Apr 11 2019
Apr 11

When conversations began a few months back about DrupalCon Seattle, I was so thrilled about the prospect of heading west and being fully indoctrinated with all things Drupal for the first time! As a newcomer to the field, I have been eager to simply be surrounded by, and learn from, so many in this community. Additionally, DrupalCon is providing the perfect opportunity to hang out with some incredible colleagues.

The Day Begins: People

The feel of day three was noticeably more vibrant as the surge of conference attendees began to fill the halls of the Washington State Convention Center. It’s been great to see representation from all over the country and be surrounded by an association with such rich diversity.

I learned quickly that there is no lack of learning opportunities at DrupalCon. The number of sessions to choose from felt like a buffet for your mind -- where you could pick and choose, and tailor your experience to be as uniquely tailored to you as you want.

I chose sessions that I knew would provide helpful reminders to me on practices and processes I already have in place, as well as topics in which I simply want to increase my awareness or hear a different perspective.

IO Booth

Wednesday Learnings

Much of the late morning to the afternoon was spent in periodic spurts of catching up on work, popping into sessions and dropping by our booth. Here are a few of the sessions I went to, with three key learnings from each:

Getting an Angry Wet Cat to Purr: Turning an Unhealthy Client Relationship Into a Productive One (Donna Bungard, Project Strategist at Tandem)

  • Communication: Everything comes down to having an open, honest, direct conversation. This is the key manner in which you build trust with your team.

  • Hearing is good. Understanding is better.

  • There are always the next steps to be taken. You simply need to identify them.

Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way: Managing Global Teams Harmoniously (Yuriy Gerasimov, Organizer at Drupal Ukraine Community and Clyde Boyer)

  • Active Trust is foundational to team success.

  • A common mistake on distributed teams is not recognizing isolation in your team members. Take notice if the communication style of a team member changes (this may point to something not being well in their world).

  • You don’t talk your way to trust. You have to earn it, mostly with time.

Design Strategies: Our Process for Building User-centered Websites (Valerie Neumark Mickela, Board Member at Full Circle Funds and Andrew Goldsworthy, Co-Founder at Rootid)

(I actually sat down in this session by mistake, but by the time I realized, it was too late to leave without causing disruption . . . it wouldn’t be a full conference experience without a mishap along the way, right?!)

  • Design and development communications can be challenging: You absolutely cannot rely on assumptions.

  • In design, you are most often thinking through a psychological lens, versus a creative one.

  • When considering a feature, don’t ask “Is it possible?” (all things are possible with time and money!) Ask “Is it hard?” (this will provide a more realistic barometer for time and cost)

Finding Your Way: Practical Strategies for Navigating Your Career (Gus Childs, Senior Software Engineer at Mondo Robot)

  • Be selfish with your career - you should be doing work that’s fulfilling.

  • You should be excited about these three things when it comes to your career: People, Projects and Money.

  • Never burn bridges.

Seattle

The Day Ends: Splash Awards and Ping Pong Party

The awards ceremony was held at a beautiful location, inside a music venue called The Triple Door, just a couple blocks from the Pike Place Market. After being at the conference for a few days, meeting new friends and getting to know my colleagues better, Splash Awards was a perfect opportunity to catch up and talk about work and life with everyone who attended. While Amazee did not walk away with any awards, it was really fun to celebrate with others, and celebrate the incredible Amazee work that was nominated:

Splash Awards

From the Splash Awards, we walked over to Spin Seattle for one of the evening parties. Spin was packed from wall-to-wall with conference attendees and was a really fun way to end the day.

In closing, I will just say that I have been really encouraged by how warm the Drupal community is, and am so grateful for the opportunity to be at DrupalCon Seattle 2019.

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web