June 29, 2016
Drupal

Drupal Developer Days Milan 2016 - as we saw it

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Zsofi Major
Business Developer

Drupal events always fascinate me. They don’t just provide a wonderful environment for learning from each other, to contribute to Drupal together during code sprints, and to meet new people, but they make the community stronger as well. Drupal Developer Days is probably one of the best kinds of events to make this all happen in one place.

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Since helping organize Drupal Developer Days in 2014 in Szeged, I was really excited to see how things go at other Drupal Dev Days. Sadly, I missed DDD 2015 in Montpellier, so attending the event in Milan sounded like a good idea. Until this June, my part in Drupal events was mainly organizing and volunteering, and of course attending sprints, but this time I was also a speaker, which (for me at least) made things a bit different. From Cheppers, Miro Michalicka joined me, and he gave a talk as well, about Drupal 8 REST.

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Drupal Developer Days’s format is focused mainly on sprints, but there are also sessions and BoFs. In Milan, the event went on for six days, which gave us enough time and space to do everything we can to make the most of our own experiences. In my case, submitting a session proposal about a totally non-techy talk (fyi: How to Drupalcamp) was an interesting addition on top of the regular ‘running around, fixing stuff, making sure all goes well’ things. I also wanted to help out as volunteer, as I have organized a DDD myself before, I had experience with these things, and I was very happy that the wonderful organization team appreciated this.

So, how was Drupal Dev Days in Milan?

The event was Tuesday June 21st to that Sunday, the 26th, with sprints on all six days and sessions on three days. Having almost 400 attendees in one place requires focus, and I believe the Italian organization team did a fantastic job.

Here’s a list of volunteers: Alessandra Petromilli, Alessandro Sibona, Andrea Pescetti, Antje Lorch, Chandeep Khosa, Chiara Carminati, Claudio Beatrice, Edouard Cunibil, Fabiano Sant'ana, Guillaume Bec, Julien Dubois, Kester Edmonds, Luca Lusso, Marcello Testi, Marco Moscaritolo, Paolo Libanore, Pierluigi Marciano, Riccardo Bessone, Simone Lombardi, Tamer Zoubi, Yan Loetzer, Yi Yuan, Zsófi Major.

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We consumed a lot during this week - 800 liters of water, 100 kgs pizza (ofc!), and 1,200 coffees went down the throats of the attendees. The food was wonderful, tasty and very diverse - we could all find our preferred snacks during lunch breaks. And yeah, GO GO healthy food on all Drupal events!

Sprints - let the numbers talk!

One of the best slots a DrupalCamp can have is sprints. This is where the actual work gets done, bringing together many, many excited contributors to make better progress by helping each other.

Of approx. 373 attendees, 107 signed up to the sprints (and most likely even more were sprinting), fixing a total of 82 tickets, and 217 more are now either in Needs Review, Needs Work, Active or RTBC. You can check the contrib kanban page for more details.
 

So many initiatives, so many people! As Cheppers also takes part in improving Drupal UX, I was happy to see so many people working on the UX and UI initiative, and the Media initiative, the Search API, Open Social and of course Drupal Commerce 2 were pretty populated with contributors. To see the variety of sprint topics, here’s the sprint planning sheet.

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After my session I could also take part in the work, I translated modules into Hungarian, which gave me the satisfaction of finally actually doing something. Now Chaos tool suite (ctools) 8.x-3.0-alpha26 and Pathauto 8.x-1.0-alpha are both available in Hungarian as well.

Sessions

First of all, I am extremely happy to say that 3 out of 5 keynotes were held by women, and overall it was great to see that many women attended DDD itself. This is wonderful, and truly shows that this field is diverse and inclusive. One of the sessions, Are Geeks from Mars and Geekettes from Venus? was a panel discussion directly about gender & diversity. All the talks were really great and useful, it was great to see so many people performing their sessions in a language that isn’t their native language. You can find the program here, videos will be uploaded soon.

Cheppers talks

Miro, our Drupal Developer talked about Drupal 8 REST, in a shorter track, and despite the fact that there were two other sessions at the same time about similar topics, he also had a rather large audience. Here are the slides.

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My talk was about the one thing I really have experience in: How to organize DrupalCamps? This was my very first real talk at a Drupal event, and despite it not being a very techy topic, I was happy to have a nice audience and positive feedback during and after the session. Organizing DrupalCamps is really a great way of contributing to Drupal, and I hope I can continue my Drupal and speaker career with this topic in the future. You can check out my slides for some details.

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The video recordings of both of our sessions will be published soon.

Social events

Of course, Drupalistas like to take some break from work, and it was no different at this DDD. Social events are the best way to get to know each other a little bit more outside of what we publicly do. Thankfully, we were not missing a minute of enjoying our time together.
 

As speakers, we were lucky to attend a great speaker & volunteer dinner. It was IN-CRE-DI-BLE! I’ve never seen that amount of courses during one meal. Literally, after eating our first starter, a seafood platter, then the second course, fried veggies, the following two rounds of hilariously good pasta and another two rounds of pizza challenged our bellies big time. Thank you again for feeding us well, food is always the best way to the heart ;)
 

On Thursday we had an awesome social evening, with great food (again!), and superb beers. All in all, we consumed at least 500 beers during the night, which of course resulted in some very great discussions about Drupal, community, work, and life.

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To celebrate the session days, as a goodbye gift we were invited to a Night at the Museum, at Leonardo3 at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, to study Leonardo Da Vinci’s life and work, who spent 20 years in the city of Milan. 

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All in all Drupal Developer Days 2016 in Milan was wonderful. Thanks so much for all the great work and for having us!

For next year’s event you can submit your proposal here.

Here is a highlight of upcoming events in 2016. Check out Drupical to find a full list.
 

Hope to see you soon somewhere!

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