DrupalCon 2014 was such an incredible event.  Not only were there many festivities going on at the conference, the entire city of Austin had many other events going on at the same time.  It was such a great idea to have the wonderful city of Austin, TX hosts this year’s DrupalCon event.  There was always something fun to do in this beautiful city.  With such an amazing culture of live music, constant pouring of beer, and some of the best barbecue that I had ever ate, being in this town for only a week was just not enough time to really engage on how beautiful this city really is.

Key Notes & Sessions

The Drupal Community had been waiting patiently to figure out all of the latest Drupal updates for the near future.  The main update that the entire Drupal Community was hoping to hear was the expected timeline for Drupal 8 to get released.  Unfortunately, Drupal 8 will not be released anytime soon.  There are currently about 150 bugs and 15 modules that needed to be cleaned up.  In Dries Buytaert’s keynote address, he had mentioned that he would be giving away free ice-cream if the 15 modules could be completed by the end of the week.  This certainly hyped up the crowd, unfortunately that did not happen.  It looks like we will continue to work with the current Drupal 7 version for a bit longer.

Another highlight that the community was very anxious to hear was to hear the location for the next DrupalCon Conference.  From the closing keynote, we learned that DrupalCon 2015 will be hosted in Los Angeles.  This would be a great place as it would allow for the community to make a visit to sunny California, where many Drupal developers and companies reside.

Drupal con LA

Of all the sessions that I had attended, the most memorable session was the one hosted by Diane Dupuis, CEO of Amazee Labs.  She lead the session “From Proposal to Thank You Notes: A Documentation Discussion”.  This was the perfect session for me as I had been trying to win a big time proposal for the last 6 months.  Her strategies pinpointed all of the pain points from qualifying the RFP, gathering specs for the project, and how to effectively communicate with the potential client in order to win the proposal.  After walking out of this session, I had felt very confident to win a proposal.  If I were to win a big proposal in the near future, I would definitely have to give Diana recognition for sharing her award winning strategies.

For the sessions that I did not attend, DrupalCon had made it easy to view the recorded versions.  Each session was recorded in full, for the viewing access for the public.  To view the list of videos, click on the link below.

Full Sessions

Volunteering

Drupal is all about the “community”.  Many developers helped out by joining the sprints and development sessions.  Most of them code to give back to the community.  As for myself, I do not know how to code.  To give back to the community, I would have to look for other opportunities to give back.  I was very glad to be a part of the volunteer sessions which were lead by Mia Lauter from Groundswell Marketing.  My first task was to be a Floating Room Monitor for Pantheon’s Case Study on Time Inc’s Big Move to Drupal.  It was hosted by Kevin Moll, Matt Miritello, Scott Bell, and Tanner Dorheim.  My main duties were to make sure everything went smooth.  This included everything from making sure people made it to their seat, that the sound volume was clear enough for people to hear, and that the room was ready for the next session.  Hopefully I did not disappoint.

Lyft’s  Austin Promotion

Lyft’s taxi services had teamed up with DrupalCon to launch their product in the Austin, TX area.  When first signing up, Lyft would provide 50 Free credits worth $25 each.  This promotion would go  on until June 18, encouraging consumers to use the Lyft promotion wherever they go.  The platform was very easy to use.  Once you launch the app, you would then request for a driver to pick you up from your current location.  Each ride that we had within the city was only about $10, however since the credit would expire anyways, we thought it would be a good idea to tip each driver the remaining balance of the credit.  Some drivers got a $15 dollar tip which was way above the industry standard of 20%.  This kept us happy along with the drivers.  Lyft has done a great job as this marketing campaign was much more effective than placing ads or commercials.  Word of mouth marketing goes much farther than the traditional advertisement.  If you had entered the promo code DRUPALCON, you would also receive a free $25 credit that never expired.  Our team probably used up about 20 free rides without a single dollar from our pockets.  With the weather being outrageously hot, this was the greatest deal to beat the heat!

City of Austin, TX

Austin City

I fell in love with this city the first night here.  There was so much culture all throughout the city.  Being known as the live music capital of the world, I can confirm from my experience here that it truly is.  On any given night, there are about 250 live concerts going on.  This statistic completely blew my mind as cities in Norcal do not even compare to this number.  During the week of DrupalCon, I was also able to experience other events such as the X-Games right off Congress Ave.  I was able to see Tony Hawk skate the halfpipe, with the view of the State Capital in the same shot.  It was truly spectacular and was a once in a lifetime experience to see Tony Hawk still shredding at over 40 years old.  Austin, you’ve been good to me and hope to see you soon!

DCKAP specializes in Drupal and has a solid team of Drupal developers. If you would like to schedule a meeting with the DCKAP Team to discuss your Drupal needs, please email us at drupal@dckap.com or give us a call at 510-796-2525.  Hope to hear from you soon.

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Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Diep

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