One of my favorite things about the Drupal community is attending events like DrupalCon and NYC Camp. This year’s NYC Camp was hosted by the UN at their New York City headquarters. It was a fitting locale even for a local camp that manages to draw attendees and speakers from around the world.

Sessions run the gamut from selling Drupal, to design and theming, to hardcore development and devops, from beginner to advanced and everything in between. This year, I chose to focus mostly on Drupal 8.

Two of the Drupal 8 sessions focused on API changes between 7 and 8, some of which are very significant as Drupal moves towards a more Symfony-centric object oriented development workflow. Instead of the traditional .info files, we’re now using YAML quite heavily, including for many things that were defined by hooks before as in the case of menu items.

Another session showcased a new Symfony/Composer-based console tool for building module scaffolding via an interactive shell. It will even go so far as to automatically set up all of your controllers for your menu routes. Additionally, the interactive shell can walk you through creating a form, and will create stub validate and submit functions in the form controller class.

Another session of particular interest to me given my interest in Open Data and Open Government was about a Drupal distribution called DKAN, which is essentially a Drupal port of the widely used CKAN open data project, allowing you to combine the CMS features of Drupal with the data management and display features of CKAN. This is particularly useful for government open data sites allowing them to keep content and data in a single easy to manage repository, especially for agencies that are already using Drupal in other capacities.

Finally, and my favorite part of these events, was getting to meet and hang out with hundreds of other Drupal developers, some of whom I have know for years. These events really showcase the best part of Drupal - the community. In this setting, ideas flow like water, as people from all different backgrounds, countries, and industries interact and collaborate.

In the end these types of events are about how we can make Drupal and our projects better. I hope you’ll come to NYC Camp next year and experience it for yourself.

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