I was fortunate enough to be part of the biggest DrupalCon so far, DrupalCon London. 1,751 Drupalistas were there, attending a total of 73 sessions, participating in code sprints, making friends and having a good time.
This was my first DrupalCon and it did not disappoint. There were some great sessions by very talented presenters and I thoroughly enjoyed them. The best aspect of DrupalCon for me was the real sense of community. Drupal is, after all, as much about the community as it is about the technology.
Group photo of the Drupalistas
My Session Highlights
Designing the Sustainable Web
The biggest highlight for me was the keynote on Thursday: Designing the Sustainable Web, by The Web Standardistas. It was a relaxed and amusing performance by Christopher Murphy and Nicklas Persson. They took us through the history of design and how design principles from early 20th Century are relevant to web design today. Particular emphasis was put on grid system and they showed us some great examples of grid implementations.
State of Drupal 2011
The first keynote was by Dries Buytaert, Drupal's founder and project lead. He took us through the findings of the State of Drupal survey, which contains some very interesting stats. One important trend is that a lot of bigger organisations are standardising on Drupal as a platform, especially in the media industry. In other words, rather than using many different platforms (Wordpress for blogging, phpBB for forums etc), Drupal is being used as a single platform meeting many requirements. I have worked quite a lot in the media industry and this is something I have seen as well in the last few years. Adoption is increasing in not only media, but also finance, government, high tech and academic industries. Dries described the adoption of Drupal as a global phenomena.
This Code Stinks!
I thoroughly enjoyed This Code Stinks! by Larry Garfield. Larry talked about 7 common types of code smells in Drupal projects, how to detect them and how to address them. Larry was an energetic and engaging presenter who really brought the topic alive.
Node.js and Drupal
Other notable sessions I attended
- Entities in Drupal 7
- Bridging the gap between desktop and mobile publishing with Drupal
- Damn Quick Drupal
- Drush Deploy
- Form Builder
- With One Click
- Responsive Design - Render API
Socialising and Networking
At any conference, networking is even more important than the sessions. Being a platform built by a community of contributors across the globe, DrupalCon is the time when everyone gets together. There was a real sense of community and buzz around the conference. There were plenty of social events during the evenings, including a pub crawl from Tower Bridge to Southwark Bridge, Batman Live and offical party in the O2 , quiz night, curry night and pub visits in Croydon. I met some very genuine and cool people and caught up with old friends and work mates. And that is what makes Drupal great - the people you meet and get to know - the community.