When promoting Drupal, one benefit always springs to mind: the community. What makes the Drupal web framework so robust is its committed and widespread user base.
Image by MidCamp on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
An open source solution, Drupal invites users to use the platform as they see fit. In return, the community bolsters the software, contributing everything from new modules to security fixes. While Drupal has its own dedicated team committed to maintaining the platform, Drupal is defined by participation from its committed user base.
Because the community is so central, meeting up and getting to know each other is essential. Luckily, it’s also a lot of fun. This week marks the start of Midwest Drupal Camp, or MidCamp, an annual meetup of Drupal community members in the Chicago area. Some of Duo’s team will attend MidCamp this year, so make sure to say “hi” if you see us!
Held from March 20-23 at DePaul University, this is the sixth edition of MidCamp. In keeping with the spirit of Drupal, the event Is organized entirely by a network of volunteers within the Midwest Drupal community. While MidCamp is certainly a showcase for Drupal in the Midwest, the event draws users, developers, site builders and designers from around the world.
One of the best aspects of the Drupal crowd is how welcoming they are, and MidCamp is no exception. A big draw for MidCamp is that it all members of the community are welcome, not just those with technical skill. Anyone with an interest in Drupal is encouraged to attend, with a variety of programming options for attendees of all skillsets and skill levels. This creates an environment where all corners of the community can converge, including hosting vendors, service providers and marketers.
To cater to such a broad community, the programming at MidCamp will cover a lot of ground. The show kicks off on Wednesday with an assortment of training sessions, including courses on Google Analytics, CSS, Backdrop, Git and Composer. Thursday and Friday shifts more towards panels and keynotes, with speakers touching on topics such as accessibility, UX, design, data and hosting. Finally, Saturday’s programming is all hands-on. This last day is devoted to a community sprint, where attendees are invited to contribute to one large project. Mentors will be on hand to help people new to Drupal who want to get involved.
If you want to get to know the community better, MidCamp has programming for that as well. Various social events are planned for the evenings after each day of sessions, including a game night on Thursday. You’ll need special tickets to attend these events, so if you haven’t registered yet, don’t forget to sign up. You won’t want to miss a good opportunity to hang out with Drupal community members from all over the world.
As mentioned before, a few of Duo’s team members will be attending MidCamp. If you decide to attend and seek us out, make sure to ask about “Dru Paul.” Using Digilab’s 3D printers, we’ve started to produce plastic models of the Drupal drop logo. They’re starting to pile up, so if you want a keepsake from this year’s show, don’t hesitate to ask!
Even if you don’t want a Dru, we’d love to talk, anyway. The Drupal community is the driving force for the platform and taking the time to get to know the users behind the technology helps enrich our understanding of what’s possible. When it comes to making these connections, there’s no substitute for attending meetups like these and meeting Drupal users face-to-face. For more information and registration details, you can access MidCamp’s site here. We hope to see you there!