Community, Development and Leadership at DrupalCon 2019

View of space needle from inside chihuly garden

It’s been almost a month since DrupalCon 2019. We can’t believe how time flies! While we were there, we had a variety of things going on at many different levels. Just as fast as the time since DrupalCon has flown past us, our time in Seattle felt like a tiny blip. 

From organizing summits, lunches, BoFs and presentations, our team was just as busy behind the scenes of DrupalCon this year, as we were being attendees. There were so many ways for us to really dive into the DrupalCon experience and we’re already looking forward to the next one! In the meantime, we put together a recap of our time in Seattle.

Presenting & Involvement

The most notable thing about our team, is how involved we are in our community, and DrupalCon 2019 was no exception. From 7 talks, a lunch sponsorship, a summit training and BoF organizations, Hook 42 had many members participating in DrupalCon. We are thankful for the opportunities provided to us to be able to participate in many areas. We know we had an unforgettable experience this year, and we hope we were able to help all of you achieve that same feeling.

DrupalCon is its own unique experience every year. My heavy involvement in community efforts this year was truly eventful. Pun fully intended! I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work closely with those outside my day-to-day operations at Hook 42 to bring together expertise that normally isn’t co-packaged together. 

~ Aimee

In case you were unable to catch us in the act, here is a list of all the ways our team was working at DrupalCon.

Aerial view of Adam Bergstein and other coffee BoF attendeesPhoto Credit: Chris Urban

Being Prepared for the Unpredictable

A Full Team Website Takeover

Our team set out on a mission to band together and tackle some internal items while all together. When the decision was made to extend the level of effort into those items, nobody batted an eyelash! It was an incredible tribute to the stamina, talents and dedication of our team members have to completing tasks. We did a full hotel lobby takeover for the majority of the trip, in between sessions of course, to spend time taking the Hook 42 website from a D7 website to a D8 website. It’s a very rare occasion, when all of us are in one place, focusing on one item, and working hard to ensure a successful migration into the new system. All of those involved still can’t stop talking about it! 

Our little secret, an easter-egg if you will, to those who are so dedicated to continue reading. A redesign of the Hook 42 website is in the works. Unfortunately you’re going to have to wait a little bit for that one! We’re just glad we finally upgraded to D8!

Hook 42 team takes over hotel lobby to work on new D8 website

Presenting On The Fly

Secondly, Kristen Pol was invited to co-present on a talk with Lingotek. Talk about being prepared for anything! Being a support-member in the audience quickly turned into providing insights to a room full of eager listeners. With help from Aimee Degnan, our team was able to put together additional assets to provide the Lingotek team for the collaborative presentation. A huge shout-out to those involved for coming together for last-minute changes and helping solidify a great talk.

Lingotek’s session, Avoiding Trouble Spots When Creating a Multilingual Site, explored the challenges multilingual websites create, and Kristen took the charge head-on to be a co-presenter on the subject. It was a great experience for everyone. 

A Chance To Have Fun

Whether it’s with new friends, old friends, or colleagues - every year DrupalCon allows us to forge connections that stay with us for a long time. The team took a day to explore Seattle together. We had a full team lunch, took an underground tour of the city, and took advantage of a rather sunny day in Seattle to walk around and take in the beautiful city.

Hook 42 team on Seattle underground tour

Meeting Our Newest Team Members

We also had quite a few new faces on our own team this year. DrupalCon allowed us a place to all come together and meet in person. Lindsey, Emanuel and Michael were all able to join our team on a cross-country trip to Seattle. Yes, all of them are spread across the East Coast! 

I always love to meet with the Hook 42 team in person since they are just a great group of people. We were also lucky to have a few new team members since our last in-person gathering.

~ Kristen

Other Connection Opportunities

Outside of the team, we were also able to say hello to a lot of familiar faces that we usually only get to see once a year at DrupalCon. Whether it was in a session, during lunch, at dinner or ending the day over a few drinks, we are thankful to be able to have seen so many of our Drupal community members and re-connect. Our team was able to use DrupalCon as a way to take time away from the computer and get some quality face-to-face time with others in the community.

DrupalCons are as much about the community as they are about learning new Drupal things. While sessions where you can learn a lot of new things about Drupal are the focus, one of the best parts is bumping into old friends or sitting down next to someone new and chatting about a common interest in Drupal and web development.

~ Danita

A Place To Learn

Our team is never disappointed when we leave DrupalCon. We’re always coming away with new ideas, new thoughts, and new procedures for how we do our jobs. It’s the most important takeaway from all of this - is that DrupalCon is always providing content that is spread across a variety of skillsets and interests. This year’s focus on inclusivity made our designer especially happy - you can read all about her first ever DrupalCon experience here.

Not only did DrupalCon offer a broader selection of talks for us to listen in on, it also offered a lot of opportunity for growth from our team. Hook 42 had a number of people who were giving talks and showcasing leadership within their profession. Among that group of individuals was Ryan Bateman who was able to give his very first DrupalCon talk. We spent an equal amount of time learning from others and sharing our experiences with others and had a great time doing it.

Although the new schedule reduced the total number of days of sessions at the conference, I felt like as usual DrupalCon provided an awesome environment for everyone to come together and share their experience and expertise.

~ Ryan

Some Favorite Sessions:


Team Benefits

DrupalCon is imperative to the health of our team in many ways. For starters, it's one of the only times our full team is in one place at one time, and that alone is enough of a reason to enjoy all DrupalCon has to offer. Our team also uses the event to provide thought leadership to the community. We take the time to also learn from other experts in the field on unfamiliar topics or expanding expertise in a certain area. Giving back to the community in more ways than one as a culmination of the event is really what ties it all together. 

It's such a heart warming experience, like seeing 500 of your closest friends once a year. It's a celebration of wins, sharing of knowledge, and a real feeling of connection. This year had such a pleasant vibe and was a nice reflection of our community, which goes well beyond tech.

~ Adam

Thank you to DrupalCon, and thank you to Seattle, for having such an amazing line-up of things to do for all of us that attended!