Episode 227  on September 6, 2018Lullabot Podcast

Drupal Europe, Not DrupalCon Europe

Mike and Matt are joined by Joe Shindelar from Drupalize.Me and Baddý Breidert​ one of the organizers of Drupal Europe, a huge conference that's being billed as "A family reunion for the Drupal community."

Drupal Europe is put on by a huge group of community volunteers in collaboration with the German Drupal Association.

Transcript

Matt Kleve:
For September 6th, 2018, it's the Lullabot podcast. Hey everybody, it's the Lullabot podcast, episode 227. I'm Matt Kleve, senior developer at Lullabot. With me as always, co-host of the show, senior front end dev, Mike Herchel. Hey, Mike.
Mike Herchel:
Hey, how are you doing?
Matt Kleve:
Hey, great. So Lullabot is a Drupal company.
Mike Herchel:
Yep, and there's a big event coming up this next week over in Europe.
Matt Kleve:
You're the kind of guy that goes to these things. You're always out in the community, going to these community driven events, learning and teaching Drupal.
Mike Herchel:
Yes, but I am not going to this one, but we have a couple people who are.
Matt Kleve:
We are, and I'm excited to hear everything there is to know about Drupal Europe.
Mike Herchel:
And the person who I would assume would know the most is the co-founder of 1XINTERNET from Reykjavik, Iceland but living in Germany. She is one of the primary organizers of Drupal Europe and this awesome organizer of DrupalCamp Iceland. Welcome Baddý Sonja Breidert.
Baddý Breidert:
Perfect. Hi.
Mike Herchel:
I’ve been practicing that.
Baddý Breidert:
We can also try the Icelandic name if you want to.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, what is that?
Baddý Breidert:
That’s [Icelandic 00:01:28].
Mike Herchel:
Oh, no, no.
Matt Kleve:
I think I’m going to stick to Baddý. Does that work?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, Baddý.
Matt Kleve:
Also with us today, we have a lead developer and lead trainer with Drupalize.Me, part of the Lullabot family. Joe Shindelar is with us. He’s developer, artist and snowboarding enthusiast that’s been a part of the Drupal community since 2006. Hey, Joe.
Joe Shindelar:
Hello friends.
Matt Kleve:
Joe, you fricking keynoted the last time that there was a major Drupal event in Europe, right?
Joe Shindelar:
That is a true statement.
Matt Kleve:
You’re going back?
Joe Shindelar:
I am. I will be attending next week.
Matt Kleve:
Sounds like fun.
Mike Herchel:
So, they’re having you back after what you said?
Joe Shindelar:
Yeah. No one said I couldn’t come back.
Mike Herchel:
Anyway, let’s talk some Drupal Europe stuff. Why is this not DrupalCon Europe? That’s the biggest thing right there, and-
Matt Kleve:
Yeah, there are some changes this year. Baddý, if you don’t mind talking it, what’s going on? What’s Drupal Europe?
Baddý Breidert:
In 2017, around about this time, there was sent out a blog post from the Drupal Association where they called DrupalCon Europe on … They said that they would go on a pause for one year due to a loss in previous years. There was a very long blog post that explained the reasons behind that. Therefore, there is no DrupalCon in 2018 in Europe, and immediately … I think we were in a DrupalCamp in Belgium and we realized that the community was not happy about that because we have a lot of great events in Europe, but we don’t have an event where everybody comes together.
Baddý Breidert:
So we basically started a lot of posts and then we all got together in Vienna and with DrupalCon, and after I think probably had to [inaudible 00:03:20] during DrupalCon in Vienna at least. We decided to just go for it and let’s just do this together. Basically, we have people from all over Europe and even from further away that are now organizing this. This is a large group, 40, 50 people who are doing this and pulling this off.
Mike Herchel:
That sounds pretty amazing.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and it has done so much for the community here in Europe, because before we were a little bit used doing things in our own countries but now suddenly, we are collaborating. We are working together, and that’s actually just one of the biggest wins that are coming out of this conference, one of them, yeah.
Mike Herchel:
Tell us a little bit about the organization. What’s going on? What steps were involved? Obviously you had to rent out this huge venue. How did you get involved? What big challenges did you have, etc.?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, so out of this box, we had a team of maybe 20 people that agreed that we should just take this forward. So, we immediately organized the weekly calls. We just started to hang out on [Gypsy 00:04:39] and tried to figure out what would be our next steps. Then somewhere in October, I think, we then started to think about okay, we have to get a venue, but getting a venue for 1,000 plus people at the really high season in conference in very many countries, it was not very easy, but we did a call for venues.
Baddý Breidert:
That was in November, and we got 13 local communities in Europe and even one suggestion from Australia, where we were really happy because Australia … I don’t about you in the US, but we have this annual Eurovision, which is a song contest where we compete basically against each other, who has the best song and who has the best artists. So, Australia is allowed to participate in this Eurovision since two years.
Mike Herchel:
Really?
Baddý Breidert:
That was the fun part of it, that Australia also then said, “Yeah, we can also then apply for Drupal Europe. Why not?”
Mike Herchel:
So like an honorary member of the EU there?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah.
Mike Herchel:
[crosstalk 00:05:54].
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and actually important. Actually, this was one of the major things that we spoke about in the beginning. This is not Drupal EU, because we have a lot of countries that are not part of the EU that are still part of Drupal Europe, so therefore, that was really clear from the start. We always talk about Drupal Europe because obviously, it’s for the whole community, but it is definitely all European countries. One example is Iceland which is not part of the EU but we still are a part of Europe.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, so we got the call for venues and then we had some sleepless weekends where we were looking at the venues and we were looking at the offers. We did a vote. We met online again in the end of November. We did a vote, what venue and area would be the best. We had very few to choose from, but very good ones, so we decided on Darmstadt. That was basically in the middle of December 2017.
Matt Kleve:
Talk a little bit about where the conference is actually going to be held and how it’s going to go.
Baddý Breidert:
The conference is held in this really new, modern convention center. It’s more like a smaller conference center. This is one of the … I think we even saw that it’s on top 10 of the modern conference centers in Europe or something like that.
Mike Herchel:
Cool.
Baddý Breidert:
It’s really bright. Every single room has windows, and it’s this really beautiful place. It’s very unlike how we have been going to Drupal conferences where it’s always in a really large house-like convention centers where you basically haven’t been outside except those who smoke, but everybody else are just inside from eight to eight or even longer. The house is just in the middle of the city called Darmstadt, which is 25 minutes away from Frankfurt International Airport. So, that’s just really convenient for everybody who’s coming from abroad to fly in. There’s even a bus that goes directly from the airport to this conference center.
Matt Kleve:
How many people are you expecting?
Baddý Breidert:
We are expecting 1,000 people, which is in all our opinion, amazing because we started with a Twitter account with zero followers. We were the first 20 followers of the Twitter account. We have also not done any direct marketing here because the team just doesn’t have the capabilities of that, so making a conference with 1,000 people is a really big win for us to be able to pull that off.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, sounds pretty amazing. So, what type of budget are you working with?
Baddý Breidert:
I can actually go from what happened then after Christmas, because then-
Mike Herchel:
Yeah.
Baddý Breidert:
Exactly. So, then we had to sign … One of the biggest problems that we had was that we didn’t know who was going to be responsible for this, because if you’re doing a conference on this size, you have to book a venue that costs 200,000 euros or around about that money.
Mike Herchel:
Wow.
Baddý Breidert:
I don’t know how much that is in US dollars.
Matt Kleve:
When did they want their money?
Baddý Breidert:
We had to sign a contract and that was split up to different payments. We thought okay, how are we going to do it? We are just people in a community that are pulling off an event like this, so how are we going to do that? Then we were so lucky to have the German Drupal Association that basically stood up and said, “Hey, we can do it. We have an entity in Germany.” They were also the ones who proposed this venue. They said, “We will make sure that the financial part is taken care of. We have the non-profit organization here in Frankfurt or in Germany, and we’re then just the people who are behind that, and we will take the financial risk on this event.”
Matt Kleve:
What is the German Drupal Association? I didn’t realize that they existed.
Baddý Breidert:
I don’t know if it is maybe not the right word to say association. There’s all types of different words you can use for it, but very many countries in Europe have their own local association or foundation. In Iceland, we even have one. What we, for example and what surprised me when I got to know the Drupal Association better and I went to my first DrupalCon in Nashville, it surprised me. I was like, “Is the Drupal Association really involved in helping out with the camps in the US?”
Baddý Breidert:
This is something that we didn’t know about in Europe because in Europe, you have in every single country, you have our own little non-profit foundation that takes care of the camps and all the activities that are happening in the country.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, in the US, it’s a mix. The Drupal Association does provide financial services to some camps that you use to take … that [inaudible 00:11:24] used up, but a lot of camps … I'm an organizer of Florida Drupal Camp and we have a local non-profit organization called the Central Florida Computer Society that handles that for us. We just do our own organizing, so it’s a mix all throughout the US here.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, exactly and here in Europe, it is just like … At least in Germany, we have a foundation. We have in the Netherlands and France, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and so on. Most of them have it. The German association just stood up and said, “We are going to be the entity behind it.” That was just a big support, so we immediately put out together a group of people who are representing the German association, which are then the ones who will take eventually the final decisions that are related to something that is related to the financial part of the event.
Baddý Breidert:
Then there’s the people who set up the program and the community part. From January to today, the group has, of course, changed. There have been people that have been coming in to the group and there has been people who have been not been able to help us more, which is very normal when you’re setting up a conference like this. Yeah, we just have like a … You can look at our website on drupaleurope.org and look at the team. I think there’s probably 50 people listed there as part of the organization.
Mike Herchel:
That’s pretty awesome. That’s a big deal to be able to organize something like this, especially starting from ground zero. Besides figuring out how you’re going to handle the 200,000 euros, any big “oh, shit” moments where you’re scared something is not going to happen or you’re-
Baddý Breidert:
Oh, trust me. There is probably the moment from April to end of July, that was just a lot of, in many ways, sleepless nights because there are so many things that have to come together. Now, in August, it has been really smooth and things have been coming … the hard work of the group has actually been coming together now in August. We’ve been meeting every single week since, like I said, since October last year, and some people have attended, I think, almost every single meeting.
Baddý Breidert:
Not to forget, there’s not only the payment of the venue that we need to do, there’s also all kinds of marketing. We have to print out some badges. We have to make lanyards. There is catering involved, like people need to eat. There is a trivia night that we need to rent the room for. There all these extra rooms for BoFs and for all kinds of other activities. So, the base cost for the venue is just half of the budget that we actually need for an event like that.
Baddý Breidert:
We are also going to have a retrospective in the end of the conference where we are basically going to go through all … In the last four to six weeks, we’ve been collecting things for the retrospective where we’re just going to be talking about what could we have done better? What did we do good, and just how you do it when you do a product.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Baddý Breidert:
What is really hard is making a website. We had to build a website from scratch and we just do this all professionally no doubt, but suddenly, you just have to also still do this potentially in your free time depending on if the company … There were a lot of companies who were actually supporting their employees to be volunteers, so we were really lucky, but there were also other companies that just were maybe not directly supporting it or they were freelancers that just had to maybe do that in their free time. Just these challenges of building a website, making all the marketing material, contacting people to come and talk, it was just a lot of effort.
Mike Herchel:
Well, wrangling sponsors too, right? Getting people to step in and financially support as well.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, so we were really lucky and again, please, everybody who is listening, go on the website and look at the list of sponsors. We got our goal, I think, two days ago. The goal was that we would get the sponsorship to cover the venue, and that has been a goal from day one. We reached that now two days ago, so please go on the website and check out the names of the companies who are sponsoring, but there’s also a lot of the people … The companies who are also behind the people who are organizing, they are also sponsoring in that way as well.
Matt Kleve:
That’s drupaleurope.org.
Baddý Breidert:
drupaleurope.org, yes, that’s true.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, and we’ll have the links, of course, in the show notes.
Baddý Breidert:
I have to say, the website, I certainly hope that the website is going to be used for other events after this, because in my opinion, this project, how the website is built, how everything is made, we’re even streaming all the information from the schedule on info screens around the venue through our website. Have you heard about the Splash Awards?
Matt Kleve:
I haven’t heard about it. Tell me.
Mike Herchel:
Go ahead
Baddý Breidert:
No, because we were talking about it yesterday that we were so proud of how the website actually came out and how powerful tool the website had become to send out the content, for example, to all the info screens in the venue. Normally, there is a person working in the venue who is updating the screens and all that, but now, we’re just doing this all out of [inaudible 00:17:50] through our website. This site should be nominates for the Splash Awards 2019.
Baddý Breidert:
So the Splash Awards, we are kicking off Drupal Europe with the European Splash Awards where we are celebrating successful Drupal projects in Europe. That’s a competition called Splash Awards where there is going to be a winner in the categories enterprise, healthcare, non-profit, government, yeah and so on, higher education and more. I don’t remember. In Vienna, we announced it in the final note in the closing session that every country that makes a local Splash Awards can participate in the European Splash Awards where the first two projects in each category can participate on a European level, and then we find out what company is, or what project is the best project in that category. We’re basically giving out a Splash Award.
Mike Herchel:
So even Australia can participate?
Baddý Breidert:
Okay, if Australia does their local … You have to have a local Splash Awards before to be able to participate in the European.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, got you. So-
Baddý Breidert:
This year, we have Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Norway and Denmark.
Mike Herchel:
Okay, so is the website open source? Is that up anywhere where people can download it and start messing around with it?
Baddý Breidert:
Our website? You mean drupaleurope.org?
Mike Herchel:
Yes.
Baddý Breidert:
No, but it should be, right?
Mike Herchel:
Right? Yeah, if you want people to use it, that would be the first step.
Baddý Breidert:
I certainly hope that we will do something with this website afterwards and just put it as a starter kit for those who are doing an event.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, I was looking at it earlier. I was looking at the schedule and I like how the schedule is laid out. It looks really good. It’s really easy to use and yeah.
Matt Kleve:
Well, from a conference organizing perspective, I was just looking at the schedule. It looks like some training on the first day, three days of sessions and then contribution day on Friday, the last day, September 10th through the 14th, right? So it kind of takes shape like a normal DrupalCon?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah. There was a struggle in the beginning because we were thinking hey, let’s do it a little bit shorter, but then we realized really early on that people just expected DrupalCon. That was like either people were talking about Drupal Europe as DrupalCon Europe or they were just talking about it like the trivia night. That’s just something that we always do, so we decided not to go much away from the traditional schedule except the Driesnote was going to be held on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday. Otherwise, it’s pretty similar to a DrupalCon.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, the Driesnote, so there is a Driesnote. Now, I saw on Twitter that there’s also going to be … I don’t know if this is part of the Driesnote, but there’s going to be a session with Dries and Matt Mullenweg, who is the founder and creator of WordPress.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, who just canceled two weeks ago.
Mike Herchel:
Oh, well then. Never mind.
Matt Kleve:
Sad trombone.
Baddý Breidert:
But we have so many other great people in the same panel. They keynote on Thursday is a keynote about the future of Open Source and Open Web. Just due to the discussions that have been, and especially going on now in Europe with GDPR, it’s just really we thought that this is a necessary discussion to have. We spoke to Matt and Matt wanted to come and we were in really good connection with him, but suddenly, two weeks ago, he had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict. He also said to us, and he wrote a tweet out to us like I will come next time, or I hope we will be able to see you again soon.
Baddý Breidert:
But we have Barb Palser who is from Google. She is part of the panel. Then we have Leslie Hawthorne who is working for Red Hat. She’s also coming and participating in the panel. Then you guys will be the first to know that Tim from Drupal Association is going to be the moderator
Mike Herchel:
Oh, that’s awesome.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, so we actually expect really interesting panel discussions from all these participants. That’s going to be the keynote on Thursday morning.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, and speaking of Tim, I hear there’s going to be a demo of the new Drupal … the Drupal.org issue queue integrated with the GitLab and everything, correct?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah. Well, that’s what I’ve heard too.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, I think the community in general is pretty excited about that.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and therefore, it’s so exciting to have him also as the moderator of this too, because I think that he knows a lot about this topic and he’s going to be asking the right questions, I think, to the panelists.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, absolutely. Correct me if I’m wrong. Isn’t he the interim executive director of the Drupal Association after Megan stepped down?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah. Megan, I think it is the 21st of September which will be her last day. Then he is then the interim executive director, yeah.
Mike Herchel:
Cool.
Matt Kleve:
We’re talking Drupal Europe with Baddý, one of the head organizers, big conference coming up in Germany. We’re going to talk a little bit about the-
Mike Herchel:
Conference location. We’re going to talk to Joe Shindelar who has barely peeped and …
Baddý Breidert:
Sorry, that’s my fault.
Matt Kleve:
No, it’s fine.
Mike Herchel:
We’re just going to go from there.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah, coming up right after this.
Speaker 1:
Whether you’re learning how to build sites with Drupal or diving into the code, there are community powered camps, summits, sprints and trainings happening all over the world. Find all of these and more at drupalcal.com, and of course, if you want to boost your Drupal chops from the comfort of your own home, point your browser to Drupalize.Me and stuff your brain full of carefully crafted videos and tutorials.
Mike Herchel:
Welcome back. We’re talking with Baddý, who is the one of the primary organizers for Drupal Europe. We’re talking everything about Drupal Europe. So, I want to talk to Joe who we haven’t really heard much. Joe, you have a session coming up in Drupal Europe. Tell us about it and have you seen any … Is there anything else that you’re really excited to see while you’re over there?
Joe Shindelar:
I’m going to be giving a session about using GatsbyJS, which is a static site generator, to build sites using Drupal as a back end. Gatsby is billed as being a blazing fast static site generator. One of the things that’s really neat about it is its ability to pull content from a bunch of different sources, Drupal being one of those. It’s a neat way to build a site that uses technologies like React, and I’m excited to give some examples of doing that.
Matt Kleve:
If you want to know more about Gatsby, you can watch Joe’s session or maybe look at the Lullabot podcast episode 226.
Joe Shindelar:
True statement. In terms of other sessions to check out, I’m always a fan of things are sort of in the being human track. I know that Drupal Europe doesn’t have tracks in the same way that we’ve had them in the past where there’s a coding and development track and a being human track. That they’re organized by industry instead, but they’re still … All the sessions are tagged, so you can check out the being human tag.
Joe Shindelar:
I’m just, in general, a big fan of the sessions that talk about the human aspect of community organization and software development. How we interact with one another within Drupal as a community or at work and such, so yeah, I always like those sessions.
Matt Kleve:
Baddý, can you talk a little bit about the program and how that was put together and organized in the way it was?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, that was one of the things where we wanted … Because we said we can try something out and see how it works, and one of it was to think about it from two perspectives. One is to think about it in what industry track does it fit into, but on the side, also just use the expertise track, tagging on it. Obviously we got around 450 sessions submitted and we could unfortunately only accept 160 of those or 162. But most of the sessions were submitted into the track Drupal and technology where you find a lot of the traditional sessions about back end, front end [inaudible 00:27:08].
Baddý Breidert:
We also have a track for DevOps, and then there is the tracks for government, publishing and media, higher education, where we really wanted to see if we can attract people who are using Drupal and they do not necessarily find themselves in the schedules when thinking about it from back end, front end perspective. Where they say, okay, I want to go and I want to see all the sessions that are in the government track that could be that there is a front end session there and there is a back end session and there is a being human session. It doesn’t matter. You find it’s still relevant to the government.
Baddý Breidert:
If you go into the tracks, you can see there like that’s very many sessions or tagged in more than one industry. It’s a little bit of a puzzle, so you can really play around if you go on the website. You can really try to find the program that fits you depending on if you want to look at it from an industry perspective or if you just want to say I want to see all the decoupled sessions on the conference. That doesn’t matter if they are in the government or Drupal and technology or in agency business.
Matt Kleve:
I like that from the perspective of the ‘convince your boss to go.’ If somebody was a Drupal professionally in higher education or in government or something, I mean, it’s very easy to make that argument that hey, look at all of these things that I can learn that are directly applicable to my job here. I think that’s cool.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and with that, we also were able to attract speakers from these industry verticals. In the publishing and media track, there’s for example, a Blockchain panel, or there is a track, authors are going to be talking about what they’ve been doing with thunder. So in these tracks, you really find experts from our community that are really focusing on that one particular industry. That’s really nice to see and we’re really lucky to get all these good speakers in government and so on.
Baddý Breidert:
Maybe not to forget the Open Web Lounge, have you heard about that?
Matt Kleve:
Tell me about it.
Baddý Breidert:
It started in DrupalCon in Nashville where there was an open … Did you visit the Open Web Lounge there?
Mike Herchel:
I passed by. I didn’t actually visit it. I think it was a number of people from the WordPress community, but they were talking about just the open web in general. Am I correct on that or no?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, you’re correct. They were from other communities as well there. So, we thought it was a great idea how we can bring together all the open source technologies and maybe start to have a little bit of conversation about things that we all have in common. We have communities and we have security and privacy issues. Just generally, there are so many things that we have in common and we’re not very much talking with each other and potentially looking at what the others are doing.
Baddý Breidert:
So, we decided to do this as well, and we are even dedicating a whole large room for the Open Web Lounge that I encourage everyone to visit. If you go on the website again, to program and the Open Web Lounge, you will see that that is sponsored by Automatic and Google and the are partners of the Open Web Lounge. There’s going to be people from these partners. It’s Joomla, Typo3, WordPress, Plone, Open Source Initiative, CMS Garden, Neos, Contenido. So, there’s going to be representatives, one or two at least minimum, from each of these open source technologies.
Baddý Breidert:
I also know that DB Hurley from Mautic and Gabriel from Rocket.Chat, they’re also going to be at Drupal Europe. There’s going to be probably a lot of really interesting talks happening in the Open Web Lounge.
Joe Shindelar:
Is it like a BoF type of space, like are there going to be scheduled talks in there, or is it just show up and start asking questions?
Baddý Breidert:
We’re going to be doing an [inaudible 00:31:44] conference where people just suggest topics and then we put them on like a BoF. But the organizers of the Open Source Initiative and CMS Garden, they have been thinking about some topics there to talk about, and they are making sure we will have a good conversation in there that will help all of us.
Mike Herchel:
Cool. I’m definitely going to check that out.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and again, if you go on the website, you can see what we say about this and we think this is exciting. This is something that we should be doing in more conferences that we should try to get in. Joe spoke about Gatsby and React before. We should try to get them also into our conferences because we are using these technologies. Why are we not having also having the conversation with them at our events?
Mike Herchel:
Oh yeah, absolutely, and there’s a lot of innovation happening outside of Drupal too, which is really important to bring in.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, I think of this as a start. This is also with CMS Gardens who have been doing this for a long time herein Europe and here in Germany. They’re going to conferences together and they’re talking about advocating for open source. This is just one of the first steps that we can maybe to be doing something more like this.
Mike Herchel:
That’s awesome. So, tell us about the city that the conference is in, Darmstadt.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, like I told you before, it’s very close to Frankfurt. Maybe some of you have noticed and that’s also maybe why we don’t have more people coming but in Frankfurt, at the same time is happening a very large conference. I think there’s coming 150,000 people in Frankfurt during the week,
Mike Herchel:
Holy cow. What conference is that for?
Baddý Breidert:
It’s car part conference, Automechanika. It’s one of the largest ones.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, all right.
Baddý Breidert:
Maybe that’s the reason why the conference center was free when we were asking so late in November last year.
Matt Kleve:
Do you think there’s any overlap between Drupal Europe and Automechanika?
Baddý Breidert:
There’s not an overlap from the people perspective, but there are problems of getting accommodations.
Matt Kleve:
Sure, yeah.
Baddý Breidert:
People have been struggling with that. I don’t know, Joe, I hope that you have a place to stay.
Joe Shindelar:
I do, and I didn’t have any trouble finding a spot, so I don’t know if I just got lucky or what the case is, but yeah, I’m all set.
Baddý Breidert:
You just know how to search, right?
Joe Shindelar:
Yeah, you type things into Google.
Mike Herchel:
Joe is a pro at Googling. That’s how he became a developer.
Baddý Breidert:
Exactly. So, Darmstadt, there are actually a couple of Drupal companies located in Darmstadt. This is just like … I don’t know. I’m actually looking it up now, how many live there. I there are 150,000 people, so it’s pretty large.
Matt Kleve:
Okay, it’s not a small town, yeah.
Baddý Breidert:
What is most interesting is that the European Space Operation Centre is located in Darmstadt.
Matt Kleve:
I saw that on the tourist section of the website. I also saw that Frankenstein’s castle is somewhere in the vicinity too, correct?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and I think somebody is also go have a tee shirt that is, I think, related to that, but that’s just something that I’ve heard about?
Mike Herchel:
That’s just a rumor? You’re not wearing that right now?
Matt Kleve:
No.
Baddý Breidert:
No, maybe not, so that’s all awesome.
Mike Herchel:
Maybe just give me part of the Drupal Horizons track where people use Drupal to program robots. Maybe in said robot, it could be some type of living dead creature, I don't know.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, I can help out with that. I used to program robots when I was younger.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, we can figure it out, cool.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, Darmstadt, it’s called the digital city, so there is a lot of large institutions and organizations that are located in Darmstadt. This is one of the digital cities of Germany and they also have the official title the city of science, so this is definitely the correct place. The Technical University of Darmstadt is located next to the conference center. This is one of the top technical universities in Germany, so this is definitely the place to be at if you are in our industry. We are also hoping that there are people who are going to come from there as well.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, that sounds pretty awesome.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, but again, maybe we all wish we had two months more because we have such a great program but we haven’t been able to market that really much outside of the Drupal community. Not that many people know about us yet, so we are hoping … We are still selling a lot of tickets that are just from people who are coming from there now, so that’s interesting because they’re just hearing about it now.
Matt Kleve:
Hey, Joe?
Joe Shindelar:
Yeah?
Matt Kleve:
Why is it so important for you to fly halfway around the world to go see this Drupal conference?
Joe Shindelar:
Personally, for me, it was important for me to be able to go and support he organizers of the event. I thought it was just amazing that the community stepped up to fill in this space that was being left by there being no DrupalCon Europe this year. I really wanted to be able to support that effort. I think it’s super cool. I’m fortunate enough that Drupalize.Me helped make it possible for me to travel like that, so that’s pretty sweet.
Joe Shindelar:
Early on, one of the things that I noticed in talking to people about Drupal Europe was that there was this chicken or egg problem where there was a ton of people who were like, “Well, I’ll go if everybody else is going to go,” or, “I’ll submit a session if everyone else is going to submit a session,” and trying to get a critical mass of people. For me, it was a little like well, I guess that just isn’t going to happen unless people start signing up, so I was like I’ll sign up and I’ll commit to going.
Baddý Breidert:
Wow, thank you.
Joe Shindelar:
Yeah, that and I just love all of the opportunities to get together with other people in the Drupal community and participate in these types of events, so it’s a good opportunity to do that.
Matt Kleve:
One thing I noticed, when you look at the schedule, it doesn’t mention sprinting, which is something that raised my eyebrow because as I recall, the DrupalCons that happen in Europe were really known for the sprinting and the core work and the really great things that got done there. Can you explain what the thinking is there?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, there was also a request from the team that we should maybe rethink the word sprinting or coach sprinting, because by that, we are somehow only referring to one type of thing that you’re then doing. You’re working on the code, but there’s so many other ways of contributing to Drupal. We said that everybody has something to contribute. So if you’re a product manager, marketer, you’re a content strategist, you’re a translator, you’re a coder, you’re taking pictures, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you have an opportunity to come to the contribution area and help out making the product better and work on it.
Baddý Breidert:
That’s what we really focused on the whole time, and hopefully, this will also be taken further that we just speak about this as a contribution instead of talking about code sprinting. Because we’re really then inviting all diverse type of people who are working in very different roles in companies to come and also participate.
Joe Shindelar:
I love this idea. It’s amazing how just the change of one or two words, the impact that that can have too, just changing it from being code sprint to contribution or contribution day or something like that. It’s so much more inclusive and it’s easier for people to picture themselves in that space when it’s like, “Oh, I can definitely contribute,” versus, “Wow, code sprint, I’m not a coder.” Yet we say, “Don't worry. You don’t have to be a coder to attend out code sprint.” That would be cool.
Baddý Breidert:
Exactly.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah, right. You don't have to be a coder to code.
Baddý Breidert:
So yeah, there’s going to be a contribution happening on Monday and then there’s going to be again on Friday, and of course, during the conference as well. On Friday, there’s going to be the first time contributors. They are going to be introduced and helped, so if you’re listening and coming, please come on Friday and participate in that as well.
Mike Herchel:
Are there going to be any informal sprinting sprints either before the conference or after Friday?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, there is some Excel or Google sheet that is being spread around where people can sign up for different topics. I know that there’s somehow … You could also apply for a contribution ticket. There’s also a lot of people who said we want to come to Drupal Europe but we not necessarily want to go and visit all the sessions. So what we did is that we opened up the exhibition area pen Web Lounge and the contribution area and we just said we have a ticket and you just have to apply for that ticket and show how you’re going to be contributing.
Baddý Breidert:
We also gave out 25 free tickets to diversitytickets.org where you could basically apply for a diversity ticket. Then diversitytickets.org, they then choose from the pool and we basically gave out this ticket as well. So there’s also some experiments there that have been working out really well and I really, surely hope that that’s going to be ongoing for next years.
Matt Kleve:
So Baddý, I understand the answer might be, “Ask me in a week and a half,” but this organization of a huge conference like this has been a ton of work. Is this something that you think can be continued by the community? Is it sustainable?
Baddý Breidert:
No, it’s not. This is way … We’re going to have a session about this. This is going to be the last session on the conference where we certainly are 100% sure that this nothing that should be done in volunteering time, because putting up something like this, you virtually like … We were thinking about if we should just say thank you to all our families and friends that we’ve basically been neglecting the last six months and spending every single evening and weekend.
Baddý Breidert:
This is really just a … There’s also going to be a couple of burnout sessions on Drupal Europe and this is definitely a way to go into that, but we are really taking care of our team and we’re making sure that the team is feeling good. We are also making sure that there’s no pressure on the people and the team that they don’t feel like they have to do everything and work every single evening because maybe just people just can’t do that for every reason that is. So, we are really mindful of and we are really making sure that we’re not going to have anybody in this group that is going to say, “I’m never going to do it again.”
Baddý Breidert:
Until now, we have been really successful with that and we have a group of people who are all just really excited, but this is nothing that is going to be … This is way too big, in my opinion, to be done by volunteers every single year, because this is a project of 6 to 10 months at least.
Mike Herchel:
Well, it sounds like the Drupal Association is going to do a DrupalCon Europe next year. I’m assuming that’s the plan as far as you know?
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, I think that this is even going to be announced, or I’ve heard that this is going to be announced at Drupal Europe.
Mike Herchel:
You heard? Yeah. You’ve been hearing a lot of things.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and I can just tell you just be early on Wednesday to see the pre-note and then to make sure that you get the best seats for the Driesnote where hopefully, we’re going to hear everything about what’s going to happen in 2019.
Matt Kleve:
Is the pre-note going to be awkward singing and dancing?
Baddý Breidert:
Of course. No, you [crosstalk 00:45:26] of it, right?
Mike Herchel:
It wouldn’t be a pre-note if it wasn’t.
Matt Kleve:
I just … Yeah, sometimes those are over the top, that’s all.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, I also just really want to say, because we were talking about the organizers, I am, every single day, amazed by the effort that the people have been putting into this. If you go and you look at the website and you see the people … If you look at the countries that we’re coming from, it’s the Netherlands, Scotland, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Hungary, Portugal, Finland, India and Ukraine. These people have just been meeting every single week online and we’re probably chatting. I wish that we had a slack where we could see how many words we’ve been writing to each other.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah.
Baddý Breidert:
I think that’s the biggest win for us that we have really brought together the community. We will round tables happening at Drupal Europe that the Drupal Association has been organizing. There’s going to be BoFs about how can we work a little bit more together. How can we make sure that when you’re doing an event, that you have the starter kit? You don't have to start to create the website and figure out how the layout of the sponsor brochure has to be. This is how you should do it and you can then a little bit change it. I really hope that we will have something to work from.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah.
Joe Shindelar:
I think it’s pretty cool. I mean even if you don’ end up organizing another big event like this together, the relationships that it’s created between all of the different people and the different countries and people that were organizing their own independent events previously are now working together. I’m sure that that continues to be a valuable thing even if you’re not putting together a big conference but just sharing ideas and talking to one another about what you’re doing. It’s pretty cool.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, totally. Also the program, the structures, it’s around 30 people and they also did almost a weekly meeting from, I think, May on. They’ve been meeting weekly, 20 to 30 people on a … You also have to have very good project management skills to organize something like that. I have to say that we have … We were talking about it. We have really mastered how to do an online meeting, because everybody has to say something, but it has to be on time and we have to respect each other. We have to make sure that we’re not talking too much, which I probably am doing it now.
Matt Kleve:
Sounds like the business of community plumbing.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and not to forget, we, of course, use Drupal.org and we give credits for those who are participating in the meetings.
Mike Herchel:
That’s pretty awesome. Yeah, I saw that DrupalCon was doing that also, so that’s pretty neat.
Matt Kleve:
I have one final question here for you, Baddý, if you don’t mind. You had mentioned how great it was that the sponsors came through and you fulfilled your goal on that front. One of the criticisms from having the DrupalCon in Europe was that it wasn't feasible financially. How does it look like we’re going to come out on that end?
Baddý Breidert:
Just as of five days ago, I think, that we first saw a black number on our financial analysis document.
Matt Kleve:
Hey, that’s great.
Joe Shindelar:
Nice.
Mike Herchel:
That’s pretty awesome.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, that was always out goal, but keep in mind that we had to also … We couldn’t do everything that we wanted to do. We would loved to have been able to make more parties or more events. There’s all kinds of things like live streaming that we just said no, we’re going to make sure that we come out on zero, and if we will have anything extra on the next week, we will maybe just buy a round of drinks for people in the last party, right?
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, especially for the organizers. I think the organizers probably do several-
Matt Kleve:
Yeah. I mean you talk about being in the black, but that’s in the black with thousands of volunteer hours.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and that is something that is paid also and sponsored by partly also companies that are not on our sponsor list.
Matt Kleve:
Sure.
Baddý Breidert:
I wish that also that we can somehow celebrate them as well. Some of them are already listed, the names of the companies, from people on the website, but we need to celebrate also the time that the companies allowed people to spend on it, which is amazing.
Joe Shindelar:
This is awesome. Baddý, I think you and all of the other organizers have out together something pretty special, and I’m excited to get to be able to attend and check it out.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, we are certainly excited to meet you.
Joe Shindelar:
Yay.
Baddý Breidert:
Yay, and Matt and Michael, you just come next time, right?
Mike Herchel:
Yeah.
Matt Kleve:
Well, I have this screen up on my computer. It says that I can get a last minute ticket for 650 euros.
Joe Shindelar:
Yeah, that’s not too bad.
Matt Kleve:
The only confusion is I don’t know what a euro is.
Mike Herchel:
It’s about $1.2 or something, so maybe you’re like $800.
Matt Kleve:
Okay.
Joe Shindelar:
It’s like some money.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah, can I go and get seashells or something? I don’t know. No, Baddý, I appreciate all of the hard work that your team has done and anybody involved with Drupal Europe. It’s shaping up to be a great event, and I’m pleased to say that I’m part of the community that was able to produce something like this.
Baddý Breidert:
Yeah, and again, we always say this is not my team, this is the team.
Matt Kleve:
Sure.
Baddý Breidert:
It’s just really important that there are so many people who have been standing up and there’s nobody who’s just been leading that. It’s like there has been really … people have just really been taking responsibility of certain part of the program, and it’s just amazing to see how involved people are and where their heart is in the community.
Mike Herchel:
That’s awesome.
Baddý Breidert:
So, thanks for letting me share that with you.
Matt Kleve:
Thanks for coming on.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, thank you. Matt, before we hang up here, I have one session I want to plug from Lullabot, Zequi Vasquez. He's going to be talking on Tuesday about the autopsy of vulnerabilities and just [inaudible 00:52:21] and security.
Matt Kleve:
Yeah, Zequi is a super sharp guy and has a really great mind for that security stuff, so that sounds like it’s going to be a great session.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, 10:30 Tuesday morning, so everybody should go to that and heckle him.
Matt Kleve:
Of course we want to hear Joe talk too, right?
Mike Herchel:
No. Yeah, Joe’s session I think is also on Tuesday.
Joe Shindelar:
[crosstalk 00:52:47], extend the second time for that, so after you got to Zequi’s, you can come to mine.
Mike Herchel:
All right, so start off with the bots and the move on, cool.
Baddý Breidert:
And I will be in the hallway track.
Mike Herchel:
Yeah, you’ll be running around, putting out fires, etc., I’m sure.
Baddý Breidert:
Of course.
Mike Herchel:
As that happens, yeah. Well, thanks for coming on.
Baddý Breidert:
Thanks for …
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