It was great to meet Danny in person. This was my first in-person meeting of a Jackson River employee, even though Danny and I have known eachother for more than 6 years. Danny and his wife had me over for dinner on my first night there, and the curry was amazing!
I'm reminded of the importance of open source software and contributing to it. When we participate well, we gain influence, receive better help, have better developer retention and attraction, and have greater satisfaction because of participating in something much larger than ourselves.
"One person fails, we all fail" -- Leslie Fishlock, Geek Girl CEO. She reinforced the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, and simply being welcoming and helpful to those who are new or have obstacles.
I got a good Drupal 8 development intro by attending a half-day training. It is much more structured, and better aligned with modern development patterns. Using drupalconsole (a command line tool, mainly for scaffolding modules) will be essential for efficient work.
Composer is used heavily in Drupal 8 core for managing dependencies on third party libraries. And in the upcoming Drupal 8.1, it should be much easier to use composer to manage dependencies of custom modules as well.
I'm probably most excited about what I saw in a session about the new Paragraphs module, which is available for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. What's exciting about it to me is that it takes Drupal's structured content (fields, relationships, etc) and turns it into something friendly and beautiful. Think art directed articles, where content authors can stack text, galleries, and full-width photos as they wish, all within the parameters of the site structure, and in a very clean and controllable interface.
There were several talks regarding DevOps, local development environments, and complete build workflow from initial setup through revisions to final deployment. The talks touched a lot of tools, and my head is still swimming with them. I'm certain that there are some things in this arena we could benefit from; we just need to choose wisely. One thing that stands out to me is DrupalVM, for setting up project specific isolated local development environments.
Other really interesting things included:
- Building a command line tool using symfony components is easier than you might think.
- Webprofiler module (part of devel) provides a detailed summary of performance related data in a bar at the bottom of the browser.
- Learning about how The Weekly Drop (weekly Drupal newsletter created by Bob Kepford) is built.
I am so grateful to work at a place that supports my going to events like SandCamp, without the pressure of over-extending myself. Being around lots of people for long periods of time is draining to me, so it was very refreshing to spend time with a select few and focus on learning things that make me a better contributor to our work.
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