Until Drupalcon Denver (the annual Drupal convention), I still felt relatively new to Drupal (read: n00b). Drupalcon featured sessions ranging from design, UI and layout to system administration and performance and scalability. Many of the top Drupal contributors were in attendance, including module developers, core developers, and even the founder himself, Dries Buytaert. This offered a great opportunity to learn more about the CMS we’ve been operating our website on for roughly a year now.
Since that time, we’ve seen great improvements in how quickly we can get new content and features up on the site. Standard maintenance tasks common with our old site are now automated. Different members of the ReadyTalk marketing team now own sections and can make updates without waiting for me to publish content for them. This makes everyone happy!
So what did I gain from going to Drupalcon? First, the knowledge that if I did it all over again I would go to Drupalcon before - not after - starting a Drupal project. Drupalcon offers a great place to meet people who have been through it all - site developers from government entities to news organizations to corporations were all in attendance. For instance, CU Boulder’s team gave a great presentation on their rollout, which due to the requirement of supporting years of legacy material from their schools made it many times more complex than our own.
Second, it was great to hear people say, ‘yeah, I’ve been through that.’ Finding out that I’m not the only PHP nerd in the world is comforting, much to the chagrin of some of our developers.
Third, I learned about some pretty advanced configurations and modules and got to see the future of Drupal 8. The efficiency at which so many contributors can work together to make these things happen is mind-blowing, and the future looks bright. It's great to know that the next time we update our site, the next version of Drupal will be ready for us and will be awesome. I also hope that we get to contribute back at some point.
In any case, now I’ve been there. I’m feeling much less like a Drupal n00b, and much more ready to tackle the world of nodes and entities. We’d like to hear your experiences with Drupal. After all, Drupal’s greatest asset is its community. If you have any tips, headaches, or questions, please share!
Daniel has been managing ReadyTalk’s website since 2008 and helps make marketing collateral easy on the eye. When he’s not hacking away at VIM or tweaking the website, he’s busy improving his Denver Victorian, making/enjoying good brew and offering expertise to local non-profits.