PNW Drupal Summit 2012: Setting the Bar High for Ensuing Years

Oct 30, 2012

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PNWDS Logo

What a weekend! No wonder there was a waiting list. From late-night basement bowling battles to deliciously fresh baked lunches and insightful, popcorn filled Git presentations. This years Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit in Seattle set the bar high for us Vancouverites next year.

Right from the opening remarks it was evident that sociability was this year’s focal point. Here’s what made this year stand out.

Sociability:

Opening remarks: Hey! Find five strangers and form a group. Here, take this paper bag full of raw spaghetti noodles, make a tower three feet tall, and balance a marshmallow on it.

What?! Needless to say, most groups struggled with this one. But what a unique way to fire up the conversation, inspire collaboration and increase the sociability. Completely on par with what Drupalers all strive for with the open source community. This activity really set the pace for the rest of the summit. Each presentation, table, and break Drupalers could be found collaborating, sharing and educating one another.

Saturday night had quite the dénouement. Attendees all headed to the Garage billiards bar where the ImageX team went head to head against Affinity Bridge and The Jibe in a bowling match. Only one of them broke 100, they all better stick to web development… This was such a great party, everyone from the summit had a further chance to connect and meet fellow Drupaleers. The positivity ran rampant throughout the night as each team got to know each other and build friendships. Bowling, who knew?

The summit was set at the University of Washington in an open commons area that made it easy to meet new people and do what everyone came to do – learn. Unlike previous years, each presentation was very close knit, as there were not large keynote presentations but rather several small grouped presentations in which collaboration and sharing was an essential part of each.

University of Washington Drupal Summit Venue

Insights:

ImageX Media was prominent this year as Mt. Baker sponsors and with three presentations coming from their team. Each presentation was filmed live and will be available for viewing soon via the links below. Here’s more on the presentations:

One Size Fits None: A Modular Approach to Higher Education

By: Shea McKinney and Jennifer Hols

Amongst awesome jokes, Jennifer and Shea gave a presentation and demo on OpenEDU – a custom, feature-rich content management framework built with Drupal that offers significant cost savings and efficiencies for Higher Education institutions. Shea engaged the audience while demoing one feature, a content syndication service. Syndication essentially allows for content to be written once in one convenient place and then published across all school departments with easy and user friendly sharing capabilities. Some questions came up like, can OpenEDU allow for SMS notifications for my students? The live video will be available for viewing soon.

OpenEDU tweet from PNWDS 2012

Slow and Low – The Drupal Gitflow

By: Brandon Shi & BJ Wilson

Brandon and BJ captivated the audience with free popcorn for their delivery of an intermediate level presentation on Drupal Gitflow. They touched on: multiple repositories, pull requests, and peer review, steps for setting up a professional project workflow designed for multiple developers, and smooth code deployment. Their initial claim of “Commit, Review, and Deploy your code smoother than a soul singer” was an accurate depiction of the overall presentation.

Panel: Working as a Drupal Dev: Freelance vs Subcontract vs Employment

By: Trent Stromkins

This panel discussion lead by Trent was a unique, developer view approach to working as a freelance vs subcontract vs employee. The panel included two members of the Cheeky Monkey Media team and Trent, a developer for ImageX Media. They dove deep into topics like: specific challenges as a Drupal developer, the pros and cons of being a freelance developer, and suggestions on how to break into developing as either freelance, contract or employee.

Delicious:

The food was delectable. It was to the point where it needed to be mentioned in this blog. Delicious fresh baked baguette sandwiches came in all varieties. There was an abundance of great, local coffee and it was always fresh. The best part is that it was all included and available at the summit venue, this allowed for further social interaction that coincided well with the social theme of the event.

Tweet from PNWDS

Years to come:

The community is committed to making each PNW Drupal Summit better than the last. With a core group of solid Drupal supporters here in Vancity, they are going to do their best to ever expand the amazing Drupal community and spread the open source love. Until next year.