Takeaways, Besides Cheese, From DrupalCamp Wisconsin

ptsm7jr_opt_0Everybody knows that Wisconsin is home of America’s largest water park, the world’s largest barber pole, the world’s largest penny, and the world’s largest talking cow. Another thing to know is that Wisconsin is also home to a very active Drupal community and July’s excellentDrupalCamp!

It’s been a few years since my last Drupal conference, so DrupalCamp was a great opportunity to catch up on new best practices and get a little reassurance that Drupal 8 isn’t something I should fear as a developer.

Here are highlights from the sessions I attended:

Using Drupal for Government and Open Data Projects

Government sites pose unique challenges, and Sheldon Rampton explained how Drupal can be leveraged to accommodate for these issues if you plan well. He focused on hosting, architecture, standards, process and project management, and I definitely appreciated him referring to developers as “the talent” instead of “the resources.”

You can see his slides here.

In a related talk, Janette Day gave us an overview of DKAN, a Drupal platform for handling open data. Using Drupal for open data projects makes sense – open data should be open source, and Drupal allows non-technical users to manage content. Drupal can also help an organization modernize antiquated systems and escape from expensive software licenses.

You can check out my notes here.

Other Cool Projects

David Snopek gave us a run-down of Drupal distributions with a focus on Panopoly, which adheres to UX principles that really streamline the content-creating experience. I haven’t used Panopoly on a project myself, but I’d absolutely give it (or some of its components) a spin next time I’m tasked with hooking up a WYSIWYG or making in-place editing more client-friendly.

Here are the slides.

And if you’ve ever run into trouble on your site with managing dependencies among your modules, go check out Jim Rath ‘s module dependency grapher. Using a custom Drush command, the dependency analyzer will inspect your modules and generate a chart which illustrates the dependencies between them.

You can check out everything else from DrupalCamp that I bookmarked up at https://pinboard.in/search/u:hey_germano?query=drupalcampWI2014