The Best of Drupalcon New Orleans 2016

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 09:41 | 223 Views

These days, it seems that there’s a Drupal event going on somewhere in the world on almost a daily basis (check Drupical and behold the most complete listing of Drupal events, ranging from Iceland to Chile, and of course Costa Rica!). Camps, summits, meetups, trainings… You name it. However, Drupalcon is still without a doubt the biggest event in the Drupal universe, and Anexus is proud of taking part once again in this week of learning, sharing, and networking with the Drupal community. As we recover from the craziness, we’d like to share some of the highlights from Drupalcon New Orleans 2016. 

Drupal 8 is out… Finally!

Drupal 8 has launched
Drupal 8 has finally launched. 

Yes, this time it’s for real. Drupal 8 was finally released last November, which of course resulted in an increase of Drupal 8 related talks for this year’s Con, especially in the Coding and Development track. One session we particularly enjoyed was New and improved, selling the value of new Drupal 8 technical features, by the always colorful horncologne. This session was actually part of the Business track, as it focused on how to translate technical features and present them as business value to prospective customers. Highly recommended. 

Here are a few other Drupal 8 sessions you might want to check out:

Non-technical sessions

Chewbacca is a non-technical user
Remember, not all users are equal!

The Drupal Association has taken a step in the right direction by recognizing that the Drupal community is not exclusive to developers and other technical users. This is why this year we finally got the much requested Project Management track, which included my personal favorite session of this year’s conference: The art of #NoEstimates for optimizing predictability and profitability of Drupal projects. What an amazing and long overdue subject! If you share the belief that “software estimation” is merely an euphemism for straight up guessing and know deep inside that there’s got to be a better alternative, then this session is for you. 

Other interesting non-developer sessions that we enjoyed include:

  • Understanding the Critical Metrics for Your Drupal Business. “What can be measured can be managed” would be the philosophy behind this session. Learn which metrics matter the most when you want to determine the success of strategies applied to financials, sales, marketing, and human resources. 
  • Live The Dream, Work Remote: Building a Successful Distributed Drupal Shop. The deceivingly optimistic title of this session does not include the fact that working remote is not a “dream” that suits all, but Anne Stefanyk from Kanopi Studios does a fine job at sharing the ups and downs of owning and managing a distributed Drupal agency. 
  • Your Brain Health is More Important than your Standing Desk. This session should be mandatory across the tech industry. Selected this year as the Community Keynote, this great discussion emphasizes the importance of mental health to avoid burnout and keep your sanity while working under tight deadlines and constant stress. 

Networking/Social

Some of the best networking happens outside the session rooms.
Some of the best networking happens outside the session rooms. 

When you have the luck of encountering a group of business leaders, tech wizards, and influential voices of your industry all under the same roof, you need to step up and put your best networking skills to use. Drupalcon New Orleans didn’t dissappoint in this regard, and opportunities to interact were to be found literally anywhere, thanks also to the openness and cool demeanor of the Drupal community.

Remember, great business opportunities await everywhere, be it the coffee line, the lunch table, or at the bar when ordering drinks. Keep your eyes open and your business card holder handy, because the next big break may be just around the corner.

Pro tip: bring business cards with you to even the most informal events. You’d be surprised to learn how much better networking goes in a relaxed and casual environment (say, a pub) than within the confines of any convention center. 

Food!

Jambalaya
Jambalaya!

We couldn’t end this post without a special mention to all the great Southern food we enjoyed this week. If you’re ever in New Orleans, make sure to try at least the gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, and baked oysters. The number of restaurant options may seem overwhelming, so use Yelp to play it safe and find the best option near you. You won’t be disappointed!