MidCamp 2019: Food Trucks and twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom

the blue Drupal drop with a tall hat like the Madd Hatter wears in Alice in Wonderland

I love visiting The Smelly Onion. It feels like I am visiting family every time I land. While a little on the cold side and a drizzle of rain was awaiting me, it was still great to get back into the shadows of the Miracle Mile. Having moved the event to a weekday event meant the vibe was a little different. Not bad but every day felt like Friday. But Friday sessions are always exciting and there was a lot of excitement this year for MidCamp 2019!

Food and Fun


I got the chance to meet up with some of the organizers not too long after I landed up in Lincoln Park. We played my nee favorite board game Foodtown Throwdown. We also got to shoot a short commercial for the venue we were scouting for the official After Party.


We were met with coffee and some light snacks at the DePaul Student Center. Coffee is middle of the road but the tea game was on point. Lunch was a wonderful taco buffet with a vegan fajitas mix featuring chickpeas. Since I have no tweet about lunch on this day, so here is someone else’s lunch:

Welcome Social

Instead of a Speaker Sponsor dinner, MidCamp has a Welcome Social that is much more inclusive overall. This year we returned to Derby Bar & Grill for some appetizers, tacos and plenty to drink, in part thanks to our sponsor New Belgium. I am a huge fan of any event that invites more people to come out and converse away from the busy floor of the conference.


More coffee and tea from DePaul’s catering but also a surprise vegan donut from Stan’s Donuts brought to me from the truly good friend JD Flynn. It was just the boost of sugar I needed to really have great morning.

Lunch is worth talking about. Of all the camps I attend, MidCamp has the best overall approach in terms of inclusion, speed and scale. They have tapped into the university’s dinner service system and we all had lunch vouchers to get us into the food court. Once you are inside it is all you can eat. Vegan options, as well as other dietary restrictions, were not just available, but plentiful and very well marked. In the end this saves the camp money, makes for much happier campers. It makes for happier sponsors too, since the organizers gave each of the sponsor tables a pile of lunch vouchers, so we all got the chance to talk to a lot of people.
Great job MidCamp Organizing Crew!!

Game Night

It was a great evening of food trucks, in more than one way! First, we dined from the awesome food truck from Jarabe Mexican Street Food. They are very vegan and non-dairy friendly. Their sauces are some of the best in the Midwest! We played a multitude of games, but the one that I am still enamored with is that Foodtown Throwdown game.


As has become tradition, we sang. Thanks to our fearless leader JD Flynn for leading us to Shoe’s Pub for some excellent singing by all and some wonderful entertainment from some of the locals.


More coffee. More tea. More awesome food court lunch service.

After Party

We gathered at Tapster in Lincoln Park. This is a ‘pour your own’ bar with much more than just local brews on tap. It works off a RFID card system. A novelty in presenting people with dozens of beers to sample, one beer at a time. They have ‘Tito’s and soda’ on tap, which means I didn’t see the other taps. We had sandwiches and some sides from Chicago’s own Fat Shallot. In another awesome to me move, they ordered all the vegetarian sandwiches as vegan with cheese on the side! MidCamp once again shines as a camp that is getting this aspect correct.

More DrupalKaraoke

Once more we returned to Shoe’s Pub and once more we sang. But we also danced. And danced. And then some more. It felt like the best warm up for DrupalCon I have ever had. My arms were sore the next day from all the spinning my dance partners.


For Contribution day we actually had a repeat of Wednesday’s fare. Same set up and same awesome taco lunch. The camp organizers had a meeting over lunch and we got to see just what they were up to thanks to twitter. I flew home in the evening.


Wednesday – Sponsor Round Table, Training, Pre-camp Contribution Day

I had signed up to participate in the new Sponsor Round Table discussion. In order to make it more of an open conversation we decided on keeping what was said in the room in that room, but can safely say it was a very informative discussion. One topic, which is rather public, is how are getting ready for Drupal 9. My personal answer to that popped up on Contribution day on Saturday. Overall though, this was a great discussion that helped me form some opinions about the future of Drupal, which is overall strong. I didn’t make it to any of the trainings, but they looked awesome


Opening remarks

Keynote Session

Actions Speak Louder than Code
Fatima Sarah Khalid

Ever since I first saw Fatima speak about Object Oriented PHP and Pokemon, I have looked forward to seeing her speak again. This was a pretty stellar keynote for a couple big reasons. One, it was her first, so she brought an excitement to it that is just downright infectious and inspiring. Also, she didn’t actually talk about tech, other than slightly about the cool web sockets based polling tool she was using, but instead talked about diversity in a real way, based on her real life. She engaged the audience and I know that we all left the room much better prepared for the conversations that need to happen ahead.

Later, during the lightning talks, which I didn’t capture in notes, someone else shared his story to make sure that more voices and all voices were shared. She literally inspired another talk later in the same day! That is the power of speaking up.

Raw Notes:
parks and walkways in a new neighborhood
Made friends with Gloria from South Korea
Kimchi and traditional Korean food
8 years old, 2001
morning of 9/11
traffic jam in Flushing NY, first day of 2nd grade
heard it on NPR
couple weeks later waiting for Gloria
her mother was with Gloria and told her
they could not be friends because she was a terrorist
this had a forever lasting impact
things changed for her
we called it a world in which people had already decided who we were
a Muslim in post 9/11 is an important and under-told story
The options we have and the choices we can make are limited by who we are
if these make you uncomfortable, that is good to challenge your perspectives
Activity: stand up and reach up. Now reach up on your toes
Reminder, you can always reach a little higher
Interactive session for Slid.io
choosing for ourselves,
You board your seat in the exit row and the flight attendant explains emergency procedures. The woman next to you asks for your seat to be changed because she feels uncomfortable and scared of you. The plane is really full. Choose.
Stand up for yourself
Don’t make any waves
Based on her real experience,
if you fight back, they will take you off the plane
if you don’t make waves – woman paid more $ to move ahead to another class of seat
more so lately others are more likely to stand up to ignorant people
Grocery store – irrational man demands to see in bags
Praying at work:
Pray in closet, pray in conference room, Ask manager for help
She prayed in closet until they turned that room into a closet
Her story was much longer but I didn’t write it all down
basically good people are good to work with and most people want to
how can we do better?
Diversity, inclusion and belonging
Find time to tell our stories
it helps build that sens of community and belonging
swapping introductions – builds real credibility
nod to David and his one cold night volunteering
talk about these things more
Learn the language, use the language
what makes you uncomfortable
so your research. be mindful.
be generous when having these conversations
Amplify the unheard voices
consider your environment.
embrace who’s missing.
Make an active effort not to exclude others
Acknowledge that oppression is constant
You don’t have to understand to help someone feel safe
Let’s take a moment to celebrate
we all live here (pic of the globe)

Empathy for internal users: Build and train for real content admins
Lily Berman
Nick Switzer

I attended this talk without reading the description for 2 main reasons. First, I couldn’t find any reference to these speakers in my notes from earlier camps and I love seeing new speakers. Second, and more importantly, I am very interested in empathy and training. Not exactly what I do as far as training, since I am teaching people tools and not how their site works, but the underlying messages of ‘stay simple and clear’ is universal. Really a good talk for anyone dealing with client work who ‘hand off’ things to users.

Raw Notes:
When you’re building a complex digital product, some simple things that can save you a lot of work
The build:
plan for real people
Put yourself in the shoes of the user
don’t start in Drupal, start in collaboration tools
simple, clear and focused
field names for real people
help text that is actually helpful
don’t be shy about requiring fields
character limits and field sizes should make sense in the editor’s context
Great power, great responsibility
thoughtful limits
the right widget for the job
views to provide focused list of options
Entity browser
make custom entity browsers, powered by views
Focal Point, can choose a focal point and Drupal will try to center on that spot when cropping
not perfect, but great starting point
Paragraphs Browser
filter and search by paragraph types
quickly find what type of assets they will need
chosen, linkit, entity embed metatag, aquia purge
improvement area
custom and site-spec specific
focus your custom dev time on what provides the most value for site admins and make it reusable
Views isn’t just for the frontend
more focused content overviews
content moderation dashboards
now that you have a new site, got to train the admins
Drupal was a second language for her and for everyone
so you must prepare well
strategically choose who will lead the training
pick a person who knows the least about it to research and will bring a very clear version of what is really there
clearly define client roles for QA and content entry
Intentionally say what you say
always explain the whys
start your training
understand the room, know your audience
Roadmapping and signposting
tell the audience where you are in the conversation and set them up with expectations
start simple. very simple.
give them demo page to compare and learn from
check your jargon at the door
not familiar to clients
explain any jargon when you first introduce a new term.
Ask the right questions
After the training
send them training documentation
simple site, screen share recording
bigger and bigger sites, need more complex follow up
videos, how to docs, break screen shares into parts
Build touch points for questions into your scope and timeline
give them time to digest
giving this talk again at DrupalCon

Lost on an Island: Building Remote Collaboration in Cross-Continent Distributed Teams
Adriana Mosnoi
Andrew Willden

I work with a remote team. It has advantages and disadvantages. Any advice anyone can give for how to make this work better is always welcome. Hearing out loud some of the things I have been reading really drove home the points, like around clarity of communication and really making the effort to understand not just the role but the person you are working with. FFW is living proof that distributed teams can prosper.

Raw Notes:
10 tips for better remote work from FFW
1. Be aware!
do some research, know the geography and background
know your timezones! be considerate of schedules
understand roles and responsibilities – clearly defined
2. Be organized
document, document
3. be transparent
use calendars keep yours up to date
if you use a chat tool, set your appropriate statuses there
consider adding personal events as busy in our calendar so that no one books the time for meetings
4. Be clear
use simple, clear communication
adapt your language to your audience
These ones are easy to make a habit of doing every day
next ones, re quire more effort
5. Being flexible
understand that everyone is different
empathize and try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
adapt when a plan changes or when something comes up
6. Be curious!
ask questions. Lots of them
Open yourself up to thinking differently
open your mind to new ideas and perspectives
7. Be present
have regular check ins (preferably video, minimum, audio)
try to meet offline and actively engage
create shared experiences and vocabulary
Final ones
8. Be humble!
Accept that you will be wrong, often
don’t make assumptions
openly acknowledge when you or someone on your team is wrong
9. Be happy
celebrate small wins
make work fun
communicate in a positive joyful way
make a shared digital space to connect with your team
encourage people to share personal accomplishments
be vulnerable
take a genuine interest in your colleagues
build connections with people you work with
actively make an effort to know people closely, reciprocate
try to find common interests and appreciate differenced
respect their choices and boundaries
in short, be AOTCFCPHHV
Just be human, build collaboration
grow trust

Pantheon’s Guide to Security in Higher Ed and Beyond
David Needham
Paul Gilzow

Risk is where assets, threat and vulnerability meet
Threat is something that poses a danger
threat agent, is a group of people
vulnerability – weakness or holes in security procedures
But what level of risk? hole in umbrella
impact is greater
potential loss of or harm to assets as a result of exploiting vulnerability multiplies by the impact of the threat occurring
Why higher Ed is attractive target
network bandwidth and availability
rich in hardware infrastructure
poor in human resources
resistant to blacklisting – hard to get an .edu tld
you get benefit of the doubt in more cases than most on that
personal ID info
Sensitive personal
export control data,
a lot of data!
Backups – good restore points
protect your backups
don’t keep in publicly accessible area
test your backups!
Pantheon specific
NSA posters public domain
On Pantheon, backups every day
hopefully never have to restore in a live environment
backing up your backups is pretty easy
Keep Drupal Up to Date
why/how does it reduce risk?
updates often address security issues
potentially removes an exploitable vulnerability
how? Subscribe to Security Team Newsletter
Update and stay on the latest release
a lot of people are either “no time” or “Didn’t want to break my site”
Security principles
don;t use components with known vulnerabilities
Keep themes and modules up to date
Bonus points
know what you have installed and why you have it installed
Hosting provider
if Drupal is the brain and your content the heart and soul of yor site
a hosting provider is the rest of the body
remains one of the top vectors for compromised sites
know what your host is running and what versions they have installed
engage the team responsible
File/directory permissions
lowest possible access necessary
security principle: least privilege
lock down all Drupal to read only
0400 if you can
ideally only the files directory is writable
attack surface
all the sum of the paths that leads into and out of app
plus all code protecting that path, and so forth
remove everything not in active use
Drupal does not check for updates on disabled modules
remove disabled modules
passively fingerprint the app
unused module module
Drush flag as well
bonus – regular audits
do your homework on themes and modules
research a theme/module before installing
on d.o little green shield, your module is being protected/watched over
why/how does it reduce risk?
every piece of code can introduce vulnerabilities
treat all data and code as hostile
permissions and account usage
only what they need and tiers
least privilege principle
reduces opportunity for someone to make a mistake
create a custom role for specific permission things
Do routine account audits and remove permissions not needed
Protect settings.php
add rules to prevent direct access
move the file somewhere not public
does not encrypt your site
just the transmission of data
does protect those credentials
Strong passwords
long, non-common words
more important than complexity is length
every one should be unique
7 B have been leaked
use a password manager
enforce strong, unique passwords for everyone!
defense in depth
everything you can do has an exploit
layer those parts to slow down the attacker

Everything I know about Kubernetes I learned from a cluster of Raspberry Pis
Jeff Geerling

What could I say about Jeff that I have not said before or is not already known; I think he gives some of the best presentations ever! The very idea of a Raspberry Pi running Kubernetes is just flat out fascinating, but then to run Drupal on that just seemed like a bit of parlor magic. What I saw was the beautiful orchestration of Ansible, Kubernetes and one of the most impressive live demos for the ages. Jeff is eternally curious and I am so glad he shares what he learns with us.

Raw Notes:
The big question, what can I do with a Raspberry pi?
how well does a Kube run on a cluster of Raspberry Pis
but a complex install
like Drupal
what you need?
Drupal, MySQL, services for chat, cron, logs, redis, Solr
now we have lots of servers to run them on
can’t just have one server
if something goes down, have to figure it out
Kube puts your stuff on servers
scheduling is hard no matter what you are doing
build huge because we can
why this project? it does not have to make sense
learned a lot
slow hardware and limitations is a big issue to learn about
dealing with the tiny keeps
RP0 is too slow to deal with this and almost no memory
also got really hot
5 RP2, but abandon that
now has 4 in a cluster on a router for POE
4 1/2 years with 99.9% uptime
ISP caused only outages
how do you even put Kupe on pie?
config management for humans
kube uses yml, Drupal uses yml, Ansible used yml
ansible command line
ansible -i inventory all -m service “name=drable1-node-…
have to sudo to control ports on pi
self healing of Kube
kubectl get pods
pods are containers with kube running on this pi
look up pods and kube
how you can scale easily
logged in users authenticated means higher CPU usage
horizontal Pod auto scaling
how well does this work?
not the fastest but for sure not slowest
nginx caches can handle 5,124 requests/s
for comparison, local machine is 25% slower
home as a data center?
where you keep it
power, network, physical security
slow network issues
Kube basics
requires more rigor, deployment, automation
RBAC misteps can lead to major security holes
stateful is still not easy (DB and Storage)
need a dictionary
some well though, you can do amazing things
done poorly, failure at web scale
How well doe Drupa8 runon Kube on a cluster of credit card size computers?
it does OK

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome: How Weightlifting Helped Me Accept My Place in Tech
Kristen Mayer

I missed this talk the last time she gave it at a camp I attended and I swore I would see it in person if given the chance, which I happily was. Kristen is a delightful presenter and her passion for weightlifting and making a difference both shine through this talk. I know I struggle with imposter syndrome more than I care to admit, so just knowing that it is not just me is huge! I am so grateful talks like this one exist.

Raw Notes:
Impostor syndrome
thought she was going to be an architect
then got into UX research-> front end developer -> back end development
always felt like everyone else knew more
I’m only here because I got lucky
I’m not really good at this
I don’t belong here
was feeling it in her free time
also in her weightlifting
tech both have own language
stance form risks
don’t compare to other people
with weightlifting
accepted she would not be an expert, focused more on what she was doing that what others are doing
Always someone who knows more than you
felt her skills were not adding anything to the team
imagine watching a varsity high school football game
8th grader
not the star of the team, but makes good plays, there for the teammates
what are your impressions
You would root for him!
don’t be afraid to ask for help
with lifting, asked help when not sure, was OK with that
And did assisted exercise
at work though, always felt had to do it on her own and without help
Don’t get discouraged
lifting, when could not perform, blamed circumstances
at work blamed herself, felt like a failure
life affects work and workouts
Set goals!
lifting, deadlift 200lbs bu X date
tech: get better at coding
specific goals are much better than longer term goals
I’m not really good at this
pick something quantifiable
and time bound
Own achievements
lifting, celebrated every new lbs
tech she did not celebrate everything
‘it wasn’t that hard’
Mentor others
talked about it with friends
helped friends
felt I wasn’t skilled enough to teach others
I’m not knowledgeable enough to teach somebody else
it is OK to say you don’t know the answer, but everyone can learn
Everyone is an expert at something
Join the community
lifting, connected
tech, was not sure where she fit in the community
felt not sure can contribute
Anyone con contribute
Being involved int he community has given her more support and helped her improve her skills
find people who inspire you
she looked different than her co-workers,
finding others who look like her and excelled has helped her feel like she does belong and can contribute
your skills matter
no one has all the answers
life affects work(outs)
goals are important but it is hard to hit them if you don’t know what they are
when acknowledged, believe it
sometimes you need a push to go further
Everyone is an expert at something
Anyone can contribute
representation matters
Overcoming impostor syndrome takes time

Practical Ways to Include people with disabilities in design
Liz Davis

Given what I do for a living, when I think of disabilities, I default to thinking of visual impairments first and, to be honest, kind of stop there. Sitting in the front of a room with a presenter who uses a wheelchair was a reminder that I have been neglecting pretty much every other user with needs different than my own. Liz is also a really delightful speaker who had the whole room at ease and reminded us that ‘it is OK to laugh together about this stuff, so long as we are not laughing at people about this stuff’ (paraphrase). I left the room understanding that Lighthouse and AXE can account for about 30% of your work’s Accessibility compliance, but without really asking for people who are differently-abled to use the product or service, we are going to keep failing at it. Really a must see talk for anyone building anything!

Raw Notes:
Inclusive design,
everyone talking about it
but what are they talking about?
we edge toward sympathy instead of empathy
it’s cool to be inclusive
But you are not sure how
that is the first step
key is to talk to people with disability
understand the disability rights movement
part of the civil rights movement
Nothing about us without us!
gang of 19, laid in front of buses in Denver, CO intersection for 2 days protesting lack of accessible buses
1990 ADA, stalled in committee, 60 disabled protesters crawled up marble steps
Stephanie Woodward arrested in 2017 during a ‘die in’
2017 guy dragged out of capitol for protesting the ADA repeal
Who definition: Disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting interaction between features, of a person’s body and features of the society they live in
Make personal connections with existing disability orgs in your area
independent living orgs
local universities
active disability advocacy groups
senior centers
social media groups
Chicago specific
Access Living in Chicago
Chicago Lighthouse
Great lakes ADA
disabled twitter is a large group
INdependent Living Centers offer resources
Technical skills
Universities – students are always looking for gigs
Social media
First step to reach out, send a friendly email
talk about your project and other typical recruitment screener and information
“We are trying to do usability testing, need help”
Setting the Session
don’t want to say wrong thing or make them feel bad so lot of apprehension
is it close to public transit?
Accessibility of the building (if not, let people know)
parking nearby?
never assume 100% accessible
explain what is there
story about Sear’s tower elevator
Timing, para-transit can be unreliable at times
Para-transit – urban service for rides
UberWAV is supplementing this
Be Flexible
Consider assistive Tech
if testing app, not the tech itself, let them use their own setup
plan for that and give time and space
this is a service you are buying
Additional access
you can’t account for every single need, so ask what access you can provide
Additional Access
During the Session:
Worry: What if I say the wrong thing?
Colloquialisms are fine, no need t feel bad for it
Be open to feedback
WCAG DOJ website
Mom website analogy
If you interview 5 moms feedback, it is only 5 opinions.
Not about all moms
when you ask accessibility experts that is all that is, just opinions
some people not as open about their experience
Speechless on Hulu. Electric wheelchair character, realistic representation
Simply Different podcast – she is making it, not our year
disarming disability – podcast – robot arm friend
The station agent – Peter Dinklage in it.
Accessibility email specific to that type of feedback
Accessability@emailaddress.tld should exist
audit testing at most gets 30% of it.

Erasing the Stigma & Energizing the Seated
J.D. Flynn
Avi Schwab

I didn’t expect that I would be doing stretching exercises when I walked in, but I was glad we did them! My joints felt immediately better and it woke me up for the rest of the day really. Avi lead the physical portion and had all sort of great advice for better posture and living with a standing desk. He also reminded us that drinking more water leads to going to the restroom more, which is a perfect time to do a few minutes of stretches to keep yourself healthy.
JD talked all about mental health. I had seen a version of his talk before and it is an important one. Without talking about mental health, we will never erase the stigma. Both of these talks together can help someone lead a better, healthier life!

Raw Notes:
Physical and Mental health session
Make yourself comfortable
It is a lot of our jobs to set down 40 hours a week
“Sitting is the new cancer”
We are probably not going to stop doing that soon
Avi has been using a standing desk for about 4 years
first place just let him buy a cool one
Rigged a standing desk at next gig
crank up desk at home
important to be comfortable at your desk, ni matter the set up
First, learn to stand
head back and neutral
shoulders back
ribcage down
abs engages
butt flexed
feet straight
we did some exercises
basic posture and easy stretching
sitting different
you can use your environment to stretch
Drink more water and use that having to go to the bathroom as a chance to do light exercise, any motion good
book Deskbound
Move and think about posture
JD –
Erasing the stigma, mental health and wellness in tech
Not a doctor
working remotely really affected him
it’s OK to laugh, as long as not meant to be insulting
let’s eras that stigma
got to talk about it, and laughter is part of that
Why this talk?
Working from home is hard on some people
You are not alone
it needs to be talked about
part of the stigma is the fear of speaking about it
20% of gen US popit is higher in tech
why important to him, he has mental illness
he was in denial for the longest time
thought it meant weak or damaged
“I’m not weak, I am sick.”
about you – polling the audience
What is mental illness
Major depression
Anxiety disorder
PTSD – RAM vs Storage – short term vs long term-
PTSD is where event gets stuck in RAM, re-live the experience
TBD (one away from Bingo)
Life before treatment was difficult
caused self enforced isolation
was angry a lot
Challenges of working alone as someone with mental illness
isolation, stuck in your head
communication – working remote
reading into everything
text based communication makes this hard
if you never have communication with your coworkers
easy to start talking to animals
Distractions – anything but work
you can always find something else to do
Sedentary lifestyle easy to fall into
how did he avoid a stinky sedentary life?
trial and error
what he learned
1 simulate a normal work routine, get up and shower
if in the office, dont eat lunch at your desk
2 distractions – at home, avoid them, headphone rules at the office
give co-workers a heads up on that
3 guilt of not working and taking time off
you can not and should not be working 24/7
you are being paid to not work
don’t compare yourself
4 isolation – everyone has a phone
communicate and make human contact
sometimes you just need to be around people just to ignore them
get to know new employees, say hi and be friendly
bring cookies your first day
joina club or volunteer to get
join communities
what does mental health have to do with this?
for people in tech: 42% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition
Do you think you do? Over half said likely
those with mental illness handle thigs differently
afraid that taking time to ourselves will have negative consequences
OSMI survey
in OSS communirt is greatest resource
we are not just user name

Beyond Herding Cats: Lessons for Project Management in a Small Agency
Tori Lewis

I love Asana and when I found out Tori loved it to, then I knew we were going to be on the same page. Project Management is one of the areas I find myself getting drawn into more and more, given how much I love process. Learning all I can about how I can better communicate, no matter how large or small my team is, is important to me and hopefully will make me easier to work with.

Raw Notes:
she has a lot of project management experience
across multiple orgs
there are strategies that go over all
herding cats
Lone wolves – devs
cats are clients – hard to get them to to focus on their webproject
Mama bears – tempted to take on everything about a project, good at stuff but bad a delegating
1. Be agile, even if you’re not Agile
trying to adopt a full agile methodology can make people groan if they have failed at Agile before
if you do implement Agile then
stand ups rigor does not always work
sprinting is sometimes not the best way, for shorter projects esp
Local project owner vs Scrum master, small tram that is hard
Postmortems are super important though
not learning from the project is fatal
always must learn how to improve
job as a PM at a small agency is not to manage projects alone
but to manage the process for the org
2. Meetings
Want to go in guns blazing
this is a bad way to go,
Running meeting for small teams
no need for formality for formality sake
Have an agenda! bullet points is good enough
if everyone knows the map, harder to get lost
time box, make sure you are effective with time
2 45 minute meetings better than 1 90 minute meeting mostly
take things offline
a cliche, but helpful tool
good conversation to have is like 2 devs about an API
designers not needing to
give yourself breathing room to catch up as people beginning and at end of meeting
fostering team moral
little bit of bonding in every meeting
Every meeting needs to be documented and everyone has a to do list
you as PM could take a list of action items
Asana in the meeting is also a good system
assign each one to a team member in the meeting
very clear and effective
very transparent
can note on the task
what if only 1 dev?
all of these things are still true
regular meetings and an agenda is still critical
off-lining in this case is for dedicated time to figure out those things
3. Love and live by, your PM software
basecamp vs asana is better conversation over beers
Notifications are customizable, only on a design
know who is using your tooling and how they use it
teach team to use asana as central source of truth
if no one monitoring and cleaning up asana, it will be unmanageable fast
3 months overdue tasks
is it a priority? How can we make it happen?
relevant files and links
access to what they need to do their jobs
integrate PM tool with time tracking tool
see what can integrate well together
4. Communicate often and well
part of your job sharing new features if they do not know how to use it
make sure they are getting it if it matters
ask new team members lead parts of meetings and give feedback
add new layers of communication competencies
err on the side of being more clear than you need to
not over-communicating – more != better
make sure team is checking asana
5. team culture
can == company culture
make sure they know flexible and limits

Effective Cross-Functional Communication
Catrina Ahlbach
Andrew Olson

The last session I attended was one that left me thinking a good deal about how I deal with miscommunication more so than how to be a better communicator. Don’t get me wrong, good communication is the goal, but dealing with the miscommunication itself only sometimes results in a better process. The piece I had not really thought about too much was this sort of immortally true triad of feasibility, viability and desirability. I think I have been missing one of those legs when I think through how to improve a process. Much to think about and my notes are sparse. Luckily, this, like all the sessions are already online.

Raw Notes:
Communication ground rules
creating an environment for good communications’
1 always assume positive intent
duck or rabbit pic
neither perspective is wrong
don’t introduce judgments into your communications
Engineering view of the world
very precise and a lot of effort
perspective of user is a blind spot
designer view is focused on the people having a good time
communication goes both ways
not just listen to me
the ability to listen is as important as the ability to speak
miscommunication is always a two way street
conflict is not necessarily bad.
it is needed actually
requires balancing 3 points of view
human centered problems
Technology – feasibility
Business – viability
human – Desirability
inquiry lets us shift view to overlap all three
great solutions and outcomes possible
unresolved conflicts create real world problems
imagine you want to order a pizza
or furniture (see slides)
disconnects happen
perceived vs actual disconnect
takes work
illusion of communication
discussion clarification highly functioning team
We can’t always see the other person’s obstacles
man with rock woman with snake (see slides)
Beware of miscommunication
might hear
this is right/wrong
handed off
there is no time
the best / only way
that’s hard
Why it is bad
many assumptions and unclear
judgmental and opinions
Might say
as I’ve just said..
I know…
–missing, see slides, recording —

My Session:

Bash is magic # No it’s not

The second time I gave this, I was both more nervous and less nervous at the same time. about 50 people in the room made for a good energy and having an hour instead of 45 minutes, like I had at NERDSummit gave me some time for interactive demo and some very informative (for me) Q&A. I learned that I had been thinking about cmd+k wrong, I didn’t understand aliases as well as I cold have and I have been messing up ctl-c and ctl-x for years now. And I loved every moment of learning that live in front of an audience. It makes it very real and apparent that we are all learning still and there is zero embarrassment to learning something. Honestly, the only reason a person would be embarrassed is if they refuse to try to learn a new thing. I can’t wait for the next time I get to give this talk. I know I will learn even more then.

Contributon Day

Instead of Sprinting, cause who wants to run that fast, we had Contribution Day. I have always kinda felt a bit on the edges of this. A little documentation here and there, but mostly just helping with parallel things like camp organizing, work for my job and even other communities. This year, after a bit of a slow start, I got off and running helping Joe Purcell to help get us all ready for Drupal 9, which is right around the corner. Related, if you have not checked to see what modules you use are Drupal 9 ready, check out Matt Glaman’s drupal-check project. It is pretty great.

Wrapping up

I left Chicago a little sore, tired as all heck and emotionally drained, all in the best way imaginable. I have not felt this connected to the Drupal project ever before and I have never felt better about the future of all of Open Source than I did leaving this camp. From the wonderful friends I sang and danced with, to the awesome sessions where empathy and communication were held as the highest form we could aspire towards, I had an amazing time. I will look forward to seeing many of these fine people again at DrupalCon 2019 or when I return to Chicago. Not really sure when the ladder will be, but I hope it is at least for MidCamp 2020

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