NEDCamp 2017: Driving in the New England rain and my last talk of 2017

a silhouette of a group od revolutionary fighters with red flags over a banner that read New England Drupal Camp Worcester, Massachusetts

The direct flight from SFO to BOS is about 5 hours and 30 minutes long. I arrived at dusk in the light rain and got to experience the horror show that is Boston traffic at rush hour. I rarely drive, but I felt very safe in these treacherous conditions because we are never going that fast, 15-20 MPS the whole way. I was very glad to make it to my destination, which was the quaint and confusingly laid out Worcester, MA (local pronunciation: WUUSS-tə), specifically to the campus of College of the Holy Cross for New England Drupal Camp 2017, better known as NEDCamp

I had gotten there a day early so I would not miss the speaker/community dinner and glad I had the chance to cruise around and see the town. I got a very pleasant surprise, finding a vegan Jamaican spot for lunch, Belmont Vegetarian. I got to work from a funky coffee shop right across from city hall and even got to go inside Salisbury Mansion which is nicer than the pics make it seem. They were just putting up decorations for the holiday season and if I lived in the area I would surely go back to see it in all its glory. I rarely take side trips or spend any time outside of my normal conference duties on these trips, so this was very nice. New England is great and all, but it was getting a little too cold for me.

Food and Fun

Friday night dinner

Instead of a speaker/sponsor dinner that was invite only, the Drupal community kicked things off with am open to camp goer who registered at Lock 50. This was a very lovely thing to do, with the trade off being everyone paid for their own meals. It was a joy to eat a pretty amazing gourmet meal with the Drupal community. Getting to connect over some nice drinks and fine food is one of the absolute best parts of any camp.

Breakfast

Almost all camps supply coffee and all should. But not every camp provides a full continental breakfast spread. Thinking back on it, MidCamp was the last time I saw a breakfast banquet quite this good. You can’t learn on an empty stomach, and given I had a set up time before my hotel started serving, this was one of my favorite aspects to this camp. It was all great, but raisin cinnamon bagels are amazing.

Lunch

The staff of Holy Cross is pretty great about dietary restrictions. The lead catering person helped each of us figure out what was what. It was pretty great. There were build it yourself sandwiches, with many bread options for the gluten free, salad, chips and a huge veggie and pickle platter. For those looking for alternatives to that there was humus, tabouli and pita triangles. A true feast but I didn’t really have a lot of room for it since I overdid it at breakfast a bit. Definitely a good problem to have. Stuffed, we were all thankful that there was copious amounts of coffee to keep us going all afternoon.

After Party

The after party kicked off after the last session and we all got a drink ticket to start and a lovely cheese and bread platter. Servers came around with all sorts of goodies including these mushroom stuffed mushrooms that I think I am going to try and make myself. Just breadcrumbs, mushrooms and a lot of garlic mashed up and spooned into mushroom caps and baked. It was great to talk to so many folks about the day and how things had gone with the camp.
We only had the place for about an hour, so we scattered but some of us made plans for dinner. We found this pretty great BBQ joint with OK veg options that was pretty close to a Karaoke bar. They have some of the friendliest staff in the whole North East at Smokestack Urban BBQ. It was a real treat to hang out with the community and get to know each other a little better as people. We are all in this together trying our best, breaking bread is an important thing we all do and reminded us how we are more similar than different.

DrupalKaraoke

Then we sang. It was so much fun, as our party was literally the only patrons for the first hour we were there. Then the crowd came in and we got to show Worcester locals how FOSS does it! I only wish I had video of the 8 minute 25 second version of “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” by a couple of our community which remain nameless in this post.

Sessions

I was very excited to be at this camp because with my life and focus in other areas, Drupal is still pretty amazing and something I want to learn more about. Some amazing speakers on this year’s lineup, I had a hard time picking which ones I wanted to hit. By the end of the day my brain was mush from info overload so these notes get a little sloppier along the way. So much great info though, and you can see any of these sessions yourself thanks to the tireless efforts of Kevin Thull who records all the sessions, and the New England Drupal community’s youtube channel

Opening Remarks:

My Session

I got to admit, I went into this with a touch of sadness, this is my last speaking engagement of 2017 and as of the time of this writing I hae nothing lined up for 2018, which is the norm for speaker since most camps are just opening up for submissions for the spring around now.
I was very grateful to have a good number of people in my room, it made me feel pretty great. The Q&A was fun as well and I am so glad that this got to be the way I will remember my last talk of the year!

Can’t we all just git along?
Erik Peterson

Having written a talk and workshop on git, I am very curious to see how other people approach it. Erik approaches it from the terminal up. Literally a step by step of what the heck git is doing under the covers. I lost track of taking notes a few times because I moved over to my terminal to try some of this out, like git hash-object which I have not run across before. This is a must watch video for anyone that ever wondered how that black box of magic that we call git works!

Raw Notes:
Not a ‘how to’
not things you will have to do
help understand what git is doing and what it is trying to do
how to fix things when they break
logic behind it
Tim Berglund’s “git from the bits up” is where he got the idea
setting up git
git config –global
file that manages config
initialize a repo
init
that is all you need to do
what did that actually do?
that is meat of talk
What git tries to track
Objects and Refs
Blob – data of the files
Trees – pathing for a blob and other trees
Commits – tree, parent, comments
REFS
Tags – named commit
Heads/Branches – line of commits you can add to
Working directory – the actual files on your disk
Repository – history of all the changes
.git directory in the Working Directory
Commits
Each commit has an identifier hash
commits play one after the other
commit messages should be robust
People expect a master branch
Starting with Raw Build
Creating directory structure
hash-objects command
moving object into index
git update-add
DEMO TIME
mkdir .git
mkdir .gitobjects
mkdir -p .git/refs/heads
refs/heads/master > .git/HEAD
git hash-object
most OS hate large folders
objects in file 10K OK, 10M not ok
git generates huge number of files
everything is stored as objects in git
hashes breaks off first characters and makes new folders out of them
Directory + file is the hash
Still no commit, but no file
exists as a file somewhere, but not checked out
does not know what it is or anything about it
add it to the index
git updateindex -add –cacheinfo 100644 hasidentifier spiral.txt
git write-tree
git cat-file -c hash
git cat-file -p hash
git commit-tree hash
git cat-file -p
adding spiral file
Point of all this
a commit is just a pointer to trees
trees just paths to objects
objects just files in git folder
Git cleanup looks for objects that are not in trees, kill those
head branch detached when not pointed at branch, pointed at specific commit
don’t want to be on a commit, be on a branch with that commit
checkout rewrites your working directory
Rebase and Reset
branching – you can just commit your whole life through
moving to new branch lets other people work on your repo and keep working on your idea
like you didn’t do the work if you want to toss it
objects are still there, branch is gone though
rep log to see changes and bring branch back
merging is getting branches back together
real trees rarely do this
remembers the paths and both branches
then can get rid of branch
rebase is different
a git mere is also a rebase
that is a fast forward merge
rebase moves the base of your branch to a different parent
changing what it is based off of
makes it look like one branch
whole history you are testing against
fetching
vs git pull
pull does a lot
fetch just gets all work done from the remote branch
but nothing else, lets you control what to rebase against
git push me, pull you
git reset soft
moves head pointer wherever, leaves working directory alone
tree (brew install tree)
git branch –contains hash
little history commit

The command-line doesn’t have to be a black box
Jim Fisk

As you might have guessed, even if this is the only post of mine you have read, that I love eating and I love the command line. I was super excited to be able to see Jim lay out some of the tools he is using and how we can leverage them. I walked away with tig installed and man, it is such a nice little tool to more cleanly read git. Honestly think I am going to show this off in future git talks. Lot of great information and Jim is a heck of a nice guy, if you don’t already have a local Docker solution up and running, check out his project Vesl as it seems pretty good, though it is early days. Make sure to check out his slides, as they used some old school telehack figlet 3-d font made with Jim’s CLIdeshow tool.

Raw Notes:
he found himself doing a lot of things with tools
found himself going more and more to command line
wrote this talk to help show others how he found success with it
We will over Docker
Vesl, tmux, vim, and others
basics
how to navigate find where you are, move things, and edit files
basically anything you can do through gui you can do through command line
quicker
Navigational thing
pwd – print working directory
ls – list files
see . and ..
. is folder you are in
.. one level up
cd – nav around the file system
Docker, container service isolated environments that can souse your dependencies and run different version of software in a consistent way. based on your project requirements
just type ‘docker’ see list of commands
all based on a common image you can download and connect containers
‘docker ps’ to see what is running
he created a project that made config easier
called Vesl (on dockerhub)
bas script, complex docker commands and make them easier to run
bloated container that out of the box, ready to go faster though
Vesl loads things behind the scenes from blueprints
DEMO
vesl start container
Fish is shell on top of your commands
fish shell goes ghosting, efficiently run things, autocomplete
predictive text autocomplete, even if not same start of word, related terms
tmux
terminal multiplexer
have multiple shells within shells
why need terminal shells in shells?
ssh 2x and edit in one
tmux bar gets added to bottom
vim – can configure
shortcuts
demo
at the start of what we can do with vim
vim config that helps you do things like debug easier
:w
:q
Fugitive – vim plugin
seatags
tig – better git history git backwards
history of changes and commit messages
see diffs on file by clicking on commit
tree view
look through actual files at that point
edit the old fie without pulling in memory
mysql cli

Keynote

Inclusion and Diversity in the Ever-growing Global Digital Marketplace.
Aimee Degnan

Aimee is a pretty amazing person and speaker. She is one of the first people I remember meeting in the Drupal world and and was super glad to hear her keynote. This was not a lighthearted soft skills talk nor was it a technical session nor was it a business discussion. It was a heartfelt and honest discussion about recognizing our own experiences and recognizing the experiences and situations of others. It reminded me of the talk Andrew Norcross gave at LoopConf earlier in the year, where it was a real gut punch, at least to me. I do my best to be inclusive and use my privilege for the greater good, but there is so much to be done. I intend to improve and hope I can inspire someone else to have that same intent as I go forward. I could not capture a lot of the info from the slides, so make sure you watch the video.

Raw Notes:
How do we identify yourself
project manager
dev, site builder
her into slide and her tech history
do tech
Women owned business 20+ years experience
but who are you really?
race, class, education, sexuality, ability, age, gender, ethnicity, culture, language
lot of the audience looks male
but not sure how we identify inside
get more data
then this is where ask questions and listen what we say
that is diversity
being composed of different elements
this is for people, the true range of differences
the meaning of diversity os not the stat of being different, it is noticing and listing and respecting the differences in others
inner/outer wheel
inner are some things can’t control, like ago, national origin
outside are things you can change, appearance, work experience, Education, Family, Political
fluidity
Different is scary
sometimes hard to find connection points
we like to be around people like us as humans
people find comparisons
you can tell if someone is safe if they are familiar
perceived confidence
but different can be empowering
different brings new ideas, new needs, brings change
society comes with lot of societal baggage
Privilege exists, we must acknowledge it
dominant, most influential
Oppressed, subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authoritysomeone ho feels depressed
if don’t speak the language you could have a temporary oppression
intersectionality
trait 1 + trait 2 = total identity
most people have many more than 2
instead of Rosie the riveter being a white woman
3 woman of color, one in hijab
inclusion example of intersectionality
she had hesitations on putting this together
admitting how she is oppressed and privileged
being a tech business leader is how she is afraid of being judged
will she say too many feminist or radical things
awareness
hole built for a circle, other shapes are told by circle “just be yourself and get out”
need to be aware not just of ourself but other people and the situation
cycles of oppression and privileged
in order for a disadvantaged group to get better situation have to take on traits of dominant oppressive class
inflammation – pain cycle – tht you can fix with Advil, not privilege
have to have systemic change to fix
Inclusion – being part of a group or structure
integration says stay in your circle, but no effort to include
inclusion must be cultivated
but be careful not to have assimilation
inclusion is including people as they are, changing the system around the people’s neds
assimilation says change to fit in
homogeneity vs heterogeneity
made of same parts vs different parts
equality vs equity
fence in the way, looking at the problem different
addressing systematic issues
Digital divide
digital privilege
gap has improved over time
worse things happening content censorship and denial of access
across the board, internet is helping with inclusion
content
Drupal is 4.8% of the internet
Digital innovations, like Google translate
translation programs only getting better
why does this matter
where did Drupal start? and by who?
so many languages covered in the Drupal project
Your behavior and actions matter
be an ally
sometimes you don’t know the right thing to do
you can ask what the other person needs and help them, it is OK
be aware communication is beyond language
talk about change vs living change
Empathetic actions
be nice to each other
sounds easy, but not really
change is a process, takes time
is ongoing
must have an intent to improve
Yes we can!

Opening the Black Box: Becoming a Better Developer Through Debugging
Dustin Younse

I recently saw a shirt that said ” ‘;’ hide and seek champion since 1958″ Debugging and I have a long history that goes back to my college days. I remember printing out hundreds of pages of C and C++ code, which I wrote using the Pico editor, on green and white lined paper with the little perforated sides you tore off and then sitting down with a red marker and working through, by hand, where the issues might be. It still gives me nightmares. Thank goodness a LOT has changed since then.
I don’t debug a lot of code these days but it is coming up more and more as I evolve and learn more. The live demo part showed exactly how to use Chrome’s built in dev tools to debug JS. It was fortuitous timing that I could see this talk just as I entered the precarious world of JS and performance tuning. Great job and I learned some things.

Raw Notes:
Examples of errors taking down things
funny tweets
Nothing but text
CSS, Aggregated byt not cached
JS blocked in the browser
File permissions
differences between debugging and troubleshooting
5 minutes vs 5 hours
fixed vs understand why it happened and corrected that
What is the black box?
no CS degree or background, self taught web skills
everyone wanted a website, he would do it for beer money
above average google abilities
late nights staring at error codes
Mental model of Drupal a black cube
thing that did stuff
changed mental model to “Maniac Magee”
kids book
can untangle knots
largest knot in the world, he studies it, unties it with simple pushing and pulling
bootstrap process is complex
got harder in D8
let’s look at some new tools
When all you have is a hammer…
need better tools
“text editors” – notepad, nano
vs text editors – notepad++, Sublime
vs IDEs – more specialized – phpstorm, eclipse, komodo
how we set up Dev environment
FTP development – cowboy coding and ftp
no version control, this is bad
Local Dev – MAMP/Native LAMP
can work offline
print_r()
xdebug possible
Local Dev Next Gen
Kalabox/Lando – Pantheon and Acquia prehooked
behave like the server you will be hosted on
more performance profiling
blackfire – newrelic but local
XHProf
Tidewater
XDebug: step through debugging
hitting pause on code execution
inspect the state of the stack
modify values live
hairy problematic issue story
something is broken!
the ever dangerous live demo
example with chrome debugging tool for JS
modifying as goes walking through step by step, break points
looking at things as they are running
found off by one error
what is broken?
is something not showing up?
new content -is it published?
Log files
learn how to find your log files before you need your log files
multitail
linux/mac utility to easily view logs with more options than tail
tail multiple files at once
where is it broken?
custom module
template.php/.theme file
theme template?
since we don’t hack core or contrib modules
Change one thing at a time
git is your friend
save progress
recreate
make rabbit holes manageable
git bisect id your friend
lets you isolate changes between commits
must have multiple commits on branches and master
start in the middle
imagine a 45 step teddy bear factory
Git diff is our friend
remove your debug statements
ensure you only changes as much as you needed to change
git blame
git annotate
find out who wrote the offending code
not a witch hunt
a chance to find context
you can go ask ‘person’ and might be more info you needed to know
or time specific
debugging techniques
walk away, seriously
talk to a coworker (pair program)
talk to a rubber duck
write ti down by hand, show your work
make the future easier
watchdog
drupal::logger
etc

Did you say taxonomy or content type?
Benji Fisher

I debated leaving this one in here. Due to some other duties I was late to this talk and my brain was starting to go numb on me, so these notes are not the clearest. Benji delivered a great session with all sorts of poetry and dead poet references. After the keynote he even called himself out for only using 3 dead white guys as his poet examples. The crowd was happy to help him out as Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou (who does have a few public domain poems actually). It was a great community moment. It was also a reminder that Drupal is not always intuitive as the demo went a little weird at one point, but we got to the end with a much better understanding of content type vs taxonomy and how you can leverage both with Drupal!

Raw Notes:
developing vocabulary
builds a Drupal site
manage fields manage forms
name=author
ends up with
All english
all dead
all white guys
copyright
Emily Dickinson is a solid choice
page for William Blake
taxonomy for Blake
how you are going to edit the content type
same here
content type
poet info the same in both
What difference does it make
Drupal for free
revisions, created, timestamps, bulk operations
Drupal also gives taxonomy
hierarchy
drag and drop ordering
list of associated content (nodes)
Demo of admin, (reminded me of what Drupal dev looks like)
Revisions to taxonomy terms, module for that
created and changed timestamps
author info
bulk operations
drag and drop ordering
list of associated content
Admin experience
will you provide custom navigation

Wrapping Up

I will admit, I have not spent as much time in the Drupal community as I have in the WordPress community this year. I felt a little guilty about this when I first showed up. But pretty quickly I remembered that these are really my people, FOSS loving and community driven individuals and just the nicest folks in the world. I hope there are more events for me to go to next year. The community needs to expand, not contract. We should all embrace Drupal for what it can do and make the worked a better place. It took going to this show to remind me of that. Until next year for NEDCamp 2018, thanks NEDCamp and the whole wonderful Drupal family.

2 thoughts on “NEDCamp 2017: Driving in the New England rain and my last talk of 2017”

  1. Thank you Dwayne. You lead a terrific session on managing stakeholders. It really resonated with me.
    It was a terrific camp and hope to see you at another camp in the near future.

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