Wow, I am finishing up what has turned out to be an action-packed few days during Drupalcon 2009 in Washington D.C. In a word the conference has been AMAZING. In addition to myself, Chris, Derek, and Josh from Mediacurrent were here. Most of the presentations and Birds of Feather (BoF) groups I attended were focused on the business track. My colleagues immersed themselves in the more technical sessions.
The conference provided an opportunity to connect with a lot of community contacts and friends. For example, it was great to spend time with Glenn Hilton and the good folks at ImageX Media after corresponding with them for the last year or so on a variety of matters.
In short, I was able to network with a lot of other Drupal’ers. We shared best practices, strategized, and traded a lot of Drupal war stories. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of interest in the more business focused areas. Marketing, sales, training, and other operational issues need more attention as a lot of Drupal freelancers make the transition from sole practitioners to a full-fledged agency. Along the same lines, there are Drupal shops that are going through growing pains, finding their identity, and dealing with the multitude of challenges that go along with being a small business owner. The amount of cooperation in the community never ceases to amaze me though– I guess we’re supposed to be competition, but acted like collaborators.
Some other highlights of the conference included:
- Sitting in on 10+ sessions, numerous BoF talks, the keynote by Dries, and a few after-hour parties.
- Getting to spend time with Mediacurrent co-workers outside of the normal office setting, especially Derek and Josh who normally work remotely.
- Hearing about a lot of exciting announcements from our partners at Acquia.
- Neil Giarrantana’s session about “Selling Drupal Services” was my personal favorite – nice job Neil!
- Being inspired to help lead the organizational efforts around the first Atlanta (or Southeast) Drupalcamp this Summer/Fall after listening to a number of major city success stories (more on this to follow).
- Having lunch and hanging out with Alex Bourque from Florida, a recent college graduate who Mediacurrent sponsored to attend.
Finally, now the fun part starts. We must effectively apply the lessons learned into real world application. If you are in the Atlanta area come by the ADUG meeting on March 17th to hear more from other local attendees about their personal experiences at Drupalcon.