Tuesday, September 29, 2015
DrupalCon Barcelona - Recap
DrupalCon is not only about sessions, though they are a big part of the conference. Up to 10 presentations at the same time ensure, that there is quality content for any audience. At the same time, many things happen alongside of the sessions. Some of the side activities might be really familiar to anyone who has attended a Drupal event; some might be hidden gems that I would definitely recommend checking out. Drupal is all about the people behind the great software we are using. Let's find out together what happens during DrupalCon.
Before starting with the actual conference, we did the second Tour de Drupal. This time, we were a much smaller team. Christian and I started in Andorra, cycling over the Pas de la Casa over the French boarder and back to Puigcerda, Spain on Friday. The next day we took a train to Vic and biked over some nice hills and down to sea level located Blanes.
Finally, on Sunday, the Tour de Drupal crew was completed when Gaele joined us from his 2 weeks cycling trip, along with Martin, for the final lap from Blanes to Barcelona alongside the beautiful beaches.
The local Spanish community and other conference attendees welcomed the Tour de Drupal team. At a beach bar next to the conference centre we got to see some nice fireworks from the city centre. Pictures from Tour de Drupal Barcelona 2015 are available here.
We got to the conference on Monday, where community members where already working on fixing the last critical bugs for the upcoming Drupal 8 release during the extended sprints. There are always a few people taking pictures, including for example Paul Johnson. We were also glad to see Boris Baldinger, former Amazee Labs colleague, join us for DrupalCon as part of his new business as full-time photographer.
Mondays at DrupalCon are often underestimated as just a day of arrival, attending trainings, or participating in the business summit. But besides that, there is a room full of sprinters and there was also a community kick-off event happening. People interested in the inner workings of the Drupal community joined together to discuss internal topics like event organization and best practices - for example.
On the ground floor, companies were busy preparing their sponsor booths in the exhibit hall. We from Amazee Labs traditionally see DrupalCons as a big investment; we are sponsors, and put a lot of work into our booth. In this way we can both support the Drupal community by facilitating such an important event but also represent our brand across the community and provide visitors and employees a comfortable area to discuss business and hang out.
The evenings and nights after DrupalCon are packed with social events where community members gather to chat, drink, or eat together in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Tuesday morning, just before the Keynote by Drupal founder Dries Buytaerd (aka "Driesnote"), Robert Douglass, Jeffrey "Jam" McGuire, and a team of creative community members present the "Prenote". Each DrupalCon, they come up with a great show explaining Drupal to newcomers and share regional fun facts about the hosting city or country.
After each keynote there is a moderated Q&A where Mike Anello asks questions collected via twitter, which provides a great way to discuss instant feedback from the audience on the presented topics. Check out the hashtags #driesnote, #DCNahai, #DCRozas, #DCBell for more info.
Just after the first keynote, all conference attendees gather outside for a big group picture. This time, more than 2000 folks interested in Drupal joined in. That's Diana up there at the top, the DrupalCon production lead, strapped in a safety harness to get the shot!
Drupal heavily relies on contributions by individuals who invest a lot of time into making the system better. Drupal 8 has an incredible amount of more than 3000 active contributors. In the sponsor hall, the Drupal8 Contributors Hall Of Fame, contributed by CTI Digital, visualized all the names as a floor graphic.
Tuesday evening, the local Drupal association threw a great party at the beach with live music allowing the diverse crowd to connect with each other in an open, outdoor environment.
Alongside sessions and workshops, many interviews were held, capturing voices from influental community members about the current state of Drupal, and their experiences doing business and working with the community.
To compensate for heavy coding sessions and deep technical discussions, Drupalists also hang-out with each other and just have a good time at the beach, swimming or enjoining the ocean breeze.
While most of the sessions are related to technical topics, there is also another track that I find really interesting. In Core Conversations, we discuss how to improve our processes, what works well, and what needs to be fixed in order to work well together. On the above picture, you can see YesCT, kgoel, bfr, and alimac in their session Paid contribution: past, present, and future.
Drupal core development is a constantly evolving process. In the Drupal 8 release cycle, initiatives where introduced to allow breaking down the complexity of tasks into different areas. Now, with the Drupal 8 release coming up soon, Dries and the team of core committers took a chance to do a retrospective on what went well and what needs improvement: Drupal 8 retrospective with Dries.
In the closing session, the next big DrupalCon events are announced. Besides Frontend United Ghent (May 27-28, 2016), Drupal Dev Days Milano (June 2016), DrupalCon Asia (Feb 18-21, 2016), DrupalCon New Orleans (May 09-13, 2016) and DrupalCon Dublin (September 26-30, 2016) were announced. In the above picture you can see the enhusiatic Indian community promoting their local event.
On Thursday evening, "Trivia Night" was on! A fun Irish-style pub quiz with questions on Drupal and picture puzzles.
Conference attendees from various countries and continents celebrate the game together.
Friday is the official sprint day of DrupalCon. The entire day is dedicated on workshops that allow contributors to improve Drupal core and contributed modules. Our sucessful mentoring system ensures that new contributors are onboarded properly to Drupal's contribution systems and processes.
A great collaborative effort is being made to facilitate moving Drupal forward, while at the same time providing free training for anyone interested in learning new systems first-hand from the experts in Drupal. There were three rooms full of contributors: one with a First-Time Sprinter Workshop, a second one hosting a Mentored Core Sprint and a third one where contributors work in a self-organized way on different initatives per table. As part of the #d8rules initiative, I led a sprint table for porting the Rules module to Drupal 8. There is a lot going on during DrupalCon. Thanks to everyone for organizing and making DrupalCon such a multifaceted event! More photos can be found on the Amazee Labs flickr account:
- Tour de Drupal Barcelona 2015
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 1 - Monday: Trainings, Business Day, Sprints, Community Kickoff, Amazee Labs Party
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 2 - Tuesday: Prenote, Driesnote, Group Photo, Sessions, Local Community Party
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 3 - Wednesday: Sessions, Social Activities
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 4 - Thursday: Sessions, Trivia Night
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 5 - Friday: Sprints
- DrupalCon Barcelona Day 6 - Extended Sprints