DrupalCon 2017 Baltimore

DrupalCon (April 24–28) in Baltimore was an international educational event that brings together the people who use, develop, design, and support the Drupal platform. The event features dozens of curated sessions and panels from some of the most influential people and brightest minds within the Drupal community and beyond, as well as countless opportunities for networking, code sprints, informal conversations, and more. DrupalCon is the premiere conference to hone your Drupal skills, connect with the community, and learn about the future of web technologies happening on the Drupal platform.

Watch this first

Descriptive Recommended Events

Basic DevOps Skills: Where to Start and How to Learn

· https://basic-devops-for-drupal.herokuapp.com/#/

· https://events.drupal.org/baltimore2017/sessions/basic-devops-skills-where-start-and-how-learn

I remember the first time when someone told me they were a Dev Ops engineer. It was this quirky British guy who spoke very fast and was quite twitchy at my previous company. I never really looked into it what a Dev Ops engineer did. All I knew was I had to hand him instructions on how to execute my code on our version control system, what a proper success run would be, and to create environments. In hindsight he had no idea what I did as well since the SDET team was new so we were both confused. Anyways him and I would end up working together hand in hand because of the nature of my work in automation as time went on.

If you are like me, you tend to know what designers, front-end developers or back-end developers do (maybe). However, when it comes to Dev Ops, it’s a whole different story. I decided to go to this event to get a basic understanding of what these people do rather than just letting it go through chance and hope for the best. In summary, Dev Ops engineers help facilitate a better test and deployment rhythm with the usage of numerous tools. The thing I got out of it with is that learning Dev Ops is about learning letters.

Implementing Full Stack Test Automation for Drupal 8

· A.Daskalopoulos-Test_Automation.ppt (download presentation)

· https://events.drupal.org/baltimore2017/sessions/implementing-full-stack-test-automation-drupal-8-unit-acceptance-tests

In designing automation frameworks, it is always customized dependent on the project being targeted. At the moment automation is a hot topic where numerous players are throwing out different frameworks here and there so it can be chosen for your project. However, this becomes a double-edged sword, because of an influx of interest and new things being created, one has to choose the proper tools and frameworks to base their project on.

In doing the end to end testing for our Drupal CMS, I initially chose NightwatchJS as the base but after the convention I decided to migrate my work towards NightmareJS. I chose Nightmare because it ran headless (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headless_browser) , can be run as a node module from Phantom, had built-in testing support with Mocha and Chai, and not dependent on Selenium WebDriver thus removing the need for Java to execute it.

Recommended Events

Many of the events slideshows/videos are available on DrupalCon schedule website corresponding to the event as well as on YouTube as a playlist. Here are some of my picks:

Captaining a container ship: Docker orchestration with Kotena

· Simpler architecture than Kubernetes

· There is no such thing as one container therefore orchestration allows management of multiple containers.

· Managing dependencies between containers

· Allows an automated and more complete container that includes multiple functionalities such as orchestration and load balancing

Drupal is Changing, Quickly: How and Why

· The evolution process from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

· The changes that are occurring for Drupal 8

· How to add experimental modules

· What defines a good idea and how to support and contribute to Drupal

Anti-Crash Course: How to Avoid Drupal’s Most Common Pitfalls

· Management of Drupal projects

· Definition of common project wreckers such as feature creep and skimping on testing

Virtual Reality on the Web

· http://wesruv.github.io/reveal.js/vr.html#/

· Discussion about Boilerplate — https://github.com/borismus/webvr-boilerplate

· A-frame tutorials and http://codepen.io

· Web VR is the hottest topic at the moment and everyone wants to jump in while it is early in stage

· The differences between low-end and high-end VR consoles

Stronger than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

· Combatting mental illness and finding ways to cope with the burden of having one

· Defeat the pariah of speaking about personal mental issues in the workplace

· Starts out small but things do add up and thus work will start being affected

· Knowing the signs of fatigue

Testing for the Brave and True

· Behat vs PHPUnit

· Writing better tests

· Drupal quirks when writing tests for it

My Takeaway:

The main reasons why I chose to attend was to expedite my acquiring process of knowledge of Drupal and how to facilitate automation practices as well as testing principles for the in-process D6 to D8 migration.

It was informational if you are trying to expand your Drupal knowledge and wanting to meet a lot of intelligent people, however many of the time if I had to choose I would avoid the general sprints. The majority of general sprints were that people were trying to find developers to help work on their projects and companies.

I was asked multiple times of my thinking process for automating certain caveats of the CMS and it was gratifying to know that my experimentation process was on the right track. Talking with other developers that were beginning the dive to automation was helpful in my sense that the tools and frameworks I was choosing for Thrillist was on par with them. I really enjoyed the non-programming talks (being human) during the conference especially the topic of mental health in the developer community and avoiding programming burnout.

In summary: I feel like a person that has little to no experience with Drupal would benefit more than experienced ones in the conference. The more experienced Drupal-ers would benefit more in the summits that occurred on the first day and the sprint breakouts that occurred on Friday especially with collaboration. All in all, I recommend attending this conference (watch the pre-note video). Everyone was friendly and wanted to learn many things on how to improve on themselves. The projects that people were working on were quite fascinating, especially at the mad scientist road show, and seeing how they are adapting to the rise of popular MVCs such as Ember and React was really something to look into.

My Schedule with Associated Description Links


  • Monday Sprints
  • Training Courses
  • Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Drupal
  • DevOps for Drupal
  • First Time Attendee Social





  • First Time Sprinter Workshop
  • General Sprints