The wait is finally over! See you at Drupal Dev Days 2022 in Ghent

Drupal Dev Days 2022 logo on colorful background
Community Drupal

It was Thursday, 31 October 2019 when I and a couple of my Agiledrop teammates boarded a plane in Amsterdam to fly back to Slovenia. None of us could have been even remotely aware that the DrupalCon in the Netherlands would be the last in-person event we would be able to attend for well over 2 years. Yes, DrupalCamp in London was held in March 2020, but we decided not to attend the event due to safety concerns.

Over 2 years later, we can say that we are back in business. We never lost the connection to the Drupal community, but virtual events just can’t replace the vibe of an in-person event. And what fills me with happiness and joy, even more, is the fact that I’m travelling to Belgium for Drupal Dev Days 2022.

Why so happy and joyful? My first event after I joined Agiledrop back in 2017 was a DrupalCamp in Antwerp. Being new to Drupal I wasn’t sure what to expect. Any worries that I might have had about what it would be like and how I would be accepted quickly diminished in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

In addition to the sessions I attended to get up to speed with what Drupal is, what the community means and what it stands for, there are two other things that I can still distinctly remember to this day. Dominique De Cooman, the CEO and co-founder of Dropsolid, invited me and my now managing director Iztok to sit at their table. 

He showed us a lot about how he was managing his team, and judging by the growth Dropsolid has exhibited in the past years, he was (and still is) doing an excellent job. If I’m not mistaken this happened already on the first day of the event. 

And the second thing that has stuck with me until today happened on the last day. The event took place during the cycling race Vuelta a España. And I remember how Rachel Lawson and I, along with some other attendees, watched one of the mountain stages of the race and discussed whether Chris Froome would be able to win the race. In the end, he did. 

Attending virtual meetings was never really my forte. I could name a couple of reasons for that, the most obvious one being the lack of focus and absence of some sort of close contact with another human being. Sitting in front of your computer while notifications and emails pop up constantly, you can’t really focus on the event in front of you. 

But while in Ghent (or anywhere else, for that matter), the laptops are closed (opened in cases of emergency or after the happening for the day has finished) and you are able to finally talk to someone up close. And in person.

In addition to meeting people with whom I had the opportunity to talk, exchange ideas and clash opposing views in the past couple of years (with some quite often, with some only occasionally), I can’t wait to see some of the sessions in person again. 

I just hope the presenters are able to adapt to the “new” situation quickly (yes, there will be people actually standing or sitting in front of you!) :). There are going to be loads of excellent sessions for everyone to choose from; I personally am especially looking forward to:

  • Gábor Hojtsy’s session on the State of Drupal 10. As the release of Drupal 10 is planned for August 2022, I can’t stress the importance of this session enough if you’d like to be up-to-speed with all the relevant information about it. 
  • I just became team-lead, now what. Frederick Vanbrabant will take us through a “course” on how you can keep your team motivated and inspired, and apply the same mindset to your job interviews and your interactions with customers.
  • Hierarchies of needs in Drupal and the modern CMS. As the presenter Preston So describes: “This session is ideal for business stakeholders, technology executives, CMS decision-makers and practitioners, and editors, marketers, and developers who are interested in the emerging frictions in the CMS landscape and how to grapple with seemingly conflicting yet inextricable needs.”
  • Fantastic functions and where to find them is the title of one of the keynotes of the event brought to us by Freek Van der Herten. He’ll demonstrate some lesser-known functionality of PHP such as weak maps and process control functions. He’ll also discuss a few other open-source projects which are based on PHP but have been inspired by communities around other projects, such as Tailwind and Phoenix.
  • And, last but certainly not least, there is also the keynote by Baddý of 1xINTERNET. She’s going to showcase the importance of open-source contributions within a business context and how it benefits both the community as well as the financial growth of a company.

I really hope I will see you there; here you can check out the full schedule for the event. I’ve heard there will be a lot of us there, but there are still tickets left and you still have time to get yours. And yes, there are social events planned for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. See you soon in Ghent!