Drupal Mountain Camp 2019

After the great success of 2017, the Drupal Mountain Camp in the beautiful Swiss city of Davos happened again from 7th to 10th of March 2019. With a wide range of workshops, sessions and organised coding sprints, you might think this is like a normal Drupal Camp. But you’re in the wrong. A stunning mountain setting is perfect for many winter activities and the organisers did a fabulous job again to make this event unforgettable for many of us. What is more, this year’s edition was all about inclusion and accessibility, that’s why we had sessions translated to sign language and many sessions on that matter.

Sessions

This was a perfect opportunity for our team to gather up and share our knowledge with the Drupal community.

Milos Bovan (@mbovan) was the first one to hit the stage and kick off the Camp on Thursday morning with the workshop about first-time contribution. We were slowly guided through the basic tools that are needed for working with Drupal and common processes of collaboration. The most important thing to note here is that there are many areas where you can contribute and make a difference, e.g. not only by writing code, but also with reviewing patches, making UX proposals, testing modules and writing documentation.

Soon after the Friday keynote about “The Future of Drupal Communities”, our tech lead Sascha Grossenbacher (berdir) gave a great overview of the new release of Drupal - Drupal 9. He talked about the release dates, what are the biggest changes included and how we can prepare for the big update.

On the same day, Primoz Hmeljak (@primsi) talked to the audience about the most common pitfails that can happen to anyone working remotely from home. With many years of experience in remote work, Primoz did an impressive presentation that led to many interesting discussions after the session.

Saturday started with a keynote “Drupal Admin UI & JavaScript Modernisation initiative” by Matthew Grill. After the group picture, it was Milos’s time to shine again with his talk about enriching Paragraphs workflow with extra features that we use on a daily basis.

Shortly thereafter, Miro Dietiker (@miro_dietiker), founder of MD Systems presented about a story-first Drupal approach and why should we care about it. The main topic was Primer, an opinionated and modular base Drupal distribution that was created by our in-depth research and experiments.

At the same time, our well known newcomer Sasa Nikolic (@sasanikolic) presented why it is important to optimize our websites, especially the Javascript part. We saw various tools to monitor and improve our js size and rendering. Last but not least, an important statement was made that we, as an industry, need to shift towards adopting performance budgets in order to maintain our websites optimal in the long run.

John Choque (@yongt9412), an MD Systems member who flew in from Bolivia just for the event, did a hands-on presentation about connecting an Android application with Drupal through REST API. This might seem an easy task, but the lack of documentation makes it much harder in practice. The session gave us a great insight on how to configure both - the server-side and client-side in order to have things set-up smoothly.

We also attended many other interesting sessions. One that really struck us was “From 0 to 100 in Drupificial Intelligence” by Frederik Wouters. As AI, computer vision and deep learning are popular topics nowadays, we got an insight what can be achieved by combining those with Drupal. The topping on the cake was the closing session by Lukas Kahwe Smith about Diversity and Inclusion. Lukas clearly talked about why we should care about the topic and what we can all do to not only make the community or the IT sector a better place, but also ourselves a better person. These four words still resonate in my mind: “Listen, learn, move on.”

Fun fun fun

Apart from sessions and coding, we also had a lot of fun. On Thursday we organised a team dinner (the Cordon bleu in Bistro Angelo was delicious btw!) and had fun playing table soccer deep into the night. Since we were all gathered on the same spot, on Friday we finally had the opportunity to take new profile pictures and new team pictures! Some of them turned out really great and we can’t wait to show the world our superstar team on our updated web page.
 

MDS team picture

Apart from that, the Thursday evening social activity consisted of the most Swiss things that we could do - eat lots of cheese fondue and sled down the mountain.

On the last day we all had a nice time together enjoying a hockey match. HC Davos played against Rapperswil and the match was hectic, with many goals and penalties.

What's next?

Each of us had a great time in Davos and we’re already looking forward to a new 2021 edition of the Drupal Mountain Camp. Can’t wait to see what the organisers have in store for us!

Thanks to Josef Dabernig (@dasjo) and Sören Funk for the pictures!