Monday, October 2, 2017
DrupalCon Vienna Friday Sprints
At the end of a great month of cycling, a great week of summits, pieces of training, keynotes and more at #DrupalConEUR, the last and final day of this week-long conference was all about sprinting. Let me share my wrap-up of the DrupalCon’s Friday sprints in this blog post. The Messe Wien conference center was split up into 3 areas: the first-time sprinter workshop, mentored core sprints as well as general sprints. Let’s go through them one by one.
- The first-time sprinter workshop, brings new contributors up to speed with setting up a Drupal 8 environment, understand the contribution process and find their first novice issues to tackle. This process has been tested at various previous DrupalCons and turns out to be highly effective at recruiting and onboarding potential future Drupal contributors.
At the first-time sprinter workshop, besides learning tools, processes and the technology, the main emphasis is on being able to collaborate in-person with other community members such as in this case Jen Lampton (jenlampton) from the US together with Chris Maiden (matason) from the UK.
- The mentored core sprints are designed to take those who have gotten their feet wet in the first-time sprinter workshop or already have prior contribution experience to the next level. The setup of the second room with round tables focused on different topics such as Drupal core subsystems or initiatives allows engaging directly with mentors specialized in those skill areas. New contributors will work side-by-side with experienced core contributors on core tasks.
Mentors, such as Fatima Sarah Kahlid (sugaroverflow) from Canada, provide individual advice to those sprinting on an issue. The goal is to help a new contributor on their way through the process and learn from each other.
The mentors all wore green t-shirts and we used name tags for every attendee to make sure it’s easy to know who can help and lower the bar for memorizing hundreds of names within a few hours. This is Michael Lenahan (michaellenahan) making an announcement to the crowd of sprinters at DrupalCon Vienna.
- The general sprints are where all the other magic happens. You will find other Drupal core initiatives and Drupal module maintainers sprint together on topics they care about being moved forward. It is similar to the mentored core sprints format, as we have tables that focus on certain topics but without the official sprint mentors and rather each initiative self-organized with or without a given structure. A huge spreadsheet is used every year to pre-organize sprints. Here individuals can sign-up for sprints happening during the week and take part in individual sprint initiatives such as working on “Drupal 8 criticals and majors” or “Migrate” or “Usability / Redesign the Admin UI”.
A busy and growing table was the “Search API Family” where Thomas Seidl (drunken monkey) sprinted together with many other contributors on Search API and related modules such as Facets. Note that the Search API module has also been given the price in the Drupal category or the Open Minds award that we held during the week of DrupalCon on Tuesday. Together with Entity API by Wolfgang Ziegler (fago) and GraphQL by Sebastian Siemssen (fubhy) and Philipp Melab (pmelab) it was awarded as most valuable Drupal contributions from Austria.
The sprints were concluded with a very special moment, the Drupal Core Live Commit.
Lauri Eskola (lauriii), provisional core committer performed a live commit on stage. The seemingly trivial issue Add @internal to schemaDefinition() methods was reviewed and showed how the process works. The issue had been worked on by three contributors Valery Lourie (valthebald), Kevin Wenger (wengerk) and Gilles Doge (gido) until it went via the Active and Needs Review to Reviewed & tested by the community. Together with the approval from core committer Angie Byron (webchick), Lauri was able to commit the improvement not only to the latest 8.5.x development branch but also to 8.4.x which currently in release candidate mode.
Shannon Vettes (svettes) and Michael Schmid (schnitzel) also joined the stage to share what they sprinted on. This time it was about an initiative that isn’t necessarily related to writing code but helping drive change. Drupal-Petitions.org is designed to create a process & tool similarly to https://www.change.org/ or https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ where the community can prioritize and gather momentum around ideas of improvements.
Wrapping up Friday was all about sprints. As explained, I’m excited about the many ways that new and existing contributors had been working together.
Special thanks to all sprint mentors, to the great organization by the DrupalCon Events team as well as Thunder as the main sponsor for the Friday sprints. More photos from Friday and the entire conference can be found in our Flickr collection. Interested in sprinting again? Watch out for Drupal Dev Days in 2018 or other upcoming Drupal events in your area.