Drupal is a content management framework that is used worldwide. The key point for the success and popularity of Drupal is the strong community of active contributors the framework has. We Pakistanis are not behind either, and arrange Drupal camps regularly to teach and learn about this programming system.
After the successful Drupal camp that was held this May, Code Movement announced yet another gathering of Drupal professionals and students. Code Movement is a non-profit organization whose sole aim is to encourage technology awareness among fresh IT graduates and software professionals by conducting free training sessions.
Nabeel I., President of Code Movement and Allshore’s Director of Development, announced the date to be 13th September 2014 and immediately preparations began. Like the last Drupal Camp, Raheel Afzal Khan, CEO of the Islamabad service center, not only was a sponsor but also offered the office as a venue for the camp.
I served as a technical coordinator of this camp, and had the honor of inviting Pakistan’s top Drupal speakers. I was proud that so many of the Drupal experts attending the camp were my colleagues.
Our company marketing team (including Nabeel and Sales Manager Alex Wright) made all the arrangements and visited many universities and software houses to invite students and professionals. The success of their efforts was evident by the crowded audience we saw even during the very first hour of the event. Their efforts brought in a great crowd!
On the eve of the camp, the office was decorated, and was an amazing sight. Even the day before of the camp, there was a sense of extreme interest throughout all the office, and everyone was so excited that I felt as if the camp was going to begin in the next five minutes. This shows how much the company values developers constantly learning new things and upgrading their skills.
On September 13th, the day of the Drupal Camp finally arrived and everybody was thrilled to see the environment made for the speakers and audience. The event formally started with an introductory speech by Nabeel, the host of the Drupal Camp.
Asad M., Network & IT Manager, was the first speaker of the day. Asad’s speech was an overview about Networking for both beginners and advanced users so everyone, no matter their skill level, could understand. As most of the developers spend their work time only coding and developing, they are not aware of the basic networking skills, which is mandatory for them. So the session was designed to cover basics of Internetworking, IP, Routing, DNS Servers, and I must say he did well in delivering his topic. The interest of audience was clearly shown by the amount of questions they were asking, the sounds of their laptop keys clicking as they took notes, and the excess of ink on their fresh and empty notebooks. It seemed that the audience would never let him finish his session. I must say all credit goes to him for making a complicated topic so interesting and inspiring for the entire audience. Hats off to Asad!
Our next talk was given by a well-known Drupal speaker, and one of our own great developers, Shafqat H., whose talk was entitled “Drupal Performance and Optimization.” Shafqat and has presented at every Drupal camp held in Pakistan. Like always, Shafqat’s session was fun. The way he presents a very difficult topic makes it interesting and entertaining so his listeners never forget. He covered all the benchmarks of performance optimization, gave some live examples from his professional projects, and also gave guidelines that are extremely important for all sites. His presentation was supported by funny comments and jokes, which were related to the topic, which brought smiles to the faces of the whole audience. It was a gem of a learning session.
After these two great combined sessions, the audience split into two halls by skill level, and talks began simultaneously.
In the beginner level hall, I started my one and a half-hour long session called “Drupal: What, Why, How,” which covered all the basics of Drupal, from installation to all the key terminologies in Drupal. It was a complete training session on Drupal, leading up to usage of views module. Many different short scenarios were discussed and presented to show the audience how great Drupal can be and how easily things can be done in Drupal. I also emphasized the importance of learning and using Drush from the very start of their Drupal career, and used Drush extensively in my presentation. The audience was glued to the demo screen for the entire session, and many questions were asked. It was a highly interactive session and I really enjoyed delivering it. It is always enjoyable to talk about all the great things about Drupal, and I love it as much as I love Drupal itself.
Abdul B., another awesome developer from our crew, delivered his lecture on SEO best practices for Drupal beginners. He gave some general guidelines related to SEO, and then demonstrated Drupal modules that facilitate and ease SEO for Drupal websites. It was a relatively short session, but gave very handy information.
During Abdul’s session, our very own Ali K., yet another of our excellent developers, was speaking to the advanced group. His presentation was on Drupal 8 module development. He explored the anatomy of the Drupal 8 module and compared it with the Drupal 7 module. His unique way of presenting the topic held the interest of the entire audience.
Ali’s session was followed by another talk I gave. It was another Drupal 8 topic that I also delivered at the last camp. Like I did in the last camp, I started with site builders, themers, coders, and then covered all possible aspects of Drupal 8. The session was supported by some code snippets from the technologies that are going to be used in Drupal 8. It was a great session for those who wanted to get started with Drupal 8.
Shafqat H. presented yet another session at the same time I was speaking, but this time for beginners. He presented the most important and common Drupal module named views. He explored the views in depth and demonstrated each idea in a practical way. His talk was even enjoyed by the advanced users who had joined in after the end of their session and began also asking questions. Shafqat answered all of the questions, and other experts gave their feedback as well. It turned out to be a great interactive session.
Finally we had a certificate distribution ceremony, which was led by Alex Wright. That concluded the first ever Drupal Camp organized by Code Movement. We hope to arrange more informative sessions in the future.
Thank you Code Movement, and all organizers, presenters, and especially the attendees for making this event successful and memorable!