Back from DrupalCamp Timisoara

We’ve just returned from DrupalCamp Timisoara, the first ever romanian DrupalCamp. Although most of the presentations were already familiar subjects to me, i’ve met some interesting people during these...

We’ve just returned from DrupalCamp Timisoara, the first ever romanian DrupalCamp. Although most of the presentations were already familiar subjects to me, i’ve met some interesting people during these two days and learned a few new things too.

The event started friday evening with a social gathering at Club Porto Arte in Timisoara where we had a few beers and get to know each other. Saturday morning the first romanian DrupalCamp started with the opening session by Claudiu Cristea (president of Drupal Romania Association). I will make a short recap of all the sessions and my opinion on them:

  • OpenMap – OpenLayers and Drupal – presented by Mihai Fratu. It could have been a good presentation but i think it should have been more thorough. Still it was an interesting – especially because i’m interested in mapping applications of all kinds.
  • Eat your own dog food! Why you should use Open Atrium to manage your projects – presented by Kristof Van Tomme. I already saw this presentation at DrupalCamp Prague so it didn’t bring much novelty but i think it was a little bit different then the Prague presentation although i’m not sure.  Kristof is one of the participants who knows how to make a presentation and how to focus the audience’s attention.
  • Building a Drupal module with Flex – presented by Mihai Corlan (platform evangelist at Adobe). It was one of the most controversial presentations with many, many questions. Obviously everyone came up with the regular questions: will HTML5 kill Flash,  why Flash doesn’t run on the iPhone and such. But Mihai replied very well and made a good impression.
  • The Agile Road – presented by Maria Diaconu and Alexandru Bolboaca. I expected more from this presentation. It was in myy opinion  superficial and touched only generalities.
  • Drupal for Higher Education and Virtual Learning – presented by Gabriel Dragomir. This was among the few things that were unknown to me and i learned about them in this DrupalCamp. Its quite interesting that Drupal became a tool in all kinds of areas, including academic insitutions and research.
  • Come for the software, stay for the community – how Drupal improves and evolves – presented by Gábor Hojtsy. This is a presentation that in some form or another i’ve remember seeing in Prague but not under this name. Its the usual community building and Drupal promoting presentation  (as Gábor put it: making noise about what you do).
  • Drupal Search on steroids using Apache Solr  –  presented by Andrei Savu. This was too short of a presentation for such a good and interesting subject. I guess it could have been made a little bit more comprehensive and interesting.
  • Publish and Subscribe – presented by Alexandru Badiu. It was an interesting presentation. I was somewhat familiar with the concept but the author managed to enlighten me even more.

These were the presentations from the first day. In the evening people went to Club Porto Arte were a folk band entertained the drupelers and of course many beers were consumed. The second day’s presentations were:

  • Using Features – presented by Alexandru Badiu. Features was the most useful presentation for people working with constant changes on multiple servers (development – staging – live). And i think the presentation made a good case for using Features in every circumstance that requires such constant changes.
  • Tips and tricks for building Entreprise / Large web applications with Drupal – presented by Mihai Ceusan and one more guy (unfortunately i can’t remember the name and he isn’t in the schedule). This presentation was the one i expected the most. It was somewhat useful but i expected more from this one too. They presented their problems with deploying and changing a very high number of sites. I was expecting tips&tricks on how to fine tune a Drupal site to work under very heavy load.
  • What’s up with Drupal 7 – presented by Gábor Hojtsy. I saw this one too at Prague. I guess for people not familiar with Drupal 7 features it was quite interesting. Gábor is a good presenter and knows how to make people interested in something – in this case Drupal 7
  • DBTNG – presented by Tamás Demeter (unfortunately i missed this presentation due to objective reasons)
  • Ubercart-powered online concept store – presented by Vlad Socaciu. Ubercart is the solution for powering online stores in Drupal. The author tried to present  the features of this great module but there were some minor technical glitches that prevented viewers to see the screen in good conditions. But still it was useful.
  • Drupal distributed architecture: the stuff that clouds are made off – presented by Kristof Van Tomme.  Clouds are the buzzword of our era. Everyone wants in the cloud and as sites get bigger and bigger Drupal is heading into the cloud as well. Kristof’s presentation explained some of the notions involved and showed how Drupal can work in distributed environments.

There were two more presentations one about Building more active (euro) regional communities (by Radu Ticiu) and See you in Copenhagen but we had to leave for home as a long journey expected us.

Overall it was a good event, with lots of fun and lots of Drupal,  also Timisoara is a great city so it certainly was a good experience.

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  • Alexandru Bolboaca
    8 June 2010 at 20:43

    First of all, thanks for you honest feedback about our presentation.
    We like to learn from participants’ feedback, so could you please explain more what were your expectations?

    Thank you,
    Alex

  • lacisoft
    8 June 2010 at 22:49

    We were all mostly developers or project managers, we all knew or i like to think that we all knew what is the Agile development approach and how should it be applied at least on basic levels. I think we should be beyond “What is Agile”.
    On a personal level i would have liked to see some explicit tips&tricks on how Agile can be applied in different situations, most specifically Drupal / web development where the teams are often small and they switch projects frequently. Also how do you solve conflicts in Agile teams and so on.

  • Alexandru Bolboaca
    9 June 2010 at 09:35

    Ok, I think that’s a fair comment :).

    The thing is that not so many people know what the agile mindset is. I know that’s hard to understand, especially 10 years after the manifesto, but that’s the fact that we find over and over again when we discuss with companies and individuals. The presentation thus targeted these people and we thought it was successful, given the discussions and the feedback we received.

    We are more than happy to provide tips & tricks for real-world problems. The trouble is that the solutions depend on the context of the team – there’s no general recipe for everything, so we need to discuss a little bit more. The best place to do this is in the AgileWorks (http://www.agileworks.ro) meetups or on the AgileWorks google group. So if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to bring them up.

    I’ve seen that you’re from Cluj; we’ve been there twice and some people plan to organize a new meetup there in the close future. So maybe we can meet there and discuss your questions.

  • lacisoft
    9 June 2010 at 09:47

    Yes, i’ve visited agileworks.ro and will certainly visit it again to find out when is the next meetup in Cluj and then maybe we can discuss my questions. For the moment i’m seeing only 2009 events there.

  • Alexandru Bolboaca
    10 June 2010 at 17:57

    We had troubles in the past in finding a local partner to help us organize the meetings. We’ve now found some people, and we’ll definitely come back to Cluj.

    On the medium term, the purpose is to have people organizing the community without our presence – already happening in Timisoara, about to start happening in Bucharest.

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