Why Should You Attend Drupalcon?
April 19, 2017
No matter how long you’ve been part of the Drupal community, it’s almost guaranteed that you have at least heard of DrupalCon. But have you attended? It may be hard to make a case to attend a conference where nearly every session and keynote is freely available immediately after the conference. But, the truth is, you’re missing out on the #1 benefit of attending Drupalcon if you aren’t there in person.
There are several benefits for Drupalcon attendees, but the biggest value (in my mind) is the networking opportunities. You simply can’t replace the people you meet there and the kinds of conversations you have with online videos.
Networking Opportunities for All at Drupalcon
There’s something for everyone at Drupalcon.
Business Executives: Drupalcon is the best opportunity you have to connect with the community. While you’re there you’ll have the opportunity to find out what is and isn’t working for other companies and what is going on in the Drupal market overall.
Technology Agencies: You’ll have the chance to meet other agencies and design firms in attendance that could lead to potential collaboration and partnerships. There are also oftentimes content maintainers in attendance that really need support – you could offer your help and it may lead to a new client.
Developers: You’ll meet so many others just as passionate about the community as you are! You’ll be able to talk through problems you’re encountering, about technology you’re using and what they think of it, and how you get around issues and what you’ve done about it. After Drupalcon, you can reach out to the other developers you’ve connected with to bounce ideas off of. Our developers often connect with others via LinkedIn to share git repositories and various resources they find helpful in their everyday development. Since it’s open source everyone is very willing to help each other out since they are all doing things for the greater good of the community.
Marketers: This is a great opportunity for you to find out how people are promoting themselves in the Drupal world. For the most part, everyone is open about what they are doing, friendly, and willing to support you since you are in this community and the principles it’s founded on are shared ideas.
Everyone: In addition, there are many social events and everyone is invited to go, no exceptions. These are wonderful opportunities for you to learn about other tools, products and services, and just meet amazing new people.
Other great benefits to those who attend Drupalcon
Driesnote: This is not something you want to miss, in fact, it’s something you want to be in the room to hear. Every year Dries lays out his vision, goes over what is coming out next and tells attendees what he thinks the future of Drupal looks like. This is a great indicator for where you and the community could be focusing on in the next year. Plus, there’s something about being there, with so many others who are invested in the Drupal community that’s really inspiring.
BOF’s (Birds of Feathers): These are a great place to gather in a small, more intimate, group setting to discuss various topics of interest. They tend to be very loose from an agenda standpoint allowing the conversation during this time to steer the focus. If you have never attended a BOF, it’s a great way to strike up conversation with others in the Drupal community. Even better yet, if you have a topic you want discuss, you can always schedule your own BOF!
Sprints: These small initiatives are held in various rooms and open to everyone. Participants can contribute to finishing up a modules, or even knocking out various initiatives in Drupal core. If you have never attended a sprint, or think because you aren’t a developer you can’t help, fear not! There is a First-Time Sprinter Workshop to help you get started. This is yet another awesome example of the community trying to help each other out – everyone in one room working together towards the greater good of the community.
Breakout Sessions: Everyday, all day, they have breakout sessions going on ranging from module development/use to the latest front-end trends right down to a case study on just how a task was tackled. By attending these sessions you can learn a lot from your peers and take home a couple new tips or tricks to try on your own. Presenters are always open to feedback and if you have a question that you’ve been dying to ask, there’s always open Q/A at the end of each session. Heck, you don’t even need to ask a question, sometimes a simple , “thanks so much, I want to buy you a beer because you saved me so much time.” is exactly what a maintainer loves to hear!
Exhibit Hall: As you walk through the booths, there are often times you can discover new tools you didn’t previously know existed, learn about new technologies and scope out your competition to see what they are up to. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to chat with various vendors about the tools you are using, ask questions about them, and even pick up some sweet swag.
Seeing the value yet? We sure do, and we hope to see you at Drupalcon next week, that’s where we’ll be.
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