Irina's experience of Drupalcon Lille
Drupalcon Lille 2023 was my first experience of a large Drupal event. I didn't know what to expect but I was so excited and looking forward to it! I have to say Drupalcon exceeded all of my expectations, in a good way!
In the beginning, I tried to remain humble as I’d never seen so many Drupal villagers before. But it didn’t take me long to start chatting to all the exhibitors, and contributors and connect with the community. It was a great opportunity to learn more about Drupal and be part of interesting sessions and informal conversations. It was a surprise to see community members not just from Europe but from all around the world.
The biggest challenge was to decide which sessions to go to. The topics for the sessions were so broad; from Drupal basics and best practices to deep technical skills. All of them looked interesting and it was hard to pick because I didn’t want to miss anything. I'm so glad all of the sessions are available on replay on the OnAir platform and I can check them out later.
Search API Decoupled, CKEditor 5 plugin and Dashboard left lots of thoughts in my mind and I can't wait to try and see how I can apply them to my work with ComputerMinds.
Some sessions were just another perspective of what we at ComputerMinds are already doing. For example, the performance audit session was a good review of the most common problems I encounter. It was a really helpful, structured way to show how important it is to implement best practice at an early stage. Such as how often do developers disable cache to “solve” bugs? The quickest fix is not always the best fix and there are ways to avoid problems through good planning. I particularly enjoyed the discussion on the use of views and paragraphs. Views are great and I use them all the time but at the same time, queries can slow things down. Now when I develop views I will think about how I can make best use of queries.
Drupal is open source and we all download modules, themes and features but I never really thought about how all these features were developed. A case study about building the field UI improvements was a good example. I never thought about all the stages that go into building a feature from identifying the problem to the actual development. It shows how people all work and focus on building a better Drupal, and it was a good opportunity to ask contributors questions. I felt encouraged to raise issues and also to make a contribution myself in the future.
Surprisingly, at some point, I developed a competitive spirit and started scanning exhibitors' barcodes so that I collected enough points to enter a raffle. Coffee is the best winner's gift, right? :)
Although we had very busy days at Drupalcon it went so fast and before long it was time to go home!
I'd like to thank ComputerMinds for organising our trip and all the people involved in the actual event. I really enjoyed it and took on board a lot of useful information.