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A Drupal Camp Scotland 2013 Round-up

1st May, 2013

A recap of our excursion to DrupalCamp Scotland.

In the year and a half since DrupalCon London 2011, there has been a huge growth in locally-organized Drupal Camps across the UK. Tremendously enjoyable events, they offer a chance for Drupal users to meet and share their experience at all levels. Drupal Camp Scotland, recently held in Glasgow, was my first camp of 2013.

We had the pleasure of attending many UK Drupal Camps during 2012 (and helping out at some, too). Things show no sign of slowing down in 2013 - Glasgow was the third Drupal Camp held in the UK this year! I really enjoyed the previous year's camp held in Edinburgh, so I packed up my Drupal-themed space suit and headed north.

Overall the event was well organised, and a great example of a smaller camp done really well. I thought I'd offer a brief round-up of some of the sessions I attended.

Group photo
That's me in the pink. Photo © Dijkstra-Downie Photography

Entity Operations: your entity type in only three functions was a great session start to the day. Joachim Noreiko gave us a tour of his new Entity Operations framework module.

Essentially, this is a framework which makes it quicker for developers to create a basic user interface for custom entity types. It also takes care of integrating with Views and Services. This dramatically reduces the amount of code needed - creating a custom entity type is largely reduced to declaring the information architecture of your custom entity. The only custom logic left for the developer to write is access control.

Joachim's worked example of a simple entity is included with Entity Operations framework. After the session I found it interesting to compare it with the Model Entity module, which is an specimen of how to create a custom entity the long way around.

Joachim was awarded Drupalista of the Year in the Scottish Drupal Awards, and deservedly so. This is definitely a module to keep a close eye on.

Plugin into Drupal 8 from Wunderkraut's Mikke Schién. This session covered one the major architectural changes in the forthcoming Drupal 8. As a contributed module maintainer, this was a topic which I felt I needed to understand better. As things turned out, I didn't learn quite as much from this as I had hoped; it principally covered the technical background to changes which I was already aware of. The valuable lesson which I did learn however, is that the new plugin system isn't as big and scary as I had feared. Mikke's session served as a useful overview to D8 plugins, and helped me realize I was already on course to understand them.

Shannon Vettes' lunchtime keynote was called Project Management Revolution: Why the Fortune Teller Must Die, and it was a fast paced and entertaining look at how digital projects benefit from project management. Shannon did a great job of convincing the audience of the need for good project management. So much so that I changed my plans in order to attend her more detailed follow-up session on estimation techniques. Overall, I went away with an good impression of how the ongoing practice of project management leads to greater insight into the effectiveness of development practices in digital projects.

Git Ninja Tricks was another session form Joachim. There isn't much I need to say about this, except that it was an interesting and fun session! As an intermediate-level git user, it was a great way to pick up a few new methods, and move my own skills a little further along.

The day finished with Drupal Scotland's AGM and the Scottish Drupal Awards. Sadly I missed the awards presentation, because I was hurriedly getting out of my silly costume and cleaning off my make-up! I came back just in time to catch a brief video link-up with Drupal Camp Florida, which was taking place the very same weekend. As our day was finishing, theirs had just got started. It was a lovely reminder of how the Drupal community works together all around the world.

Drupal and UX Design Agency

UK Drupal Agency and UX Design Team with our very own usability testing lab in Leeds. We work with national charities, NGOs and private sector clients.