Recapping our experience from DrupalCon Europe 2021

DrupalCon Europe 2021 recap cover
Community Drupal

Almost exactly six months after the biggest Drupal event of the year, DrupalCon NA, members of the community had the pleasure of attending the conference’s smaller European counterpart, DrupalCon Europe. 

For the second (and maybe the final?) time, the traditionally in-person event switched to a virtual setting; however, thanks to the Hopin platform’s advanced features coupled with excellent organization by the Drupal Association and Kuoni Congress, the virtual conference experience was on par with face-to-face gatherings.

Agiledrop was a silver sponsor of the event and, although we didn’t have the opportunity to share the Drupal love in person, we found a unique way to contribute and ended up getting as much as possible out of the experience. We’d like to share some of our top takeaways with you.

 

Our contribution campaign

Since Drupal conferences are the perfect opportunity to give back to the project and its community, we decided to revisit our contribution campaign from April’s DrupalCon North America, and once again dedicate one hour of development time for every person who visited our booth and claimed the contribution offer.

Like last time, we were super happy with the results of the campaign. Many community members claimed the offer, resulting in 15 hours of development time dedicated to Drupal open source on top of our regular contribution.

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our campaign. We’ll be emailing you to ask how you’d like your contribution time to be spent on.

 

Sessions

DrupalCon Europe 2021 open source & design session

Designers discussing the future of open source & design at DrupalCon Eur 2021

There were great sessions going on every day and it’s impossible to do justice to all of them in this brief recap. As such, we’d just like to highlight a few of those that stuck with us the most.

  • Open Source Design: Why open source needs designers for the future - a great session by several design experts discussing future developments in aligning open-source contribution with user experience design.
  • How to use your anxiety to your advantage - an invaluable presentation delivered by Diego Costa about learning to manage the unpleasant feelings and ultimately using anxiety to your advantage.
  • Why a people focused culture yields digital transformation - in this session, Cyber-Duck’s CEO Danny Bluestone spoke about the key role of the company culture in achieving transformation. It was topped off by a greeting from all Cyber-Duck team members in their respective languages, which truly showcased the diversity of both the company and the Drupal community at large.

 

Driesnote and keynotes

There couldn’t have been a more epic way to kick off the conference than with LJ Rich’s amazing musical keynote which was a truly unforgettable experience. She demonstrated how the same creative approaches used for making music could also be leveraged for website building and strategizing.

However, in true DrupalCon tradition, the highly anticipated Driesnote was the highlight of the conference. Dries opened with a note on the fast-approaching end-of-life dates for Drupal 7 and in particular Drupal 8 before proceeding with breaking down the progress of each strategic initiative.

He also gave an update on the current health of community contribution, noting the frenzy of activity leading up to the latest major release and the decline following it, coinciding with other factors such as Covid and organizations’ fast growth. He closed by emphasizing the magic of contribution and the need to make it easier for newcomers to join and contribute to the community.

The concluding keynote on Thursday was also not to be missed. It featured the diverse team of core initiative leads each speaking about their respective initiative. In the end, they came to a pretty awesome agreement: each initiative uniquely contributes to Drupal, and they are all interrelated, so all of them are the most important Drupal initiative.

“The session that most resonated with me was Tuesday’s keynote “Build vs Buy - Pfizer and Open Source”, a fireside chat with Richard Jones, Jess Romeo, and Dick Olsson; hosted by Jeffrey “Jam” McGuire. It’s really a rare occasion that we get a glimpse into how a pharmaceutical giant like Pfizer implements their digital strategy. 

Such companies are known for their opacity when it comes to sharing internal processes and tools, and getting to learn more about these can help me align the Agiledrop strategy to the needs of such potential clients.”

Iztok Smolic, Managing Director at Agiledrop

 

DrupalCon Europe 2021 Driesnote contribution health

Drupal's founder Dries Buytaert talking about the status of community contribution in his DrupalCon Eur 2021 Driesnote

 

Conclusion

Big thanks to everyone, organizers, speakers, attendees, for another unforgettable Drupal event! We’re very happy to be able to experience and share the Drupal love even in these unusual times. We hope to see you all soon at an in-person conference. Till next time!