Am I done yet?

Submitted by Larry on 11 June 2009 - 1:24am


I like giving presentations. I really do. But this has been quite a conference season this year; certainly my busiest ever. Four conferences in four different states, and nine presentations. And the year isn't even half over yet...

Here's what I've been up to:

First, of course, DrupalCon DC in March:

  • Drupal Databases: The Next Generation: By request, an encore presentation from DrupalCon Szeged. Once again, the most gratuitously geeky presentation I've ever given.
  • Objectifying Drupal: Originally intended as an introduction to OO concepts, user feedback morphed it into a higher-end talk on design patterns as they apply to Drupal.
  • Mystery Site Showcase: Palantir was, of course, showing off one of our latest creations, the Sam Fox School of Art and Design. Yes, the site really is supposed to look like that.
  • And of course the traditional Drupal Association panel, which serves primarily to make the organizers' lives difficult by putting a dozen of the highest-demand speakers in the same room at the same time, so they can't give other presentations that time slot.

I managed to miss South By South West, as it's more of a designer-y conference, but Palantir was represented there where we showed off Drupal's entry in the CMS Showdown.

April had not one but two conferences. The first was Museums and the Web in Indianapolis, all about getting museum folks and IT folks talking. Tiffany Farriss and I were both on hand to give a four hour workshop on integrating remote data into Drupal. It went well, and generated a number of really cool block diagrams. Everyone loves block diagrams, right?

Then it was off all the way to my home town of Evanston, Illinois, less than 3 miles from my house, for CMS Expo. Put five different open source platforms in one hotel and what do you get? Well if you're me you get a two-part session over two days, introducing the basics of Drupal and how to construct a site in Drupal, complete with a nifty slick photo gallery we originally developed for the CMS Expo site, all without writing any code. Fellow Palantiri Matt Butcher and Colleen Carroll were also on hand to show off Drupal Done Right, as well as other cool stuff, with Lullabot Jeff Eaton along to cover the coding side of things.

Of course, no conference season is complete without community events. It all capped off with DrupalCamp Wisconsin in Madison this past weekend, with over 150 people in attendance.

  • What is Drupal?: This presentation grew organically from the last DrupalCamp Wisconsin, and serves as an introduction to Drupal, the Drupal community, and the Drupal movement. Featuring the only known use of Britney Spears and Ozzy Osbourn on the same slide...
  • Views for Developers: There seriously are not enough resources around for people learning to write plugins for Views 2. Views 2 is such an impressive system it is quite depressing that more people don't understand how it all works together. So with a little help from Earl Miles (OK, more than a little) and a lot of time making diagrams, I set out to change that. It seemed to go over quite well, with lots of "I understand that now" type feedback. I always like hearing that.

Oof! Well, hopefully I'm done for a while. Not for too long, though. No sooner did I get back from Wisconsin than session proposals opened up for DrupalCon Paris. You're going, right? If you're still not sure, here's why you should go. OK, that and I've pitched four sessions, along with the rest of Team Palantir.

  • Drupal's new database layer: For those who have been living under a rock and still don't know how to use the new API.
  • Views 2 for Developers: Expect an updated version of the DrupalCamp Wisconsin session, with 14% more awesome and better organized sample code!
  • Objectifying PHP: The session I had intended for DC that never happened. Don't know what to make of all this object and class stuff? Start here.
  • Drupal design patterns: And part 2 of objects, a revised design patterns session. How do you make a Drupal API that is easily recognizable to other developers? How do you find solutions to problems that other people have already solved for you? Design patterns: not just for academic OO nerds anymore.

And oh yeah, somewhere in there we also had the first planning meeting for DrupalCamp Chicago 2009... Stay tuned.