DrupalCon Chicago wrap-up

Submitted by Barrett on Sat, 03/12/2011 - 06:56

DrupalCon Chicago is done. Now it's time to unpack, review and condense my notes, and begin to sort out how to integrate everything I learned into my processes going forward. In subsequent posts, I'll expand on each of the points below, but my goal at the moment is to lay out the biggest things I'm bringing back from the con.


  • The main theme I'm bringing back, which I expect is going to impact several of the ways in which I work, is that it's time for the Drupal community to grow up. Dries talked about this in his keynote and the concept was repeated in subsequent sessions. Now, I do not mean (and don't think Dries meant), that the community needs to become all serious and buttoned-down. The community has always been pretty easy-going and self-directing and I think that has been to our benefit. What I mean is that we need to become more rigorous in our development processes. Automated testing, continuous integration, and better separation of UI and API were concepts raised in several sessions during the conference. These are the ways in which we need to be growing up; taking our code more seriously, not ourselves.
  • Maestro is a module I came across in a BoF that I'm really excited about. Created by Nextide (who also write the FileDepot module), Maestro is a workflow/BPM engine with a visual workflow editor. While I haven't had an opportunity to fully evaluate the module yet, the feature set which was demonstrated in the BoF paralleled (and in a couple cases, exceeded) the core features available in a high-priced, proprietary system I recently evaluated for work.
  • I'm also really excited about the improvements coming to UberCart in it's new incarnation as the Drupal Commerce module. UberCart has famously lagged behind Drupal Core and required a lot of work-arounds and hacks to customize. Drupal Commerce promises to correct that, doing things the Drupal way and reducing the complexity and hackish-ness of e-commerce on Drupal.


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