DrupalCamp London is, according to various sources and rumors, the biggest camp in Europe. It comes up in size next to BADCamp and DrupalCamp Mumbai, coming in the 400 to 600 attendee range. That is quite a feat, and I am honored to have gotten to experience this DrupalCamp.
In January I was asked to be one of the keynotes. After a mini jump around and freak out, I, of course, said yes. Then I had a moment of "what in the world am I going to talk about." I've presented at camps before, and I have been able to copresent at the past two DrupalCons about Drupal Commerce alongside Ryan and Bojan.
But a keynote can't just be another "here's Drupal Commerce" or "Here's how this development process goes!" To me, at least, I look at keynotes to plant a seed of motivation that gets me kicked in gear for the conference. It reminds me of why I was excited to go to the camp and see all these amazing people again.
This was my first keynote. It was my first time going to London. It was my second time going to Europe, following up to DrupalCon Dublin. Two known names in the Drupal and open source community were slated as the Sunday keynotes. I spoke on Saturday, the mood setter. I guess a slight panic can describe my mentality at first.
So, I sat and I thought. And then I remembered the Dries keynote at Dublin. How he highlighted Drupal changing lives. And I thought, "well, Drupal sure as hell did make some changes my life." So I wanted to tell my story. Drupal opened opportunities for me and I made some lucky choices at the right place and time. That made me think: what if I shared my story and how open source, specifically Drupal, made this impact. Maybe it'd catch a handful of newcomers in the crowd and inspire them like many people did at my first DrupalCamp in Atlanta.
So I shared my story. I showed how the progression of finding Drupal, becoming part of the community, and having the community support provided a career and very big changes in my life.
Five years ago I was slinging half barrels, full of dyed green beer for St. Patricks day, into bar basements. Four years ago I built my first major Drupal (via Drupal Commerce) site. Three years ago I got to speak at DrupalCamp Florida. Two years ago I went to my first DrupalCon in Los Angeles. Now I'm here, shocked and awed at this journey which is only beginning.
The conference was great. The organization was spot on, great venue and session rooms. Unfortunately, I did not catch any other sessions. Right after the keynote, I hit the sprint room to finish up my slides and wrap up some pull requests. Right after lunch, I gave my Drupal Commerce session. And right afterward Scott Hooker gave his site builder Drupal Commerce session. Then it was party / social time!
I think we also rocked the social night pub just a bit. We drained them of Guinness and spent over £5000. Granted, some of that was food. Well, maybe a little.
It was a great camp. I am more than looking forward to attending it once more.