I left my house to head to Reagan National Airport at 5am. My flight left at 7:00am. I had a layover in Seattle before heading to Portland. When I arrived in Portland, the idea was to go directly from the airport to the conference and pray that they had lockers or something where I could store my extra bag.
I showed up at 12pm Portland time, lunch time for the conference. Almost dinner time for me on the east coast. It was definitely interesting to travel for what felt like a day and then pretend it was the middle of the day. Anywho, I had a full day of sessions ahead of me. After I ate, I went to find the first session I wanted to watch. The first session I went to was What Users Want (or Why Webpages are Dead) — From the summary I thought the session was going to be awesome and go into detail about how we needed to focus on moving to other platforms and HOW to do it… but I thought wrong. I thought it would be better than it was. For the first 40 minutes the presenters discussed basics beyond beginner. I was a little disappointed to say the least. The presenters themselves were enthusiastic and I think had good knowledge in their brains, but seemed to be hoarding it and keeping it away from me. After 45 minutes, I got up and went to seek out some coffee and plan out the rest of my afternoon.
I attended the Secrets to Awesomizing your Editor’s Back-end Experience at 3:15. This session was awesome and very interesting. The presenter was enthusiastic and funny and made an attempt to keep his session audience entertained while giving us good information, discussing a variety of modules, tips and tricks to help make the content editor’s experience better when adding content for the site. I also met a neat lady in there who happened to be working at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore! All in all, a good session and I would recommend reviewing it (they posted all videos of the sessions to their druaplcon site).
After a short break in between sessions, I went to the session on layouts at 4:30 (last session of the day), called Different Ways to Control your Layout. This session was a panel of awesome people talking about panels!!! and some other stuff, but mostly about panels! It was great!!! I love panels! Since starting at the Smithsonian and getting going on Drupal, I have been using views and panels a lot! It has been great! I have learned so much and fallen in love with panels! I even have built some of my own panels layouts for work. So when they started discussing panels, I got really excited (I even took notes!) and decided to ensure I would remember some of what I heard. They discussed a number of modules that would help utilize panels or make panels easier or work in tandem with panels. Let’s see, display suite, single page/node layout (treating blocks like nodes – pretty awesome), template API, beans, embeddables, contextual drag and drop module, panopoly (!!! panopoly is a panels layouts extension! so many awesome things in this module). After discussing all of these various modules, they started to go over Drupal 8 and how blocks and layouts would be different in Drupal 8 — this was really interesting to me because I missed Tuesday’s keynote, so it was all very new and awesome! I would definitely recommend watching this video (hell, I might go back and watch it again myself)
Women in Drupal Meetup:
One of the coolest offerings they had was a women in drupal meetup on the first night of the official conference. So on Tuesday night, in the rain, with a few other ladies, I headed out to the women in drupal meetup that was said to be a few blocks away. When we got there, we were taken upstairs to Squishy Media (when you look at their website, you see that a lot of their clients are government – local and federal), where the meetup was happening. It was pretty awesome to meet a bunch of ladies just interested in being nerds. This also happens to be where I met my partner in crime for the rest of the week, Suzanne, when we were discussing drupal and then I went into a positive rant about how librarians are awesome magical unicorns and should be honored with seats on clouds and rainbow slide rides. Long story short, I am still sane, the meetup was great and I met some lovely and awesome ladies who are super nerds and proud of it!