DrupalCon Nashville 2018 - Final thoughts

Another DrupalCon just finished and it was absolutely an amazing event. This is the biggest event in the Drupal community and this year it took place in Nashville Tennessee.

DrupalCon Nashville: something for everyone

The event gathered around 3000 attendees. During its five days, there were around 30 sessions per day to attend to.

The sessions covered a lot of important tracks like Backend development, Business, Building community, Content and editorial, DevOps, PHP, Project management, Site building, User experience, etc and were split into either 30 minutes or 60 minutes sessions requiring from beginner to advanced levels of knowledge.

In other words, everyone had the chance to find interesting topics and discussions at this event.

OpenStory official release at DC Nashville

In the first day, I attended one of the summits, the Media and Publishing Summit.

I went to this summit to meet with content editors and developers that are focusing on improving the authoring experience within Drupal. I should mention here that at DrupalCon Nashville, Softescu launched the alpha version of its new product called OpenStory., the friendly content creation and media management interface, is built as a Decoupled interface for Drupal. The project finally saw the daylight and my colleagues were able to set up a demo site to give a glimpse of the project to all interested people.

My participation at the summit helped me collect some feedback from the editors and find out exactly what can be considered an improvement for them in terms of content authoring. All this useful information will help us for the beta release.

By the way, if you don’t know, there is a general opinion among content editors/creators that Drupal’s administrative interface is quite complex and not so friendly when it comes to content creation for those who do this on a daily basis.

This was one of the reasons why, we at Softescu, started to work on this project. I managed to get some interesting pointers at this summit that I will share with the OpenStory team on our first project meeting. I am more confident now that the project will have a large user-base.

Decoupled in the spotlight at DC Nashville

As I was saying, the sessions covered a lot of topics and of course one of them was Decoupling. One of the sessions about decoupling was addressing some challenges that developers may face in these types of projects. Among them, we had:

  • Performance when the project scales and there are a lot of requests coming to the backend
  • Managing images in the front end (resizing, cropping, etc.)
  • Routing and SEO
  • Choosing the proper authentication

I am very interested in Decoupled Drupal and I was very glad to be able to attend so many sessions.

I also learned about a successful implementation of Decoupled Drupal which is the website. This project is one of the pioneers and it was not a simple one.

The team behind it faced a lot of challenges and one of them determined the appearance of Project Moonracer a solution that allows modifying page configuration in Drupal from a decoupled interface. Their session described how the project was implemented and also showcased some of the great features and tools that have been developed with it.

Advanced topics in decoupled Drupal were also covered in other sessions. Here are some of them that really got my attention:

  • Extending core REST with REST plugins
  • Synthesizing non-Drupal and Drupal API data with GraphQL
  • Caching data in non-Drupal APIs for API failover
  • Web components, Polymer and HAX: decoupling authoring for Drupal and beyond

A lot of interesting presentations and some of them were just overwhelming.

A great chance to discover even more about Drupal 8

Besides Decoupled Drupal, I was also interested in Symfony and all the basics of Drupal 8. A group of developers at Softescu, is preparing to obtain Acquia Certifications for Drupal 8. We have bi-weekly meetings to learn and share our knowledge about Drupal 8.

Of course there were a lot of sessions about this, but also, I found out about some new initiatives in the community like the “Out of the box initiative” that already started to show results in the community. When I say that I am referring to the Umami installation profile which is a very useful tool for presenting what Drupal can do to clients and also to new developers or content creators that are interested in seeing what Drupal is capable of.

Dries, the Drupal founder, presented the already traditional Keynote. This particular one seemed the most optimistic one that I’ve seen so far.

He presented the state of Drupal which is really good. The release plan is going according to the schedule, Drupal 8 adoption is bigger and bigger every month and also the number of modules that are ported to Drupal 8 grows every month.

Instead of conclusion...see you at DC Seattle

Overall the Con was a success. For us, it brought a re-confirmation that what we do is still a cool thing. Once again Drupal confirmed that is the best CMS and the Drupal Community is also the best!

If you are interested in finding out more about the sessions and maybe watch the recordings check out the website:

P.S. This year both the 2019 and 2020 locations for the DrupalCon USA were announced. They are Seattle in 2019 and Minneapolis in 2020

See you there!

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Drupal, community, drupalcon, nashville

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