Are Drupalcon's worth the time/money?
This is a repost from a google+ post i made back in Apr 17, 2012.
Since then, i’ve been to two camps/days and its solidified my opinion.
Reposting as i saw http://www.jpstacey.info/ coming to the same conclusions on twitter.
Is Drupalcon worth the time? Its fun, no argument there and a great networking event if your looking to hire, buy or sell something. But, for those of us wanting to learn, see cool new ideas and get down and dirty in the code is it the best way to spend your tech budget or do you get better value for time from other events?
I’ve recently been looking at the up comming Drupalcon Munich for my team and come to the sad conclusion Drupalcons are not cost effective for us.
Demotix uses Drupal as a base to build our product, a serice for our users. We don’t sell the product nor do we sell services, so Drupalcon would be a purely learning and networking exercise.
Learning. Drupalcon’s are huge, it needs to be all things to all people from newbies to core developers, from policy/CXO to developers and designers on the front line. Because of this, its been my experance that many of the sessions are unable to get my geek on, with the majority of the ‘woah thats cool’ happening in the bofs with the same people you saw last year in the same kinds of bofs. Finding the right level of session on the topics your interested in is increasingly hard.
Networking. Great, drinking, partying, talking nerdy to people you’ve never met before. All good, as its alwyas been. However, with the size increasing year on year, its getting less and less personal. Bump into someone on day one, you may not see them again, ever. Can you justify sending your entire development team to network?
Luckly, Drupal already has the answer. Drupal Days. Like a Drupalcon of old, they are small, cheap and focused on what your already intersted in. For exsample, Drupal developer days in Brussels (http://bxl2011.drupaldays.org/) was brilliant, learned LOADS, networked with people who were already interested in the same things and loved every minute of it.
This has all been pointed out before, but up until now we had assumed we would do both the camps and the cons. We’ve now reached the tipping point where cons no longer make sense for us as a team.
I would be interested to learn from other Drupal teams what they think they get out of Drupalcons and if they are comming to the same conclusion as we are in regards to the regional camps/days.
See you at the next camp/devday/small drupal event!