DrupalCon Seattle 2019: My memories are scrambled

DrupalCon Seattle logo with the dates april 8 through 12

Hi Dwayne in the future (the only reader I am actually ever writing to on this blog),

It’s me Dwayne from the week after DrupalCon in Seattle. I got sick in Seattle and to be honest, I am still not all the way back recovered. Still, in due diligence with this ongoing effort to tell you what I have been working on and where we ate and what we learned, I am going to grind this edition out. Not likely going to promote it though, as I am not thinking this will be my best work. You can be the judge in the future though. Hopefully this is not a trend, just want to get a draft out before it all fades.




Landed at 1:20am in Emerald City, fresh from an amazing time on the other side of the country at WordCamp Raleigh 2019

Food and Fun


Bagels and coffee and tea

DrupalCon BarCrawl

The event was listed on the events page for DrupalCon

We went to the following places and I drank whiskey at all of them

Pine Box

Redhook Brewlab

Capitol Cider

I danced at the last place because they had latin jazz playing

Some of us went to Unicorn to end the night. I sang karaoke there.


More bagels and such in the contribution sprints room. Lunch was a nice bean stew and a mixed grains salad. Not amazing but kept me fueled. There was a beet salad at the Opening Reception for DrupalCon’s main exhibition floor.

Official Pantheon Party

Tuesday night was the official party. This was a good event. We were at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle Washington, AKA, the MoPop

Turns out if you are in a crowd after a party with 2000ish people in attendance and you yell “We’re going to The Whiskey Bar!” and you also inform Kevin Thull then about 50 people will end up over in that area drinking together.


Convention coffee is OK. Not amazing or great, but OK. Lunch as OK as well.

Wednesday night is when I started to feel a little funny but thought it was just DrupalCon energy and such.

The MediaCurrent party had “Laser Karaoke”, which was trippy as heck.

I then had other late night matters to attend to at a non-official party which I w will not be listing the details of here. Well, one fact, I fell in love with making and eating Bhelpuri while there. Can’t get enough of it now.


Coffee is coffee and you can’t taste it when you only get a couple hours sleep. Kept me going though. I think I ate Veggie Grill for lunch, but to be honest this is where things start getting fuzzy in my mind.

Tandem threw a really nice happy hour at Optimism Brewing where I had a lovely sour beer. I think it was a sour. I do recall it being pretty good.

After a beer I shot on over to the 4 Kitchens/Kalamuna/Manati karaoke party over at Alley Mic a fun little event space over by the Pike Place market. I sang 1/2 of a song before issues happened with the equipment. My voice was pretty much gone by then.

One last stop that night had the last official Drupal Karaoke stop at Hula Hula a Karaoke and Tiki bar. Awesome job by JD Flynn for leading and organizing us.


I was not functional on Friday. I will leave it at that.


I only made it to 2 sessions this year + the Driesnote + the training I helped with. Most of the time I would do a write up but let me just say for the record all sessions were great. I got mentioned in the Driesnote and that felt nice.

Monday Training:
Automated Workflows in Drupal 8 with GitHub, Composer and CircleCI

It is a real pleasure to get to work with my team. Almost everything I know about CircleCI or Composer I learned from either Andrew Taylor Greg Anderson or David Needham. We also were super fortunate to be joined by literally one of my favorite Pantheon users Brian Thompson join us to help with this training. All in all about 3 dozen folks walked away with a better understanding of this complex, yet powerful and much needed tooling chain.


Raw Notes:
He was recently told something that changed him mind about Open Source
Diversity in OSS is worse than the rest of the technology sector
SOme of data suggest
it is not true tha OSS is mertitocracy
not everyone has free time to learn and contribute
Diversity and inclusion are great things
1 out of 30 websites are using Drupal
serving billions of people
most people visit more than 30 websites, we touch everyone
Diversity improves communication and helps diminish conflict
if people are more comfortable, willing to share ideas
many resons we want to do this
A few weeks back, saw a code review
comments from gnuget were very kind
example of how we can all act
1/5 people will receive negative feedback will stop contributing
Organizations can help
you can pay people to contribute so they don’t have to take personal time
What is Drupal doing?
pronouns field
non code contrib
commitment to accessibility
speaker diversity
TOS changes
CoC updates
8 sessions just on Wednesday about inclusion and diversity
how many other OSS projects have 1000s f people working on this?
1x Internet DrupalEurope
3ndnd grove, full time contrib
Drud, mentoring
Also over 10K individual cont
So many amazing people
50% more D8 modules stable than a year ago
First strategic track
make Drupal easy for content creators and site builders
Layout builder
video of the Umami demo
A11y got applause!
ships with 8.7 in 3 weeks
looks awesome
123 contibutors
68 organizations
Make Drupal easy for content creators
More video!
d8 Media library
Much of what we saw with media is stable
WYSIWYG in progress, target 8.8
6 months out
310 contributors
122 organizations
Admin UI
newer initiative
talking a lot ot agency owners
it is hard to sell Drupal cause the UI is dated looking
looking for modern experience
reality, Drupal is awesome under the hood, bad at showing that via UI
no major refresh in 10 years
proposed with ux testing
looks and feels more modern
better use of space and has more a11y
target 8.9 or maaaybe 8.8
We have to be successful with eery persona
the people spending 8+ hours a day mamking content, must work for them
important for all size orgs
helps non prov=fits and giant enterprises
that is the first track
secont track is to make Durpal easy to evaluate and adopt
migrate and out of the box
eval is down to 3 clicks
quietone has been hard at work on this from NZ
migrate initative coordinator
since 8.5 migration is ready
some edge cases
but do not hold off for 9!
come see the edge cases and help us all
for those following the commit chain
migrate module has been quickly advancing
should be a lot more ready
the OOTB inative
spanish translation by default
welcome tour
over 100 contributors
improves 86 organizations
147 contribotors
so many
most complete int he world
Reducing total cost of ownership
more we need to do on this track
D7->D8 and D8->d9
no panic
D7 still community supported for 2 years and 7 months
vetted venfdors provide commercial suport for 3 more years
supported for 5 years at least
more and more migrations to D8
it is lie moving all the peopel between mving trains
testimonial vid
State of Georgia
d7->d8, met all the reuirements of the state
federated mode
A11y is non negotiable
knowing core is working on that it huge
mobile first is super good for them
responsiveness and dev and content experience is good
better inclusive core of useful modules
and the community is growing, more and more partners and collaborators
they caontribte back, humann drupal8
OSS contribute back was huge factor from the get go
amazing expereince
cut delivery for content and things by a 1/3
There are tools to migrate
D8 to D9 to D10 is same track
no reason to skip to 9
let’s talk about the path from 8 to 9
ships in June of 2020
fallback to Dec 2020 if things go awry
2 major reasons,
3rd party dependencies
Symfony 3 EOL
new improvements and secuirity support
Drop depricated code for maintainability
can ship new features and innovations quickly
manage deprication code and D8-D9
depricated code plus new innovation
any D8 modules without deprecated
What is deprecated code
how di I knwo if my site uses dep
integrate drupal-check in your workflows
upgrade status module
will use dchck, better visual tool
custom modules just fine!
send to favorite developer
Stop usnig dprecated code in core
Call to actions!

Getting an angry wet cat to purr: turning an unhealthy client relationship into a productive one

Raw Notes:
Donna’S talk! FINALLY!

Process is not going to be perfect
but communication makes thing sbetter
with any project need a KPI to define success
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication
Be transparent
who how what
define success
projec tis the
Success is not a luanch date
success is “I got more conversions”
I got me end users engaged
that is success
in the ling run you will never be sucessful if you don’t have these goals
this is the ground work you need
Lack of clear goals in the project is bad
MVP, what we need right meow?
shorter term goals
A hiss can be a good thing
embrace that someone is pissed off
it will guide you to learn to stop it
hear them out
especially when you disagree
where is this coming from?
discover the data source
define wha success looks like
if you cannot determine one ot ore of the above, it may help ID a red herring vs a big issue
Sometimes we avoid the hiss
sometimes it is EACTLY what we need to do!
How can we build it so people can embrace it enthusiatically
when you think of your team, who is your team?
Your real projec team includes your clients
makering leads, tech leas, other in the weeds people
agency stakeholes
AM, PM, Strategy, design, etc
A leader on your team, ack other people working with you
one clinet, they go through what went well and what needs improved
be transparent
ask questions
get to know the person as well as their role
easier to work with Jody or Tom than Anon PM client
competing priorities
find taime for call, get it on the table discuss needs
all stops
retro boards
allow anon posts
their team and her team changed the way they communicates
int he middle of the project
did not want it to become a post mortem
they needed to get it aligned so they could empower
So, this is not productive, but it can happen
cat in the rafters, up in ceiling stressed out
what could be causing it
they have a job, a life outsid eof communicating with them
what peices can I take off your plate
sometimes just saying it help
sometimes you can actually help
user journey
work it out by better communicating
AND what if your dev teamis wrong
what if something actually gets screwed up
OWN it
it sucks but you have to
don’t get defensive
agree on the problem to open the conversation
what aspects of the issue are the most valuable
what is needed to address it
propose a timeline
when you propose a timeline, do not be late!
no one wants to go back and have same ocnversaiton again
sometimes, you get it jsut right and they still say there is an isssue
find the common ground
where was expectations different
this community draws people pleasers
Prioritie that other feature requests will be deprioritized to allow tie to work on the issue
Wha to avaoid when things go wrong
DOn’t blame,
don’t get defensive
Don’t forget to showcase what you did to date
don’t miss out on the chance to speak positie about the future
Let’s keep going
Scope creep means you cna have a long term relationship
6 months down the line, still going to be there to work through these things
define what those next steps are

When Drupal met Symfony

Raw Notes:
More flexible
He dos not knwo Drupal, he is Symfony
Spmf compments not framework
Components D8 uses
Http kernal
unsierialize request data
priorities matter
register your service

Custom headers
RestAPI spec
but for Drupal?
into and services yml
can autowire true to figure out things
Controlers as a service
dependency injection
prefered method for accessing
\Drupal::(‘foobar’); NOT GOOD
-> method
Controlers as a service
no ControllerBase no Container, just inject what you need
Drupal has this but it is Drupal and
too fast to keep up
no more inline @var type hints
helps to preent fat controllers
easier to test
looks pretty
controller exceptations
“extra” bundle
base don Event Subscribers
a 1:1 copy of
create your own
caching annoyances
forms, nobody likes them
Just try it!
for him it made a lot of difference
got his team of the isald
learn from each other’s solutions
there is more than the modules on drupal.org
packagist also exists! just not for Drupal – PHP native
In the end it is all PHP
TODO: Understand possible patterns:

Wrapping Up

DrupalCon is the best thing of the whole year for Drupal folks. The learning and the love in the community is like nothing else. I felt so bad about being too sick for Contribution Day on Friday made me literally sicker than the flu did and tossed me into a depression that ended up pushing the publication of this post out as far as it did.

I would feel worse but for the facts that
1. I know beyond any doubt that I love this community and an off day here or there is not a bad thing
2. Contributing to Drupal is an every day opportunity, not just a ‘while at DrupalCon’ type thing.
3. All the presentations are online for watching as I need to dig into any topic.
4. I get to go to more events in a year than almost anyone else at DrupalCon. So while I might have missed some of it, I will see everyone again sooner than later as I stay in the Drupal world.

I am not going to feel guilty enough to rewrite this in the future. If anyone else reading this has questions, please leverage the comments.

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