DrupalCon Austin is over. This was the first time in a few years that I didn’t have to man a booth or go to meetings for the majority of my time. That gave me a lot more time to attend talks, BoFs, and just have conversations with lots of different Drupalistas.
For some reason this year the “hallway track” was the biggest highlight of the trip, which hasn’t been the case for me at previous DrupalCons. A lot of good conversations came out of the talks I attended and by just meeting folks in the hall that had similar interests. I wanted to focus a lot on testing a development and deployment automation tools and while there were some pretty good talks on both they really served to spark interest and some really good conversations with other folks interested in the same topics.
VML (the company I work for) and Blink Reaction got together to host a BoF on Aligning Digital Creative Services With Drupal Planning and Development. It was great to get a group of folks from different organizations to talk about the problems and solutions around the challenges with integrating designers with Drupal developers.
I also had some great conversations around BDD and Behat, something I’ve been looking into as a solution for automated acceptance and regression testing. There’s a lot of new thinking and work going on in this space right now and I think we’ll see a lot coming out about it over the next few weeks and months. One new thing that came out during DrupalCon was the new BehatRunner module which provides a way for modules to provide Behat tests and have them auto-discovered and run via Drush or the admin UI. I’ve only played with it a little but it’s really slick and looks to be something that will reduce the friction for getting folks to write and run Behat tests quite a bit.
The only real lowlights this year were a couple of really sub-par sesions and keynotes. I know the Drupal Association does a ton of work to ensure this doesn’t happen so it was really surprising.
Next up for me is DrupalCorn Camp 2014 in July where I’ll hopefull be giving a couple of talks on custom [theming with Sass, Compass, and Susy as well as testing with Behat. If you’re in the midwest I can’t recommend this camp enough.