I attended my first ‘Drupal Camp’ last week at the UW campus. It was a lot of fun. And the price was right- free! For those that are unaware (and I don’t blame you if you are) Drupal is an open source (meaning free) piece of software that you can install and set up on a webserver that allows you to customize and make really awesome websites. I’ve been using it for quite and it’s been a great learning curve for me. But this was the first time that I’ve gotten involved in the ‘community’.

At first this idea of community was kind of strange. I mean, how can you call a group of people connected remotely from all over the world, gathered around a piece of software, a community? But it really is, and it’s pretty remarkable. I’m not sure how many millions, but there are  a LOT of developers and users, and the number is growing.

So I thought I’d give this meetup a try and meet some local people who are using Drupal. I’d say there were two extremes at the camp. There were the hard core developer types who have used Drupal for years and are making a living off of it. And then there were the complete newbies, people who were curious and interested in Drupal but didn’t really have much experience with it. I must’ve been somewhere in the middle. From my experience I was able to point several of the newbies in the right direction by recommending books, offering guidance, and talking about what I have learned. But I was also there to learn myself and I didn’t hesitate to grab one of the more experienced developers to give me a few pointers. They’ve been doing this for years. I wanted to know how they got involved, the steps they took, and what they’re doing now. I’m curious how people are using the platform, and what options exist for developers and site builders. So it was really beneficial to talk to people.

So anyway, I’m glad I went to Drupal Camp. Yes, it was nerdy. Yes, we talked about software for two days. But hey, you can’t argue with free pizza and coffee. And I met some pretty cool people who obviously have great taste in content management systems. Just the kind of people I like to be around!

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