DrupalCamp Colorado 2011 a Success!

12 Jun 2011
Posted by jcfiala

It's been a very long week to me leading up to Drupal Camp Colorado, but it's been a successful and satisfying one. Over the weekend I complained a few times at people not to let me run three presentations, but honestly, I loved it! Really, I quite like standing in front of folks and trying to teach them something I'm passionate about, and I was lucky enough to do it three times. I may not get to do that again, really - with the way the Drupal community is growing these days in Colorado, more and more people will be available to step up and help out with sessions like this.

The camp started on Friday, with training that I didn't attend, and a party that I dropped in on briefly. It was at Casselman's in Denver, which turned out to not be my type of place. I had a few snacks and a drink and walked around a bit, but the layout and the noise drove me out. It's a shame, I liked the pre-camp party we had last year much more, which was at a restaurant meeting room rather than at a bar.

Saturday was the real start of the camp, and after snagging some wonderful pastries and coffee, I searched in vain for a nice place to sit and enjoy them, ending up outside while I ate. That done, I went in and got a great seat by my friend Matthew Saunders, watching the Keynote by Angie "webchick" Byron, a talk about joining the effort for Drupal.

You know, I wish I was nearly as good at putting together a presentation as she is. She had a lot of cute pictures, and informative ones mixed together, with a minimum of text, pushing her point home. If you want to see the presentation, my friend Matthew recorded it and put it on the web here.

At this point I went off to see the "Beautiful Forms in D7" talk, which sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it was in the Aten Design Group room, which was far too small for the crowd of people who tried to attend. So I went to my second-choice presentation, the "Render API in D7" talk. It was a good introduction, but I already knew most of this.

That done, it was time for my Setup a Development Environment for Windows. We had about 20 people show up, and I talked longer than I thought I'd do. I talked about the two main options I was describing - the Acquia Installer and Wamp. I also got to distribute a few CDs I'd made of code (in case the wifi didn't work), and a number of handouts.

Lunch was a great barbeque. The line was really long, but the food was good.

That done, I had to run over to the Aten Design room for my talk on Pragmatic Drupal Development. It's a talk I based off of the 'Pragmatic Programming' book, melding some of the excellent ideas from there with some Drupal-specific ones. I'm hoping that more folks will have a look at my presentation that I've uploaded there and suggest other ideas. Oddly, when I was almost at the end, and about to move to the "Questions" slide, the projector went out on me.

With that done, I was a bit worn out, and so I sat out the next session. I just relaxed and prepared for my next session, which was Using the Migrate Module for Fewer Headaches when Relaunching a Site. This was a more standard sort of talk, where I explained how to use the Migrate module - not as well as I think I could have. To a degree I was saved from my planned presentation by the projector dying again, and had to explain things to folks in a more question and answer format. But, it went well.

My work done for the day - and for the camp, really - I went to a session on Drupal Commerce Nuts and Bolts. It was interesting, but I wasn't able to really concentrate on it, already feeling quite tired.

With that done, I could go. I and my friend Jamie walked up the street to the Wahoo's Fish taco, where we got joined by my wife Tammy. We enjoyed a nice meal there, and then went down to Brooklyn's for the Saturday night party. Brooklyn's is a bar, but not a noisy one like Casselman's was, and this was much more enjoyable. I got to chat with folks about how the day had gone, and when the raffle happened I won a DVD on Drupal 7 theming that I gave to Jamie, as he's learning theming.

But then, to bed. I'm not able to stay up until oh-god-hundred partying.

The next day started a little later for me - again pastries, and then off to Operations and Monitoring Best Practices, a firehose of information to drink from about Operations and monitoring what your site is doing. That was followed by a talk in the same room on CSS3 and Less - the CSS3 was a bit of a list - there's this property, and that property... but learning some about Less, a way to 'compile' your css with variables and routines, was excellent. Finally there was Engineering for the 80%, which had some good thoughts on needing to simplify how Drupal works for people.

Lunch was again excellent - Mexican tacos with pork and all. Fantastic!

With lunch out of the way, I went to a talk on Workbench: Managing Content Management. Workbench is an interesting suite of modifications for helping with workflow and editing, and it's a shame it only works in Drupal 7 for now. But it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

At this point I was pretty tired after a long weekend. I took off for the Recruiting and Networking BoF, where I chatted with a few people looking for a developer, and traded business cards with them. I didn't stay long, though - after a short bit of chatting, I took off, heading home and to a well deserved nap.

I really love Drupalcamps - almost more than I like Drupalcons.