So... I told my girlfriend that I was going to DrupalCon DC this week and judging by her reaction, I think she thought I had fallen prey to some sort of Star Wars like convention. Trying to contain my excitement about the technical insight that the conference will expose me to, I explained that it was a chance for all of the Drupal users to get together and compare ideas. Of course I mentioned that there will be parties and happy hours every night and that the attendees were coming from all over the world to Washington DC because of the great lineup of speakers. Despite my explanation, I think she still remains a little suspicious and probably has visions of me dusting off my Obi-Wan Kenobi halloween custume and heading off every morning to "use the force".
Well, you will not see me in costume this year, but I guess you could say that I might be "using the force", because that is exactly what I have come to know the Drupal community as. It truly is a "force". I have been doing web development for about 10 years now and only in the last year have I started using Drupal. Despite my occasional rants of frustration, the experience has been good. I am amazed every day at the useful modules that the Drupal community develops and maintains. When confronted with requirements for a web application, I definitely now incorporate the mental exercise of "How would I do this in Drupal?". Having a good understanding of some of the more mature modules for the Drupal framework is key to successfully evaluating other modules and integrating them together to build the desired system as a whole. Enter DrupalCon DC....What better way to get familiar with these modules than attend DrupalCon DC this week. There are a couple of sessions that I would like to draw attention to.
First of all, two of my coworkers are speaking. Frank Febbraro and Irakli Nadareishvili are two of my main goto people when I have a question about Drupal. Frank's most interesting talk will probably be "Using Intelligent Web Services for Semantic Drupal Sites" on Wed and for those of you who have reporting or charting needs don't miss Irakli's "Business Analytics in Drupal with Views". I am not just pluggin my own company either, these guys are good and their talks will get you brainstorming on cool features that you will probably want to add to your site. I have not done anything with Organic Groups yet, so "Organic Groups: What It Can Do and Where It's Headed" is definitely on my list. Faceted search features have been very popular with the big boys, and it can redefine your definition of how users might navigate your site. I will definitely be at "More than search; how ApacheSolr changes the way you build sites". I am sure that I will stumble upon a session that will exceed my expectations and get the creative juices flowing That is what is great about conferences like this...it helps you keep your finger on the pulse.