5 DrupalCon Baltimore Sessions You Don't Want to Miss - Blog - Sevaa
5 Drupal Baltimore Sessions with DrupalCamp Baltimore raven logo.

DrupalCon Baltimore officially kicks off today, Monday, April 24th at the Baltimore Convention Center. It’s a great event for those who use, develop, design, and support Drupal to unite together in celebration of gaining new skills, new friends, and discuss advancing the Drupal project. DrupalCon North America has always been the largest annual Drupal event and Sevaa Group is proud to sponsor it and other events just like it as a part of our commitment to community building through networking, collaboration, and education.

Last week, we discussed the new session track ‘Being Human’ and went over a few of the sessions on offer. This week we will be going over some of the sessions, in no particular order, that our team is looking forward to the most.

Here are our most anticipated sessions of the week:


1. The Admin Interface for an Enduser

Tue. 4/25 5:00 PM – Room 307

Sevaa Lead Developer Dan Hansen chose this session as his most anticipated of the week. It’s part of the Front End track, which is a series of sessions that focuses on the current state and future of front end development, best practices, and helpful tools.

Over the years Drupal has been focused on being a developer-first project. In Drupal 8 we saw the beginnings of a renewed focus on user experience. This session looks at the how to tackle improvements in the core UX to try to create an unmatched editor experience.The session will discuss the wonders of developer driven design,but then examine how to rethink the design of the admin experience for the user, not the developer. The session continues by exploring simple rules for the advanced Drupal 8 theming system which will give the best Drupal experience for users and also touch on the Eleven Design project.

The presenter, Morten, is refreshingly caustic (as he likes to say, they don’t have a word for “please” in Danish) and hands-down one of the most invested and opinionated core themers in Drupal 8. He always comes to the table with the solutions he’s got to some of Drupal’s biggest front end problems.


2. Ain’t No Body: Not Your Mama’s Headless Drupal

Wed. 4/26 10:45 AM – Room 317

Sevaa Developer Ed Allison chose this Drupal Showcase session as his most anticipated session of the week. The Drupal Showcase track provides an in-depth look into Drupal case studies from industry experts and their clients and is meant to teach attendees about solving business and technical challenges and how new business opportunities can form with the people who were involved.

You’ve heard of headless Drupal, where the Drupal theme system is replaced with perhaps a RESTful API and a JavaScript front end. This session explores disembodied Drupal, also known as bodiless Drupal. Bodiless Drupal is an application that uses Drupal’s powerful framework to do things it does well while storing the actual domain data in a remote repository. It will also explore applications that are both disembodied and headless, begging the question of just how much Drupal will be left! Paul Day will share his experience on what, why, and how in addition to discussing some issues and problems you may run into.


3. Automatic Drupal Updates using Visual Regression & Continuous Integration

Wed. 4/26 10:45 AM – Room 310

Sevaa Systems Administrator Ryan Southern chose this session from the DevOps track which is all about combining development and operations into one seamless process. DevOps is all about tearing down the barriers between development and operations teams so they can work together seamlessly to build, deploy, and manage websites, and this track covers everything from automating deployments to Drupal Composer to build processes.

When applying updates, you work with Drupal core, contributed modules, base themes, distributions, patches, libraries, any custom coding you have developed, tests, and proper deploy procedures for every single site, every time an update is released. In this session, speakers Matt Cheney and Andrew Taylor introduce ‘Automatic Drupal Updates’ and demonstrate exactly how to use a continuous integration and visual regression solutions to streamline this workflow. Attendees will learn how to check every hour to see if there are new updates and then apply the updates using CI and git branching. Visual regression testing is then done to see what effect the updates have on the website and even give you a preview of the finished product. If everything tests well, then the new updates can be deployed automatically to a production environment. While Sevaa already uses similar technology, the session will provide insight into how other teams utilize this technology and may give us an opportunity to streamline our own systems.


4. Project Management: The Musical!

Tue. 4/25 2:15 PM – Room 307

Sevaa Account Manager Cameron Black chose this session belonging to the Project Management track. This track is specifically for project managers and focuses on improving or refining the craft of managing projects with sessions on project planning techniques, scope, timing and cost, quality assurance, and many other topics that designed to help strengthen a team’s ability to execute projects and meet every client’s need.

Allison Manley and Joe Black present a musical using case study format to give an overview of how to best manage a Drupal design and development project from contracting to post-launch. They’ll be sharing tools, outlining organization for kickoff meetings and sprint planning, give techniques on how to manage team members and clients, and discuss how project managers can overcome the challenges they face to end up with a fantastic product at the end. This session will be one of the most interactive and maybe whimsical sessions at DrupalCon, best described by the presenters as “how to survive a project with humor through use of the occasional show tune”. Allison and Joe incredibly enthusiastic and experienced so this session should be a Must See, even if it is “not Hamilton”.


5. Content Strategy and Relation to UX Design

Wed. 4/26 2:15 PM – Room 308

The whole Sevaa team chose this session from the User Experience and Content Strategy track, which concentrates on how user experience (UX) and content strategy are an important part in the success of your project. Successful content strategy leverages content that supports organizational business goals and helps users have a positive experience while achieving the purpose of the website or application. Sessions that are included in this track focus on UX Fundamentals and principles, research planning and implementation, usability testing, digital strategy, content strategy, and case studies.

We’re interested in this session because there has always been a major gap between designers, developers, content writers, and marketers. Content strategy and User Experience always seem to be at odds with one another. In this session, Junaid Masoodi discusses what exactly content strategy is and the steps involved, how content strategy relates to UX design, how content strategy benefits from UX, how to prototype with proto-content (and why), and how to user test your content. This session is jam-packed with great topics and extremely useful techniques that hope to bridge the gap between content and interface. We look forward to this session as it seeks to make the relationship between our team and our clients closer to successfully complete projects.

We’re excited to see folks we know from the Drupal community and to greet new faces as well. Come check us out at Booth #511 to meet the team, chat with us, and get some free gear! Also, be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter throughout the week for daily updates and pictures from the event.

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