I recently announced that one of the ways in which Acquia is contributing to Drupal is by providing funds for Mark Boulton and Leisa Reichelt to help the Drupal community improve usability in Drupal 7. Mark and Leisa are beginning their work at DCDC this week!
One of the things they're hosting, with the help of Jeff Noyes, are "Blue Sky Design Workshops". The workshops are Wednesday 3-4pm and Thursday 9-10am and 11:30-12:30am. The "Blue Sky" part of the title notes that these sessions are designed to push the boundaries of usability in Drupal, to get the community together, to brainstorm about new possibilities and to dream up solutions.
Furthermore, the Drupal usability team has just completed a second round of formal usability testing at the University of Baltimore and I'm really looking forward to learn more about the results of their work.
To keep up the involvement after DCDC, or if you're following along from home, consider joining this Mark Boulton D7 UX group as well as the regular usability group on groups.drupal.org for updates. Make sure to tune in!
Usability is one of those areas where we can really break new ground with our next release. We've already done much work, but have more to do. Through activities like this, and with the feedback from some "fresh eyes" through research and user testing, I'm very hopeful and excited about where we're headed.
Drupal has thousands of contributors. About twice a year, we stop contributing long enough to have a beer together. We call that DrupalCon. ;-)
DrupalCon DC, or DCDC for short, is this week, and I'm leaving in a few moments to attend. DCDC's official events are held March 4th through the 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There is little doubt that this will be our largest DrupalCon yet. In fact, the conference has been sold out at 1,300 ticketed attendees since early in February (before the conference program was online!). With guests and volunteers, around 1,500 in total are expected to attend.
The conference schedule is great, featuring multiple tracks of workshops, presentations, and birds-of-a-feather meetups on all the important topics in our community. Special presentations include keynotes by David Weinberger and Chris Messina and a recap of the Drupal.org redesign by Mark Boulton. My regular presentation on the "State of Drupal" is Wednesday at 10:15am.
Acquia is a DCDC platinum sponsor, and Jay Batson, Tom Erickson and I are leading a presentation on Wednesday at 1:45pm providing an overview of Acquia's Drupal support model, our vision looking forward, and the newest products and services that we're launching this week. I'd like to invite everyone to attend, ask questions, and learn more about how Acquia intends to keep participating in the community.
Of course, DCDC is largely driven by volunteers, and many of them are hard at work already. It takes a lot to coordinate a huge event like this, and everyone involved -- from the local volunteers to the Drupal Association to the event planning staff -- has my thanks!
I'm looking forward to meet you all!
The presentation discusses the results of the recent survey that I conducted; the survey ran for 30+ days and collected more than 1300 responses so it should provide a good idea of the community's current thinking. I'll provide more color and details about the survey results in a number of follow-up posts.
In two weeks, 500 Drupalistas will come together in Szeged Hungary for this year's European DrupalCon. It will be the first Drupal conference in Central Europe. While that is a bit of an experiment, I'm excited by it as we get to preach and listen to new and different users. What is not to like about that?
Even if you can't attend or if you are not doing business in Central Europe, you should still sponsor. Why?
There is no denying that many Open Source conferences work by a different set of rules than traditional conferences. DrupalCon is one of them. Your sponsorship makes it possible for 500 people to get together, to get aligned, to plan, and to get actual work done. It directly enables them to add to Drupal's success. Furthermore, by setting them up for success, you're indirectly enabling tens of thousands of people world-wide. Everyone, including you, will benefit from the network effects. It would be short-sighted to only think of sponsoring DrupalCon as a means to generate direct sales leads for your business, wouldn't it? You should sponsor because you want to invest in Drupal's continued international growth and success, regardless of where you have setup shop.
Good news! The next Drupal conference (DrupalCon) will take place in Szeged, Hungary from August 27-30. If you want to learn more about Drupal, or if you want to capture and absorb the passion and enthusiasm behind the Drupal project, this is the place to be.
DrupalCon Szeged will bring together hundreds of Drupal users and developers from all around the world. Whether you are a Drupal professional or an enthusiastic user coming to find out more, you're invited to join us in Szeged. Mark your calendars!
This will be the first Drupal conference in Central Europe, and I'm excited by that. There are a lot of Drupal people in Central Europe, probably more so than in Western Europe, and this is a great way to reach out them. Plus, I've been to Hungary twice and liked it very much.