Woohoo! We’re at DrupalCon in Baltimore! This is probably also a good moment to introduce myself: my name is Mieke and I am the Content Marketer for Open Social.

Why am I here?

I started working for Open Social in March of this year because I really believe that there is a need right now for communities to organize themselves online to help drive real world change. For Open Social I aim to share knowledge and tell stories around community management and community organizing. I want to help people bring their communities to life and get the most out of the interplay between on- and offline organizing. In the past I have worked as a web editor, social media manager and content manager for various organisations, from NGO’s to start-ups and more. 

I am completely new to open-source and the Drupal Community so Mieszko, our marketing director thought it was a good idea for me to learn more about this here at DrupalCon. The obvious place to start my adventure then is of course Jam’s session on How to get the most out of DrupalCon which he hosted Tuesday morning. 

Jam (or Jeffrey A. McGuire), for those not in the know, is the Drupal evangelist for Acquia. You can recognize him by his impressive moustache and his moustache suit, though from what I’ve heard he has many other outstanding outfits. He served as a helpful guide today but you can also follow Jam on Twitter to get to know the Drupal community and all things Drupal better. 

Heroes Jam DrupalCon 2017

A little DrupalCon history and a little Drupal love

The first DrupalCon was organised in 2005. Jam has been attending DrupalCon since 2006 and has been hosting prenotes since 2012! Amazingly, everyone that attended DrupalCon in 2006 is still involved in and working with the Drupal Community! 

So why does Jam love Drupal and DrupalCon? You get to build stuff and can make a difference, for the entire community (and their users and clients), immediately. For example, at DrupalCon 2015 at the mere age of 16 Jam’s very own daughter found a bug and was able to get a patch in which is now a part of the code! 

What are Jam’s top tips for DrupalCon?

  1. Avoid information overload. Use the DrupalCon app (available on iOS and Android) or the schedule on the website to create your own schedule to make sure you have some focus. Be sure to add plenty of downtime to your schedule so you can actually meet people and get to know them, because that’s what conferencing should really be about. Don’t feel bad if you miss a session either, all the sessions are recorded and can be watched back at a later date. 
     
  2. Not sure you’re getting out of a session? Just walk away. This is an open-source community so nobody minds if you leave when a session isn’t for you. You can use this time better by meeting new people, attending a different session or browsing the convention floor for inspiration. 
     
  3. If you’re here with your colleagues, make sure you don’t have lunch with them. This is an easy way to meet new people and make new connections. Unless of course you work remote and don’t get to see your colleagues the rest of the year.
     
  4. When you meet new people, don’t stow them away in your phone with just their name and number. Take a picture of them and their badge so you get the face with the name, remember who they are and can follow through post-con by email or phone. 
     
  5. Be sure to attend the drinks in the evening. Drupal is all about community and meeting people in a more casual environment helps. For those new to Drupal the Trivia Night on Thursdays is a great way to get to know the history behind the community. 
     
  6. Get swag! Stickers, t-shirts, some sunflowers to grow ;) or as Jam says:
     If you didn't get new supply of t-shirts you're doing it wrong Jam DrupalCon 2017

  7. Hydrate

Read more of Jam’s tips on Acquia or catch Ronald’s session on Progressive Web Apps from 2.45pm to 3.15pm in room 309. 

Header image credit: Michael Cannon

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