This is the second post in my Making A Drupalcamp Happen series. I've been involved in camps for about 7 years and recently was the main project manager for Colorado. The first post was around tools, coordination and management. This post is really focused on tasks and when they need to be done to not go crazy.
There are certain things that need to happen every year. The earlier you can sort them out, the easier things will be as you approach the deadline of your event. So, I've listed some tasks below along with some rough timing and notes on some of the items. This is by no means an exhaustive list and the timing might be a little off on tasks, but I think it does give a sense of task, scope, and order.
I've been involved with Drupalcamp Colorado since 2007. Sometimes I've had a significant role, other times I've taken a bit more of a back seat. I was also pretty heavily involved in Drupalcon when it was in Denver. Over the last 8 months or so, I've had quite a bit more insight into the Cons themselves through my interaction with the Drupal Association. This last year I've been the project manager for Drupalcamp Colorado 2014. This has left me with with some personal insights that might help others wanting to run a camp.
The Camp is Coming!
Drupalcamp Colorado 2014 is on it's way, August 1-3! Planning has been going on for months and the camp site is now live and ready to take session proposals and donations.
Sessions and Keynotes
We'll be having a training day on August 1st. If you want to do a little bit of a boot camp, there will be "Build A Module" curriculum as well as several other day-long trainings. Saturday and Sunday will be chock full of sessions.
Michael Meyers of Now Public and Examiner fame - currently VP of Large Scale Drupal for Acquia - will be presenting one of our keynotes. An exciting second keynote is being lined up right now and we'll be able to talk about that in the very near future. Both speakers will talk about how Drupal is being used in giant ways.
I was musing yesterday morning while heading to the airport that I've been attending Drupalcons since 2007. Seven years. When I entered into the Drupal community back then, I had no real idea that this would become the focus of how I chose to make my living. I had no idea that, mostly, twice a year I would join with other like minded people. I didn't know that I would find myself in a leadership position in the community. I didn't know that I'd end up helping lead companies. What I did know was that I was working with a software project that made it easier for me to do my job.
Happy New Year to all. 2013 was a year of many changes. These were professional, personal, and on a more macro level. I had recently left my job with Trellon to pursue contract work. We had just finished renovating our kitchen - just in time for a New Year's Eve party that involved a large percentage of guests from the Drupal community. Our little dog, diagnosed with mast cell cancer, wasn't expected to live for much longer (spoiler - he's still kicking it with us). Congress, in the United States, continued to be deadlocked culminating in a partial shutdown of the government, and a populace that was sick and tired of 534 people who simply could not agree on anything. There was a seriously flawed rollout of the healthcare Website, which as a Web Application professional I found fascinating.
I thought that sharing some bits and pieces from my life over the last year might be fun. If you feel interested enough to follow along my geeky and Drupally year, that would be just fine.
I had started working as an independent consultant with several clients late in 2012. The biggest one was 5 Rings Web, where I was consulting as the COO and managing the project management side of the shop for my good friend Lindsay Ogden. 5 Rings is largely a Drupal shop and I started by auditing processes and helping the group of excellent developers and designers organize in a more efficient manner. I was lucky to work with some terrific clients supporting existing Drupal sites but also defining some complex architectures for several companies and helping the team organize around Agile Sprints to bring web products to market. I am very proud of the work I did there when I was more heavily involved in working with them. Some how I managed, while doing operations for both Vintage Digital and 5 Rings to write a blog post on Managing Multiple Drop boxes
In March the community found out that Neil and Marta were leaving the Drupal Association in a restructure of the organization. This came as a shock to many. There were those who had really come to know Neil and respected his hard work on the Drupalcon. He had a pretty rough go of it with Drupalcon Denver in 2012 as he better integrated into the community. I was amongst those who were deeply saddened by the departure. Holly reached out to many in the community, including myself, to reassure us.
Well it has started in earnest. The Colorado community is organizing for this summer's event. We're using Drupal.org's issue to organize our activities for the second year. There was a short debate on whether to use a ticketing system like dotproject or redmine, but in the end using the tools that the drive our other projects forward seemed like the right move. The project is setup here: https://drupal.org/project/dcco if you want to get involved. We're setting a deadline of December Friday the 13th to firm in place the core team.
It may seem like ages in the future, but it really isn't. This past summer I agreed to do the project management for Drupalcamp Colorado 2014. I'm going to start organizing the project in a ticketing system - probably dotproject or chiliproject. I'm going to need help! I've included a sign up form below for you to indicate you want to be helpful and what kind of helpful things you would like to do.
Examples of some roles could include:
This year's BADCamp had me doing a couple of presentations, attending a few sessions, and having lots of conversations with many different people. It also had me eating some pretty great food including marinated baby squid.
I spent time in the Large Scale Drupal meeting. There were lots of companies that many Drupal shops would not necessarily think about as being traditional Drupal users. In fact, one of the more interesting deployments was with the Princess Cruise Ship line. They are using Drupal internally on the ships to provide information to passengers. They are running their own servers on the ship to avoid using external Internet because of the unique issues that come with moving around the world in places that don't always have access to communications that would provide Internet.
I also attended the Higher Education Summit. Aten Design Group was a sponsor. I gave a lightning talk with 3 2 minute case studies covering three sites that Aten has created. I talked about Poynter's News University, Stanford + Connects, and Aspirations. They are all complex sites whose goals are to extend the educational experience of learners ranging from those planning for college to those who are looking to learn beyond graduation. It was great knowing that Aten had helped the camp have the money they needed to conduct the summit.
What do these three things have in common? Not much it would seem, however currently they are three things that are in the forefront of my mind.
The last two months has had the Saunders looking for, making an offer on, and buying a house about 25 miles away from where we had lived for about 13 years. At that time wireless networking wasn't as prevalent (or cheap) as it is these days. Back in my graduate school days, I had helped network the dormitories with fibre, coaxial, and CAT5. We threw away long runs of cable that weren't any good for large school buildings, but I thought would be useful when I had a home of my own. I collected roughly a spool worth. I used that to wire our house. Part of what happened this last month was dismantling that network and setting up a wireless network in the new house.
Anybody need half a dozen lightly used switches?
Moving, in the best of times, dominates your life. But we are now getting the old house cleaned up, walls repaired, and painted. We're getting it ready for market. This isn't without a certain amount of sadness as I bought this house on the onset of my professional career as a technologist and ultimately a Drupaler. Joining the Drupal community brought me to...
Last year I wrote my Top 10 Reasons BADCamp should be GLADCamp. I'll be going again this year representing Aten Design Group from Denver. This year I'll be presenting Herding the Cats, Keep the Focus, a session on effective communication with internal and external stakeholders. Last year at this time, I was running for the...
At about 4:30 am local time I had a flurry of SMS messages that came from Prague - THANK YOU Mike Meyers, you were the first to send me a note. An official announcement had been made at the open board meeting that I had been elected last week to the Drupal Board as an At Large Member. I guess my time zones were a little off - I had set my alarm to go off at 5:00 am to jump into the meeting by telecon to listen in.
Twittering, both Direct and Public, began with posts like: