Drupal training is happening around the world, and we're getting ready for 2019 now. The common purpose of DrupalGTD is to introduce newcomers to Drupal and our community in a locally organized event, either in-person or online.
Drupal training event in 2018 with FFW in Albany, NY
Mark your calendars for the following dates and if you would like to host a training event, there's a place to do it now for maximum lead time.
We'll be celebrating GTD all month during February, April, June, September, and December, but we also have target dates.2019 Drupal GTD dates
- February 7-9
- April 18-20
- June 27-29
- September 12-14
- December 5-7
In 2019, the dates are expanding to Thursday-Saturday, rather than only Friday-Saturday. By including Thursdays, we're encouraging hosts to experiment by offering events on different days to see what works better in your locale.Have questions about getting started?
VisualN provides an interface to check "how it works" for any available drawer on the site. To see the list of drawers go to VisualN -> Available Drawers Preview menu item.Available drawers list
Though VisualN allows you to use any resource type as data source (e.g. csv, xls files or views), for demo purposes it is enough to have some dummy data. Such data can be obtained from data generators. Data generators are simple plugins returning an array of data (which is just another resource type) of a given structure that can be used by certain drawers (e.g. Leaflet uses lat, lon and title data fields).
Data generators may also provide info about drawer or drawers that can use generated data. Those drawers and data generators are considered compatible. Drawers highlighted green have compatible data generators.
There are a couple of use cases when you may want to use the Available drawers preview UI:
- check drawer in action, examine configuration form settings
- set configuration values to create a visualization style
- use the preview UI to help drawer development and to test changes
- check data format used by drawers (e.g. using table drawer)
This week we talked with David Valdez. Read about what impact Drupal made on him, what contribution is he the proudest of and what Drutopia is.READ MORE
- Adopt the PSR-12 standard for PHP7 return types once Drupal 8 drops PHP 5 support
- Provide standard around type hinting
- Explicitly disallow yoda conditions needs coder love for some automation
For the past two North American DrupalCons, my presentations have focused on introducing people to the Webform module for Drupal 8. First and foremost, it’s important that people understand the primary use case behind the Webform module, within Drupal's ecosystem of contributed modules, which is to…
The other important message I include in all my presentations is…
Over the past two years, between presentations, screencasts, blog posts, and providing support, the Webform module has become very robust and feature complete. Only experienced and advanced Drupal developers have been able to fully tap into the flexibility and openness of the Webform module.
The flexibility and openness of Drupal
Drupal's 'openness' stems from the fact that the software is Open Source; every line of code is freely shared. The Drupal's community's collaborative nature does more than just 'share code'. We share our ideas, failures, successes, and more. This collaboration leads to an incredible amount of flexibility. In the massive world of Content Management Systems, 'flexibility' is what makes Drupal stand apart from its competitors.
Most blog posts and promotional material about Drupal's flexibility reasonably omits the fact that Drupal has a steep learning curve. Developers new to Drupal struggle to understand entities, plugins, hooks, event subscribers, derivatives, and more until they have an ‘Aha’ moment where they realize how ridiculously flexible Drupal is.
The Webform module also has a steep learning curve
The Webform module's user experience focuses on making it easy for people to start building fairly robust forms quickly, including the ability to edit the YAML source behind a form. This gives users a starting point to understanding Drupal's render and form APIs. As soon as someone decides to peek at...Read More
BADCamp 2018 was the first real big event I attended, aside from actively participating in Drupal Camp Costa Rica for three years. Kindly enough some co-workers who had already assisted shared with me their experience which gave me great expectations. In addition, I was excited to sightsee San Francisco and Berkeley.
After dedicating this year to front-end, BADCamp sessions left me more than satisfied, with refreshed knowledge and practices. So I would like to share my experience and the content of sessions I participated:
The second day was a highlight, assistants were given challenges and tools, dialogue tables enriched my personal experience by listening to others talk about ways to improve development applications.hjuarez Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:48
Car Zymphonies Theme is our Mobile-first Drupal 8 responsive theme. This theme features a custom sideshow, responsive layout, multiple column layouts and is highly customizable. Read more
Confidently showcase your new product within this bright, comprehensive Drupal responsive layout. Includes pricing grid, team section, featured elements, and social media sections.
- Drupal 8 core
- Bootstrap v4
- Font Awesome v5
- Mobile-first responsive theme
- Custom menu bar
- Light weight theme
- Fully responsive design
- Included Sass & Compass source file
- Colors are stored in Sass variable
- Well organized Sass code
Banner can configure completely from theme settings page. It has control to upload image, add title and description etc.Connect with Zymphonies
- Like us on Facebook
- Follow us in Twitter
- Follow us in LinkedIn
- Follow us in G+
- Follow us in Pinterest
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Have Queries? Click here to contact Zymphonies
- Free theme customisation & additional features
- Drupal custom theme development
- Drupal website design & development
- Drupal website migration
Sponsored by Zymphonies
Team AdWeb has worked for a distinctive list of industries counting from hospitability to technology and retailers to an online lottery purchase system based website. Yes, we recently collaborated with a Japan-based company to build their website with lottery purchase system, using Drupal 8. We’ve been Drupal-ing even before our inception and have been an active member of the Drupal community, globally. Our association and experience of Drupal were the base of the client’s immense faith in us and we knew that we’re going to stand true to that.
About the Project
The project requirement of the client was to build a website for them in Drupal 8. The website is basically an online lottery purchase system. Due to confidential reasons, we can not share the name of the company/client but would like to share that the experience of working on this project was new and enriching.
We personally love experimenting and implementing innovative features to enhance the client’s website. Plus, we get a little more excited when its a Drupal 8 website. We integrated a host of futuristic features to this very website too. But since, it’s an online lottery purchase system we knew that the integration of the Payment Gateway is going to be one of an integral part. Hence, we created three types of Payment Gateway, as follows:\
The user is an integral part of this entire online lottery system and hence several functionalities are crafted around them. Like, a user can purchase coins by WebMoney Payment method and can also buy lottery from choosing any product bundle. A user also has an option to select the quantity of the product or go for the complete set. The payment for either of it can be done by the coins, GMO credit card or points.
Draw system is used for the selection of the lottery winner. Other than the lottery prize, the user also stands a chance to win the Kiriban Product as a prize. The Kiriban Product is based on the product bundle configuration, which is an additional product that a user gets as defined by an admin user.
Any e-commerce website will definitely have multiple users buying for the same product. In this situation, the backend technicalities should be as such that it updates the quantity left of the product after the last purchase is made. Issues occur when two or more users place the order at the same time. This is an issue that is involved in concurrent shopping. In this case, the lottery opened for some specific time. Hence, the issue occurred in showcasing the updated quantity. This problem came to our notice when the site went live and around 7-8 users made the transaction at one specific time. We immediately started working on the issue.
We quickly picked up the problem and started searching for the resolution. We have had several times, prior to this, created an e-commerce website. Hence, we used multiple methods to resolve the issues, mentioned below, but none of them worked in this particular case.
Initially, we tried using a Drupal lock to resolve the issue, but in vain.
We, later on, used the MySQL lock but this too didn’t work, due to the involvement of multiple quantities inside for loop.
The usage of sleep time with random sleep time also did not work, because it created the nearby value and not the exact one.
Though the method of random sleep time did not work in this case, it gave birth to the final resolution that worked. And hence, we did a minor modification to the same and divided the sleep time in a range of 3. Also, to avoid the possibility of any further clash, we adopted a table of 100.
The Final Resolution:
After trying out a handful of methods, we finally came up with a method that did work out in our favor. Let us share what steps did finally help us in addressing the problem of concurrent shopping that we faced:
A table consisting of 1 to 100 numbers was taken, with the sleep time by a range of 3.
Later, a random number was picked and a flag value for the same was set
Then, a greater number from those numbers with the range of 3 was picked
Below is the table that was created to bring out the final solution:, ,
‘Flag’ was used to 0 by default, which will be automatically set to 1 every time the number is in use
How it works:
At the beginning of the transaction, the max sleep_time will be checked where flag=1
The sleep_time for the first user will be 0
After this, a random number from max sleep_time is selected with a range of 3
The first user’s range is 1-3
In the case of the second user, one number will be skipped after the max time and will be started after that number
In case a user gets the max sleep_time in 3 then the range for the random number will be 5-7
If the second user gets the random number as 6 then the random number range for the third user will be 8-10
The flag value will be updated as 1 for this random number
In the end, the flag value of the transaction will be updated with 0
The Final Say:
“All is well, that ends well.” And that’s exactly we have to say for this particular project. Yes, though we had coded and created many e-commerce websites before, this was the first time that we picked up a project to create a Drupal 8 website with an online lottery system. And believe us, it was a monumental success for us and satisfying project for the client.
A machine learning model, that could lead a driver directly to an empty parking spot, fetched the second prize in the Graduate level: MS category at the 2018 Science and Technology Open House Competition. It goes without saying that dreams of computer systems with godlike powers and the wisdom to use them is not just a theological construct but a technological possibility. And sci-fi éminence grise Arthur C. Clarke rightfully remarked that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Machine learning predates computers!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be the buzzword of our times but Machine Learning (ML) is really the brass tacks. Machine learning has made great inroads into different areas. It has the capability of looking at the pictures of biopsies and picking out possible cancers. It can be taught to predict the outcome of legal cases, writing press releases and even composing music! However, the sci-fi future where a machine learning beats a human in all the conceivable department and is perpetually learning isn’t a reality yet. So, how does machine learning fit into the world of content management system like Drupal? Before finding that out, let’s go back to the times when computers did not even exist.
In this day and age, self-driving cars, voice-activated assistants and social media feed are some of the tools which are powered by machine learning. Compilations made by BBC and Forbes show that machine learning has a long timeline that relies on mathematics from hundreds of years ago and the elephantine developments in computing over the years.Machine learning has a long timeline that relies on mathematics from hundreds of years ago and the elephantine developments in computing over the years
Mathematical innovations like Bayes’ Theorem (1812), Least Squares method for data fitting (1805) and Markov Chains (1913) laid the foundation for modern machine learning concept.
In the late 1940s, stored-program computers like Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (1948) came into the picture. Through the 1950s and 1960s, several influential discoveries were made like the ‘Turing Test’, first computer learning program, first neural network for computers and the ‘nearest neighbour’ algorithm. In the nineties, IBM’s Deep Blue beat the world chess champion.
Post-millennium, we have several technology giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Facebook today actively working on more advanced machine learning models. Proof of this is the Alpha algorithm, developed by Google DeepMind, which beat a professional in the Go competition and it is considered more intricate than chess!Discovering Machine Learning
Machine learning is a form of AI that allows a system to learn from data instead of doing that through explicit programming. It is not a simple process. As the algorithms ingest training data, producing more accurate models based on that data is possible.Advanced machine learning algorithms are composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing), used in unsupervised and supervised learning, that operate guided by lessons from existing information. - Gartner
When you train your machine learning algorithm with data, the output that is generated is the machine learning model. After training, when you provide an input to the model, an output will be given to you. For instance, a predictive algorithm will build a predictive model. Then, when the predictive model is provided with the data, you receive a prediction based on the data that trained the model.Difference between AI and machine learning Source: IBM
Machine learning may have relished a massive success of late but it is just one of the approaches for achieving artificial intelligence.
Forrester defines artificial intelligence as “the theory and capabilities that strive to mimic human intelligence through experience and learning”. AI systems generally demonstrate traits like planning, learning, reasoning, problem solving, knowledge solving, social intelligence and creativity among others.
Alongside machine learning, there are numerous other approaches used to build AI systems such as evolutionary computation, expert systems etc.
Machine learning is generally divided into the following categories:
- Supervised learning: It typically begins with an established set of data and with a certain understanding of the classification of that data is done and intends to find patterns in data for applying that to an analytics process.
- Unsupervised learning: It is used when the problem needs a large amount of unlabeled data.
- Reinforcement learning: It is a behavioural learning model. The algorithm receives feedback from the data analysis thereby guiding the user to the best outcome.
- Deep learning: It incorporates neural networks in successive layers for learning the data in an iterative manner.
Today, the majority of enterprises require descriptive analytics, that is needed for efficient management, but not sufficient to enhance business performance. For the businesses to scale higher level of responsiveness, they need to move beyond descriptive analytics and move up the intelligence capability pyramid. This is where machine learning plays a key role.For the businesses to scale higher level of responsiveness, they need to move beyond descriptive analytics and move up the intelligence capability pyramid.
Machine learning is not a new technique but the interest in the field has grown multifold in recent years. For enterprises, machine learning has the ability to scale across a broad range of businesses like manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, retail, travel and many others.Source: Tata Consultancy Services
Business processes directly related to revenue-making are among the most-valued applications like sales, contract management, customer service, finance, legal, quality, pricing and order fulfilment.
Exponential data growth with unstructured data like social media posts, connected devices sensing data, competitor and partner pricing and supply chain tracking data among others is one of the reasons of why adoptions rates of machine learning have skyrocketed.
The Internet of Things (IoT) networks, connected devices and embedded systems are generating real-time data which is great for optimising supply chain networks and increasing demand forecast precision.
Another reason why machine learning is successful because of its ability to generate massive data sets through synthetic means like extrapolation and projection of existing historical data to develop realistic simulated data.
Moreover, the economics of safe and secure digital storage and cloud computing are merging to put infrastructure costs into free fall thereby making machine learning more cost effective for all the enterprises.
A session at DrupalCon Baltimore 2017 had a presentation which was useful for machine learning enthusiasts and it did not require any coding experience. It showed how to look at data from the eye view of a machine learning engineer.
It also leveraged deep learning and site content to give Drupal superpowers by making use of same technology that is exploding at Facebook, Google and Amazon.
The demonstration focused on mining Drupal content as the fuel for deep learning. It showed when to use existing ML models or services when to build your own, deployment of ML models and using them in production. It showed free pre-built models and paid services from Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google and others.
Drag and drop interface was used for creating, training and deploying a simple ML model to the cloud with the help of Microsoft Azure ML API. Google Speech API was used to turn spoken audio content into the text content to use them with chatbots and virtual assistants. Watson REST API was leveraged to perform sentiment analysis. Google Vision API module was used so that uploaded images can add Face, Logo, and Object Detection. And Microsoft’s ML API was leveraged to automatically build summaries from node content.
Another session at DrupalCon Baltimore 2017 showed how to personalise web content experiences on the basis of subtle elements of a person’s digital persona.
Standard personalisation approaches recommend content on the basis of a person’s profile or the past activity. For instance, if a person is searching for a gym bag, something like this works - “Here are some more gym bags”. Or if he or she is reading about movie reviews, this would work - “Maybe you would like this review of the recently released movie”.
But the demonstration shown at this session had advanced motives. They exhibited Deep Feeling, a proof-of-concept project that utilises machine learning techniques doing better recommendations to the users. This proof-of-concept recommended travel experiences on the basis of kind of things a person shares with the help of Acquia Lift service and Drupal 8.
With the help of Instagram API to access a person’s stream-of-consciousness, the demo showed that their feeds were filtered via a computer-vision API and was used to detect and learn subtle themes about the person’s preferences. Once a notion on what sort of experiences, which the person thinks are worth sharing, is established, then the person’s characteristics were matched against their own databases.
Another presentation held at Bay Area Drupal Camp 2018 explored how the CMS and Drupal Community can put machine learning into practice by leveraging a Drupal module, taxonomy system and Google’s Natural Language Processing API.
Natural language processing concepts like sentiment analysis, entity analysis, topic segmentation, language identification among others were discussed. Numerous natural language processing API alternatives were compared like Google’s natural language processing API, TextRazor, Amazon Comprehend and open source solutions like Datamuse.
It explored use cases by assessing and automatically categorising news articles using Drupal’s taxonomy system. Those categories were merged with the sentiment analysis in order to make a recommendation system for a hypothetical news audience.Future of Machine learning
A report on Markets and Markets states that the machine learning market size will grow from USD 1.41 Billion in 2017 to USD 8.81 Billion by 2022 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 44.1%.
The report further states that the major driving factors for the global machine learning market are the technological advancement and proliferation in data generation. Moreover, increasing demand for intelligent business processes and the aggrandising adoption rates of modern applications are expected to offer opportunities for more growth.
Some of the near-term predictions are:
- Most applications will include machine learning. In a few years, machine learning will become part of almost every other software applications with engineers embedding these capabilities directly into our devices.
- Machine learning as a service (MLaaS) will be a commonplace. More businesses will start using the cloud to offer MLaaS and take advantage of machine learning without making huge hardware investments or training their own algorithms.
- Computers will get good at talking like humans. As technology gets better and better, solutions such as IBM Watson Assistant will learn to communicate endlessly without using code.
- Algorithms will perpetually retrain. In the near future, more ML systems will connect to the internet and constantly retrain on the most relevant information.
- Specialised hardware will be delivering performance breakthroughs. GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) is advantageous for running ML algorithms as they have a large number of simple cores. AI experts are also leveraging Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) which, at times, can even outclass GPUs.
Whether computers start ruling us someday by gaining superabundance of intelligence is not a likely outcome. Even though it is a possibility which is why it is widely debated whenever artificial intelligence and machine learning is discussed.
On the brighter side, machine learning has a plenitude of scope in making our lives better with its tremendous capabilities of providing unprecedented insights into different matters. And when Drupal and machine learning come together, it is even more exciting as it results in the provision of awesome web experience.
Opensense Labs always strives to fulfil digital transformation endeavours of our partners with a suite of services.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how machine learning can be put to great to use in your Drupal web application.blog banner blog image Machine Learning Drupal Machine Learning Machine Learning and Drupal Drupal Drupal 8 Supervised learning Unsupervised learning Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence AI Reinforcement learning web personalisation Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
Jeff Geerling's Blog: Drupal startup time and opcache - faster scaling for PHP in containerized environments
Lately I've been spending a lot of time working with Drupal in Kubernetes and other containerized environments; one problem that's bothered me lately is the fact that when autoscaling Drupal, it always takes at least a few seconds to get a new Drupal instance running. Not installing Drupal, configuring the database, building caches; none of that. I'm just talking about having a Drupal site that's already operational, and scaling by adding an additional Drupal instance or container.
One of the principles of the 12 Factor App is:
Maximize robustness with fast startup and graceful shutdown.
Disposability is important because it enables things like easy, fast code deployments, easy, fast autoscaling, and high availability. It also forces you to make your code stateless and efficient, so it starts up fast even with a cold cache. Read more about the disposability factor on the 12factor site.
This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.
Configuration management is an important feature of any modern content management system. Those following modern development best-practices use a development workflow that involves some sort of development and staging environment that is separate from the production environment.
Given such a development workflow, you need to push configuration changes from development to production (similar to how you need to push code or content between environments). Drupal's configuration management system helps you do that in a powerful yet elegant way.
Since I announced the original Configuration Management Initiative over seven years ago, we've developed and shipped a strong configuration management API in Drupal 8. Drupal 8's configuration management system is a huge step forward from where we were in Drupal 7, and a much more robust solution than what is offered by many of our competitors.
All configuration in a Drupal 8 site — from one-off settings such as site name to content types and field definitions — can be seamlessly moved between environments, allowing for quick and easy deployment between development, staging and production environments.
However, now that we have a couple of years of building Drupal 8 sites behind us, various limitations have surfaced. While these limitations usually have solutions via contributed modules, it has become clear that we would benefit from extending Drupal core's built-in configuration management APIs. This way, we can establish best practices and standard approaches that work for all.
The four different focus areas for Drupal 8. The configuration management initiative is part of the 'Improve Drupal for developers' track.
I first talked about this need in my DrupalCon Nashville keynote, where I announced the Configuration Management 2.0 initiative. The goal of this initiative is to extend Drupal's built-in configuration management so we can support more common workflows out-of-the-box without the need of contributed modules.
What is an example workflow that is not currently supported out-of-the-box? Support for different configurations by environment. This is a valuable use case because some settings are undesirable to have enabled in all environments. For example, you most likely don't want to enable debugging tools in production.
The contributed module Config Filter extends Drupal core's built-in configuration management capabilities by providing an API to support different workflows which filter out or transform certain configuration changes as they are being pushed to production. Config Split, another contributed module, builds on top of Config Filter to allow for differences in configuration between various environments.
The Config Split module's use case is just one example of how we can improve Drupal's out-of-the-box configuration management capabilities. The community created a longer list of pain points and advanced use cases for the configuration management system.
While the initiative team is working on executing on these long-term improvements, they are also focused on delivering incremental improvements with each new version of Drupal 8, and have distilled the most high-priority items into a configuration management roadmap.
- In Drupal 8.6, we added support for creating new sites from existing configuration. This enables developers to launch a development site that matches a production site's configuration with just a few clicks.
- For Drupal 8.7, we're planning on shipping an experimental module for dealing with environment specific configuration, moving the capabilities of Config Filter and the basic capabilities of Config Split to Drupal core through the addition of a Configuration Transformer API.
- For Drupal 8.8, the focus is on supporting configuration updates across different sites. We want to allow both sites and distributions to package configuration (similar to the well-known Features module) so they can easily be deployed across other sites.
There are many opportunities to contribute to this initiative and we'd love your help.
If you would like to get involved, check out the Configuration Management 2.0 project and various Drupal core issues tagged as "CMI 2.0 candidate".
From all of us on the BADCamp organizing team, a huge thank you to the many volunteers, speakers, trainers, masseuses, waffle-makers, and our 1300+ registered attendees for making BADCamp a must-attend event, year in and year out!
You are the ones who build and grow the community, we just provide the rooms.Watch (and re-watch) Sessions
Thanks to the heroic efforts of our volunteers (shout out to @kevinjthull), we have posted recordings for most of our sessions.
Help us make next year's BADCamp even better. Take two minutes to submit your thoughts on our survey.
If you left something behind by mistake, we may have it! Don't give up. Read our post with a list of the things left behind.Sponsors
A BIG thanks Platform.sh, Pantheon & DDEV and all our sponsors. Without them this magical event wouldn’t be possible./p>See You Next Year!
Until then, the best way to keep in touch with us is to follow @badcamp on twitter, where our intemperate social media team likes to leak event details way way in advance.
I am currently building a Drupal 8 application which is running outside Acquia Cloud, and I noticed there are a few 'magic' settings I'm used to working on Acquia Cloud which don't work if you aren't inside an Acquia or Pantheon environment; most notably, the automatic Configuration Split settings choice (for environments like local, dev, and prod) don't work if you're in a custom hosting environment.
You have to basically reset the settings BLT provides, and tell Drupal which config split should be active based on your own logic. In my case, I have a site which only has a local, ci, and prod environment. To override the settings defined in BLT's included config.settings.php file, I created a config.settings.php file in my site in the path docroot/sites/settings/config.settings.php, and I put in the following contents:
What's your favorite tool for creating content layouts in Drupal? Paragraphs, Display Suite, Panelizer or maybe Panels? Or CKEditor styles & templates? How about the much talked about and yet still experimental Drupal 8 Layout Builder module?
Have you "played” with it yet?
As Drupal site builders, we all agree that a good page layout builder should be:
This is where development of the Probo theme for Drupal will be housed. It is the themed used by the Probo Open Source Server package.
In this post, I take a look at the two main methods of creating custom blocks and go through each one of them separately.READ MORE
Drupal Atlanta Medium Publication: Sponsoring a DrupalCamp is Not About the Return on Investment (ROI).
Organizing a DrupalCamp takes a lot of commitment from volunteers, so when someone gets motivated to help organize these events, the financial risks can be quite alarming and sometimes overwhelming. But forget all that mess, you are a Drupal enthusiast and have drummed up the courage to volunteer with the organization of your local DrupalCamp. During your first meeting, you find out that there are no free college or community spaces in the area and the estimated price tag is $25,000. Holy Batman that is a lot of money!
Naturally, you start thinking about how we are going to cover that price tag, so you immediately ask, “how many people usually attend?” Well unless you are one of the big 5, (BadCamp, NYCCamp, GovCon, MidCamp or FloridaCamp) we average between 100 and 200 people. Then you ask, “how much can we charge?” You are then told that we cannot charge more than $50 because camps are supposed to be affordable for the local community and that has been the culture of most DrupalCamps.
Drupal is the Enterprise solution. Drupal has forgotten about the hobbyist and is only concerned about large-scale projects. Drupal developers and companies make more per hour than Wordpress developers. These are all things I have heard from people within the community. So if any of these statements are valid, why are all the camps priced like it is 2002 and we are all sitting around in a circle singing Kumbaya? In 2016 for DrupalCamp Atlanta, we couldn’t make the numbers work, so we decided to raise the price of the camp from $45 to $65 (early bird) and $85 (regular rate). This was a long drawn out and heated debate that took nearly all of our 2 hours allotted for our google hangout. At the end of the day, one of our board members who is also a Diamond sponsor said,“when you compare how other technology conferences are priced and what they are offering for sessions, DrupalCamps are severely under-priced for the value they provide to the community.”Courtesy of Amaziee.io Labs
If a camp roughly costs $25,000 and you can only charge 150 people $50, how in the world are DrupalCamps produced? The simple answer, sponsors, sponsors, and more sponsors. Most camps solely rely on the sponsors to cover the costs. One camp, in particular, BADCamp has roughly 2,000 attendees and the registration is FREE. That’s right, the camp is completely free and did I forget to mention that it’s in San Francisco? Based on the BADCamp model and due to the fact the diamond sponsorship for DrupalCon Nashville was $50,000, getting 10 companies to sponsor your camp at $2,500 will be no sweat. Oh and don’t forget Drupal is the enterprise solution, right?
With all of your newfound confidence in obtaining sponsorships, you start contacting some of the larger Drupal shops in your area and after a week nothing. You reach out again maybe by phone this time and actually speak to someone but they are not committing because they want some more information as to why they should sponsor the camp such as, what other perks can you throw in for the sponsorship, are we guaranteed presentation slots, and do you provide the participant list. Of course, the worst response is the dreaded no, we cannot sponsor your conference because we have already met our sponsorship budget for the year.
At this point, you feel defeated and confused as to why organizations are not chomping at the bit to fork over $2,500 to be the sponsor. Yep, that’s right, twenty-five hundred, not $25,000 to be the highest level, sponsor. Mind you many Drupal shops charge anywhere between $150 — $250 an hour. So that means donating 10–17 hours of your organizations time to support a Drupal event in your local community. Yes, you understand that there are a lot of DrupalCamps contacting the same companies for sponsorship so you ask yourself, what has changed from years past?
At DrupalCon Nashville, I got an awesome opportunity to participate in a session around organizing DrupalCamps. It was really interesting to hear about how other organizers produce their camp and what were some of the biggest pain points.Group Photo — DrupalCon 2018 Nashville by Susanne Coates
During this session, we were talking about a centralized sponsorship program for all DrupalCamps (that I personally disagree with and will save that discussion for another blog post) and an individual asked the question,“why should my company sponsor DrupalCamp Atlanta? There is nothing there for me that makes it worth it. We don’t pick up clients, you to don’t distribute the participant list, so why should we sponsor the camp?”
Needless to say, they caught me completely off guard, so I paused then replied,“DrupalCamp Atlanta has between 150–200 people, most of them from other Drupal shops, so what is it that you are expecting to get out of the sponsorship that would make it worth it to you? Why do you sponsor any DrupalCamps?”Have Drupal Companies Outgrown the Need to Sponsor DrupalCamps?
On the plane ride back to the ATL it got me thinking, why does an organization sponsor DrupalCamps? What is the return on their investment? I started reminiscing of the very first DrupalCamp that I attended in 2008 and all the rage at that time (and still is), was inbound marketing and how using a content strategy and or conference presentations can establish your company as thought leaders in the field, therefore, clients will find your information useful and approach you when its time to hire for services. Maybe this is why so many camps received a ton of presentation submissions and why it was easy to find sponsors, but that was over 10 years ago now and some of those same companies have now been established as leaders in the field. Could it be, that established companies no longer need the visibility of DrupalCamps?What happens to DrupalCamps when companies no longer need the visibility or credibility from the Drupal community?
The Drupal community thrives when Drupal shops become bigger and take on those huge projects because it results in contributions back to the code, therefore, making our project more competitive. But an unintended consequence of these Drupal shops becoming larger is that there is a lot more pressure on them to raise funding thus they need to spend more resources on obtaining clients outside of the Drupal community. Acquia, the company built by the founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert, have made it clear that they are pulling back on their local camp sponsorships and have even created their own conference called Acquia Engage that showcases their enterprise clients. Now from a business perspective, I totally understand why they would create this event as it provides a much higher return on their investment but it results in competing with other camps (ahem, this year’s DrupalCamp Atlanta), but more importantly the sponsorship dollars all of us depend on are now being redirected to other initiatives.
The reality of the situation is that sponsoring these DrupalCamps are most likely not going to land your next big client that pays your company a $500,000 contract. So what are true reasons to sponsor a DrupalCamp:
When sponsoring these DrupalCamps most of us organizers do a pretty good job of tweeting thanks to the company and if the organization has presenters we usually promote the sessions as well. In addition, most camps print logos on the website, merchandise, and name after parties. Yes, its only a little bit but the internet is forever and the more you are mentioned the better off you are. But you are from a well established Drupal shop so you don’t need any more visibility.
Even the companies who are have been established need their staff to be credible. There will always be some amount of turnover and when that happens your clients still want to know if this person is talented. And if your company is new, being associated with Drupal in your local community does provide your company a sense of credibility.
I saved the best for last. Collegiality is highly overlooked when looking at sponsoring camps. Most companies have a referral program for new hires and when the time comes for you to hire, people tend to refer their friends and their professional acquaintances. There is no better place to meet and interact with other Drupalist than a DrupalCamp. What about employee engagement? In a recent focus group I participated in with a Drupal shop, many of the staff wanted more opportunities for professional development. These local camps are affordable and can allow staff to attend multiple events in a year when you have small budgets.
I must end by saying, that there are so many great Drupal companies that I have had the pleasure to work with and if it were not for the Acquia’s of the world Drupal wouldn’t exist. I understand that CEO’s are responsible for their employees and their families so I don’t want to underestimate the pressures that come with making payroll and having a client pipeline. The purpose of this post was to explain how it feels as a volunteer who is doing something for the community and the frustrations that sometimes come with it.
If you are interested in sponsoring a DrupalCamp check out Drupical and sponsor a camp today! All of us organizers need your help!!
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Sponsoring a DrupalCamp is Not About the Return on Investment (ROI). was originally published in Drupal Atlanta on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.