Navigating your way in Drupal core development

I've had the great opportunity to share my experience navigating the waters of Drupal core development at at DrupalCon Denver last month. My talk "Thrown Into a Shark Pond? A Guide for Surviving Core Development and Even Enjoying It" was possibly a little sensationally titled, although every Drupal core developers have their ups and downs and sometimes people do feel like they are in a shark attack. I planned to provide good ways forward from different ways that ideas can be blocked from inception through implementation to getting it into core.

DrupalCon Denver Handout

When preparing for the session, I realized I'm going to explain a somewhat complicated tree with different decision points and states. I wanted my session to be a useful and clear explanation and let people focus on tips and tricks instead of piecing together this tree in their head, so I decided to design a handout for the attendees (PDF, 250k). This turned out to be pretty great I think, and I got lots of content feedback from xjm, webchick, Moshe Weitzman, Kieran Lal and even Dries at various stages of drafting it. (Getting it printed on-site was a herculean undertaking, but that is really due to the printing shop services available.) At the end, each attendee got a nice color copy of this that they could bring home (and the leftovers I had were distributed at the new contributors sprint at the end of the conference). After all I decided to not theme the talk or the handouts with sharks, in hopes that the handouts would be much more easily reusable later just as well.

You can also watch the recording of the session below, and download the slides (PDF, 7.8M).

How Drupal improves and evolves, the basics behind the community

It is that phase of my life! I'm just turning 30 in a month, working with Drupal for 7 years and just had my third Acquia anniversary a week ago. Time to look back and evaluate how things went, all the good and bad things; even better if the wisdom can be shared with others. This was part of my thinking when I submitted the session titled "Come for the software, stay for the community" for Drupalcon Copenhagen.

Update on DrupalCon Copenhagen Core developer summit

Earlier this year, for DrupalCon San Francisco, we introduced the new concept of the Core developer summit, which reaches back to the original Drupal developer meetups allowing for planning, problem solving and coding for Drupal core developers. It makes it possible to get together in one space to plan ahead and solve problems at hand.

Making Drupalcon Copenhagen a developers paradise

Last week, the organizers posted detailed descriptions of the conference tracks for Drupalcon Copenhagen. As was announced, I'm helping to chair the code and development track, which is all about core and contributed modules, APIs, new technologies, databases and data stores, web services, JavaScript wizardry, security, etc, etc. Basically whatever makes the developer geek heart's warm.

To make this Drupalcon yet another developers paradise, I was starting off by looking at the existing session proposals and initiating contact with many session submitters. In some cases, I believe site building sessions crept into the track, so we are working to straighten out some session descriptions and placements. It is generally a good idea to include a good description of yourself with your prior experience explained as well as write up a decent session description so we can get a feel for what are you planning to cover in how much detail.

Trends with the presently submitted sessions seem to be mobile development/deployment, video management, the command line, best practices for coding, extending up and coming major contributed modules (Group, Ubercart on Drupal 7, Views 3) and learning from worst practices even.

It is not at all late to grow this list with exciting sessions. There are certainly some topics missing here getting people ready for some crucial new things in Drupal 7, like the new database layer or fields in core; an update of where the drupal.org git migration is standing, and so on. I'm trying to do my best to contact expert speakers in these areas, but would be extremely open to suggestions on what are you missing from the suggested list of sessions for the track. Let me know in the comments (or via my contact form), so I can do my best to get the content you'd like to see. It's one thing that you'll be able to vote on session proposals but your requested topics are also highly valued.

Making Drupal 6 even more awesome - code sprint tips

With Drupalcon San Francisco just a few days away, being another great event including two days of "pure coding" and a ChX coder lounge each day for those who are inclined to join, I figured it would be a good idea to share some tips if you are about to work on Drupal 6 issues. Given the close to 2700 attendees coming, I don't know how many to expect on the code sprint days right before and after the conference, but I guess there will be people with diverse backgrounds as usual.