DrupalCon Asia 2016 proved something. And not just to the 1,000+ Drupalers who landed in Mumbai. It proved something to open source evangelists everywhere. India’s vibrant, and increasingly skilled Drupal Community is big league. An initial scan of any DrupalCon Asia review, roundup, or rundown will show you that what’s happening over here is huge, and it’s time to pay attention.

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While many will remember Asia’s first Con when they look at their swag, recalling a hilarious prenote and session learnings, our team will remember it differently. Many members of Axelerant’s distributed team for 50+ came together to invite, support, and give back in new, relevant ways.

Here’s our Mumbai rundown, showcasing what we did there and why.

DrupalCon Asia 2016 Buddy Program

We had people from 6 countries signed up for our buddy program, and all received traveling tips, assistance with their stay, guided tours, visa woe support, but most importantly: friends. We’re glad those that signed up for our program could depend on us during their stay. Here are just a few snippets from our buddy’s during DrupalCon Asia 2016:

DrupalCon Asia 2016 Prenote

While not technical it is among the most entertaining sessions at any DrupalCon and we are proud to have been a part of the first ever DrupalCon Asia prenote. I along with Ashiwini & Prasad as part of the Indian community joined Jeffrey, Campbell & Adam to produce an entertaining prenote to kick off DrupalCon Asia 2016.

<prenote photo>

Our DrupalCon Asia 2016 Sessions & Panels

Axelerant’s sessions were seriously hot. Each one categorically falls under one of four different, highly relevant tracks: Case Studies, Contributions, Business, and Coding and Development.

Case Studies

“The Case Studies track is your chance to showcase your work, to show what’s possible, and to inspire. Be prepared to explain the inner-workings of the project, who participated, the process and methodology, the problem or opportunity you addressed, and best of all, how it was all made possible with Drupal.”

Migrating A Top 50 Most Visited Site In The U.S. Onto Drupal – Legacy.com

In this presentation, Axelerant team members Ankur Gupta, Lakshmi Narasimhan, Hussain Abbas, Bassam Ismail  and Facet Interactive’s Jordan Ryan , provided insights into the architectural decisions and best practices which helped address particular CMS, API, and migration requirements. Presented by: AnkurHussainJordanBassam, and LakshmiArchitectural choices around specific concern areas with decoupled systems:

  • caching
  • metatags
  • content preview
  • shortcode mapping
  • redirects, etc.

Moreover, this session explored how Axelerant, Facet, and Legacy were able to work as a “Global and Continuous Delivery” team and achieve a record 4 month delivery timeline—which included site building, migration from MSSQL -> Drupal 7, API development, and performance testing.

Contributions

“The Contributions track is the place for people who want to work on and contribute to Drupal core, contributed modules and the community. Contribution is not limited to writing code, it includes event organization, documentation writing, module translation and anything supporting the Drupal project in any way.”

Panel: India’s Journey From Consumption To Contribution & The Road Ahead

The panel was comprised of Indian & International community leaders. It was an attempt towards evaluating the current maturity levels of Indian Community from a global perspective, discussing various challenges being faced and learn from individual experiences of the panelists in how they overcame similar challenges within their communities. The panel was held by HussainMikeHolly, and Jeffrey. It was moderated by PiyushSome of the points that the panel discussion touched on:

  • Contribution culture and community involvement levels / scores at Indian organizations along with their maturity levels.
  • Challenges faced by companies in advocating / promoting contribution culture within their organizations like.
  • Balancing contribution hours vs. billing dollars.
  • Developing sustainable talent pipeline, preventing poaching & controlling churns.
  • Hiring and committing dedicated contributors to a Drupal project along with their cost to benefit analysis.
  • Establishing organizational credits from code & non-code contributions and subsequent branding for business growth and as thought leaders.
  • Convincing clients in approving/ sponsoring code contribution if there’s value to be shared with the community as open source.
  • Perspectives and experiences of International leaders as to how they addressed these similar challenges as learnings and takeaways and the path ahead.

Many questions were raised about the Indian Businesses and developer community during this invigorating panel discussion.

Business

“This Business and Strategy track was aimed at attendees looking for actionable advice, ideas and challenges from business owners, executives, and project managers on the digital experience industry. Sessions in this track were non-technical by nature.”

Value-Driven Development With “Continuous Discovery”

This session was about how to ensure business values are communicated effectively throughout all the phases of architecture, development, and delivery. Presented by: JordanVishnu, and PrabhatIn this presentation, the following was discussed:

  • WHY experts recommend continuous discovery and backlog grooming, which is focused on delivering business value.
  • When pursuing agile, iterative development, it’s important to track how requirements evolve over time.
  • Continuous discovery processes allow both stakeholders and developers to share the ongoing storytelling experience throughout the project.
Maximizing Value Via Continuous Discovery (PDF)

Scrum encourages requirements to be discovered and detailed throughout the project’s development, but in long term projects, it’s difficult to keep track of the big picture in terms of value. Just like any good story, it changes as it’s retold. Requirements change as more collaborators join in the process, and the delivery of business value can be multiplied even further as developers share ideas on cost-effective solutions. Solutions which focus on value delivery rather than specification delivery.

Coding & Development

“PHP and Drupal are changing rapidly and collaboration among projects is shaping a new way to create code. The Coding and Development track will show you how you can leverage evolving tools and processes to increase the efficiency, velocity, and quality of projects.”

Design Patterns In PHP

As PHP goes through it’s renaissance, there has been a lot of emphasis on best practices.There are numerous ways to structure the code and project for your web application. You can put as much (or as little) effort as you’d like into architecting. Presented by: Mohit and AnkitIn this session, we’ll discuss:

  • Design patterns and their relation to implementation
  • Pros and cons of each design pattern
  • How they can be used in real world problems
  • We will be covering design patterns like
    • Adapter Pattern
    • Builder Pattern
    • Decorator Pattern
    • Factory Pattern
    • Data Access Object Pattern

This DrupalCon Asia session contained explanations on how to choose design patterns during project planning. Presenters also covered which patterns suit which use cases (i.e for Flexible Object Programming we can use: “the Composite Pattern”, “the Decorator Pattern”, “The Facade Pattern,” etc.).

DrupalCon Asia 2016 Team

Apart from sponsoring, speaking & hosting the community as our own guests, I and a lot of Axelerant team members were part of the DrupalCon Asia 2016 organising team. Following are the roles Axelerant team members fulfilled:

Track Chairs From Axelerant:

Other Official Positions:

DrupalCon Event Photography

 As the Official Photography, Michael ran his Drupal photography team, shot photos throughout DrupalCon and directed the iconic group photo (which is currently featured on Drupal’s Facebook). Vishnu also gave Michael a helping hand (and had one of his shots proudly featured on Drupal’s twitter).

Axelerant’s DrupalCon Asia 2016 Booth

As part of the sponsorship for DrupalCon we showcased our culture & technical capabilities at our sponsor booth. We gave away a lot of swag, fed hungry conference attendees with local cuisines from all across India that our team members brought in & engaged with over 700 people that came to our booth! We also gave away 2 Raspberry Pis as part of our Drupal 8 + Raspberry Pi contest.

Other Highlights

Parth had the opportunity to interview Dries Buytaert and Danese Cooper after their keynotes to address a few questions that the community had, and to explore the future of Drupal and Open Source in India.

Hussain also won that awesome DrupalCon bike from Azri solutions’ developer contest. The task was to build visualizations from data on drupal.org, so our Technical Architect built drustats.com, and there you have it.

Last Things

For us, Mumbai was about brining hard work and enthusiasm and leaving with a heightened sense of self. Ever since the DrupalCon previews started coming out, we were gearing up for it. Axelerant couldn’t be more proud of sponsoring and supporting events like DrupalCon Asia 2016. And the best news is there’s more to come.

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 *This post was originally published on December 17th 2015, and has been updated since.