A few weeks ago I attended DrupalCamp Atlanta to recharge my Drupal batteries. Drupal events give me a chance to step out of my home office to reconnect with colleagues, rekindle my community spirit and learn from the best. While doing so, it also gives me a chance to share what I know and things I've learned. Before reviewing my camp takeaways, let me thank the DrupalCamp Atlanta organizers, who hosted an excellent event and are willing to help share their logistical know-how with me to help me organize DrupalCamp New Orleans.
A BIG thank you to Eric Sembrat, Kaleem Clarkson, Zach Sines, Taylor Wright and to everyone else who helped organize the camp! I plan to lean on these individuals while organizing DrupalCamp New Orleans, now scheduled on March 25, 2017.
Here are my takeaways from this year’s DrupalCamp Atlanta.
DrupalCamp Atlanta Keynote
This year’s DrupalCamp Atlanta keynote was Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Organization presented by Mediacurrent’s very own managing partners Paul Chason and Dave Terry. To summarize, Paul and Dave took turns delivering a message about the benefits and value of giving to open source software (OSS) projects like Drupal, and how this motivates individuals and organizations to participate and contribute. While acknowledging all the contributions identified through the Who sponsors Drupal development? article, Dave reviewed Mediacurrent’s role as a sponsor and specifically tipped his hat to Damien McKenna, Mediacurrent’s Community Lead efforts as a top individual contributor. Check out the recording here.
During the presentation, Paul discussed common characteristics that contribute to the success of OSS projects. Of those, these three items stood out to me as traits that apply, not only to OSS projects, but also to a successful organization, like Mediacurrent.
- Clear contribution pipeline
- Developers are users
Here at Mediacurrent, team members are empowered through clear and well-documented processes, which are open to contribution. In fact we are encouraged to collaborate with each other and the management team to voice feedback and provide recommendations and suggestions to continually improve and lift the entire team. While that tangentially relates to the keynote, it felt like an aha moment to me.
Creating Layouts and Landing Pages for Drupal 8
- Are you going to be creating many similar landing pages?
- Is content curated by humans or aggregated by Drupal?
- Do calls to action need to be re-usable from one landing page to another?
- Is the content going to be moved around frequently by editors?
- Do you need to be able to change the layout easily?
Using the answers to these question will inform our decisions about which landing page types to build and with which tools to build them. With that framework, Suzanne went into details about how to use Paragraphs and Panels to create re-usable landing pages, one-time use landing pages and landing pages with a flexible layouts. I'm excited to see how this presentation develops at Florida Drupalcamp 2017 as other Drupal layout tools mature or gain popularity.
Can't wait to talk about landing pages & layouts at this year's Florida Drupal camp! https://t.co/mKiGKs5zFd— Suzanne Dergacheva (@suzanne_kennedy) November 3, 2016
The Story of an Insecure Module
Mediacurrent’s Open Source Security Lead, Mark Shropshire session took attendees along a story about how to create secure Drupal modules by highlighting common vulnerabilities and reviewing code best practices. @shrop also outlined security practices within the Drupal community and the important work the Dupal Security Team performs. On top of all that, he discussed the Guardr distribution, which combines contributed modules to enhance a Drupal application's security and availability to meet enterprise security requirements. He also demonstrated his latest effort,the Security Examples sandbox module, which provides examples of development related security issues and solutions to remedy these problems.
Visit the DrupalCamp Atlanta site to review his presentation slides and future video recording.
Marketing Automation and Web Personalization with Drupal: An Introduction
In my session, I provided a introduction to web personalization and marketing automation concepts while offering screenshots of available contrib modules. My slides are available via the camp site for those looking to become familiar with these trending topics. It was great to present this information and to receive direct feedback I aim to incorporate into future materials. I also reviewed that status of my latest efforts with porting the Pardot module to Drupal 8. Thank you to everyone who attended.
Hallway and after party track
One of the most exciting parts of camps and conferences is connecting with others after sessions and sharing our experiences for mutual benefit. DrupalCamp Atlanta did not disappoint.
Between sessions as I was able to catch up with Mediacurrent’s Zack Hawkins and chat about how his DrupalCamp Atlanta presentation: Rock and roll all night and part of every day with KSS Node.
At the after party, I caught with several camp attendees to continuing the knowledge sharing. Of note, I engaged in great discussion about the current state of Drupal camps with Kaleem Clarkson, Zach Sines, and Tom McCracken and other camp attendees. We discussed challenges and hardships to organizing Drupal camps and about possible camp ideas.
One of those: Kaleem and Zach brainstormed a job fair focused camp with topical rooms where both candidates and employer representatives can deliver short (1-5 minute) pitches to recruit and pitch themselves and spaces for speed interviewing.
We also discussed how Texas Camp rotates through different cities and organized by different people every year. Both concepts take a new approach to organizing camps.
Finally, I received a recap of the A Reimagined Rainforest Alliance on Drupal 8 in 6 Sprints session from the presenter, Kelly Albrecht. The abbreviated version included how he he managed a recent project using agile principles. I look forward to catching this session’s video once that is posted.