My second Drupalcon: Bogotá 2015!

Thanks to the help I got from the company I work for I had the opportunity to assist to the first DrupalCon on LatinAmerica: Bogotá 2015. I wanted to share the experience with the community.


DrupalCon LatinAmerica: The sessions

Bogotá is a lovely city, but not what you would expect in terms of weather. The city is really hight (over 2000mts) so it has a particular climate. The temperature remains from 10 to 20 Celsius all year long. So it is colder than what you would expect. The DrupalCon is happed on RoyalPark hotel, which is a very big and international like hotel. Security is what you would expect from Colombia, but nothing really alarming. It was lovely to arrive and reconnect with folks I knew from my last Drupalcon Austin.

The first activity was Dries keynote. It wasn't particularly inspiring, and it even was a bit scary (in terms of data privacy). In general sense it repeated most of the stuff he said on the Drupalcon Austin keynote. Following it I assisted to the Drupal 8 CMI on Managed Workflow session. It is great to see what they've done, and I was amazed to learn one of the speakers was one of Patheon's owners. D8 is not here yet, but it is definitely shaping up and getting me wanting it here. There are several improvements on D8 (see what will drupal8 bring for more details), but In my view CMI is the most important addition to Drupal 8. Backdrop has made a similar system available for D7 like environment, but I can not wait for D8 to be here and be able to have it as it will be shipped in D8.

In the afternoon I assisted to a couple of sessions. Most interesting one by far was Design Systems and Drupal by Larry Garfield, I think it is a very interesting approach to how to design in Drupal and to see responsive design in general (see Larry's article for more details).

On the second day the keynote's speach from Larry Garfield about Drupal 8 was truly inspiring. In this days with backdrop ready and D8 still in beta, hearing someone talk so passionately about D8, explaining why all the changes were needed and why current path will ensure Drupal's project future felt just right. Additionally thanks to the conference I learned that there are conversations between backdrop and Drupal 7 teams. I really hope both teams can work together to make backdrop a good alternative to D7. I still like D8 more, but I know how long migrations take and I think backdrop can be a great alternative to improve D7 sites today and leave room for D8 to stabilize. D8 with most important things in core shouldn't be as bumpy as D7 was, but I know I like to play it safe. I also know that any site with some custom code will require rewriting it for D8, which might make migration take longer.

I assisted to a couple of more sessions, but the one that surprised me the most was Creating a Culture of Empowerment, not technical at all and quite useful to review what we think a company should be.

In case I left you wanting more, here is a link to the youtube channel with all the sessions.


And the conferenced wrapped up and we are ready to sprint! My first sprint experience was on Austin, I thought I could help more with modules and tried to help with rules module. Experience wasn't really productive as the group had little couching, and looking back I definitely needed more D8 training.

In any case this time I decided to help with core, and it was a wise choice! There are a couple of tricks to learn, but I must say that helping with core is not as difficult as I initially thought it would be. There are lots of things that require work, and in most cases you just need to know english to be able to help. Even without coding skills or a local environment you will be able to move things along. Once you understand the issue queue and have the plugin for the browser you are able to test online! That's a big help when working on different issues. So if you want to help to get D8 here you are only a browser away!

Links to learn how to help with Drupal8:

With the links above you should be ready to help with Drupal core without a local environment. Right now using simple test me you can avoid the need of a local development environment almost completely. But if you want a local environment and you lack the experience to create one you can simply use the community tools.

Final impressions

This experience was quite different than my previous one. It is not only that it is my second DrupalCon, the nature of the conference was quite different this time. One of the reasons was size, the scale was completely different: we were less than 300 community enthusiast in Bogota. On Austin there were over 3000 people! Being less people it helps to create better bonds and not get lost in the crowd.

In any case it was a great experience and I hope I can repeat it soon. If not sooner at least I plan to assist to Drupalcon Rio 2015!