I went to DrupalCon this year with the goal of doing things a bit differently this time. I’m a bit of an introvert with people at first, but I’ve been told I don’t come off that way. So, I decided to leverage that and just push myself through things that, in years past, I would have avoided: namely, constant interactions with total strangers. This is my seventh DrupalCon and thirteenth year in the Drupal space, so I felt it was time to dip into the community a bit more and challenge myself.
I started by hosting a “Birds of a Feather” meet-up on web accessibility in the Drupal and nonprofit world. I was nervous, but it ended up being a very casual and fruitful discussion about successes and difficulties in getting organization buy-in on accessibility improvements.
On the social front, I started my week out by attending the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion game night with a couple of my co-workers. It turned out to be a great time, where I met some really friendly people.
I even took part in the code sprint on the last day. Admittedly, it was a bit frustrating to find something to dive into due to many the long issue histories I had to read through, and I didn’t get much done. However, I can now say I’m the proud owner of credit for a core commit!
Some other wins for the week included:
- Having conversations with people in the community and other dev shops that I’ve admired from afar
- Mentoring a student sent to the conference on a sponsorship and helped get his portfolio Drupalized
- Attending more sessions that spoke to specific challenges around self-care and being a remote worker and fewer sessions about bright shiny new technical “toys” that will probably not be useful in real-world, day to day operations
All in all, this year felt rejuvenating and full of personal successes. I’m really glad I pushed myself to be more outward and open to aspects of the conference that I’ve previously skated around.