What is DrupalCon?

July 11th, 2012

Those of us getting really excited that it is almost time for DrupalCon again sometimes need to explain to our friends, colleagues, or family members what all the fuss is about.

Explaining DrupalCon

Have you ever had trouble putting it into words? “Yeah, Mom, we sit in rooms together and write code! … Yes, I do that all year … Yes, I talk to these people online all the time … But DrupalCon is incredible because it’s so … y’know, great! I met Dries! I committed a patch with Webchick!”

I was thinking about this recently and started jotting down some of my impressions of what goes on at a DrupalCon. DrupalCon is so big and so busy, no one has the same DrupalCon as anyone else, of course, but here’s a quick DrupalCon primer in the form of a …

DrupalCon A-Z


  • A is for for Drupal Association – The Drupal Association is a non-profit foundation dedicating to supporting and promoting the Drupal project in many ways, including running DrupalCon Munich! Become a member today!
  • All-inclusive – Your ticket to DrupalCon Munich includes lunch, coffee, tea, and all the code you can write! Get yours today! It’s a steal at €475.


  • Beer track – The social side of DrupalCon – with or without beer – is just as important as the sessions, the code that gets written, and the deals that get made – the interpersonal connections that get made at Drupal’s in-person events are what builds our community and holds it together.
  • BoFs – “Birds of a feather flock together.” Not presenting a formal session? Want to find others interested in your niche in the Drupal world? BoFs are spontaneously organized, informal sessions covering any topic that two or more people get together to talk about. Schedule a BoF today or look for the BoF rooms and whiteboards at the DrupalCon venue!
  • Business is a big driver of the DrupalCon. Whether you’re looking for clients, looking for implementation, hosting, or employees, you’ll meet plenty of people at DrupalCon doing, looking for, and happy to help you do business using Drupal. Check out the Drupal CxO event on August 20th too.


  • Code is the technical backbone of Drupal. Drupal itself is mostly written in PHP, but JQuery and other flavors of Javascript, database queries, CSS, HTML, and more all play their part.
  • Code of conduct – The Drupal community lives by two codes of conduct that reflect our positive values both in their creation, wording, and use. Both the Drupal Code of Conduct and the DrupalCon Code of Conduct can be summed up thus:

    • Be considerate
    • Be welcoming
    • Be respectful
    • Be collaborative
    • When we disagree, we consult others
    • When we need it, we ask for help
    • We’re all in this together
  • Coder lounge – 24-hour open hangout for the hard-core developers who can’t get enough … or just can’t get to sleep! Look for it in Munich!
  • Code sprints are mass coding efforts (in this case the day after DrupalCon, August 24th, but they also happen throughout the year at other times and places) where Drupalists who might not get to see each other in person, get together to collaborate in real time and real space. These sprints have produced great code, documentation, and innovations in the past. Come and do your part!
  • Collaboration is the modus operandi of the Drupal community. The more ideas you share, the more code you share, the greater the chance is that someone else will be able to not only use that, but also give it back to you with improvements. We say, “The more you give, the more you get back.”
  • Community – “Come for the software, stay for the community” is an old saying in Drupal. It’s hard to explain how fundamental the community of “Drupalists” – the people using and working on Drupal around the world – is to making Drupal what it is. The power of Drupal’s technology is massively multiplied by a community of people actively helping each other, cooperating, and contributing 24 hours a day, every day. Come meet us in Munich!
  • Competitions – DrupalCon’s have been known to feature fun competitions both on the exhibitors’ floor and elsewhere.
  • Core contributor sprint and training – Got ideas how to make Drupal better? Need to know how to do that? Check out this session and come to the community sprint day on August 24th.
  • Core Conversations where Drupalists actively working and contributing to Drupal core or meet, discuss, and plan the future of Drupal.


  • Decision makers – Selling Drupal services? Buying Drupal services? Looking for help? You’ll find these folks at DrupalCon Munich, and especially at the Drupal CxO event on August 20th and the Exhibit Hall.
  • Developers! Developers! Developers! … are only one (very, very important) part of the Drupal community. The health and growth of the Drupal ecosystem can be measured by the fact that it now also includes designers, businesspeople, marketers, evangelists, visionaries, and more.
  • Discussion – Drupalists are good at this. Bring throat lozenges and plenty of water.
  • Discounts are available for full-time students and employees of non-profit organizations.
  • Drupal is an open source content management system and social publishing platform and it is what we do! Download it today and change the world!
  • Drupal Shops – Choosing Drupal as the technology to realize your vision, do your business, or change the world is a safe choice. There are thousands of Drupal service providers around the world; vendor lock-in is impossible in an open source ecosystem, so you’ll find them all willing and able to do the best they can for you.
  • DrupliconDrupal’s mascot. It’s been open sourced too, so mix it, mash it, have fun with it!


  • eCommerce – Drupal is powering numerous eCommerce portals and shops on the web. At DrupalCon Munich, there are a bunch of sessions related to eCommerce one way or another.
  • Exhibitors area – Come meet friendly Drupal shops and DrupalCon sponsors from all around Europe and the world in the DrupalCon exhibitors area. It features its own area for presentations in and around the world of business in Drupal, the Day Stage.


  • Free and open source is how we roll in Drupal. When you choose a massively successful open source project like Drupal, the four freedoms that define open source software define real value for you: innovation, risk mitigation, cost efficiencies, the power to invest in your own efforts rather than in endless license fees, and more.
  • Fun – Drupal is something Drupalists do with tremendous passion and it is often much more than “just a job” to us. We know how to mix business and pleasure and remain productive … mostly. Come for the code, stay for the fun!


  • Giving back is an integral part of the Drupal ecosystem. Most Drupal businesses do their best to give back to the Drupal project in code, products, sponsorship, and volunteering. Start the /drupalgive page on your website today! More information here.


  • Hallway track – The most important encounters and interactions at DrupalCon don’t necessarily happen in the official sessions. Be friendly, say hello, join the groups in the hallways and lounges of the DrupalCon. You never know who you’ll meet: your next collaborator, boss, employee, or friend.
  • Hiring – Need Drupalists? Need a job? DrupalCon is the place to be!


  • Inclusive – The Drupal community is open and accepting. Come meet us. You’ll like us!
  • Innovation in Drupal is constant, fast and keeps the project on the cutting edge of the web.
  • Inspiration abounds in the heady mix of sharing, learning, and contributing that goes on at DrupalCon.
  • International – DrupalCon is a microcosm of the global Drupal project. People from almost every continent come to DrupalCon! Antarctica is so far sadly underrepresented …


  • JQuery is built into Drupal … and I needed something for “J” …


  • Keynotes – Three of ’em. And they’ll be good.

    • Dries Buytaert – Drupal’s founder and Project Lead will give us his view of the state of Drupal and where the project is going in his traditional “Driesnote”.
    • Anke Domscheit Berg – German entrepreneur, expert on open government and women’s roles in the economy, business, and management.
    • Fabien Potencier – Project lead of the Symfony2 PHP framework, large parts of which will be integrated into Drupal 8.


  • Long days, long nights – Sessions and keynotes all day, social events, 24 hour coder lounge … who’s got time to sleep at DrupalCon?


  • Media will be at DrupalCon, the news kind. Press kit, media contacts, and social media links can be found here.


  • Network – Make connections, do business, find the people who’ll help you now or tomorrow.
  • New ideas – Plenty of these in the Drupal community!
  • Newbies welcome! Come join us! We’ll welcome you and your skills with open arms. Get up to speed in one of eight, all-day training sessions on August 20th.


  • Open to all – The Drupal project welcomes you with open arms. Come, be yourself, make a difference.
  • Open source software is the future. Drupal is a tool-building tool. Being both the maker and user of your software allows you to build exactly the tools that you need, when you need them.
  • Opportunities abound at DrupalCon, whether you’re looking for a job, developers, ideas, inspiration, opportunities, or friends!


  • Parties – Relax, unwind, meet people. Ask that question you couldn’t get in at someone’s session. DrupalCon’s social activities let you get to know the Drupalists around you. Don’t be shy.
  • People are the key to understanding Drupal. It’s not just software, not some anonymous lines of code; Drupal is a large, diverse, vibrant community of people cooperating to make the best possible software to meet their needs and change the world.
  • Positivity abounds in Drupal. Get caught up in it.


  • Quiet time – If you really need it, you can find a quiet corner or coders lounge to get things done. Just don’t forget to get out among the largest gathering of Drupalists in Europe this year, okay?


  • Respect for everyone. We all contribute. We all have different skills and knowledge. Drupal is what we have built together. Be proud. Be respectful.


  • Security is a major concern on the web and Drupal’s best practices, coding standards, and security team help keep your site and data safe.
  • Service providers – Looking for someone to build your website? Migrate your data? Make your site secure? Make it pretty? Drupal shops will be out in force at DrupalCon. Start looking in the exhibitors’ area, but don’t stop there. They’ll be everywhere!
  • Sessions78 of ’em in Munich. The meat and potatoes of DrupalCon. Drupal’s best and brightest covering every aspect of the Drupal project from business to design to security to scalability and a whole lot more.
  • Socialize – No really. DrupalCon is much more than the sum of its component sessions. Get out, meet people, talk, write code, have fun! Friendships, respect, and knowing the people behind the code are what make Drupal strong. Do your part in the community, too!
  • Sponsors are what makes this gathering of extraordinary people possible. Thank you all!
  • Support – If you have a question about Drupal, someone at DrupalCon will know the answer. Asking nicely at the right time and place will get you a lot of help in the Drupal community.
  • Symfony2 – Coming to a Drupal core near you soon! Meet the Symfony project lead and learn about next-gen Drupal.



  • U-Bahn (the subway system) is a great way to get around Munich.
  • Unrivalled networking opportunities.
  • UX/UI – Drupal’s front end experts will be out in force! Look out for the Spark Initiative, too!



  • WiFi – The lifeblood of thousands of geeks at DrupalCon. The carrier of the second-to-second action of DrupalCon: patches, commits, tweets, messages …
  • Work, hard work – Drupal is the product of millions of hours of coding, and conversations, and collaboration. If you’ve never experienced DrupalCon before, Munich will be an exhilarating, but exhausting week.


  • Xray view on the future of Drupal.



  • Zzz is for all the sleep you’ll need to catch up on after DrupalCon week.