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DrupalSouth Preview: Technology, Community, a Superhero, and a Homecoming

Sheep ... and the Lord of the Rings movies. That's what typically comes to the minds of most people when they think of New Zealand. Sheep outnumber Kiwi's (the local term for human New Zealanders) roughly seven to one: 4+ million humans, 28+ million sheep. When I was growing up there as a kid, there were more than 50 million sheep, though ...

As Acquia’s open source evangelist, I feel honoured to have been asked to keynote the biggest Drupal event in the Australasian region and I will do my part to make DrupalSouth an unforgettable and valuable event for all involved. Josh Waihi and I are planning something special to welcome everyone to the conference, too.

For me personally though, its the first chance I’ve had to go home in a long time. One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that it has allowed me to keep in touch with many friends in a way that wasn’t ever possible before in history. That’s made my life a richer place, but on the other hand, being there in person will be incredible: from fish & chips, to visiting my old high school, to seeing all the landmarks and how much has changed since I left.

My Sunday keynote will be called, 'Unlikely Superhero: A Drupal History' – based on the conference motto – to a crowd of more than 350 drupalists and those wanting to learn more about the open source CMS. I’ll be about how Drupal has succeeded where many have failed, and where it might be going in the future. You see, back in the early 2000s, everyone seemed to be creating their own CMSs. I’ll bet 50% of Drupalists who got their start back then had their own CMS first. I find it amazing that a system started by some tall guy in an Antwerp dorm room has not only survived, but attracted tens of thousands of developers, created thousands of successful businesses, and changed the world, attracting a powerful global community along the way. For me Drupal is a superhero and looking back at its origins, its level of success seemed pretty unlikely.

In addition to my keynote, some of our Australasian team members will be bringing their thought leadership to the table. David Peterson will present, 'Better User Experience Through Personalisation' on Saturday, February 15th at 1:30pm. Rounding out the weekend will be Adam Malone, talking about 'How Not to Fail on Launch', on Sunday, February 16th at 11:30am.

Acquia is proud to be part of DrupalSouth. Let us know if you want to meet with us on-site - we'll be happy to chat with you about your next project and how we can help you achieve your digital experience goals.

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