From 20th to 24th to August 2012 the DrupalCon Europe came for the first time to Germany. During the week of this summer's hottest week so far 1800 Drupalistas from all over the world gathered under the motto "Open Up! Connecting systems and people" in the Grand Westin Hotel in Munich, Germany.
The DrupalCon started with a big surprise, announced on the opening session: Several European Drupal shops (NodeOne, Krimson, Mearra and Wunderkrau) fusion together to become the new, Captain Drupal powerd Wunderkraut - after Acquia, the next big elephant among Drupal companies. This surely will have a positive effect to the Drupal community as some people saw Acquia taking disproportional influence into Drupal development and having another big player in the community could diverse continued and strong development directions. For the smaller companies and start ups this will probably not cause disadvantages since it make Drupal generally stronger and more interesting to larger - industry size - companies, which would probably not hire a small shop, like Dries said on the opening session: "Elephants want to dance with elephants".
Photo by `Matthew Saunders <https://secure.flickr.com/photos/matthewsaunders/>`__
Personally I liked this DrupalCon a lot! As a developer I was positively surprised to see not as many sales persons but a lot of community members to talk to, exchanging knowledge, opinions and living the "momentum" about Drupal. The venue was awesome and not only the geek-friendly coffee stands all over the place made the attendees feel well. The food was remarkable excellent and with over €300k the biggest expense of all, but really, it is worth to keep everybody happy and good food achieves that more than anything else.
Photo by `Pedro Lozano <https://secure.flickr.com/photos/peterlozano/>`__
Although DrupalCons have become huge, it had the spirit of a perfectly sized conference since there were a lot of rooms with great sessions for everybody: Heavy programmers could come together for the core conversations track on a 5 minutes walking distance at the Sheraton hotel, which made it a cozy and productive place. The main sessions were nicely grouped into eight tracks with clear topics, this way, for all kinds of interests, good quality and interesting sessions were offered. It was definitively not a DrupalCon where you could follow all happenings, but rather everybody could enjoy exactly what one was looking for. You can find all the session's recordings on the schedule or the DrupalCon channel on blib.tv
Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed by the keynotes: Dries' keynote was as a simple interview without any new information and Anke Domscheit-Berg's keynote was just a general summary of Open Data initiatives, an interested person could read together quickly through blog posts and general news. No innovative stuff here, but paired with some awkward invitations to participate. Yes, it is an important field, and we all need to demand actively and know about it, but somebody with more activist insight would have rocked way more.
Photo by `Amazee Labs <https://secure.flickr.com/photos/amazeelabs/>`__
For me, the motto had it's truth on the part connecting people: As the community lead for DrupalCon São Paulo I got to know personally and work with the staff and people from the Drupal Association, which outside of the US' Drupal community doesn't seem to have arrived yet. Surely, the Drupal Association is not working as open and community based as most of the community members would like, but they are really opening up, and it is the responsibility of the international community to get involved! I would like to point to the awesome session by Donna Benjamin Infiltration Day 853: Drupal Association Board. Confessions of a not-so-secret double agent, one of the non North-American board members. Where she did a great call to people to participate and form constructively the Drupal Association, which is important to all of us. A nice detail was that out of a quarter million people entitled to vote for members of the board only 650 actually made use of it. It is necessary that the community accepts the Drupal Association, not as a decision making instance rather than as a representative that forsters the Drupal community and for this reason the whole world and active groups have to participate in the election and forming process.
Photo by `Access Advertising <https://secure.flickr.com/photos/accessadvertising/>`__
This DrupalCon in Munich was an important step for scaling Drupal (community) internationally: The German community, as they were cooking their own soup for a long time, now got deeply involved into the international scene, two next DrupalCons have been announced in new parts of the world (Latin America, Brazil, São Paulo and Australia, Sydney), a prosperously discussion about internationalizing the Drupal Association has begun and another huge Drupal company has arisen on the European Drupal horizon.
Drupal rocks! Drupal rockt! Drupal rockea!
Blog entry first published on `erdfisch blog <http://blog.erdfisch.de/2012/08/drupalcon-munich-2012-opening-drupal-association-and-international-communities>`__
drupal, drupalcon, drupal association, germany, europe