Charlotte Drupal Drive-in Wrap-up

Charlotte Drupal Drive-in logo Last Saturday (February 22nd, 2014), thirty-one Drupalers joined together at Classic Graphics for the Charlotte Drupal Drive-in. The day was full of presentations, BOFs, and general chatting about Drupal and related web technologies.

The day-long, un-conference-style event was the brainchild of Thomas Lattimore. After CharDUG wasn't able to pull together the human resources to repeat the success of DrupalCamp Charlotte 2012, Thomas mentioned that he had an idea. Since he knew organizers had limited time to commit to planning, he wanted to host an un-conference-style event, allowing for simpler planning than a full-blown Drupal camp. You can learn more about his concept on the DruaplEasy Podcast.

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The event started with breakfast goodies, a welcome to the event, a thank you to our sponsors, and session pitches. The list of pitched ideas quickly grew to enough items to easily fill the day with sessions in two rooms. The group decided to plan the morning sessions by splitting beginner and advanced topics in separate rooms. The organic nature of the event and Classic's space allowed for the beginner session to split into two rooms when it was clear the group had different needs and questions.

Morning session topics included, contributing to Drupal, beginning site building and theming, integrating Drupal and Meteor.js, and a combined talk about options for dev, staging, production workflows.

During lunch (sponsored by the Drupal Association, attendees enjoyed chatting about the previous sessions and meeting each other.

Command Partners provided a $100 iTunes gift card to giveaway after lunch. Thanks to deekayen for using his Randomizer module to determine the winner!

Next, we planned sessions for the afternoon. Most attendees stayed in our larger room where we had a number of great topics, including Aegir, Acquia Lift, the Demo Framework, and Features. In addition to the main sessions, a group started talking about Open Atrium 2 in small conference room.

The event ended with a wrap-up to talk about what we learned and any lingering questions. Everyone I heard from during the wrap-up and following the event had great things to say about the format. They really liked the organic nature of the event.

From my perspective, the event was a success. The format allowed for a relaxed atmosphere where beginner and seasoned Drupalers alike were able discuss their projects, ideas, and questions. While much of the group was from the Charlotte metro area, we also had attendees from the Atlanta metro area, Boone, NC, Tryon, NC, and High Point, NC.

Some kudos from attendees:

"I really liked the splinter rooms.. it was nice to even start a session in one room and split from there based on what." - Angel Cox

"Awesome. I liked that we built an agenda on the fly using feedback from the group, and that many of the sessions came from users who had pretty specific "how do I do X?" type questions. My favorite presentation ended up being a sort-of group lead discussion on how different people are doing dev-staging-prod release cycles within their organizations. Having a local Acquia employee give (the first!) presentation on Lift was amazing." - Jeremy Edgell

I would like to thank Classic Graphics, the Drupal Association, and Command Partners for supporting the Charlotte Drupal Drive-in. Also, thanks to all those who attended and led sessions. I see a repeat of Charlotte Drupal Drive-in in 2015 in our future!

Thanks to Josh Lockhart for the photos. See more here.

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