First-timer at DrupalCon: the non-tech girl experience

There’s the book about givers and takers that I’m reading right now. Adam Grant, the author, claims the good will conquer the evil, a poor girl will find her prince, the givers will triumph over the takers and exchangers. That sounds too sweet, but Adam wins me step by step with his statistics and researchers. Here’s my little feedback on what I’ve seen during 4 days at DrupalCon Nashville: as a volunteer and a grant receiver, as an attendee and a Drupal team member. The little feedback on the Community of givers. 

Drupal team member and an attendee experience

I work for the great team ADCI Solutions and it’s the place where I’m becoming the person and the professional I want to be. That was them who motivated (and pushed haha) me to apply for DrupalCon Vienna and DrupalCon Nashville. Eventually, it worked out! 

I knew what DrupalCon is like but it didn’t cease to impress me. Music City Center embraced me with all its countless rooms and people, people, people around me! If you haven’t been to DrupalCon this year or haven’t been keeping an eye on it, this time there were several more session tracks like Building Community, Technical Leadership, Ambitious Digital Experiences - everybody is welcome, literally. 

My colleague Marina was chosen to deliver the session on leadership - more than 80 people came if my counting skills don’t give up on me. And all together - me, Marina, our CEO Alex and team lead Artyom initiated the marketing BoF. Check the outputs here. We were lucky to have a rather international gathering: Russia, Canada, the USA, the Netherlands. 

Besides the official schedule, how does DrupalCon feel like and look like? You are impatiently waiting for a morning to come to get up early and hit up the conference venue. There are so many Drupalers you still haven’t talked to. There are so many discussions and BoFs to participate. Especially I loved the First-Time Attendee Social. It charged me with energy for the whole week and let my fears go. 

Spice it all up with parties and Nashville’s big city lights - it feels magical (or probably I am still under the impression?). 

Volunteer and the grant receiver experience

But you know what feels even better, gazillion times better? The feeling of belonging. This year I was honored to receive the grant from the Drupal Association and its committee for my little initiative. Getting recognized makes you believe such guys as Adam Grant and his book on givers. Probably that’s why this huge Drupal world of more than 1 million people is growing and evolving so rapidly.

I also approached a couple of speakers at whose sessions I was volunteering. I heard an amazing story of John Ouellet who got back on track with the help of the Drupal team. He has something to tell you.

I got some backstage pieces of advice and had some insightful talks. I befriended a couple of volunteers like me. Milos and John are both working in the MD Systems team and it seems like they cut to contribute to the Drupal Project. Their track records on drupal.org would make a competition to mature Drupal devs and the guys are only in their mid 20-s. I asked them to share, too. Milos and John have told how Drupal and its Community changed them.
 

I also asked them to address Drupal beginners - they have just been there and know how it is.

I was treasure hunting the booths, too : ) And out of blue I found out something more important, it resonated deeply because it was different yet beautiful and meaningful. One of the teams gave the opportunity to manage their money - I’m not kidding. You choose the charity you care about - they transfer money. It’s so...Drupal-like? Community-like? Human-like? Anyway, I’d better let them talk to you.
 

There won’t be any conclusion because I don’t feel like finishing this story. Get aboard. Submit sessions. Talk about what matters to you. Just do your thing and it will lead you to the right place. Hugs!

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