Drupal Down Under 2012

I went to a two day conference, Drupal Down Under, in Melbourne about Drupal the Content Management System.  I tried to go to many design talks and some business talks.  I consider myself mostly a programmer so this was a bit back to front for me.  I enjoyed every talk though.  The cupcakes above were for morning tea on the second day, were very yummy and were in honour of Drupal's 10th Birthday.

Drupal Down Under started with some welcome drinks at the Jasper Hotel.  It was a great networking event.  I loved the intimate feel of the location and I enjoyed catching up with old friends and I even made some new ones too.

Saturday January 14th 2012

Dmitri Gaskin spoke well about what it was like to start very young (Primary school age) in the Drupal Community.  It also showed how he's grown as a developer and how he's contributed to the project along the way.  Synopsis and Video for Dmitri's KeynoteDmitri was also interviewed by Tripple J's Hack.  I was left feeling very insspired and wishing I could contribute more.

Next was about Responsive Design and the Omega Theme I want to give this theme a go on my next project.   Basically it maens you can have a theme that works on huge screens, middle sized right down to tiny mobile screens.  It also has a very neat grid system interface.

Russ Porteous spoke about being a business using Drupal.  He also gave tips for running our own businesses and general money making talk.  Most importantly I was reminded that it's a good idea to be able to measure the improvements the new website has to the clients business.

I thought Jason Brooks' talk about Collecting business requirements with mind maps was one of the most fascinating talks of the weekend.   He has found that creating mindmaps with a client makes a more accurate set of requirements for the project at hand.  The client can visually see what the developers will build and also see what is required on each piece they've asked for.  I liked the example of when a customer decides they don't want to pay for one part, you can accurately show them what else will not be able to be achieved because of that piece.

John Kennedy had some great examples of what can go wrong on a development project.  Also because of the mistakes that were made he had some greate advice for people running their own consulting businesses.

Geoffry Roberts talked about Responsive Design

Gian Wild discussed the Accessability guidelines that are endorsed by our government

Photo of me at DDU by Tim

Sunday January 14th 2012

I [and others sharing the table] got to have breakfast with Dries Buytaert the founder of Drupal!

Next up Dries talked about Drupal 8 and what they hope to achieve for that.  I'm still worried about the upgrade path between major versions. I think Drupal is still in a young phase and it's being developed quite quickly so it's instable in the name of progress.

Simon Hobbs talked about all that's new with the Form API. I think he did a great job of showing examples as well.  I also found out I'm doing a form wrong for one of my clients and I'll have to redo it to progress faster.

Raena Jackson-Armitage spoke about finding your voice for writing content for your site.   Reana reminded us to think about users and our content plan before building our sites.  I have also noticed people want a website but they aren't so keen on maintaining it.  The content you put on your site is the only reason people come back.

Future Friendly Design by Luke Brooker.  Luke gave us a great link for Style Tiles sorting out colours for clients without them getting confused about functionality as well.  He had some other great tips for the design phase.  I should probably watch it again.

Drupal Commerce was made to look easy by Andrew Yager

The afternoon was finished with Lightning talks and an announcement that the next conference would be in Sydney.  Looking forward to it.  I hope to hear more details soon.

Talks I would like to watch when I get time:

Erica Bramham talked about getting started with Drupal for Beginners

The truth about job hunting

Node.js and Drupal

Aegir by Miguel

Drupal Typography and You

Future Friendly Design


Thanks Jaimekristene - nice to read through someone's journey of the conf - I didn't get to see many talks, this will help me decide which videos to watch next!

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