The Newbie's Guide to the DrupalCon Galaxy

After wrapping up my first DrupalCon this past March in Denver, I thought I would pass along some insight of my experience as well as tips and tricks for those who may be gearing up for DrupalCon Munich. At such a large conference, with so many hardcore Drupal fans everywhere, one is bound to get a little overwhelmed, maybe even feel the urge to crouch in the fetal position, but that would be a mistake! Take a deep breath and plan ahead:

After wrapping up my first DrupalCon this past March in Denver, I thought I would pass along some insight of my experience as well as tips and tricks for those who may be gearing up for DrupalCon Munich. At such a large conference, with so many hardcore Drupal fans everywhere, one is bound to get a little overwhelmed, maybe even feel the urge to crouch in the fetal position, but that would be a mistake! Take a deep breath and plan ahead:

  • Keynotes will give you a nice look into how people are thinking of the overall future success of Drupal.
  •  There are a lot of smart people everywhere you turn. Talk to them, get to know them. There is certainly a conversation about a topic of interest everywhere you turn.
  •  There are typically multiple sessions that you want to go to at the same time (so many options), plan in advance.
  • There is a nice range of topics for beginners to advanced individuals. Sessions are typically more 'glanced over' topics where as BoFs may be more in depth for those looking to explore further.
  •  During the DrupalCon, keep hydrated, just a good general rule of thumb.
  • Make sure your laptop is charged up.  Wall sockets run out quickly.
  • There will be a good mix of social events, activities and parties to let your inner-geek relax a bit, take advantage of these.
  • Great sponsor events *cough* phase2 free bar *cough*

With so much going on at DrupalCon, I definitely felt overwhelmed by the event.  With such a broad range of topics going on all the time, on more than one occasion you do have to sacrifice one session to check out another.  Thankfully the sessions do get posted online, so downloading them at a later date is certainly an option. 

The other option I didn’t get to explore was the BoFs (birds of a feather) sessions.  These openly scheduled topical sessions are submitted by the attendees themselves and happen at various times during the day.  I'm looking forward to exploring this option more at the next DrupalCon to really get deep into conversations regarding topics of my interest. The overall feeling of BoFs would most likely fall in the lines of ‘compsci-301’ rather than ‘intro to computers’; definitely something to look forward to next time. Certainly plan ahead and check out the schedule of posted BoFs to see what you may want to attend

All in all, my experience with DrupalCon Denver was overwhelmingly positive. People are in love with the technology being presented and there are a lot of brilliant minds to learn from and talk to.  There are so many great sessions, BoFs, events and activities going on that you could have a different agenda each time you go and still just scratch the surface.  Remember, if you start to feel overwhelmed in Munich, keep calm and Drupal on.

Josh Cooper