DrupalCon Group Photo Dominik Kiss

Authors: Anna Radulovski, Maria Totova

The Group Photo Credit: Dominik Kiss

DrupalCon Vienna 2017 is over and we have just got back full of community spirit and already anticipating the next meetups. Wow… what a huge venue it was! We enjoyed every moment of this marvelous event, indeed! The atmosphere felt electric and the air was thick with love – love for Drupal, Open Source, coffee and WIFI :)

Creative Monday

The week started more than promising with the inspiring Monday sessions. We took part in the Community Summit, where we worked in teams on the hot issues of the Drupal Community. One of the chosen topics was our proposal: “Eyes on Education: Drupal Curriculum for Teen Girls”, which was extended even further, covering all target groups that were of interest to all of us. Together we made plans and implemented solutions on how to use Drupal to teach Web Development to children from 5-8, from 9-11 and from 13 - 18. It was a wonderful opportunity to present our ideas, meet new people and share our experience. We worked with amazing guys from all over the world, who embraced and shared our vision and mission and helped us to develop it even further. Special thanks to Jenn, Georg and Finn -  you guys, rock! :)

Kicking Tuesday

A morning coffee and a motivational Dries keynote - what a better way to get you up and running than that? Not to forget the fantastic prenote team, who welcomed us in the best possible way with their catchy rhymes:

“We’ll sprint with friends

Build unity.

And we say it loud:

We come for code,

But we stay for community.”

It was the perfect prelude to the major Drupal  takeaways, pointed out by Dries:

  • Drupal is growing and changing
  • Drupal is no longer for simple sites, but for sites with medium-to-high richness
  • Improve UIs using Javascript Libraries in Drupal
  • Automated updates

We will also remember Tuesday for the captivating stories of our beloved community speakers during “The Imposter Monologues, vol. 3” session. It was so relieving and helpful to hear their stories and learn that there are other people out there who feel just as you do. It turns out that questioning one’s own accomplishments and competence is something almost everyone experiences, something normal, something we should learn to live with but not let it stop us from what we do. Thank you, Jenn, Matt, Sally, Daniel, Rachel, Joseph, Shannon, David! The Drupal community would not be the same without you! You are definitely not frauds and you totally deserve the success you have achieved!

Happy Wednesday! :D

The day which we loved and enjoyed most! It started with the thoughtful talk of Monique Morrow on humanized internet: “Privacy is a fundamental human right. But are you in control of your digital identity and privacy?” Her talk is a good reminder that we need to be more responsible of our data and the way we use it and they are used.

In the middle of the day came our long-awaited moment - we delivered our first DrupalCon talk on "Debugging the Gender Gap". We tried hard and put our hearts and souls into making it as exciting and deliberate for you as possible. It didn’t go without some flaws, but we enjoyed every moment of it nevertheless, and now we have some funny stories to tell at the next Drupalcon for sure! :) Thank you all for the positive reactions and feedback, for the criticism and advice, for the lively discussions and the joy after the session!

We cherish your opinion highly, it helps us grow better! We are really happy that we have met so many people from so different places of the world who are more than willing to cooperate with us and to support our mission: USA, UK, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Spain, Israel, Netherlands, Burkina Faso, Japan! Oh dear, we hope we haven’t forgot some of you! :)

Thank you, Drupal community, for your support and being there for us! Thank you, Drupal Association, for giving us the excellent opportunity to speak up and share our research, achievements, plans and ideas on how to make the tech field more inclusive and diverse!

P.S. By the way, here is our video survey. Meet some awesome female Drupalists! ;) 

Feel free to rate our session! Your valid feedback is important for us :)

As soon as we could take a breath after the excitement around our presentation, we joined George, Rachel, Adam and Jordana at their splendid session: “Fostering Community Health with the Community Working Group”.  We were excited to learn more about the wonderful job they do everyday for making the drupal community more diverse and inclusive - a great place for everyone! Keep up the good work, you are real examples to the rest of us!  

Sharing Thursday

“See, Do, Teach” - these words got added deeply into our minds and committed to our memories. Being educators, we were most eager to attend the Thursday’s keynote delivered by nobody else but Joe Shindelar himself. “Sharing creates opportunities”, “builds people up”, “makes Drupal better” and most of all, it “feels good”. There is no better way to express these concepts in a short and clear manner. We, the women behind Coding Girls, believe in exactly the same values and this is what keep us going ahead and not giving up. It is always wonderful to see someone more experienced and to listen to their tips and advice. "Your experience is bigger than you think. Your experience is beyond your technical skills."

“Diversity that everyone brings to the Drupal community helps solving problems. In fact you might know what others know, but being able to stand out and speak out is sharing and brings value to the community”. We can continue citing Joe all day, but you’d better watch his talk “Everyone Has Something to Share”, we strongly advise you to do so!

Definitely, one of the most thrilling moments at DrupalCon Vienna for both of us was meeting Joe Shindelar in person later that day. He is more than an amazing mentor and person, he is a life-changer and an inspiration for us. Thank you Joe, for all you do! Thanks for drupalizing us! ;) We will do our best to be more like you while teaching our students and trainees!

Our day continued in the same direction with the session “Being a Better mentor”. There we learnt more about the art of teaching and got valuable tips and advice on structuring the right learning materials. We will definitely incorporate these practices in our training programs. “Help the brain”, “Watch your mentee”, “Change behaviour” - we got it all, thank you, Marc and Erik!

Into Business with Drupal!

After a  sandwich and a coffee, we went business by attending the “Drupal Enterprise Marketing as a Global Business Alliance” delivered by Ivo Radulovski. He outlined the direction and the next steps in marketing Drupal as an Enterprise solution by the Global Drupal Business Alliance and how Drupal companies can contribute to a successful future of Drupal in the enterprise sector. Ivo emphasized that there is not enough investment and coordination in marketing Drupal as a whole to compete against billion dollar companies, therefore several companies working with small to large enterprises decided to join forces and form a global alliance. 

We then hit another amazing business-oriented session by our good friend already, Finn Lewis: “Co-operative Drupal: Growth & Sustainability Through Worker Ownership”. We understood what a worker owned business is and how one can share both the responsibilities and the profits fairly between all employees. He shared his experiences of running such a Drupal agency for the last 5 years and we could really feel the transparency, openness and communication that rule there. The happier the workers, the more sustainable the business. Thank you Finn, for the valuable information and we wish you good luck also with your other initiative: Code club, free coding clubs for young people aged 9-13. Of course, we will stay in touch and work together towards our common goal: educating children and teenagers! ;)

You see it was a busy day, almost as busy as the Stolz 2 room, which turned out to be really ‘space-challenged’ due to all the people coming to see the “Rendering & Caching: A Journey Through The Layers” session by Wim Leers. Now is the time to thank my boss for making us have an hour-long stand-up meeting every week - I was well prepared to watch the session on my feet together with many, many other guys. It was most definitely worth it! The way you described the Render & Cache API together with the difference between Dynamic Page Cache, Page Cache and BigPipe was amazing! So easy to understand and follow, so visual, thank you, Wim!

Olympic Friday

By tradition, the DrupalCon Friday is reserved especially for sprints and this year we could enjoy them together with all the amazing mentors and smart participants. We joined the First-Time Sprinter Workshop, where we covered the basics of contribution essentials. We learnt how to fix issues and apply patches and soon started working in teams on real tasks. What we loved most was the great opportunity to discuss the issues with our mentors. Learning from the best - that was definitely the most exciting part of the sprints. Special thanks to Jordana, Elli, CathyBrian and there were two men (we don't remember your names, but if you read it, let us know, so we sya thanks you!) for getting us started! You, guys, are awesome! And yeah, one more thanks to Merel it was so enjoyable to work with you on the major issues triage! 

All Good Things Come to An End: The Closing Session


DrupalCon in numbers:


During the con 1670 participants consumed 5778 cups of coffee, 6204 sandwiches and terabytes of data.


Find out more using the hashtag #drupalcon #driesnote #dcmonique #dcjoe also #schitzencon :)

Special Thanks


Thanks to the Drupal Association for contributing their time, effort and energy. Thanks to all the track chairs for selecting the speakers, thanks to the sprints leads and sprint mentors and volunteers as well as huge thanks to all the partners and supporters. Special thanks to Drupal Heroes and Ruben for the Drupal Heroes stickers! :) Now we have a collection of Drupal Stickers :) 

What was your favourite moment at the DrupalCon? What was the most interesting/useful/inspiring/life-changing/eye-opening session that you visited?

Feel free to share your impressions, emotions and photos in the comments below. Feel free to share the article. Joe said sharing feels good. We shared with you. Now it’s your turn :)