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Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Reasons to Attend Drupal GovCon 2016

Drupal GovCon takes place at the NIH campus from July 20-22 and you’re invited to attend!

Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS), is known for its collaborative online community. From designers and developers, to agencies and organizations, Drupal has prided itself for years on its community and its content.

With the launch of Drupal 8, there are new “tricks of the trade,” and more than 200 new features and improvements. DrupalGovCon brings together government employees and system integrators (like Fig Leaf Software) to gather together for three days of free Drupal training and networking.

If you find yourself in one of those categories, even if you don’t currently use Drupal, you’ll want to attend Drupal GovCon 2016 at NIH. Here are five reasons why:

5. It’s Close (if you are a government employee based in the DC Metro area)

This year’s Drupal GovCon is at the Natcher Conference Center at National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. Not only are most federal agencies located in the Washington DC metropolitan area, but so are many digital agencies, solution integrators and government web designers and web developers. The NIH is just a quick trip on the DC Metro Red Line to Medical Center Station. So even if you can’t participate every day the whole conference, or even a full day, it’s still accessible and you can take advantage of a handful of sessions.

4. It’s Free

That’s right -- totally free. Tickets to attend the events, including keynote speeches and seminars, are all free, but registration is still required. The only cost for the event would be transportation and parking, if you choose to drive, but the GovCon team strongly recommends taking the metro. It’ll save you $12 per day and a car security inspection.

Note that pre-conference training sessions start on Tuesday, July 19th and will be held off-site at the Bethesda, Maryland Doubletree Hotel. Fig Leaf will be teaching the Ready, Set, Drupal 8 for web developers, designers, project managers or agency executives seeking to understand how to get started with Drupal 8.

3. It Will Challenge You

Drupal GovCon is three days straight of trainings, seminars and keynote speeches. In addition to providing practical solutions to technical questions regarding Drupal, speakers will also challenge you to think outside the box and dream about what you and your agency could accomplish with the new Drupal 8.

With 11 45-minute seminar periods, and about 7 seminar options per period, there are countless options for varied experience levels to learn and develop new, pertinent skills.

The seminars discuss a variety of Drupal issues that impact government agencies like:
  • Take Charge of Your Events with UniCal
  • Oh Yeah!! The Story of a Drupal 7 to 8 migration
  • Living Style Guide Based Workflow
  • Integrating 3rd Party APIs with Drupal
  • Beheading Drupal: Speedy Interfaces with RESTful api and JS
  • Hey Wouldn’t it Be Cool If…

On the conference schedule site, you can even choose seminars based on your area of expertise, like Site Building, Business and Strategy, Training or more.

Even if you aren’t currently using Drupal, there are opportunities to learn more about content management and development and to push the envelope for better content delivery.

2. It’s got the Best of the Best

In addition to the seasoned and experienced seminar speakers, this year’s keynote speakers are some of the best in the industry. In addition to the Senior Web Designer and Senior Consultant for the NIH Drupal implementation team, the conference also welcomes Allyson Kapin and Laura Bell.

Kapin was named one of the “Most Influential Women in Tech” by Fast Company and co-founded the RAD Campaign, a digital web agency that assists nonprofits with web design and development. Kapin also founded Women Who Tech and started the Women Startup Challenge in 2016.

Bell is a renowned speaker from New Zealand with almost a decade of development experiences, specializing in security. Bell is the founder and lead consultant at SafeStack Limited, which supports agencies in developing security features and applications.  

1. It Will Connect You

That’s what Drupal is known for. It’s a large, open source community that collaborates to create CMS with excellence. And this is one of the largest annual Drupal gatherings offered, specifically tailored for government. Drupal GovCon has several networking events where developers and agency representatives can meet and collaborate over new initiatives. And you actually get to interact with people in your industry, people who most likely understand the struggles that you endure day-to-day with your projects. Working with Drupal, while very rewarding, can get lonely and frustrating -- but finding people who understand and have fought some of the same frustrations can help.

Want to attend Drupal GovCon? Register here.

Fig Leaf Software be there too! We're a sponsor again this year and we look forward to learning about your agency's Drupal projects, discussing how we can support your Drupal site, train your web team, or help you launch a new Drupal site on Acquia or AWS GovCloud.

Can't attend but want Drupal 8 training? Signup for free Drupal 8 training or any of Fig Leaf's paid one or two day Drupal 8 training classes at http://training.figleaf.com/Courses/drupal8.cfm

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