Owen Barton

Director of Engineering
Corvallis, OR

About Owen Barton

Owen Barton joined CivicActions as Director of Engineering in 2005. He has been developing elegant solutions in Drupal for over 12 years and is widely credited with building one of the most reputable and experienced Drupal engineering teams on the planet.

Owen serves as technical strategist, planner and innovation lead for nearly all of CivicActions’ clients. He is a strong advocate for agile methodologies, collaborative open source development, and user-driven development to help organizations achieve greater results online. Clients he has worked with at CivicActions include several federal agencies, the San Francisco Human Services Agency, and many NGOs, including Amnesty International, ACLU, Smithsonian Institution, Transparency International, American Public Media, Center for Reproductive Rights and Greenpeace.

Before joining CivicActions, Owen worked as an independent contractor and spent five years as Technical Webmaster for the Las Cumbres Observatory. Previously, he taught science and mathematics in Malawi, Africa.

Owen is an active contributor to the Drupal Security team, and co-maintains the Drush command line interface for Drupal. He has made many contributions to both Drupal core and contrib modules, ranging from accessibility improvements, through bug fixes to major new features. His work on Drupal 7 core front-end performance was sponsored by the Google “Make the Web Faster” project. He is a regular speaker and presenter at DrupalCon conferences and camps.

Owen holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Science from Lancaster University. Originally from Wales, UK, he now resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife and three kids. In addition to his family, Owen is passionate about local organic food, alternative transportation, international development, universal health care, climbing, photography and dancing to African and electronic music.


  • March 2014, “EatFresh.org Case Study – Agile and User Driven Drupal for Healthy Eating”, GLADcamp, Los Angeles, CA
  • July 2013, “Drush 6 – Drupal on the command line”, NASA Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), Chapel Hill, NC
  • May 2013, “What’s New in Drush 6”, DrupalCon Portland, OR


Drush screencast: core-quick-drupal command

A new command in Drush 5 is the core-quick-drupal command (alias "qd") - the purpose of this command is to get you running in Drupal with zero setup. All you need is php-cgi and the PDO sqlite driver - you don't need MySQL or Apache running at all. Running the command [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:02+00:00 Categories: Drupal, How-To|

Drupal 7 – Faster Than Ever

CivicActions has been working with Google's “Make the Web Faster” project team to make some (last minute) improvements that make Drupal 7 faster. What do we mean by “faster” - this word can have many meanings, but here we simply mean the response time for end users, also sometimes called [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:12+00:00 Categories: Drupal|

Drush 2.0 released – Screencast 1: Installing Drush and getting started

After a long period of development the Drush team (myself, and the multi-talented rockstars Moshe Weitzman and Adrian Rossouw) have finally released Drush 2.0. This is a milestone in many ways - the core of Drush has been completely rewritten (some parts of it twice over!) since the last stable [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:22+00:00 Categories: Drupal|

Modules for building Drupal wikis

For many sites a standard Drupal content type with open permissions and revisions will do enough of the 'wiki-thing' for many situations. However, there are a bunch of other wiki-like behaviors that you might (on some sites) want to add additional functionality or usability - here is a summary of [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:35+00:00 Categories: Drupal|