DrupalCamp London 2015

24th March 2015

Nearly a month has passed since my visit to London for this year's DrupalCamp and I thought I would put my thoughts down on the blog. I went down with a group of colleagues from my company Access on the Friday night before the event, having arranged a flat through Airbnb for all of us to stay in. After some beers and a burger we were ready for the main event on Saturday morning.

Saturday

The keynote talk from Dr. Sue Black was a really interesting tale of how she got started in the tech industry. She talked us through getting an education, getting involved in the fight for Bletchley Park, and finally to the TechMums initiative. The main theme of the talk was that if she could do it then anyone can and she now works to encourage others to get into computing and not be afraid of it. All really interesting and inspiring stuff.



Next up was Mike Bell, who talked about Mental Health and Open Source. I went to this talk partly because Mike is a fellow NWDUG member and partly because the issue of mental health is a subject close to my interests. This was a story of a the road to recovery that Mike was on after his breakdown last year, and was a talk that he will be giving at PHPNW this year. Again, really inspiring stuff and really important that these issues are not seen as taboo or strange. Many people suffer from mental health issues and they often feel that they need to keep these things to themselves, and the mainstream media doesn't help in this regard. Thanks Mike!

After a quick break it was time for Josef Dabernig to talk about #d8rules - Web-automation with Rules in Drupal 8. This talk was about what has been done and what is still left to do in order to get Rules into Drupal 8. It turns out there is a lot to do, so if you want to help in out then get involved!

After grabbing a quick bit of lunch I went off to the BOF session on a collaborative group for Drupal Groups in UK and Europe. This discussion was mainly around the creation of a directory on who to contact in Europe when people want help. It was nice to see other members of the Drupal community who run user groups in Europe. I also had a chat with Adam Hill about the upcomming DrupalCampNorth.

After this I went along to see Dan Bohea talk about Vlad: local development like a boss (Vagrant LAMP Ansible Drupal). Dan was a bit nervous at the creator of the project (me) going along to a talk on it, but we answered a few queries after the talk finished and I got chatting to a few people who had used the project already. We were also able to announce the version 1.0 release of the system. The positive feedback we got was really encouraging and work has been continuing since then. It was also nice to meet with Dan, who has been a major contributor to the project for a number of months and turned out to be a thoroughly nice chap.

The last talk of the day was from Morten DK on Drupal 8 twig - Theming done right. Morten was typically funny in his delivery, but his message was an important one. We are currently in the position to be able to tweak the twig implementation in Drupal 8 before it goes into the live system so he urged everyone to get involved. Even if it was just to look through the code and make sure that it all made sense.

Sunday

The sunday keynote was from Robert Douglas, who gave us a quick overview of the new platform.sh environment. I've been seriously considering taking this platform up recently and Robert's talk was a nudge in the right direction.

The last talk of the weekend (for me at least) was from Luca Lusso who talked about A new tool for measuring performance in Drupal 8. This came from an initiative to include the Symfony 2 web profiler tool into the Drupal 8 environment, but also to include some other bits of information like the number of entities loaded. It's great to see a tool with lots of detail make it's way unto Drupal 8 and I'll definitely be taking advantage of it.

I spent the next couple of hours going through the next steps in the Vlad project with Dan and a couple of other people. This included a few plans for version 1.1 and 1.2, but if you want to know the details then take a look at the github issue tracker for the project :).

Overall the camp was a great success. I learned lots and met lots of new people, even a few who recognised me from projects I'm a part of and talks I had given in the past. Massive thanks to all of the organisers involved, who did an exceptional job of putting on such a big camp.

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