source software. In 1999, Cygnus solutions was acquired by Red Hat, whereMichael has served in various leadership roles over the last 12 years. He is
currently Red Hat’s Vice Pre
sident of Open Source Affairs.Dries Buytaert is the original creator and project lead for the Drupal open sourceweb publishing and collaboration platform. Buytaert serves as president of theDrupal Association, a non-profit organization formed to help Drupal flourish. He isalso co-founder and chief technology officer of Acquia, a venture-backed softwarecompany that offers products and services for Drupal. Dries is also a co-founder of Mollom, a web service that helps you identify content quality and, moreimportantly, helps you stop website spam. A native of Belgium, Buytaert holds aPhD in computer science and engineering from Ghent University and a LicentiateComputer Science (MsC) from the University of Antwerp. In 2008, Buytaert waselected Young Entrepreneurs of Tech by BusinessWeek as well as MIT TR 35Young Innovator.
How Drupal was born
"Drupal started in 2000, over 11 years ago," Buytaert said. "I was a student doingmy computer science degree in Antwerp and was involved in open source." Afterworking on wireless network drivers in the Linux kernel, he started working on amessage board for local friends to communicate with one another. PHP andMySQL were relatively new technologies, and he used them to build his forum as away to learn them. Eleven years later, it's the Drupal we now know.For the first year, he worked alone. Then it evolved into a changing, experimentalplatform, as new technologies emerged and were added. People started asking foraccess to the code behind the site, and Buytaert decided to make Drupal opensource.Drupal continued as a hobby while Buytaert worked at a startup and on his PhD.Around 2008, he had the vision of "being to Drupal what Red Hat was to Linux,"and founded a company--Acquia--to do just that. Drupal has grown from "a hobbythat started in my dorm room to...one of the top five largest open source projects inthe world with tens of thousands of contributors," he said.