This year’s Dallas Drupal Days was July 8th – 9th, 2011 on the UT Dallas campus in the School of Management building. Serendipity must have been at play because my freshmen year of college I attended UT Dallas. It has been over ten years since I’ve been to their campus and much has improved. I felt very fortunate getting to attend this event and look forward to coming back next year.
The Dallas Drupal Users Group organized this event for the 3rd year in a row. Dallas Drupal Days is a two day event for learning, teaching and sharing Drupal knowledge. Drupal is an open source Content Management Framework for building powerful yet elegant websites and web applications.
There were so many greats things at this year’s event it’s hard to narrow it down to a short list. If I had to pick, I’d say the people attending were what made the event so special. A not uncommon thing in an open source community event like this one. Here are some highlights:
- Dallas Drupal shop, Level Ten, had training for a variety Drupal users, from basic to more advance needs. This was the first time they focused the training on Drupal 7, and we hear it was a hit.
- The weekend opened with a sponsors and speakers dinner on Thursday night. The drinks flowed as fast and strongly as the conversation did. Oh yeah, the chicken fried steak wasn’t to shabby either. We were able to catch up with some old friends Four Kitchens and Level Ten to find out about all the cool Drupal 7 projects they’re working on.
- Kieran Lal, Acquia’s Drupal Community Adventure Guide, gave Friday’s keynote. His presentation was titled “The Next Generation Web Will Be Built on Drupal” and he did a great job getting everyone pumped up for the event.
- Tom McCracken was busy with a few presentations in addition to the training. His session on Content Optimization & SEO: Secret Weapons for Driving Traffic and Engaging Visitors was a hit. With his knowledge of development and marketing Tom has created an all in one Drupal SEO module called SEO Tools. The module allows you to do keyword research, content optimization, link management and more all from within a node. It’s a huge time saver.
- Friday night’s festivities at the Fox and Hound Pub were fun and productive. A dangerous combination for any group. Conversation ranged from debate on new modules built into Drupal 7 core, the use-fullness vs. uselessness of Drush, enterprise Drupal sales strategy, how to play darts, the undisputed fact that Drupal is better than other open source CMS platform and who the designated driver would be.
- Our very own open source milk man, Josh Ward, had an amazing presentation on Saturday called “Speed Kills – Dedicated Hosting Speeds On Shared Hosting Solutions For Your Drupal Site”. He shared tips on using mod_deflate in Apache and 3rd party services like Cloud Flare. His slides can be viewed here – http://www.slideshare.net/joshdward/speed-kills
Lastly, without the sponsors this event would not even be possible, so I’d like to thank all the people that made this happen.
This was a great event and I can’t wait until next year! Thanks to everyone that helped organize this event!