Lessons In Leadership From DrupalCon Nashville

Taking on a leadership position can be a very rewarding but also draining experience. I’d like to share some of the exciting things that stood out to me at DrupalCon in terms of leadership. In the last few years, I was able to take on a number of different leadership positions such as CTO at Amazee Labs, running the #d8rules initiative or co-organizing camps in Austria and Switzerland. To me, it’s a deeply satisfying experience to be part of a team that works towards a common goal and see myself being able to help drive us to be successful. At the same time, leadership always felt very difficult to me. Why wasn’t I able to take decisions effectively? Why wouldn’t others follow my advice as I wanted them to?

Looking up to other leaders at work and in our community is really valuable to me. It allows me to feel inspired, keep improving, and relate my own struggle to the struggles of others. I’d like to share an overview of the things that inspired me during this DrupalCon Nashville.

April 13, 2018
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DrupalRomCom

It was a deceptively warm and dry Monday in Portland on the first day of DrupalCon. It was the first DrupalCon Kristy had attended, and the event that would change her life, FOREVER. Walking toward the hotel bar to meet her co-workers, she catches a glimpse of a handsome young gentlemen drinking alone on a very large empty table. Kristy, persuading her team to mix and mingle, moves the team to the gentleman’s open table. 

April 12, 2018
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Driesnote Recap

Another Drupalcon means another Driesnote. This year, as always, Dries gives us insights into Drupal's past, present, and future. The whole thing was recorded and you should check it out for yourself but until it gets published, here’s a short recap.

April 11, 2018
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At Midcamp, it’s still about community.

As a non-technical person, attending Drupal events always feels a little daunting. You’d think I’d be used to this by now, given my history of organizing technical events. But there is still the ickyness of imposter syndrome, a small voice saying you don’t really belong among the nerds. What the heck am I doing here? Who am I gonna talk to? What’re we gonna talk about? Is there anything in the schedule for me?

At events like Midcamp, though, all of that changes when I open the conference doors.

April 4, 2018
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Case Study: An Interactive Touchscreen for Harte

a user selects the directory of the touchscreen

While building a brand new Drupal site for Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies we discovered they had a large touchscreen display that wasn’t living up to its full potential. We realized we could create two different frontends, using both Drupal and React to make the most of their website and their touchscreen too. The project goals were to create a friendly, inviting, and intuitive interface that people would enjoy using. The touchscreen also needed to be easy to update for administrators, without any dev involvement. 

The touchscreen was being used as a directory of sorts for the building and ran on a proprietary software they paid a monthly fee to maintain. That touchscreen could be navigated via clunky left and right navigation arrows and was very slow to load. In addition, updating content required developer time, and due to its very controls-heavy interface, was difficult for visitors to use. After experiencing the fresh, intuitive site we’d built for them, the team at Harte imagined a much friendlier experience for the touchscreen in their lobby.

March 28, 2018
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We’re a bit extreme