Summiting Success: A Recap of Drupal Mountain Camp 2024

Daniel Lemon / Mar 19, 2024

Drupal Mountain Camp 2024, nestled in Davos, surrounded by a breathtaking backdrop of the stunning Swiss Alps, proved to be a remarkable gathering of Drupal enthusiasts from around the world. From pre-conference adventures to engaging keynotes and enriching workshops, here’s a closer look at the unforgettable moments and highlights of this inspiring event.

Pre-Conference Adventure

Prior to the official start of the conference, attendees immersed themselves in the beauty of Davos. Some like myself embarked on thrilling snowboarding and skiing excursions, while others enjoyed co-working sessions, setting the stage for collaboration and learning.

Sunny view of the tracked out off-piste area of Davos Jakobshorn taken from the chairlift

Photo credit: Daniel Lemon

Engage, Learn, Connect

From March 7th to 10th, Drupal Mountain Camp 2024 unfolded with a blend of learning, networking, and adventure.

  • Sessions and Workshops
    Attendees delved into a diverse array of sessions and workshops, covering topics ranging from Drupal Security 101 to new improved interactive page building experiences with blökkli. Keynote addresses by esteemed speakers such as Jutta Horstmann, Preston So, and Tearyne Almendariz, provided valuable insights into the future of open-source ecosystems and the importance of perseverance.
  • Social Events
    Evenings were filled with fun and laughter, from the quiz night to the unforgettable fondue feast atop Schatzalp, followed by sledging adventures under the starlit sky which added an exhilarating touch to the social festivities.
  • Community Spirit
    Throughout the event, the sense of community was apparent. Attendees made meaningful connections, shared knowledge, and celebrated the spirit of Drupal.

Day One: The Journey Begins

Thursday dawned with an early morning snowboarding session, offering participants a unique blend of adrenaline and natural splendour. As the conference commenced, attendees gathered to delve into workshops and discussions. I attended the Drupal Security 101 workshop by Marine Gandy and Nicolas Loye, it was very insightful, and I learnt about the “Drupal Paranoia” module.

The evening brought us together in teams of five for a little competitive quiz as a nice ice-breaker activity. The following day, each participant knew at least one other person to engage with.

Dan Lemon and Josef Kruckenberg presenting the opening session together on stage

Photo credit: / @patrickitten

Day Two: Engage, Learn, Connect

Friday saw the conference in full swing, with captivating keynotes and insightful sessions. Attendees seized the chance to connect with peers during breaks, and we had the traditional group photo session, capturing moments of shared enthusiasm and collaboration.

  • Jutta Horstmann - Keynote: Running the internet, under-funded and under-staffed? How to achieve a sustainable open source ecosystem
    We opened with the first keynote by Jutta Horstmann which addressed critical issues of underfunding and lack of support for open-source technologies, despite their foundational role in the internet ecosystem. The talk serves as a call to action for individuals, communities, and society to prioritise and sustain open-source software as a vital common good.

  • Preston So - Keynote: Universal CMS and the end of “pure” headless
    Preston So gave the second keynote which explored the evolution of content management systems (CMS), transitioning from monolithic and hybrid-headless architectures to the concept of the universal CMS. Preston discussed how traditional distinctions between headless and monolithic architectures are blurring, leading to a new approach that treats all presentation layers equally. Preston concluded his keynote with considerations of open-source ethics and the future of AI.

  • David Buchmann: HTTP Caching with Varnish
    David took us on a deep dive into HTTP Caching with Varnish. With the caching proxy, David showed us that you can greatly increase the speed of websites and handle a lot more load. The talk covered the basics with cache handling in HTTP, then dived into cache invalidation, cache tagging strategies, and a brief glance into Edge Side Includes (ESI).
  • Jonathan Noack and Jan Hug: blökkli - Interactive page building experience for Nuxt
    Jonathan and Jan's session showcased an innovative interactive page-building solution. The versatile content editing tool designed for ease of use and collaboration offers a visual interface with live preview and comment functionality.

The evening festivities took attendees to Schatzalp for a delicious fondue feast and an exhilarating sledging adventure under the starlit, albeit cloudy, night sky. The evening culminated in shared stories and laughter over drinks, making memories to last a lifetime.

Two participants smiling and enjoying the cheese fondue

Photo credit: / @patrickitten

Day Three: Closing with Gratitude

  • Tearyne Almendariz - Keynote: Magic Comes from Pain: 4 Ways that Embracing Grit Will Help you Achieve the Impossible
    Saturday started off with Tearyne's keynote where she shared her personal story of consistent dedication and personal development which resonated deeply with many attendees, inspiring reflections on overcoming challenges and imposter syndrome in one's career.

As the conference drew to a close, attendees came together for the closing session, where gratitude filled the air for the enriching experiences shared. The day concluded with a memorable speaker dinner, a testament to the collective effort and dedication that made the event a resounding success. As the lead organiser, I rallied a team of 12 volunteers to ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience for all.

Continuing the Drupal Journey

As Drupal Mountain Camp 2024 drew to a close, participants were left with fond memories and a sense of anticipation for future Drupal events, with the key highlight of Drupal Dev Days 2024 in Burgas and DrupalCon Barcelona 2024. Plenty of exciting opportunities await for further collaboration and learning within the Drupal community.

Group photo, around 70 people gathered close together, smiling, with the Swiss Alps in the background

Photo credit: / @patrickitten