DrupalCon Takeaways - enzo
An Interview with enzo aka Eduardo Garcia | Drupal Trainer/Consultant, weKnow | CTO, Anexus
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. Here is another 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 Eduardo Garcia (-enzo-), a Drupal Console core maintainer. Eduardo has been part of the Drupal community for 9.5 years, and has attended 6 DrupalCons.
Piyush: Tell us about your first or best DrupalCon.
Enzo: The first DrupalCon was the best for me, the experience was new for me, it was in Portland, USA. I never felt this level of community integration in one place. I learnt a lot, people were really welcoming, the spirit and everything was completely awesome. Even though I have been participating in Latin America, in many events the spirit of having your first DrupalCon is really, really overwhelming. You have a lot to learn in terms of working for community, and for business, and for yourself, because there are a lot of people to who can try to help you learn new things.
Piyush: What was your favorite food at a DrupalCon?
Enzo: Mumbai! My first time in India was in Mumbai for DrupalCon Asia and everything smelled like ‘okay this is going to be hot for my tongue’ but I tried everything, and the good thing is I didn't get sick, but the taste and flavors and smells were so so different. It was really amazing.
This is what I am talking about DrupalCons, each are in a different location and you can leave your comfort zone and be a part of a different culture for a few days and food is one of the things you can enjoy in a culture. I remember another thing about DrupalCon Mumbai, the best prenote I have been to, the bollywood dance was the best. The preparation was amazing, this was a cultural engagement.
Piyush: What has your experience been like with the Drupal Community at DrupalCons?
Enzo: Well, I have been seeing for many years that the spaces to try to be integrated as a community member have been undergoing a transformation in a good way. For instance, in the first DrupalCon we did not have a track to talk about how to be a good human. In the cyber community, because obviously we are computer-oriented people, sometimes we forget that we are humans and this kind of conference is a relief for people because it is a big umbrella as it integrates gender, race, religion, and change is coming with time.
Piyush: Share with us your most memorable moment / conversation at a DrupalCon?
Enzo: I am a Drupal Console core maintainer, so I remember conversations, not just with one person but several people during DrupalCon Los Angeles. In that DrupalCon we got a lot of feedback, both positive and negative about the direction we could move in. We got a lot of endorsements and a lot people who did not like what we were doing. Definitely, all these inputs provided us a way to define a roadmap for our community, to try and deliver to the people what we think they are asking for.
Also do you know how it is when you are working in digital environment sometimes and you have disagreement with certain people that you've never met in person? So having the opportunity to talk with these people in person and understand their feelings, because sometimes you read an email and you put thorns in your mind, but talking with people will defeat all the preconceived notions that you might have about that person, and you also get to provide your point of view.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon given you an edge at work?
Enzo: Yes, totally it does! The knowledge you receive is really big and it's really difficult to try to learn everything by yourself. DrupalCons allow you the opportunity to test in a short period of time many trends in our industry and obviously that will increase your productivity in terms you don’t need to test all by yourself. You could see the birth or edge of the technology in one place and that will definitely give you a better position among your competitors.
Piyush: Tell us about a time you were able to incorporate your learning from DrupalCon.
Enzo: Usually everything that is presented at a DrupalCon in terms of sessions I can use in less than 3 months, almost always, because there are some subjects for which I keep on saying I want to try, I want to try, but I never have the time. And then I see how someone showcased it in DrupalCon and then I come back and I want to apply it as soon as possible. In fact, all the information provided in DrupalCon is usually very relevant for the current moment of the technology.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon helped grow your business?
Enzo: Definitely there is a big pull in our business. My company provides outsourcing consulting in the USA and DrupalCon provides us a space to meet a lot of people and showcase who we are, what we do, and what is our experience with the work we have done. DrupalCon allows us the opportunity to do this in person instead of doing it over a call or a cold email.
Piyush: What do you see yourself gaining out of future DrupalCons?
Enzo: During the last changes in Drupal community, I am interested in seeing more integration with other communities like Node.js or even other products. I have been seeing some integrations such as Drupal with artificial intelligence. We have been creating a lot of this kind of stuff. I think these will be sideline subjects for the next or the following years of DrupalCons.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon helped you develop and evolve your team and your peers?
Enzo: Yeah, well more than passing it on in our organisation every year, we try to bring a couple from our team and they learn first-hand, the level of professionalism that is required to work for international companies and this has helped changed the mind of our co-workers and employees and to be able to understand what is the process behind attending and acquiring business through DrupalCons, and it’s not all in your computer. I think DrupalCon allows you to define and increase the vision about what is around the Drupal business and Drupal community.
Piyush: Why do you think DrupalCon is important for the Drupal Community?
Enzo: I think that DrupalCon allows us to build an ecosystem. Without it we will not be any different from any other community. DrupalCons allow us to create an identity, and it is good to have this meeting point where we could state ourselves as a community, where we are learning what duration are we going on and what is the rest of the environment doing, in favour of this project or this community.
Read the previous story about Rachel's experience.