Drupalcon: יום אחד

(That means "first day" and it's a biblical reference.)

So, first day of Drupalcon is over.  Drupalcon is the convention for Drupal content management system web designers.  It's my first Drupalcon and the whole thing is rather mind-blowing.  I haven't been a professional web designer very long, and the whole thing still seems like somewhat of a game to me.  I mean, it's so fun, how could this be a serious profession?  It seems like that sentiment is shared by most of the people here.  The pre-keynote address was a game show that spoofed Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and American Idol.  Maybe it's because I came from the legal profession, which is a dying industry where nothing is fun, and that makes the difference even more stark.

I went to some fantastic educational sessions today, and took away some lessons that I will be able to apply to my future work.  In the evening, I went out with some new friends and some old friends (which I met at the previous convention, the Bay Area Drupal Camp, a.k.a. Badcamp, a.k.a. "This one time at Badcamp."  It ended up with Morton leading us to a dive bar somewhere in northern Potland.  There was talk of a strip club which did not materialize, but it was discussed seriously.  I ended up walking home in the dark and the cold with a fellow Canadian who shared my feeling that Portland at midnight is neither dark nor cold (not by Canadian standards).

More importantly, I made some excellent business connections.  In the SF Bay Area, everyone is always looking for Drupal devs.  Supply does not meet demand.  Well, the Canadian I walked home with runs a Drupal shop in Toronto, and he is accepting clients.  He outsources to Romania and I met some of his Romanian employees.  They are top quality Drupal devs and I would trust them with any project.  So, next time someone says "I'm having trouble finding a good Drupal dev," I know who to refer them to.

I'd like to say that the big takeaway from the first day is "I made some valuable business connections."  That's true, but the big takeaway from today is a better understanding of the Drupal paradigm.  It's not just that there is a fantastically successful ecosystem built around this open source software, although that is certainly true.  The bigger lesson for me today was that the Drupal community is fun.  We all love what we do.  I've always felt that web design is really kind of a game, and how can you take it seriously if it's this much fun?  The truth is, most Drupal devs share my sentiment.  That's why the pre-keynote address included a juggling competition.  It's hard to remember that this is work, because we're all too busy having fun.