DrupalCon Munich Recap

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DrupalCon Munich 2012 was a blast! The whole Drupalize.Me team (myself, Joe, and Kyle) went over to Germany and soaked up the Drupal goodness. I had a very busy con, and want to share some of the great things that came out of it. (I'll try to be brief, but wow there was a lot of good stuff just in my little corner of the con!)

My week started off by being part of Bryan Hirsch's Drupal Ladder presentation, as part of the new steering committee we've set up. In addition to spreading the word and continuing to push the Ladder project forward, it spawned a number of really good conversations about how to get people bootstrapped into helping out with Drupal core. As the new lead for the lessons and ladders, I have a number of tasks on radar. First and foremost, we need to get our existing lessons completed and reviewed. In addition to the main ladder we already have on the site though, we also want to create ladders for each component of Drupal 8, and the initiatives that people are pushing to complete. To that end, I attended several core conversation sessions, and talked with folks about how to best put together these somewhat nebulous ladders. In a late night of chatting and beers, we got Gábor Hojtsy to create an outline for a Multilingual initiative ladder, based on the way that he has been getting volunteers up to speed on his work. We still need to fill this out, but it is a great start to getting a prototype initiative ladder created so we can test it out and get more people rolling. I. Am. Stoked. (If you want to help fill these lessons out, please feel free to dig in by getting an account and posting a comment on a lesson in the ladder.)

On day two of the conference I shifted focus a little and spent time talking about local community, both in the form of meetups and camps. For me, local and regional events are the prime place to really flatten your learning curve, and sorting out how to get more of them happening, successfully, is an important piece of Drupal education. I was on a panel called "To Beer Or Not To Beer? Making meetups work," along with Brock Boland, Karyn Cassio, and Paul Johnson, where there were lots of great ideas from the other panelists, and from the audience. I also attended the Plan and run a Drupal Camp while having fun, empowering others, sharing knowledge, and getting enough sleep* session, and the related BoF right afterwards. That focused on a project underway creating a camp "kit," that would not only provide an easy to set up camp version of Drupal's Conference Organizing Distribution (COD), but also branded promotional material, best practices documentation, and eventually a system that can be added to COD to actually have the camp team organize within the site itself, and a timeline with reminders to keep you on schedule for a successful event. Neat stuff!

On the last day of sessions there was a Birds of a Feather (BoF) called "Drupal Training: Good, Bad & Ugly" where we packed the room, and largely talked about what training resources are missing in the community (biggest hit there was assessments and quizzes), and how we might better share the resources we have. That played right into my "The State of Drupal Community Education" presentation, which was the last session of the con. I ran through my results from trying to sort out what free, community resources we have for learning, and supporting teachers. I generated more questions than answers, and we uncovered some other resources. I'm really hoping that conversation will continue in the Curriculum and Training group on groups.drupal.org. Once I get some time, I'd love to rework the group home page to make things clearer and encourage conversation for working together as teachers and trainers, but please feel free to check out the post we've added (thanks Sharon!) with a quick list of current resources out there and give feedback on others we may have missed.

My week wrapped up with what is arguably my favorite part: the Get Involved with Core sprint. To help out the core mentoring team, Drupalize.Me provided a free workshop on the morning of the sprint to get people eased into the community. Things were pulled together at the last minute but we ran with it (huge thanks to Jess (xjm) and Neil Kent!) and we managed to make a workshop of it. Joe, myself, and Cathy Theys walked about 50 people through the steps of getting started (using the issue queue, IRC, local web server, git, and an installation of Drupal 8), very similar to what I did with Kyle at CapitalCamp last month in Washington, DC. The best part for this workshop though, was that once people got set up with all of their tools there was a room of almost 200 people around them working on core issues that they could dive right into. As a matter of fact, two of the people that were in our workshop worked on an issue that afternoon that was then committed to core live on stage at the sprint by Dries himself. That was pretty amazing! I'm super excited for us to do this workshop again at BADcamp, and we're looking at other camps and cons to show up at as well (let us know if you're interested in us coming to your event to lead a community tools workshop). With our experience in two different scenarios, and more time to plan the logistics, I just can't wait to keep it going. It is one of the most fun workshops I've ever done, and it feels so great to see people really getting their mojo going with Drupal tools and the community.

Of course, in addition to great sessions and hard work, there was just the great time to see friends I hadn't seen in a while, spend the beautiful summer evenings in the beer garden, and re-connect with the wonderful energy of the people in this community. This really was a great DrupalCon, and I'd like to thank everyone involved for making it rock so hard. I feel inspired and excited, and am raring to go on a number of initiatives in the Drupal education space. If you want to know more about any of the things I've covered here, please ask, as I could probably go on for hours about any one of these cool things. I also hope to see you at the next DrupalCamp or DrupalCon to talk face to face, and direct our energy together into making Drupal even better than it already is.

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