding has allowed me to respond quickly to emergencies, to create more releases than any other committer in Drupal's history, and to act as a shield for others against some of the more difficult and thankless work that's necessary to keep Drupal core running.

So, as I look for a new job, I'm first pursuing opportunities that will allow me to replace that full-time funding of my work as a release manager, to keep Drupal core stable and secure. I'm also considering positions that would allow at least half my time for that work, with the rest spent helping an organization with its open source contributions, developer evangelism, Drupal future-readiness, and so on.

If this sounds like a good fit for your organization, get in touch! You can contact me on or DM me in Drupal Slack. I'm especially interested in talking to organizations that can already recognize the excellent opportunity that sponsoring a core committer's time represents.