Drupalcon Vienna 2017 is over. This time it felt like a week has never flown past so fast. So many interesting sessions, BoFs, trainings, endless conversations, amusement park (!!!) and beer going on that it’s hard to say what was the highlight of this event.
I remember last year coming to (my very first) Drupalcon Dublin by myself and didn’t know what to expect from the con. I had no idea what I was getting myself into – and didn’t expect to find the community that I did. When you work daily with Drupal you sometimes forget what’s behind it all and there is nothing better than a community event to remind you what working with open source software means and how important the community behind is.
I wanted to collect some of the things that I found interesting in Drupalcon Vienna 2017 in this blog post.
Drupal out of the box
There is a lot of interesting projects going on in the community. One of my personal favourites is the “Out of the box” -initiative, a much needed improvement to first-time experience when installing Drupal. There is still a lot of “ground” issues to be solved but the theme is already looking really good and the team behind is very dedicated to make this happen. You can find the project roadmap in www.drupal.org/node/2847582 and Keith Jay has also written a good blog post about the current state of the initiative.
User experience for site administrators
— Dries Buytaert (@Dries) September 27, 2017
— Dries Buytaert (@Dries) September 27, 2017
Another big topic was decoupled Drupal. It is not a new subject, and with Drupal 8 and its “API-first”-approach, there has been a lot of progress going on there. There are two separate projects with different approach to decoupling Drupal and I would suggest anyone interested in this subject to look them up. Even (or especially) if you are not a Drupal developer.
Drupal in Europe
The big question that was also present was the future of Drupalcons in Europe. The Drupal Association has decided not to do Drupalcon in Europe in 2018. That doesn’t mean that this was “the last European Drupalcon” ever, but it means that there has to be a new way of doing Drupalcon sustainably in Europe, whatever that requires. There is already a lot of movement behind the issue and a group has been appointed to work on the best process to include all views and get a good idea of what Drupalcon should look like in 2019 in order to appeal to larger audience.
Marketing of Drupal was another topic that got a lot of momentum in the Drupalcon Vienna. Both bigger and smaller agencies are struggling with the fact that in the current competitive environment of CMS’s, we also have to market Drupal (the software) to the clients along with our own pitch. For that we need something to help agencies. We need an easily available “marketing tool kit” to grow Drupal adoption and showcase what Drupal can do. There were marketing sprints, BoF’s and discussions during the week and hopefully we get something produced as a community. I participated in a BoF “Marketing challenges in the Drupal world”, organized by Marina Paych. There was also a bigger Drupal Marketing Sprint that Chandeep Khosa wrote a post about.
Friday was a sprint day and this time I had a little more experience with sprinting but I still went to the mentored sprints and joined the group working in “Major issue triage”. I think that the process behind that is really useful and the flowchart is very good starting point for a developer that is new to contributing to Drupal. I might just have to organise a local sprint in Finland and follow the same procedure. Anyone interested in helping out?
At a more personal note, this Drupalcon was absolutely amazing because of the new people I met, along with the people I already knew in the community. I still can’t believe how welcoming and friendly people are in the Drupal community. Where it is a newcomer in Drupal or a “rockstar” core developer, everyone is ready to speak to strangers and make them feel welcome to the community. I saw this happen many many many times during the con and couldn’t be more happier about it. Even Dries came to the sprints on Friday and took the time to talk to people around sprint rooms. I was personally really happy to get to meet Dries and talk about contributing to Drupal.
I am going to miss my friends from the community, but hopefully not for long. There is a huge amount of camps happening in Europe and I have a not-so-secret wish of going next year to Drupalcon Nashville. So see you somewhere!