John Picozzi Shares His DrupalCon Takeaways

As one of Oomph’s resident Drupal enthusiasts, I’ve (not surprisingly) been talking about DrupalCon New Orleans ad nauseum since my return. So, it’s great to have this forum to share my personal takeaways along with a couple of other recap resources where you can feel free to dive deeper.

Widespread Adoption of Drupal 8

I’ll start with something that was pretty awe-inspiring as a Drupal developer—the full-conference engagement with Drupal 8. In Dries Buytaert’s keynote, he talked a lot about the large number of  people who have already embraced Drupal 8, especially compared to the stats on Drupal 7 adoption. Drupal 8 is really taking off and some are foregoing Drupal 7 altogether in favor of the move to Drupal 8. I’ll admit, our Oomph team is psyched about Drupal 8, as well. You can read more about our experiences with D8 here. Essentially, Dries identified seven initiatives for Drupal 8 that everyone can continue to rally around: Media, Workflow, Migration, Blocks and Layout, Data Modeling Tools, API First, and Theme Component Library.

Streamlining Multilingual Translation

Another central part of DrupalCon and Drupal 8, for me, were talks that focused on Translation. I do a lot of work in this area, and hearing about how much simpler these tasks are in Drupal 8 was reassuring. One talk in particular, Multilingual Makeover: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, highlighted how Drupal 8 has streamlined the process with fewer modules. In Drupal 7 you had to touch every single content type you wanted to translate, which was a huge pain. In Drupal 8, it is standardized to one page with accordion-style views that let you open one up, select the fields you want to change, make changes, and save. If you want to know more about Translation, here’s another talk worth checking out: Drupal 8’s Multilingual APIs.

The Path to Becoming a Drupal Architect

Finally, I really enjoyed Pat Teglia’s talk The Path to Becoming an Accidental Architect. He defined the differences between a Drupal Developer and a Drupal Architect, and offered some useful advice for those interested in becoming a Drupal leader. He cited the importance of knowing a little bit about every aspect of Drupal: “breadth over depth.” He also talked about the importance of creativity as well as the ability to convey that creativity (communication). Pat suggested taking time each day to work the “creative muscle,” whether that be doodling, practicing music, or even simple brainstorming—he writes “top 10” lists on topics ranging from the modules he’d like to create in Drupal to movie trivia. It’s about delving into your curiosity, developing it, and then using it in your work to stay ahead of the pack.

DrupalCon New Orleans 2016 Group Shot

These are just a few inspirations and pieces of knowledge I’m already putting to good use. There was a lot to do and see at DrupalCon New Orleans, and if you weren’t able to make it, I suggest taking a look at the official DrupalCon NOLA photo album to get a sense of the palpable Drupal 8 camaraderie, or listening to some of the sessions. You can hear me chat more about the experience on Episode #120 of Talking Drupal. And, as always, send questions my way. I love to talk Drupal.