DrupalCon 2018: A little bit country and a whole lot of amazing conversations

Way back in 2014 I started working for Pantheon and at first it was just another gig, working in Open Source and selling a platform. Then I got sent to work the booth at this event in Austin, TX called DrupalCon. It was there that I met the users of the platform, the developers, face to face. It was there that I finally understood what it meant to be part of the Drupal community. Drupal events will always hold this extra special place in my heart which is way I was so darn excited to get to go to the SuperBowl of Drupal, DrupalCon 2018

This was the 2nd time in a year, and in my life, I had been to Music City USA. While a little more familiar, there was a ton left to explore and so much I have not yet gotten to do. I think the fact that the city was not as mysterious made this trip seem to fly by extra quick. From the time I land until I flew out felt like a few hours, not a few days. Lot to cover, so let’s rock it!

Food And Fun

Sunday Night

I landed and was immediately invited out for a night of good fun with the Drupal community. There were a lot of folks that rolled into town early to take advantage of the night life and sights of Nashville and it was like a whole ‘evening of hugs’ where we couldn’t walk too far without getting a hug from someone you had not seen in a while.


Coffee and tea and some high carb breakfast options were on hand as we started the day of training and Partner Day. Not terribly coffee but not great either. I opted for tea for the rest of the event after that first cup.
Lunch on day one had a very solid vegan option: tofu steaks, quinoa stuffed peppers and some pickled veggies on the side. Can’t find a picture of lunch options on Twitter, so here is
There was the Opening Reception for the sponsor area/main floor for the event with grits and other options. Since there was cheese in everything save the mushrooms, I found some crackers to munch on and a little fruit, but otherwise saved room for a the food at our Pantheon Team Dinner a little later that evening.
Monday night found me at the Pantheon team dinner, which happened at Pinewood Social, a super hip bowling alley/mixologist bar. I put a short hold on my ‘vodka+soda only’ approach and indulged in some good Tennessee whiskey. I carried this over from our team dinner to the official unofficial Drupal Bar Crawl, alo known as the DrupalCrawl. This year we crawled into HQ Beercade Nashville and many of us did not crawl anywhere else, given you could play most of the games for free, including one of the greatest games ever sponsored by a beer, Tapper which you can play here


This was the first full day of the conference and for me it started really early and I brought my own coffee. There was a coffee option but I didn’t see it til later in the day.
I had my hopes up for lunch and unfortunately the option for the catered line was not quite as stellar as the previous day. Though not too bad, cold quinoa salad had my protein needs covered and there was as much fruit as I could eat. The veggie sandwich was just OK.

Tuesday evening found me at the Pantheon Parter Dinner. We gathered at the Country Music Hall Of Fame for a great evening of celebration, a few speeches and some quality meals. It was awesome to hear so many experiences and points of view being shared. There are few things that inspire as much confidence in the community than agency leaders sharing what is working and what they are working. This ‘collabratition’ approach is pretty unique to the FOSS world and it is part of what makes it so great.

Can’t find a tweet for this, so here are some of my favorite Drupal people instead:


Tuesday night ended with some amazing singing by the community at a couple different places. First was the official Mediacurrent after party with much singing. I didn’t go, but thought it deserved a mention

Then a good number of us went first to Ms. Kelli’s, but there was another convention that had already settled in there. But thanks to the quick thinking and hard work by the amazing Stephanie El-Hajj we found ourselves in a much better spot without any competition from any other conferences at Wild Beaver.

Can not find a tweet with a pic, so here is another group enjoying another Karaoke bar in Nashville:


After a long night of singing and rejoicing with the community the next morning was a little rough, so thank goodness for that conference coffee!
Lunch was a serious step up from the previous day with green beans and potatoes along with more quinoa salad. Very full at the end of the meal.
One of the things that stood out was the cards on the tables that gave people talking subjects. I sat at the PHP table be happenstance and had a really great conversation about deployment pipelines and automated testing. There were a lot of topics

Wednesday night brought the Official Pantheon + Lullabot party at FGL House

And yes, there was an after party

Unfortunately I had to leave Thursday morning. It was for a good cause, one of my best friends in the world’s wedding in NOLA.


Training Day

Automated workflows in Drupal 8 with GitHub, Composer and CircleCI

I didn’t have a session accepted at DrupalCon this year, but I did get the chance to co-present part of David Needham’s awesome training. I want to take a second to tell everyone reading this to stop for a few minutes and go read Martin Fowler’s definitive paper on Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery. So much of our modern work as website professionals come from thought leaders like this. It is amazing to stand on the shoulders of such giants and participating in discussions like this. Also, getting to lay down knowledge with the likes of Drush maintainer and all around genius Greg Anderson is intimidating and inspiring all at once!

Partner Day

While I didn’t get to attend this event, it looked like it went amazing. Worth a mention here.


The official Pre Driesnote Fun You can watch it online, but it is not nearly as fun as being there!

OK, I will admit it. This is my favorite part of the actual conference. My real favorite part is hanging with the community but as far as planned things officially on the schedule, nothing beats the Prenote. Lead by the one and only JAM who is one of the most recognizable mustaches in all of Drupaldom. Every year he and the rest of the amazing community team go out of their way to wake us up and have some good clean fun before Dries gets up and takes a more serious tone. I do hope you can go next year and see it yourself.


There was a lot said in this year’s keynote delivered by our project lead Dries Buytaert. With an introduction that was second to none by my colleague and team lead Steve Persch, the tone was set to get serious and address some big picture things that affect our entire space.
Rather than try to summarize the talk, I encourage you to go watch it. Below are tweets I thought captured the spirit of the event well.

And the rest…

Unfortunately, other than the Prenote and Dreisnote, I only got to go to 2 sessions with the way my schedule worked out. Fortunately I get to go to more sessions per year than the vast majority of people. Also fortunately all the other talks are recorded and available on the DrupalCon site

Don’t trust your gut: agency operations metrics
Ashleigh Thevenet

I will admit, I misread the topic description and thought this was going to be a talk about client KPIs, which is something that is of great interest to me currently. Instead I got an amazing overview of what an agency COO actually cares about, Which in and of itself revealed more about KPIs than I anticipated. This is also one of those talks that stands out as unique to the FOSS world. Literally a COO standing up and saying ‘this is how we do things where I work’ and providing spreadsheets to show how. Dummy data obviously, but if you are a freelancer or small agency and want to know how to get to the next level, her spreadsheets are freely available to clone and leverage. I left feeling amazing about this whole space and our future together.

Raw Notes:
Don’t Trust your gut,
Chief operating officer at BlueSpark
Metrics of her,
number of hours spent with her life
Context makes data meaningful
Lot of spreadsheets in the talk
Billable hours,
got to understand where you are spending your time before you can optimize them for billable time
Adapted the billable hours matrix for annual revue per role planning
rev, profit, margin at various utilization rates
Booked Capacity vs Capacity comparison with Monthly and Annual sales targets
Under contract was a runway pipeline
gives actuals and updated a lot
things shift, availability. extention of contratact, act of god, etc
sheet needs to be as fresh as possible
values of accounts
timelines and budgets for all current accounts
remaining budgets
time left
Will my current config of team be able to complete the work they have lined up
how did the team perform
how is the
Let’s back up to the Billable Hours template
rate and expenses
lists out whole team individuals, roles and such
number of hours per week
realistic utilization planning is the goal
potenial revenue per role is the thing she cares about a lot
helps understand when and who to hire
expenses are import to track as well
want to end up at 98% of realistic target
ie 34 hours not 40 a week,
80% utilization losing money
All project projections
timeline, start date and end date for each phase
Weeks to complete,
fill in rates and hours for each phase
rate x hours = contract value
time logged, from Jira, manually pulled in
then pulled into actuals tab
Weekly velocity to complete, the number of hour s and weeks and how many hours per week need logge to stay on track
Color coding will help yo a great deal at seeing things at a glance
easy to get overwhelmed but this is needed to project revenue
things will deviate, so you must adjust as you go
assigned some of the work to ‘unknown’
Unknown Frontend and Unkown Backend
makes planning more flexible
color coding red not booked enough, green capacity,
blue under water, overbooked
sometimes 4 to 5 week differentials with how days fall can be tricky
eventually all comes down to hours though
lets you shift projects as needed
don’t try to adjust in your head
important to see big picture as you plan each individual part

Extending the abstract class of privilege: outcomes and lessons learned
Farah Sabbagh
Ashraf Abed

Of all the talks about privilege I have attended, none felt more poignant or a straight up punch to the face than this one. The stories they shared shook me and made me feel sad and angry and really wanting the world to be better than it is. I even found myself squirm as they completely debunked the idea of ‘seeing past race/gender/ect’ being ‘colorblind’, which I will admit here and now I have said before. That does not work in a world where no one else is ‘colorblind’ and only blinds you to the intolerance going on around you.
It gave me a lot to think about and some straightforward examples of how to be a better ally all around. Very grateful for Farah’s and Ashraf’s courage in speaking up and helping us all get better as a community and as people.

Raw notes:
Lacking access
real story, got arrested for speeding
that cop became an ally but every cop after had same initial reaction
this affected his life later as had to admit he got arrested
We all have biases
blindly trusting our intuition in social interactions is naive
think before you speak, reassess your initial reactions!
Keep your bias to yourself
Unconscious gender bias
people assumed she knew less than she did when she started out
took her until a job change to get out of that rut
women tend to be assigned tasks that are less impressive
contributes to women being overlooked for promotions
long term impact on their career paths
consider adopting self-selection task assignment
trak, support and encourage female employees to work complex tasks
don’t assign women empathy-based tasks by default
She was accused of being too social to be a real developer
accuser had ‘feelings’ for her
she was new, didn’t have tools to handle the situation
but ‘luckily’ got sick and when came back he was gone
They walked her to her car every day
turns out the accuser had fallen apart mentally and was a threat after that
she stayed around for too long
BAH was a great move for her, a lot of women in tech and improved herself a lot
wording really matters
women they have spoken with are just as interested in pursuing a programming career
Female students are typically top performers
how to extent privilege?
-encounrage and reassure them –
give them homework to see if right for them before class starts
let them see if right for them, don’t penalize them for not wanting to keep going
encourage they will fit if they want it
strongly endorse them to key decision makers using Truthful information
Want to help grow Drupal?
we put a ton of thought into patches for Drupal
Put that much effort into helping your female colleagues
really lay it out clearly, it might feel like overkill but it is necessary
employers make a lot of decisions in the wrong direction with female employees
Older people also have this Bias
assuming they can’t learn new tech
her dad is an accountant, even though he was performing well, they pushed him to retire based on this bias
assuming they don’t want to learn
assume they will just be slower pace
people are not crediting all the experience that is brought ot the table
forgetting most technical problems have been solved before
Racial bias
black person early in career usually has to prove their personality doesn;t fit a preconceived notion
to be seriously considered for tech, black grads must be well spoken, charming,
others can get away with being quiet
‘but I don’t see color’
thats a start but it is not enough
the objectivity ship has sailed
too many others see color for neutrality to work
underprivileged people have faced barriers all their lives
evaluating a person’s fit for tech truly objectively would be to give them experiences, exposure and support before evaluating them
You can’t truly test aptitude with a programming test
posted his grads group picture on FB, got terrible racist hateful comments
people that do see color create a really crappy environment
There’s more
Family life – assumptions that people with use their family as an excuse to work from home or leave early
assumptions that people with visible disabilities are less able to perform
single employees are assue to be available 24/7 because they don’t have things going on and they have ‘no one to look after’
Whose job is it to fix this?
nothing is too small – small things can make a big impact
track, support and encourage individuals from underrepresented backgrounds
reach beyond your inner circle
participate in free training events such as GTD, hour of code, etc
Encourage your employer to set up paid internships
AT THE LEAST: RAISE AWENESS! thereby extending privilege
ripple effect can go far – a single top developer can impact Drupal significantly
what does better look like?
Documentation initiative
package contrib Composer dependencies in a .zip file (like core does) (think, bad internet connections)
auto-populate tailored documentation
resulting in centralized docs
D8Academy got involved
people who never heard of Drupal dl and install and contribute
Barrier free sprint
step by step instructions very easy to follow for novice
Drupal only benefits from inclusion

Wrapping Up

It was with very mixed emotions I left early to go to a very joyous occasion, a wedding. While I was super looking forward to see a best friend from college ‘tie the knot’, I was sad to leave all the fun and excitement of my Drupal community. I was super fortunate to get to attend and be there for what I got to be there for, but it flew by. It was an absolutely a pleasure and an honor to be there and can not wait until 2019, when Drupalcon goes to Seattle!

DrupalCon 2017: Baltimore is way nicer than you think it is

After #WCRaleigh I headed to Baltimore, MD to DrupalCon 2017.

This is THE BIG SHOW for Pantheon! The biggest event for Drupal every year. This was the 4th one I have attended in the US, 5th overall. My first DrupalCon was in Austin, TX in 2014. It literally changed my life. Before that event Pantheon was just a really awesome job in the valley, for sure my favorite so far. But from day one of that event a few years back I realized that Drupal was way more than a pile of code. It was a real community.
Austin was also where it first hit me what the heck Free Open Source Software was really all about. Free as in speech, not as in beer. Free as in society, as in enthusiastic voluntary community.  Walking away from this year’s event, I had been reminded of that point and feel an urgency of renewed purpose for making this whole free and open internet thing work. More on that later.


My week at DrupalCon started with the Community Summit. This is meant for the folks who have organized community events like DrupalCamps, Meetups or anything else community focused. I arrived fairly late in the day, due to a few travel hiccups. The day was already in full swing and I raced to catch up, which was not too hard since everyone was eager to help me get on the same page. I was very grateful to be included in the conversation and feel I saw some real progress in the team I joined. It was awesome to work with my fellow MidCamp organizer Avi Schwab  and organizer of DrupalNorth Aiden Foster to further the cause of making Drupal Community happen. I highly encourage you to go participate locally and do what you can to keep things growing.

Directly after the community summit ended, the conference floor opened up to attendees to meet and greet the sponsors. This is when we got to roll out this year’s version of Booth Demo Magic. This is one of my favorite things about working at Pantheon. It is part magic show, part TED talk and part “Mother of all Demos”. This is where we unveil the amazing work we have done and get people fired up about the future of the state of the art.

This year was the best year in in my attending. Watching the demo is the only way to get a Pantheon shirt, which is screen printed in front of you on demand and in previous years, this was the main reason a lot of people who already knew us watched the presentation. This year, dropping the names of tech we were going to show how we integrate with caused such a huge stir that I think we might have had the same turnout even if we didn’t have the best shirt of the convention. As people passed and I said “Do you want to see CircleCI with automated testing setup from a single CLI command” heads snapped our direction, eyebrows raised up and people turned around to go find a place to sit in front of our screens. It was amazing. Really set the tone for the rest of the con.


Food and Fun:

Monday night dinner:
Every year Pantheon sends a large number of us Pantheors to DrupalCon and many of these folks work remotely. DrupalCon gives us a rare chance to sit down as a group and have a good meal. We were not disappointed by the friendly staff and quality of food from Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion. Very tasty and I found out there is a ‘secret vegetarian’ menu they do not advertise but which has some pretty OK offerings. If you go, ask for it.
No Drupal event of this size would be complete without a good old fashioned bar crawl and I left the Pantheon team dinner to join the unofficial official #Drupalcrawl as it pulled into the last scheduled stop, Tír na nÓg Irish Bar & Grill. It was so great to see so many of my friends from all over the world in one spot to raise a glass to Drupal. Special shout out to the crawl organizer Jason Mickela. He is one of the nicest people ever and the smoothness, inclusiveness and togetherness of this event re-enforced that notion. If you are looking for a low stress thing to do with your local Drupal (or any other) community, suggest a pub crawl and let the bars do the heavy lifting.

Coffee before a keynote was mandatory and I dug into my snack bag for breakfast, which is mostly almonds and a few other goodies to keep me going on the road. Coffee was abundant and OK for a trade show.
Lunch on the other hand was absolutely amazing. I went with the special meals option and was rewarded with fresh and delicious food that looked way better than what was on the buffet lines. I had a delicately crafted mushroom ravioli and pretty great veggies on the side. The care and attention to folks with dietary restrictions was pretty epic and I applaud the Baltimore Convention Center catering team. Well done!


Tuesday Partner Dinner:
Working primarily with agencies here at Pantheon over the last 3 years I have had the extreme pleasure of getting to be part of the Partner Dinner at DrupalCon, an annual tradition to say thanks to the fine folks at our partner agencies that leverage our product for their livelihoods. It is such an honor to get to sit and talk with these folks and hear the stories of how their lives have been impacted by the tech we work on.
The food was pretty OK. For the second time that day I went with a mushroom ravioli and a very lovely bowl of berries for dessert. Not to knock this place but the lunch was, by comparison, on par with the quality of this upper scale private dining venue. I ate my fill and I think they nailed portion sizes, which was great because I didn’t need to be in a food coma to make it to the next stop:

DrupalCon Karaoke!
If you have been reading this blog, you already know how much I love karaoke. The music, the drinks, the togetherness and most importantly the act of publicly displaying the love for a song. We were in real luck in Baltimore as the Tin Roof had live band karaoke! A four piece band backed up singers, giving them the choice of hundreds of songs. They even claimed to know many more than were in the songbook but they listed out the most popular for us all.

There were about 100 Drupal folks gathered together and we didn’t all get the chance to take the stage, but we all had a chance to cheer and sing along. The band was even so gracious as to extend their time. Being a particularly dark and rainy night in Baltimore, we got the vibe that without the love of the con-goers they would have wrapped it up early and called it a loss. Thanks to the good Drupal community believing enough we made it one of their best nights ever we were repeatedly told. Karaoke is an amazing way to bring folks together. Make sure you are singing with your community!


Again, the lunch options for special diets were pretty good, though I had the bar set extremely high the previous day, so I wasn’t as bowled over. I had a poblano stuffed pepper with daiya and I think cashew based filling. That part was awesome. The rest of the meal was chips and run of the mill guac. Living in California I will admit I am completely spoiled on fresh super high quality avocados, so most pre-packaged guacamole is belh at best. Desert was a cookie, which I did not try. Coffee was pretty OK too.Wednesday night brought the largest of the out of venue events:
The Lullabot/Pantheon party!Poster for the Pantheon + Lullabot party, head of the T-Rex fossils and the logo of both companies

Every year this party gets a little bigger and wilder. This year was the biggest yet and was a real hands on experience. The party took place at the Maryland Science Center! We were surrounded by dinosaurs, interactive exhibits and all sorts of fun and drinks. Really an amazing time and so many good memories made. The photo booth was hopping from open until they kicked us out at the end.

The un-official after party:
All I will say about this is vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream, Chaz Chumley on DJ duty, Andrew Mallis and his crew to the rescue on supplies and community making a crazy night awesome! That’s about all I care to say. Other than that, you really just had to be there. After all…what we do is secret.

The morning started with much, much coffee and the best keynote of DrupalCon! Lunch was a pretty solid veggie wrap, chips, cookie and salad. Of the 3 days, this was the most standard convention fare of the week on the special diets menu. Nothing to complain about but nothing so outstanding as that ravioli on day one.

For dinner there was a large contingent of folks I like going to get some crab, which Maryland is pretty famous for. I accompanied them to get a drink but looked elsewhere for food. I was certainly glad I did for a couple reasons.
First, it was the best greens I have ever eaten at this pretty awesome vegan soul food joint called The Land of Kush.  Even if you are not down with the plant based food path, seriously go check this place out. Pretty epic food at ridiculously low prices given the portions.

The other reason I was glad to have split off was the walk back. Yes I walked across Baltimore and I think I hit every best neighborhood in the whole city on that walk. Baltimore is only known by many folks because of The Wire. This show focuses exclusively on crime in “America’s Finest City” What they leave off is there are parts where it feels like the nicest parts of Manhattan or DC. From the Washington Monument to Power Plant Live, I followed a path filled with quiet parts, statuary, interesting and very old architecture. I felt very safe the whole time and recommend this walk if you ever get the chance to be in this east coast gem of a town.

Trivia Night!
My official end of DrupalCon was once again this fun filled evening of trivia and fun with us answering some interesting and at times frustrating questions at the Baltimore Soundstage. It was great to work with my old friend Jeremy Rasmussen and some new friends to have a good time and a few laughs. It was an ideal way to cap off the event and I left exhausted but very happy.


The Sessions

Since I was there to hustle at the Booth Demo Magic I didn’t get a chance to see many sessions. I did see a few though and really wish I had been able to see more.
The Prenote!
Every year JAM is the Master of Ceremonies for this lighthearted spectacle, designed to get us awake and ready for the Driesnote and the rest of the day. This year there was a bit of a somber, slow start. As you might know there was some controversy in the Drupal community over the last few months and JAM addressed this at the start. It came as a plea for healing and h provided a few links with resources he thinks will help guide us to be a better community overall.
With the tone now set to a bit darker than expected, we saw a colorful cast of costumed characters emerge on stage and the real prenote fun turned on. We met a green haired DrupalCon newbie named “B. Ginner” who was shown the ropes by a whacky bunch of community folks through song and dance. The biggest lesson is that at DrupalCon, “you can’t go two steps without a hug”. In fact this is officially part of the PHP coding standard, PSRB8.
If I had not already sensed it, this was the signal that DrupalCon was going to be good this year. Really good.

Here are my unfiltered notes:
“Sorry I hurt you, It hurts to see you hurting. Q&A best time to talk about that”
Focus on software
Drupal 8.3
15,000 sites per month launch with D8
YMCA not just a website, interconnectivity between systems is powerful
Drupal has evolved, from project for hobby to something as a powerful to power things
“enterprise” is misleading, non-profits and libraries are not really enterprises
Ambitous digital experience
ecosystem is ambitious as well.
“I was right” city of SF story
Lot of modules to port, please do that
1 million D7 sites need to be migrated
6 month release cycles are important
Depricated APIs will still be supported
D9 will Be d8 without the deprecated pieces
Going to make upgrade path simple and lot of time to update code as D8 evolves
8->9 should be as easy as 8.2->8.3
7-8 might be the last hard upgrade
Core team has added 4 people, with hundreds of hours of contrib
Previews of what is coming
impressive editorial process changes
autorespond-bot is on git hub (based on obama admin whitehouse work)



Project Management: The Musical!

The first non-note talk I got to see was “Project Management The Musical!” by the amazing duo of Allison Manley and Joe Allen Black. This was to be the final performance as they were retiring the session. I had been there over a year before in Midcamp when they had premiered it and was eagerly looking forward to see the last show in the run. It knocked my socks off and for only the second time in any session I have attended, I was part of a standing ovation. The other time was the opening show they did.
Rather than explain a musical to you, it is best to just go check it out here!


Know your friends, pick the right fights   

horncologne (JAM) and mathias.schreiber from Typo3

This one caught my eye as it was on the community stage and featured one of Drupal’s more colorful characters, the awesome mustachioed JAM, from the prenote. He was presenting with an unexpected guest, Mattias from Typo3 community. If you are not familiar with their PHP CMS project, you should take a look. They use some of the same PHP libraries and there is a lot to learn from it, much like we can learn from WordPress or Joomla.
What they spoke about shook me to my core and was a personal wake up call. I make my living off of the open source world and that world is under attack. They explained that although free and open source software seemingly has won the battle for acceptance in the enterprise world, that fight is far from over. While we have enjoyed a golden era of FOSS acceptance as the seemingly default ‘right’ approach, the large proprietary software makers have not gone away or even shrank. They are using their size and vaults to lobby for position harder than ever. They duo shared a few stories that have left me concerned in ways I had not thought about before.
There is a set of laws on the books, but not yet enacted in places like France that say ‘a CMS must have a creator maintained SLA’. Yes, that means all CMS must have a creator to deliver SLA for their software to be considered for government contract. Who would be eligible in Drupal or WordPress? They also discussed the Canadian government’s recent RFP that was written to exclude open source on similar grounds. This is a troubling trend.
They also shared Joomla’s story of temporarily losing tax status for their event governing organization. This would have been disastrous had the other open source communities not banded together to help define German tax law. How close did we come to a slippery slope there? Too close to comfort for me.
The good news here is that it is not too late. We still have an upper hand as we have a whole community to act, which is more valuable than any pile of cash. We just need to work together to continually make the slice of the (web technology) pie bigger for all of us. Let’s compete against the non-CMS market and the proprietary stacks. There is enough room for all open source to win online!

Creating a Culture of Engagement: The ROI of Transparency and Communication

Anne Stefanyk

She started off with a dance party! I felt way more energized after that for sure!
I went to this talk because I am very interested in project and team management subjects. The more I learn it seems the technology, though sophisticated, is not the hardest part of a project to manage. It comes down to how you work with the other people involved. Disengaged employees are not good employees. Satisfied employees are OK, but not going to go above and beyond and ever do more than told. Solid though and not too hard to engage though. Engaged employees are thrilled to be there and feel personal stake in the effort. You want as many of these folks on a team.
Openness is the key to achieving this. Share everything. Trust your team.
It is important to remember that communication is different for different people. For example introverts find group exercises and discussions distressing, and extroverts might not do well with just online exchanges. Read books to help understand other’s perspective and definitely listen when given advice. Engage your teams.
The Q & A was very good with some real advice and tricky situations discussed. I was very glad to be there and this is a talk you do not want to miss!

Wait, there are 35 Symfony Components? What Cool Stuff am I Missing?

Ryan Weaver

Drupal 8 is built on Symfony, which is a collection of 35 independent libraries.  Drupal uses less than half of them! That means that there’s a ton of other good stuff that you can bring into your project to solve common problems…as long as you know how, and what those components do!
That is the session description from the website. I couldn’t describe it better. Go look at his slides This was the best technical talk I saw during the whole con.

 Avoid DEEP HURTING! Deployment beyond git


Another technical talk, and the last non-note session I caught.  I have no need for such tools in my current role, but I strive to understand the deploy process and affiliated tools better all the time, since it helps me relate to the developers I am helping use my platform. Our presenter delivered a lot of humor and fun cartoons along the way while discussing a very serious issue and delving into multiple github repos. I felt very grateful at the end that I don’t have to hand build such a system nor maintain it. Very informative talk.

Technology and Its Workforce at an Ethics Crossroad

The last session I had the opportunity to see was the day three Keynote delivered by New York Times contributor and author Zeynep Tufekci.
Here is the short version. We are barreling towards Huxley’s dystopia, not Orwell’s. We are giving so much of our data away to folks who, admittedly are maybe not currently going to abuse it. But what about their successors? What about 2 generations out? These are tough questions. There are a lot of good things happening, but the potential for abuse is astounding. Make sure you check this out, if for nothing else than her story of a bus driver commandeering a bus for an earthquake relief process.
This talk really reiterated for me that the Free Open Source Software fight is more important now than ever before.


Wrapping up

I left Baltimore early in the morning for WordCamp Chicago. It was an exhausting week and I left feeling a little sore, but in amazing spirits about the future of Drupal and with a renewed sense of purpose toward FOSS. This was the best DrupalCon in so many ways. Go visit this city, it is a real American gem.