DrupalCon New Orleans
On the first day I attended DevOps sessions covering topics such as Continuous Deployment, DevOps planning, and Horizons sessions around using Angular 2 with Drupal and Service Workers as well as a session on security.
At Webscope, we’re constantly refining and improving our workflow, so I’m always interested to find out about the workflow of others and how they handle Automated testing, Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, QA, etc. I’ve come away from these sessions with a new CI tool to trial, plus some thoughts around how we might be able to better handle QA and the enforcing of code standards.
Wednesday started with the keynote by Sara Wachter-Boettcher. The focus of her keynote was how we can each work to make our designs kinder and more inclusive. One of her examples was around how Facebook shows us some of our past content on anniversaries or at the end of the year. Facebook presents these memories in a celebratory manner, but they might in fact be bad memories that we don’t want to be reminded of. It would primarily be in the strategy and design phases of a project that we utilize these learnings as the main areas to focus on are being inclusive and thinking of the feelings people will have as they go through a process. On the development side, we need to ensure that we’re not overzealous when validating form fields and ensuring that we have appropriate success and error messages, for example, ensuring we don’t display a message telling someone who is filling out a form that their name is invalid.
After the keynote, I attended sessions on GraphQL, the new features in Drupal 8.1, Continuous Deployment and Monitoring. I’d hoped to catch the session on offline-capable, decoupled Drupal 8 with React.js and React Native, but missed it due to being in a meeting. GraphQL looks very interesting - the developers created it out of frustration with the limitations of REST, and the goal is to expose your entire Drupal data graph through a fully generated self-documenting schema. It’s still under development, but I’ll definitely be trialling it once mutations are supported.
Michael Schmid was the keynote speaker on Thursday, with a talk titled “Your brain health is more important than your standing desk”. He talked us through the strategies he’s come up with that help him stay healthy while working as the CTO of a global company and dealing with the stressful situations that come with the job. My notes from the keynote are below, but I recommend watching the keynote here as it was very insightful and it’s so important to remember to look after ourselves.
- Once a week, ask:
- Am I still happy?
- Find your productive time
- Split up your day
- Drink water
- 30-60ml per kg
- 1% dehydration - 5% cognitive defect
- 2% dehydration - fuzzy short term memory, problems focussing
- Take breaks
- Two brain modes
- We solve hard problems in diffuse (day dreaming) mode
- Find something that relaxes you
- Anything, but shouldn’t take too long
- Relaxing breath
- 4 counts in
- 7 counts hold
- 8 counts out
- Count down from 100
- Turn off all distractions
- Get help
- Keep on improving
Following the keynote, I attended sessions on how Drupal can be used with the Internet of Things, two business sessions and then the closing session. In the closing session, we were given stats on various things such as how much coffee we drank, how much data we used over wifi, and that the next North American DrupalCon will be held in Baltimore.
Overall it was a worthwhile trip, and as usual, I’ve come away with new tools and concepts to try, both on the technical and business side of things. I’m definitely hoping we can get an Amazon Echo for the office in time for our next Webscope Labs, as I’d love to have a play with that and see what we can do in terms of integrating voice control into web based applications and how that could work for some of our clients.
Oh, and see if you can spot me amongst the 3000+ other attendees in the header of this post - if you need help, I’m on the right, wearing a NASA t-shirt.