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On day one of DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014, members of our Drupal team run through some of the events they are most looking forward to attending...

Paul Johnson's must see sessions:

Poised to enter Alpha release, now is the perfect time to start grasping Drupal 8 fundamentals. What better way to do so than attend Larry Garfield’s “Drupal 8: The Crash Course”.

First delivered at DrupalCamp North West, Pedro Cambra’s enlightening session reveals some of the significant changes which form Drupal 8 beyond the core initiatives.

CTI have delivered several projects providing site provisioning systems for clients like British Land and Mercuri international. It will be really interesting to see “Turning Drupal Into a Machine for Automated Deployment” to understand how other developers have approaches similar challenges.

Lorna Mitchell is a brilliant speaker and talented mentor. Anyone approaching learning object oriented PHP development should attend her session “OOP For Drupal Developers”.

As part of CTI’s bid team for procurement sales process it will be fascinating to see “How to Position Drupal to a Sceptical Audience”. I’m sure we all have something to learn here.

Ken Rickard’s perspective on American organisations investing heavily in Drupal long-term for me is a must see session. Government and the public sector are adopting similar strategies here in the UK. I’d like to see contrast how Ken has achieved success over the pond.  

Paul Dale Smith's top picks include:

The Wednesday keynote is Cory Doctorow. CORY DOCTOROW! I don’t even know if he’s seen Drupal before but it’s CORY DOCTOROW. I’ll be there. 

Multilingual websites are becoming more of a thing for CTI, and so I definitely want to find out as much as I can about this side of Drupal. So I’m either going to push on into the future and find out how Drupal 8 handles multilingual, or I’m going to see how other people have been doing it in Drupal 7.

We’ve also touched on Aegir for automating a multisite Drupal installation, so I’ll be eagerly picking up any titbits I can at this session. 

And with Drupal 8 closing its last blocker, I want to take the opportunity to learn as much as I can about one of its interesting features: headless Drupal, or Drupal without Drupal. Using Drupal 8 as a backend to provide data to a fast, responsive browser-based front end is something we’re starting to see happen in the wild. So I’m going to take a look at this and this to pick up some tips, ideas and best practice. 

Ali's not going to miss:

Amsterdam will be my first Drupalcon, so the thing I’m looking forward to most is probably the overall experience: Meeting like-minded people and discussing the sessions and latest Drupal news with peers; the atmosphere and excitement of the event; and of course the city itself which I have never been to before.

Session-wise there are a couple of talks about building decoupled/headless Drupal site that I’m really looking forward to (Decoupled Front-end and the Future and Building Modern Web Applications with Ember.js and Headless Drupal). Building a front-end based on Javascript frameworks is something I’ve been interested in for a while but haven’t had chance to really delve into in much depth yet, so it will definitely be interesting to see how these can be applied to Drupal 8.

Some of the non-frontend sessions I’m looking forward to are those that cover the new aspects of Drupal 8. Particularly, “Field API is dead. Long live Entity Field API!” which I think will be especially pertinent to myself and not something I have so far had a good look into in terms of what’s new in Drupal 8. Another session that I’ve decided to try and catch is “Cracking Drupal” which covers some of the security aspects of Drupal. This isn’t something I would usually think about day-to-day but as it’s definitely something that shouldn’t be overlooked it would be good to add a bit of breadth to my knowledge on the subject.

Of course, the Keynote on Wednesday is also something I’m eagerly anticipating. I don’t know an awful lot about Cory Doctorow, but what I do know makes me think it will be a very interesting and thought-provoking talk.

Overall, I’ve only ever heard great things about Drupalcons in the past and can’t wait to get my experience underway!

Matt is looking forward to:

BOFs

Going to sessions is all good but the Drupal Association now does a great job of uploading these to YouTube very quickly after each session. The interesting stuff at DrupalCon happens in the BOF rooms. Some of the BOFs I will be attending are:

https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/bof/search-api-drupal-8-0

https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/bof/headlessdecoupled-drupal-conversation-continues

https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org/bof/content-management-revolution

Sessions:

This talk looks like a very interesting high level session on one of the biggest buzzwords in Drupal at the moment: “Headless”. I expect Jeff Eaton to be able to cut through the hype currently around decoupling the front end from Drupal.

As front ends are getting more and more complex preventing regressions and tracking, performance becomes even more paramount so I will be going to this session.

As part of my aim to gain a wider knowledge of wider technologies I am hoping this session will provide some practical, hands on learnings.

Security is increasingly on clients radars, especially the size of clients we are dealing with more and more. Any additional learnings we can get from the community will be very useful.

About the author

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
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As a company director, Paul is responsible for leading our strategy in relation to culture and people. This work has strongly contributed to our enviable staff retention levels. His pragmatic approach, combined with a development career spanning two decades, is a valuable asset to clients approaching challenging and large scale digital projects. These include SONY Pictures Entertainment, King's College London, Travelodge, Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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