DrupalCon 2015: Los Angeles

Downtown LA hosted over 3000 Drupallers from far and wide

Just over a year ago, in the closing session of a hot, but action-packed, DrupalCon in Austin, TX, Holly Ross and the other Drupal Association members made the big reveal: DrupalCon 2015 will be held in…

Los Angeles!

And the crowd went… meh. I was one of those “meh-ers,” but having spent the last week there, I have to say that the City of Angels has changed my mind.

Downtown LA (DTLA for short) has seen an incredible resurgence in the past 5 years and everyone there agrees that it’s very quickly gone from a ghost town to the place to be in LA. The con’s central location meant we could hit Little Tokyo, K-Town, and some classic downtown spots in a relatively short time span.

Higher-ed Summit

After making unofficial appearances at past camps and cons, the Higher-Ed Summit had its first official debut in LA. Almost 100 Drupalers from educational institutions around the world gathered for a day of round-table discussions. Topics included central Drupal services (like UChicago Sites), content strategy, accessibility, and more. Notes from (almost) every table are available on Google Drive.

Keynotes

The main conference led off with the Driesnote, or Dries’ annual “State of Drupal” presentation. Dries spoke in depth about the history of Drupal, how integral the community has been in its development, and seven lessons he’s learned along the way:

  1. Everyone lives by 'selling' something

  2. Improving user results equals more users

  3. If you attract amazing people, prepare to be amazed

  4. Recognize trends early and embrace them

  5. If you want to go far, then go together

  6. Honest disagreement is often a good sign of success

  7. Obstacles don't block the path; they ARE the path

Wednesday and Thursday’s keynotes followed the DrupalCon tradition of getting non-Drupalers to help bring some outside perspective to our work. Whitney Hess brought her experiences as a coach to the community and discussed how good code often comes at the expense of healthy bodies and minds. Matt Asay, VP of Mobile at Adobe, talked about how we all—from one-person shops to the enterprise—can help to contribute to Open Source Software to make our products better.

Sessions

While there were unlimited opportunities to chat at length with vendors, colleagues at peer institutions, and fellow developers at the conference, I was able to attend a number of incredibly interesting sessions and BoFs (Birds of a Feather sessions) as well. Among the highlights were the following:

That’s just a small taste of what DrupalCon LA had to offer. Luckily, you can watch recordings every single session to experience a little of the con yourself. Happy Drupalling!