DrupalCon Munich 2012 Recap

DrupalCon Munich was my second DrupalCon and it proved to be as good as my first. I flew into Munich on Monday night and didn’t really stop until I left on Thursday night. I should have stayed for the code sprints on the Friday, but had a holiday to get to!

Group Photo* DrupalCon Europe 2012. Munich, Germany

I didn’t get to the hotel until about 10pm on the Monday night and had some beers with the Haymarket crew. The sessions started the following day, I didn't want to have a massive night to burn myself out.

I enjoyed most of the sessions and have a ton of stuff to dig into deeper. My highlight of the week was probably Fabien Potencier’s keynote where he talked about what it takes to be a great web developer. Here are some quotes from his presentation:

Working for the web is not an easy job. The web is evolving at a very fast pace. The technologies are evolving all the time. So this is a very demanding job with very few rewards. Because working for the web is difficult and exhausting, I can not consider working for the web as a regular day job. … Working for the web is more a passion than job. If working for the web is just another job for you, you are going to be in trouble

A passionate web developer Learn something new every single day.

If you are a developer and have not read the HTTP specification yet, it is about time" - http://tools.ietf.org/wg/httpbis

If you are not a developer and don't understand how developers think, I recommend you read Hackers and Painters

Keeping up to date with everything takes a lot of time and you probably don't have a lot of time at work, so it should mostly be done in your spare time

The web is complex the web evolves at a fast pace, keep learning

Learning is not enough, you need to gain experience

You have to be curious ... You need to look around ... Have a look at other languages and technologies

And the best one

Drink less beer,
Read more books
Read more code

The first keynote by Dries Buytaert was also great. It was conducted as an interview, rather than a traditional presentation. Included a preview of key features of Drupal 8, which is looking very impressive.

Angie Byron’s talk on what to expect in Drupal 8 was fast paced and super informative. And of course, there was a plea for the whole community to help get Drupal 8 out the door.

One of my favourite sessions at DrupalCon London last year was Larry Garfield’s talk on code smells. Larry is the lead of the Web Services initiative and the drive to use Symfony2 components. I was very keen to see him talk again, and this time I managed to see two of them: Functional PHP and Multiheaded Drupal.

The other highlight for me was The Drush Ecosystem. It was a fairly relaxed and light weight talk, which was a welcome relief to some of the heavier talks I had sat through.

The venue, The Westin Grand München, was simply outstanding, both as a conference venue and as a hotel to stay in. Germany is famed for its efficiency and the Westin Grand is a great example. The lunches they provided to all conference attendees were top class. The staff were friendly and very helpful.

I wanted to make a real effort of network more this time and meet new people. That is not always easy at a large conference with over 1600 attendees. People often go in groups or already know people. So it can be intimating. But the effort paid off and I met some great people.

The main party was on Tuesday night in a beer garden by the Chinese Tower. I was going to try not to drink too much, but when they serve it by the litre, that is tough! It was a good night. On Wednesday night, I headed to Kennedy’s pub in central Munich to join the UK community. I met some cool and interesting people. I ended up finishing up relatively early (11pm ish) as I was feeling exhausted.

Here are the sessions I went to:

Tuesday

Keynote: Dries Buytaert

Caching without Fear

High performance theming

Functional PHP

Fearless Development with Drush, Vagrant and Aegir

Backbone.js in the frontend

Wednesday

New Developments In MySQL

PHP Core, get rid of bugs and contribute!

The Drush Ecosystem

Introducing Symfony2

Decoupling Content Management

Thursday

Keynote: Fabien Potencier

Multi-headed Drupal

Drupal 8: What you need to know

Configuration Management in Drupal 7

Closing Plenary

Sessions that I missed that I need to watch:

Due to the nature of multiple sessions happening at the same time, it is impossible to see everything. This is my list of sessions that I would have gone to if I could and so I will watch later. It is quite a long list:

Think like a hacker: Secure Drupal Code

Building amazing searches with Search API and Facet API

Responsive Design with Sass+Compass

Multilingual Content in Drupal 7 & 8

The Drupal Ladder: Resources and activities for meetups to help members learn and contribute

Debugging Techniques for Drupal

Using Drupal to Build an Application, Not a Website

Selling Into the Enterprise - How to talk to Enterprises and get away with it

Keynote: Anke Domscheit-Berg

Theme <3 Drupal

Web Services and Symfony Core Initiative

4x High Performance for Drupal - Step by Step

Use datacenter tools to make your dev life easier

Building real-time systems on top of Drupal with Node.js

Next DrupalCons

The next DrupalCons were announced during the closing plenary. Up until now, the yearly DrupalCons have only been in North America and Europe. But this year will be different. The first South American DrupalCon will be in Sao Paulo in December and then the first DrupalCon Downunder will be in Sydney in Feb. Being from New Zealand, I am very excited to see Drupal growing in Australia and NZ to the point where it has its own DrupalCon. The next European DrupalCon will be in beautiful Prague and the next North American DrupalCon will be in Portland.

Related Links

DrupalCon page
DrupalCon Munich 2012
DrupalCon Sao Paulo 2012
DrupalCon Sydney 2013
DrupalCon Portland 2013
DrupalCon Prague 2013
DrupalCon Munich Flickr group pool
HTTP Spec

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