Session Tracks

Tracks are a collection of sessions sorted by topic which span in experience level from beginner to advanced. Sessions will range in time with a majority of talks being 60-minutes. 

If you are interested in submitting a session proposal, please read below to determine the appropriate track and make sure to read up on what that track is looking for and tailor your submission to fit that. Please also review the Speaker Agreement before starting your submission.

Being Human

Drupal is created, and used, by a diverse community of people. This track puts the software and tools aside to focus on the human beings behind it all.

What is it that motivates you and your co-workers to write code, contribute to documentation, write those long detailed task descriptions, or get involved in your local communities? And how do we as a community, as peers, and as employers continue to foster those values and to create environments in which we can all thrive?

Sometimes being human is difficult. We’re filled with emotions, stress, biases, and other forces that we need to understand and manage if we want to be able to do our best work. Let’s learn about dealing with conflict, asking for help, managing burnout, and supporting each other's mental health. And dive into some of those tough topics that we see every day.

This is a space to be open, honest about mistakes, and proud of your success. Here are some questions to help get that human brain of yours thinking about what to share:

  • Can we measure the impact of "being human"?
  • How diversity improves a community, and how to be more inclusive
  • How do you manage stress, deal with burnout, say no, and gracefully accept help in order to improve mental health for yourself and others?
  • What is the role of human ethics and morals in software development?
  • Acknowledging and overcoming imposter syndrome
  • What motivates you do to your best work, and how do you motivate others?
  • How have you handled, and learned from, failure?
  • How can leaders create safe environments for collaboration, teamwork, productivity, and human beings?
  • What is the role of empathy in software development and community building?
  • How can we resolve conflict, compromise, and work together better?
  • We want to hear about your personal experiences, stories, and case-studies demonstrating how you’ve incorporated humanness in your personal/work life. Let’s work together to better understand what it means to be human.

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Business

The Business and Strategy track is aimed at attendees looking for actionable advice and ideas from business owners, executives, and project managers on how to manage a Drupal business successfully.

At DrupalCon Baltimore we will talk about how to grow a sustainable Drupal business in an increasingly competitive marketplace and how we can innovate and diversify to stay ahead. If you want to bring your business to the next level, then this track is for you.

We are seeking speakers that are willing to talk openly and honestly about their approaches, what worked, what didn’t, and lessons learned. We want to inspire attendees with relevant experience, story-driven narratives, innovative ideas, and in-depth lessons learned. Extra credit for factoring in how Drupal 8 is impacting your business.

Suggested topics:

  • Going for Growth - growing and scaling your business can be a tricky and daunting task. We are seeking presentations on:
    • Strategies for sustainable growth. Now that the Drupal market is maturing, have you adapted a new industry or vertical focus? How do you identify and attract new clients?
    • How has expansion into new industries, countries, technologies, or services has affected your business. Have you partnered with another company? Have you started outsourcing to another country?
    • How do you maintain company culture while growing? What kind of new opportunities (and risk) does growth bring to your people? Share your best practices of growing staff and client satisfaction while also growing your top and bottom lines.
  • Business Innovation - Drupal agencies are increasingly offering additional services to attract more clients and combining services to provide a more unified solution to customers. We are looking for presentations on why and when you should consider diversifying your business, and approaches to ensure it fits and aids your business growth.
    • Business consulting. How is your company offering products, strategy, and services in your industry? Are those solutions different from what you originally envisioned?
    • Integrated solutions. Drupal agencies are increasingly offering additional services to attract more clients and combining services to provide a more unified solution to customers. Why and when should you consider diversifying your business? How has your approach affected business growth?
    • User Experience and Design as business components - Drupal is more than a content management system and for many clients it is an integral part of their digital business processes. We are looking for proposals on: How and why Drupal shops should focus on user experience? What are the gains? And what are the routes to success?
  • Case Studies - Here’s your chance to dive deep! Cases Studies are an opportunity to reflect on your work, and share your successes and insights with the community. Did your team redefine something major in your business? How did you address a huge hurdle and come out on top? How did Drupal contribute  to the solution? Was there a third-party integration that shines a light? How has your perspective changed for future engagements? Give us the scoop - we want details! It’s even better if your customer presents or you present with them.

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Coding and Development

With Drupal 8 more than a year old, how are you and your colleagues leveraging your knowledge? How has your development process changed? Share your thoughts and experience using D8 in the real world in order to elevate the industry.

This track is focused on Drupal 8 development; the tools, patterns and challenges that surround developing applications at any scale.

Suggested topics:

  • Defining and overcoming challenges of high performance and large scale projects.
  • The evolving contrib landscape; what are the new standards and approaches for development? Have you worked on a project that inspired a contrib module? How did you mitigate the challenges of open-source within a closed organization?
  • How does your team ensure code quality and functionality?
  • Development approaches and challenges related to working with cutting edge tools, devices, and APIs.
  • Approaches to collaborative development, including acknowledging and addressing challenges.
  • Ways to improve our development workflow, code, and results.
  • Drupal as a first-class component in cooperation with other web technologies.
  • Leveraging Drupal as a content store and flexible workflow solution for multi-channel consumption.
  • How can we invigorate new generations of developers and make Drupal an exciting technology to learn?
  • Anything innovative, interesting, exciting, or useful that we haven’t listed!
  • Case study: Jointly-presented case study on a Drupal 8 project that impacted the client’s business; including perspectives, challenges, and lessons learned  from both the client and implementers.

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Core Conversations

The Core Conversation track is a place for people working on and contributing to Drupal to meet and discuss the future of Drupal. In addition to inviting people from Drupal, we are also inviting people from other open source projects to propose sessions on the direction of Drupal (or other projects) and take this opportunity to learn from each other. The format of each session is a conversation: a short presentation followed by 30 minutes of discussion with the audience.

We are seeking sessions on topics like:

  • Mental health/burnout, substance abuse, empathy by core contributors
  • Diversity in core contribution
  • Organizational support for contribution to Drupal
  • Drupal core mentoring experience
  • Design, user experience (UX), security
  • Media and workflow core initiatives
  • Drupal 9 roadmap
  • Your idea!

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DevOps

Hon, how do you ensure you’re having fun watchin’ the Orioles and not working with your Ops team to deploy the latest version of Drupal 8?  With DevOps of course!  From automating deployments to Drupal Composer to build processes, this track is all about combining development and operations into one seamless team just like Old Bay and Crabs or Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

Are you someone who writes Drupal code during the day before turning it over to someone else for release?  Or maybe you are a developer responsible for maintaining infrastructure?  Or maybe you’re a developer or an Ops team member looking to work closer together with others on your team?  Either way, this track is all about tearing down those barriers and working together to seamlessly build, deploy, and manage websites just like Flamingos and Beehive Hairdos down in Bawlmer!

Suggested topics:

  • Continuous Deployment / Push on Green
  • Continuous Integration
  • Configuration Management (Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc)
  • Containerization / Serverless Architecture
  • Monitoring and Logging
  • Composer / NodeJS in Build Processes
  • Automated Testing
  • Case Studies about DevOps with Drupal 8 and how workflows have been optimized.

Submit a Session

Front End

The Front End is where the web comes alive for the user. It’s here that designers, themers, and developers create unique and beautiful experiences. The opportunities for Front End web design and development are continually expanding: from the constant flow of new tools, techniques, and practices to an ever-increasing diversity of devices and contexts. The Front End track explores realizing the web’s full potential along with the expanded tool set for designers and developers in Drupal 8.

With Drupal 8 point releases, new functionality and enhancements are being added regularly. As Drupal 8 reaches maturity, seasoned designers, themers, and developers have many compelling reasons to move to this new platform. For example, how adopting Twig as the templating engine has made the theming experience more universal and attractive to web designers.

It doesn’t stop there, though - we’ll take a look at how all these innovations affect web design, project experiences, and workflows. Let’s explore Drupal 8 as a platform for creating rich Front End experiences.

Session proposals highlighting solutions, surveying new methods, and exploring Drupal 8 technologies are encouraged. We are seeking proposals that offer practical examples, innovative ideas, and in-depth lessons.

Suggested topics:

  • Where is Front End?: Best practices, tools, and techniques currently adopted by designers and developers.
  • Where is Front End Going?: Where is web design going? What Front End practices are needed to meet expectations?
  • All About Libraries: Best practices, workflow, and affordances with with Front End libraries and frameworks.
  • Front End Tools: Working with tools for the Front End, from processors to polyfills.
  • The Comprehensive Front End: Creating and maintaining sustainable patterns and practices for design and development.
  • Front End in the Wild: An examination through case studies and real world examples that highlights new and successful Front End possibilities in Drupal 8 and the effect they have on project success.

Submit a Session

Horizons

As web practitioners utilizing Drupal, many of you want to know how you can leverage emerging technologies. These aren’t just buzzwords; they represent exciting opportunities. The Horizons track will explore emerging technologies that you and your clients are actively implementing. Are you building Augmented/Virtual Reality applications? Are you looking beyond current capabilities of Drupal to asynchronous, non-blocking IO in PHP or JavaScript, perhaps to control embedded systems, automation systems or other IoT devices? Are you integrating content with  conversational interfaces? What about piping data from Drupal to car dashboards or OTT platforms like AppleTV or GoogleTV? How are you addressing accessibility and performance in these new contexts?

Suggested topics:

  • Accessibility: How are emerging and/or popular Internet technologies helping or hindering people with disabilities access content over the Internet?
  • Performance, especially mobile performance, JS front-end performance
  • Augmented reality, VR, WebVR, A-frame, VR-specific browsers
  • Over-the-top content (OTT), AppleTV, GoogleTV
  • Google AMP (implementations, alternatives)
  • Chatbots, especially those that integrate with a Drupal site’s API
  • Car tech API integration
  • Case studies and solutions that improve the user experience for content editors (see also the Site Building Track)
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and other conversational interfaces
  • HTML5 Websockets, Non-blocking IO/Asynchronous PHP, ReactPHP, Icicle, etc.
  • MQTT, PubSub (Publish-Subscribe), APIs and solutions for IoT
  • Internet of Things data collection and management — in what ways can Drupal provide solutions for IoT data management, analysis, or API integration?
  • Controlling embedded systems, sensors, actuators over a network using PHP and/or Drupal
  • A case study that demonstrates how a business used or integrated “an emerging technology” with Drupal and how it impacted their business. (Preference given to Drupal 8 integration.)
  • Visions for "Drupal 9" and how current cutting-edge technology could transform Drupal

Submit a Session

PHP

With the release of Drupal 8, PHP and Drupal are intertwined more than ever. The PHP track is for intermediate to advanced sessions relating to PHP development or software development as a whole rather than specific to Drupal. Concepts and techniques discussed here can and should reference Drupal use cases where applicable, but sessions should be approachable for any PHP developer.

We are seeking sessions which align with the following topics

  • PHP 7 / Strict Typing / New Features/ Upgrading (compatibility)
  • Modern PHP Techniques (Object-Oriented Programming, SPL, Advanced Array Manipulation. etc.)
  • Automated testing
  • Building from cross-project components (Composer,etc.)
  • Web services / REST / Guzzle
  • Web security best practices
  • Debugging PHP
  • Code quality tools, practices, and methodologies
  • Software architecture patterns and techniques
  • Interoperability and integrations between Drupal and other PHP projects

Submit a Session

Project Management

As project managers, we’re always looking for ways to refine our craft, whether it be through practices, principles, or tools that help make projects run more effectively and efficiently.

Whereas others may run away from creating schedules, managing budgets, and allocating resources, those responsibilities are what put a hop in your step. Join us to learn how to strengthen your team’s ability to execute projects and to meet every client's need.

We’re seeking sessions which align with the following topics:

  • Project Planning Techniques: Sprint Planning, Resource Allocation and Backlog Grooming
  • Scope, Timing and Cost: Managing the Triple Constraint
  • The Agile Movement
  • Leading Virtual, Remote and Dispersed Teams
  • Project Management Offices (PMOs)
  • Managing Team Members and Clients
  • Quality Assurance: How your workflow and checklist help to ensure project success.
  • Stress Management and Coping Techniques: How you help your team, project and client manage stress?
  • Lifehacks: Collaboration Tools, Platforms, Tips and Tricks for Project Managers
  • The Future of Project Managers/Management
  • Case Studies: Managing a Drupal 8 project. How it affected your client’s business? Added bonus if your client is able to join the presentation.

Submit a Session

Site Building

Site building in Drupal 8 is better than ever!  The sessions in the Site Building track will highlight the many tools and techniques for creating Drupal websites using the administrative interface without needing to know how to code.  Let’s review new and improved options.

With Drupal 8 out, we know that you've already experimented on builds with these new tools. Tell us about it! We are looking for case studies that highlight what it's like to work on a project with Drupal 8 and how it positively impacted your project and company.

People that should attend these sessions include current site builders and Drupal newcomers.

Suggested topics:

  • New and popular site building techniques
    Examples include:
    • Paragraphs, panels, and blocks
    • Publication workflow
    • Search
    • Forms
    • Media management
    • Groups
    • Multilingual
    • User experience improvements
    • Service integrations
    • Performance tuning
  • E-commerce
  • Personalization
  • Analytics, logs, and reports
  • Migration and aggregated content
  • Configuration and deployment

Submit a Session

Symfony

The Symfony track is dedicated to exploring the Symfony ecosystem that built Drupal 8. Learn about the new Drupal 8 concepts powered by Symfony and Twig. Join industry-leading experts for a full day of Symfony, Drupal, and Twig. Whether you're a Symfony aficionado or a novice eager to learn more, this track will have something for everyone.

Suggested Topics

  • Console
  • Dependency Injection
  • EventDispatcher
  • HttpFoundation
  • HttpKernel
  • Routing
  • Serializer
  • Validator
  • Twig (templating system)

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User Experience and Content Strategy

If UX is the foundation of user web interactions, content strategy is the cement that fortifies the site architecture - it is the glue between the code and the message. Want to learn how user experience (UX) and content strategy can help your web projects be more successful? This is the track for you.  

This track will address tools and techniques for understanding a user’s mindset, needs, pain points, and capabilities. Device and browser choice, offline interactions, culture, language, and familiarity with technology are just several aspects of human behavior that shape user experience with digital products.  

Successful content strategy prioritizes and leverages content that supports organizational business goals. It helps users have a positive experience and achieve their goals on a site. It’s inherent in all aspects of production - from strategy and content creation to design and development, site maintenance and efficient governance of live web products.

Conceptual thinkers, strategists, decision makers, content creators, designers, and developers are encouraged to present topics on their area of expertise.

Sessions will be non-technical in nature. We encourage submissions that consider the user experience of non-English speaking, international, and multicultural audiences.

We are seeking sessions that align with the following topics:

  • UX Fundamentals
  • Lean UX principles
  • UX research planning and implementation
  • Usability testing
  • Information architecture, content modelling, adaptive content, findability, and smart taxonomies - folksonomies
  • User experience on mobile
  • UX and analytics
  • Visual and interaction design
  • Web accessibility
  • Digital strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Content auditing
  • Editorial workflows, content calendars
  • Designing for diverse audiences/cross-cultural UX design/content strategy  (Case Study)
  • The impact of non-web interactions on the web user experience  (Case Study)
  • UX/Content Strategy with D8  (Case Study)

Submit a Session