Drupalcamp LA keynote Saturday - redeye - Drupalcamp New York presentation Sunday
by Kieran Lal
Wow, what a weekend.
I got up around 4:30AM Saturday morning to fly to Los Angeles. My new colleague Brenda Boggs, from the Acquia support team, was kind enough to pick me up at LAX on her way to Drupalcamp LA from San Diego.
Two weeks earlier I met with Crystal Williams, one of the co-organizers of Drupalcamp Los Angeles, in San Francisco. Drupalcamp LA was supposed to be around 200 people. However, it had blown up to 430 registered attendees. Crystal had asked me to present one of the keynotes and now I had to stare out at 400+ people before I had my second cup of coffee!
It was a lot of fun presenting with Jonathan who did the opening keynote. He started off with a lot of business context and industry facts, but was very successful in bringing it down to a personal call to action to work with the Drupal community to make a difference in the world.
My talk was much more tactical for the Drupal community and you can read Victor Kane's live blogging of our keynotes. I think it was well received and I had a couple dozen people give positive feedback through out the rest of the day.
I didn't attend any talks but instead had lots of one on one conversations with all kinds of interesting people. It's exciting to learn what everyone is doing with Drupal and get to meet the people behind some of the most exciting Drupal projects. In particular, I got to talk with the developer of the X prize foundation site and I got to talk to Bill Bostick from http://roopletheme.com. Bill had worked on two of the highest profile Drupal sites out there: http://dooce.com and http://www.43folders.com. I also heard some first hand gossip that we will see the largest Drupal deployment ever announced in the next few weeks. I am working with the team to get a case study and front page post on Drupal.org about it.
I got to catch up with the Ron and Jeff at Achieve Internet, and the 17 strong and growing members of the WorkHabit crew. I also met some folks from Bold, Flux, North Wind, and the Revere group. The market for Drupal talent is insatiable, and there's a lot of platform standardization going on around Drupal for traditional web development shops.
The organizers of the SCALE conference were at the event and they are adding a web development track this year. Last year Angie Byron spoke and really got a lot of people excited and the result was a huge turn out at the Drupal booth. Even SCALE itself switched to Drupal, and the some of the Scale organizing team showed up to learn more about what they could do with their Drupal site.
We wrapped up the last sessions around 6PM and I headed back with the Workhabit crew before catching my ride to LAX. From there I flew through the night to land at JFK at 5:30AM. I spent 4.5 hours trying to get my suitcase that had flown ahead of me and to get into my hotel room. That left 90 minutes to sleep before heading out Drupalcamp NYC.
I arrived at the lunch break and immediately dived into some fun discussions. One discussion was the tension between core and contributed modules and when they are released. A team has now prepared a discussion paper to talk about the tension between core and contributed release cycles.
There were a lot of very popular sessions in the afternoon on Drupal theming and Drupal and multimedia. Despite that, I had good attendance at my Acquia Questions and Answers session. It continues to be a challenge to convey exactly what Acquia is doing without a product in the market place. When I've been able to present proposed pricing, and detail all the parts of an Acquia subscription the response has been mostly enthusiastic and very positive. Until the product is released I am enjoying addressing concerns and showing the opportunities that Acquia is providing to my friends and colleagues in the Drupal community.
After Drupalcamp NYC was over I had a great time prowling all over New York City and mixing up the dirt cheap gourmet with the fashionable and uber-trendy culinary experiences NYC has to offer. I wrapped up the evening with a bunch of Drupalers and we had great conversations into the night. I love how friendly this community is and how ready everyone is to work with you and to make sure you have a good time when you visit. Getting to know so many people in the Drupal community is certainly one of the best parts of my job.
Drupal is full of strong local communities and great organizers. It is really exciting to see how deep and diverse the event and organizing talent has become in our community. It so good, that even I can't keep up with it. That weekend there was actually a third Drupalcamp Victoria. I am looking forward to my Drupalcamp in just a couple weeks locally at BADCamp.