DrupalCon is always one of my favourite events of the year. It's a great chance to see friends and colleagues and other members of the community face to face. It lets you discuss issues you've been facing, and to help plan out what things you want to accomplish going forward. As a remote employee, I can't stress enough the importance of these things. Technology has made working from home much, much easier: things like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Slack have removed the geographical barriers to remote teams, but trust me, there is no substitute for sitting in the same room with people and working through issues together.
This trip to DrupalCon was a bit different for me. Normally, I'm there to attend sessions and BoF's, but this year I had propposed a session which was accepted, so I was going as a speaker. My talk was on Composer workflows for Drupal 8.
For the past six months I've been working with Composer quite a bit. I've been working to help our client, a large pharmaceutical company, build a system to manage all of their sites which will soon be moving to Drupal 8. Composer is the cornerstone of the system we're building, so I wanted to share my experiences with the community and to encourage a discussion about how other people have been leveraging Composer.
Given that many companies are waiting for Drupal 8 to mature before committing to it, I figured there may be a bit of a knowledge gap between many Drupal developers and Composer. I thought it was a great chance to give back and share some of the knowlege I had gained and hopefully help some people learn some things about Composer. The talk went well, and I got a lot of good feed back when talking with people afterwards. I was also able to attend a great BoF about Composer. It was hosted by one of the creators and project leads for Drupal console and was attended by two people who are instrumental in Composer's adoption into Drupal. There was a lot of great discussion about how Composer can be leveraged even more by Drupal in the future. Things like full adoption of Semantic Versioning, and possibly even replacing info.yml files with composer.json files. It was a great discussion with some very intelligent people. I'm excited to see how some of these things will progress over time.
So for me it was a very Composer based DrupalCon. I've spent a lot of of time tweaking and polishing my presentation and had attended some BoFs and just had conversations with people about Composer. But there were some great sessions that went on as well. Some of my colleagues are doing some great things. Tim Millwood is one of the main drivers behind the Workflow Initiative gave two talks. His work is really exciting and if you're interested in those things you should check out his sessions. Dave Hall, also a colleague, gave a great talk, despite some technical difficulties he had with the projection equipment. He talks about how to set up automated workflows.
Another one of my favorite aspects of DrupalCon is being able to travel to and enjoy the hosting city. I've always wanted to go to Dublin, and with DrupalCon there, it was a great opportunity for me to go and check out what Dublin had to offer. I was able to take a trip a bit outside the city to Howth. Howth is a peninsula about eight miles (13 kilometers) north east of Dublin. It's a beautiful place and you can walk the loop trails they have there. The trails wrap all the way around the peninsula and up and down through the cliffs that line it. It's exactly what you'd envision the countryside of Ireland to look like. I would highly suggest this side trip to anyone considering going to Dublin.
So again, DrupalCon was exhilarating, exciting and educational. We got some work done, had some fun and enjoyed some of the nightlife. I look forward to hopefully attending the next DrupalCon this spring in Baltimore.