DrupalCon is almost here and it’s time to start filling out your schedule. There’s a lot to do and see (not to mention eating lots of great New Orleans food!), so we definitely recommend having at least a rough game plan for how to use your time. Here’s a look at things you should be considering, especially if you are looking to take away a lot of Drupal 8 knowledge.
Sessions and BoFs
One of the great things about DrupalCon sessions is that they are recorded and uploaded to YouTube pretty quickly. This means that you can skip the live session (unless you think you’ll have questions you want to ask) and catch up later. Why would you do that? Well, the Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions are not recorded. These are informal sessions that get organized and happen during the 'Con. If you want to be part of these interesting conversations, then you need to be there at the time. So, our first bit of advice is to check out the BoF schedule each day and skip any formal sessions that conflict for you.
That said, it also makes sense to have a good outline of which sessions you do want to see ahead of time and that makes checking for conflicts much easier. On the DrupalCon site, you can click the “Add to my schedule” link in the sidebar of any session, and then you’ll have a nice, handy reference when you go to “My Schedule”. Of course, there are a lot of sessions about Drupal 8 in the schedule. In particular, you can find many of them in these main tracks: Coding and Development, Front End, and Site Building. Make sure you check out Joe’s session, Altering, Extending, and Enhancing Drupal 8. Last year’s DrupalCons introduced a new track just for Symfony, and this one is no different. The Symfony track definitely has some goodies for digging under the hood of Drupal 8 as well. For a different perspective on what you can do with Drupal 8, you should see Amber’s session Beyond the Blink: Add Drupal to Your IoT Playground where you’ll see how to use Drupal with "Internet of Things" projects.
If you really want to dive into Drupal 8, there are also day-long workshops available on the Monday before the main conference starts. In particular, for developers, we’re happy that our partners over at KnpLabs have a great workshop on D8 & Symfony: Dive Into the Core Concepts that Make Each Fly where you’ll spend the day really getting to understand the underlying structure by working with things like routes, controllers, events, and services.
For those who are not necessarily building, developing, or theming Drupal 8, there are a number of sessions that take a different look at Drupal 8:
- Scopey Changey Management in Drupal 8
- Easy Accessibility in Drupal 8: Practical, Compassionate, and Cost Effective
- "New and improved ..." Selling the value of new Drupal 8 technical features
- The potential in Drupal 8.x and how to realize it, which takes a look at the Drupal 8 release cycle and semantic versioning to see how this changes what can happen within Drupal 8’s lifetime.
Attend the Friday Sprints
In addition to the regular sessions at DrupalCon, Friday presents a lot of opportunities for people who want to dive in and get some real work done. There’s no better way to understand what is going on with Drupal 8 than to actually work on it! Friday is the classic sprint day, where everyone comes together to work on Drupal. There is a huge range of work going on, from documentation to code, plus good people and fun. Blake, Will, Amber, and Joe from our team will be there taking part in the fun. Blake and Will are mentoring as part of the Mentored Core Sprint which also has a morning workshop to get you all up and running, even if you’ve never contributed before. It’s a great place to get oriented to contribution with lots of helpful people there to answer questions and help you find good projects to work on. Joe is going to help lead up a sprint on the new Drupal 8 User Guide for Drupal.org. You can learn more about that project, and the kinds of things that need work at the sprint, by attending Joe’s session earlier in the week in the Drupal.org track, Documentation Is Getting An Overhaul.
We’re excited that we’ll be at DrupalCon, and this is shaping up to be an amazing event as always. We’d love to hear from you, so please don’t feel shy about walking up to us (find pictures of us on our About page) and introducing yourself. You’re also sure to run into us at the Lullabot party on Wednesday. See you there!