In less than one week I will be boarding a flight to Germany to attend DrupalCon Munich (August 21-24). This will be my third time attending DrupalCon, but it will also be my first European DrupalCon. My original plans to attend DrupalCon Colorado hadn’t panned out, so I made it a priority to make it to Munich. The locale is extra exciting to me because I’m of German descent. I’ve never been to Germany before, so my wife and I have planned an extra week of vacation immediately following the conference. We’ll be visiting Füssen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle, and then to Heidelberg for the remainder of the week. I’m quite excited about the vacation, but the conference itself has plenty of things to be excited for.
The theme for this DrupalCon is “Open up! Connecting Systems and People”. If you are at all familiar with Drupal, you’ll know that one of its core strengths is the community. Even before I began using Drupal (a little over 4 years ago), I was always captivated by the idea of contributing toward a larger open project. The idea sounded very alluring, but I felt that I never had enough time nor were I talented enough to make any sort of meaningful contribution and therefore the concept remained quixotic. In spite of my hesitation, toward the beginning of this year I made the decision to make contributing a priority. Drupal has given me so much in the way of a career and giving a small portion of my time back to the project seemed like an easy decision. I recall logging in to IRC during Core Office Hours one week and seeing xjm ask if anyone was looking to roll a patch. I timidly accepted the request, but she was very gentle and supportive. My patch got accepted. I was hooked.
So, with that said, this DrupalCon will be the first event where I feel like I can be more “plugged in”. I plan on attending a good portion of the “unconference” to get some face time with several of the people I’ve worked with inthe Drupal community. I also plan on attending BoFs, rocking a sprint or two, and helping lead core mentoring sprints; which I’m very excited to be a part of. Along with several other talented individuals, we’ll have open training sessions throughout the week to help other fledgling contributors on setting up development environments, using the available Drupal tools, teaching standard practices and interacting with the community. This proved quite successful at DrupalCon Denver, and I think it will only continue to grow. If you’re going to DrupalCon and are interested in participating please leave a message in the comments, contact me, or check out the DrupalCon Munich website.
With all that said, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and indulging in some German cuisine (and beer, of course). I’ll be posting a follow-up message following the conference to share all that I learn.