DrupalCamp London 2017
This year saw the fifth anniversary of DrupalCamp London, which has become one of the key dates in the Drupal calendar. According to organisers this was the largest yet, with over 600 people attending.
As usual it took place at City, University of London, but a major change greeted attendees due to the major facelift the university building has received. The keynotes took place in a brand new lecture hall, and facilities have generally been moderised and improved across the board.
There were many sessions, BoFs and sprints to keep people busy, allowing them to share, discuss and participate in all things Drupal-related. Some of these were very Drupal-specific, with a lot of focus on Drupal 8. With D8 in full release for a year now, there are more people who can share their experiences and provide help and guidance. There are also less Drupal-specific areas being discussed, which nonetheless are common to those working with Drupal. This includes discussions on developer environments, security and testing.
There were 3 keynote speakers across the weekend. Matt Glaman of Commerce Guys spoke about his introduction to the Drupal community, and his experience served as a good example of how we can engage people across the open source community, such as the #coaltocode initiative to help those in former coal-mining towns retrain for a career in development.
Jeffrey "JAM" McGuire, a familiar face in the Drupal community, gave a talk referencing the 'golden circle' concept, which he spoke of in relation to client projects but can equally apply to organisations or individuals. It's a principle led by Simon Sinek and involves discovering your 'why' before you can then move on to 'how' or 'what'. Your 'why' might be providing scientists with research materials. You need to outline your purpose before deciding how you might do this, and what you would do it with. It's easy to rush in with a website solution, but with so many different aspects to the web these days you need to focus on the best delivery method that solves the original requirement.
The final keynote was delivered by Danese Cooper, an evangelist of the open source community since 1999. She argued how important it is to bang the drum for open source, and the dangers of leaving standards and technologies to be dictated by large corporations.
Overall it was another well-organised DrupalCamp, and a good reminder of how important the community is to Drupal's ongoing success.