Drupalcon San Francisco 2010 - The Road to Drupal 7

by: Kathleen Martin

By now, Drupalcon Copenhagen has come and gone, and the countdown to Drupalcon Chicago has begin, but I wanted to write about Outlier's trip to the San Francisco Drupalcon and what a wonderful experience it was.

Not long ago, Outlier decided to use Drupal as our go to CMS, unless a client specifically requested a different CMS (such as Wordpress) or a custom built solution. With Drupal 6, Drupal has become an incredibly powerful, stable, and extensible foundation to build any type of website, large or small. By focusing our development efforts to Drupal, we have become incredibly adept at building powerful data-driven websites much quicker then if they were to be written from scratch. This leads to faster deployment and shorter ROI for our clients, something that has paid off time and time again.

In our effort to further immerse ourselves in Drupal, and to become more skilled at using it, Outlier sent myself and one of our fearless leaders, Jed, to the sunshine state for the San Francisco Drupalcon. With three full days of sessions and keynotes, it is an incredible opportunity to learn more about both the broad picture, as well as specific skill sets.

The most significant area was the impending transition from Drupal 6 to the new Drupal 7. Drupal 7 offers an even more stable and secure platform as well as numerous new features such as RDFa, and fields in core that make developing for Drupal easier, faster, and more powerful. But with any major version change, there come a learning curve, and Drupalcon was critical in helping Outlier make this transition. Because of what I learned at Drupalcon regarding Drupal 7, Outlier Solutions is getting ready to launch a newly re-designed and reworked website that is running completely on Drupal 7. the combination of these two experiences means that Outlier will be developing client websites as soon as Drupal 7 launches, allowing clients to take advantage of all that it has to offer, specifically the amazing SEO benefits of RDFa.

While many Drupal houses will be playing a wait-and-see game, Outlier has been working with and learning Drupal 7 for the better part of 2010, and will be ready to move forward in the next month with Drupal 7 based projects, and Drupalcon was key in this transition.

In the coming weeks I will be writing about specifically what I learned at Drupalcon San Francisco, as well as on a variety of Drupal 7 topics. In the meantime, Drupalcon Chicago is gearing up, and I highly suggest you check it out if you are a developer that uses the Drupal system.


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