DrupalCon Takeaways - Chris Shattuck
An Interview with Chris Shattuck | Founder BuildAModule
Oh! Hey there, my name is Piyush Jain and as a new staff member at the Drupal Association I wanted to learn what the community likes so much about DrupalCon. Community is what cements Drupal as a leading technology world over, and many community members meet at DrupalCon year after year to learn, share experiences, and bond. So I reached out to a few community members to find out about their experiences. This is the fifth conversation in my series. If you haven’t been to a DrupalCon, here is a little more about our events.
This week, I spoke with Chris Shattuck (chrisshattuck), who has been part of the Drupal community for 10 years, and has attended 7 DrupalCons.
Piyush: Tell us about your first or best DrupalCon.
Chris: The DrupalCons I’ve been to have all been pretty amazing. The first one I went to was in Washington DC and it was fascinating to see so many different kinds of people all working with the same tools. By that time, I had become a fan of a number of contributors and it was humbling and exciting to meet them in person. I had only recently met some other Drupalists in my area, so to see that I was part of such a vast community made me feel connected.
Piyush: What has your experience been like with the Drupal Community at DrupalCons?
Chris: Over the years I’ve developed a number of important friendships through the DrupalCons. Just the opportunity to be around the same folks at least once a year for a few days in a row gives it a summer-camp-style vibe. I missed this year’s DrupalCon and feel like I missed a chance to be with a lot of great people. Hopefully that won’t happen again. ;)
Piyush: Share with us your most memorable moment / conversation at a DrupalCon?
Chris: Every DrupalCon, I’ve had conversations that have changed my professional direction. One year, I talked to a couple of people doing Drupal training and decided that would be something I’d like to do. Another year, I talked with someone who sat down and talked me through the logistics of expanding my company, which I ended up doing. There is no way to pick a ‘most memorable,’ but I know that every year I have at least one conversation that changes the course of my professional life, and others that help me grow as a person.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon given you an edge at work?
Chris: Being able to connect with people working with Drupal in a huge variety of ways has helped my develop a diverse network that I have leveraged for advice and inspiration in nearly every stage of my professional growth. I have had the opportunity to meet existing customers to get feedback and make a more personal connection. I have also developed relationships that have resulted in future customers, though I see that more of a positive side-effect than a goal.
Piyush: Tell us about a time you were able to incorporate your learning from DrupalCon.
Chris: A lot of the learning that I do at DrupalCon is not about techniques as much as it is about building a broader picture of what is going on in the Drupal community, how the market for Drupal-related services and products are changing, and how to organize more complicated events, like trainings. At the first DrupalCon I went to, I watched a session by Josh Koenig about handling asynchronous data, and I’ve used techniques from that session for multiple projects through the years. Thanks Josh!
Piyush: How has DrupalCon helped grow your business?
Chris: DrupalCon provides a physical location for anyone who is interested in Drupal to congregate at one time. That’s unique and has been a huge factor in developing partnerships and touching base with people who are important to my business.
Piyush: What do you see yourself gaining out of future DrupalCons?
Chris: I suspect that what I gain from future DrupalCons will be very similar, with the added benefit that the bonds I’ve made with people through the years will continue to grow stronger, and I will value even more the opportunity to see them all in one place.
Piyush: Why do you think DrupalCon is important for the Drupal community?
Chris: Going to DrupalCon initially gave me the sense that Drupal and the people that build it had fostered a living, global, vibrant community. It made me feel like there was more meaning in the work I did, and it fueled my enthusiasm for months afterward. I suspect the same kind of experience is important for anyone who is transitioning from just using Drupal to really owning their relationship with it.
Over time, DrupalCon has helped me feel connected and interested in participating in the Drupal community. Continuing to foster enthusiasm in the community.
Piyush: What was your favorite food this DrupalCon?
Chris: There was a DrupalCon where the catering brought in a kind of buffet and I remember thinking that this wasn’t the typical boxed sandwich lunches. That was the best.
Read the previous story about Enzo’s experience.