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Our favourite Drupalcon sessions, part 1

ComputerMinds at Drupalcon Lille 2023
An article from ComputerMinds - Building with Drupal in the UK since 2005
19th Oct 2023

James Williams

Senior Developer
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We have sent a team to the annual Drupal conference in Europe, to learn and to grow. Read what they made of the trip in this mini-series.

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Personally I’ve found most value in the smaller sessions. There are discussion-style groups around a common interests (BoFs) and presentation seminars. I’ve enjoyed being able to share what wisdom I can in the former – for example, about what page building experiences work best for our clients, or ways to accelerate projects. Drupal is built on collaboration so it’s only fair to give back where we can. My colleague Steven has given back by volunteering to help some sessions run smoothly. 

As for the front-led seminars, here’s which ones each of us found most interesting… 

Andrei: Decoupling your search solution with Drupal Search API 

You could almost feel the speed of how quickly searches run! A new neat abstraction for searching from Drupal-backed sites (including decoupled apps) without so much effort, and with an easy-to-use UI. 

Ross: Having your cake, and eating it too: Using Varnish to serve content from your new Drupal site alongside your legacy platform. 

Seeing a relatively simple and effective example of making this work was helpful. Moving from one platform to another can be fraught with pressure so being walked through how to do this, and for such a large scale project, was ace! 

Irina: Design in Figma and deploy a pixel perfect Drupal websites in days not weeks

This session was just one of several that helped demonstrate how site builders and editors can achieve their goals quickly with Drupal. It’s a pleasant surprise to see what’s possible. The editing experience can be really good! Extra modules can help to tailor solutions for clients. More improvements are on the way too!

Greg: Test-Driven Drupal

Gaining a wider vision & perspective on Drupal's potential has been helpful - whether from Dries' keynote or sessions like this one that offered a quite different approach to what we might normally do. This was an introduction to automated testing and test-driven development in Drupal which challenged our assumptions - perhaps "coding by wishful thinking", writing test assertions before implementations, could lead to better quality code?  

Steven: So I logged in, now what? The Dashboard initiative welcomes you

It was great to see that people cared about the experience for users right after they'd logged in. The solutions outlined used existing Drupal tools and methodologies and so combined the flexibility and scale that we've come to love from Drupal, without sacrificing the flexibility to customise to suit the needs of individual sites and clients.

Me (James): Drupal Translate interface on steroids

Drupal has really robust multilingual capabilities; this session demonstrated using it with a microservices architecture. This included exporting translations into an abstracted storage bucket for Node.Js applications to use, whilst still leveraging Drupal as the central translation hub. I'm looking forward to seeing their solution open sourced as promised!

That wraps up the first two days of the conference. What I haven't mentioned so far is the wonderful food from the bakery just near where we're staying .... baguettes, croissants and Merveilleux!

A 'Merveilleux': one of Lille's sweet specialities

Hi, thanks for reading

ComputerMinds are the UK’s Drupal specialists with offices in Bristol and Coventry. We offer a range of Drupal services including Consultancy, Development, Training and Support. Whatever your Drupal problem, we can help.