DRUPALCON TAKEAWAYS - MARINA PAYCH
An Interview with Marina Paych | Head of Organizational Development ADCI Solutions
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 second 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 Marina Paych (paych), who has been part of the Drupal community for 2.5 years, and attended 1 DrupalCon.
Piyush: Marina how about we start with your first DrupalCon.
Marina: My first DrupalCon was held in Baltimore. That was my first time in the US, and my first time speaking at a DrupalCon. So I’ve got a full pack of new experience! I was impressed by the scale of the event. Being in the hall of 3000+ like-minded people is amazing and highly inspiring.
Also that was a chance to meet in person with all the people I have been communicating online for a long time. I’m a member of Global Training Days working group, so I was very excited to meet other members of this group in Baltimore. We even organized a BoF* devoted to this topic to spread the word about such a great way of engaging people with Drupal and also - to collect the feedback from the community.
All in all, DrupalCon Baltimore became an exceptional experience for me: full of new things, bright moments and powerful insights.
Piyush: What do you see yourself gaining out of DrupalCon?
Marnia: I believe that if DrupalCon is a place and time for the giant community to get together, we should definitely use it to gain something for ourselves and contribute back at the same time. Therefore I see myself organizing BoFs, delivering sessions, communicating with friends and new acquaintances. To me the best benefit from the event is the new knowledge and people.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon given you an edge at work?
Marina: I met a lot of amazing people, this helped me to establish several business connections and also learn from their experience. Delivering a session at such a big event and in a foreign language boosted my public speaking skills. Overall the event allowed me to feel the community spirit and bring it to our local Drupal events.
Piyush: How have you been able to use the learnings from DrupalCon?
Marina: I haven't got a chance yet but I believe it will happen.
Piyush: Why do you think DrupalCon is important for the Drupal community?
Marina: DrupalCon is important because it is the moment of unity.
They say that people need the sense of belonging and that is a huge thing to charge the batteries and make sure that you’re on the right track.
Piyush: What is your most memorable experience from your first DrupalCon
Marina: As I said above, I was delivering a session at DrupalCon Baltimore. After the session, during the Q&A part one person asked a question and I answered. But then another person shared his experience and after that all the questions triggered productive discussions and knowledge exchange. At that particular point I felt the power and openness of the community.
Piyush: What has your experience been like with the Drupal Community at DrupalCons?
Marina: Just great! I met a lot of wonderful people and I’m really glad to be the part of Drupal world.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon helped grow your business?
Marina: I talked to more experienced people and received their feedback on my activities. But I believe that the first DrupalCon is like a trial and I’ve just started exploring what this event can offer.
Piyush: How has DrupalCon helped you develop and evolve your team and your peers?
Marina: My colleague - a lead developer - was also at DrupalCon and he delivered a BoF about the Drupal 8 module for educational and scientific institutions we've recently contributed (Bibliography and citation). He delivered a bunch of sessions at our local Drupal meet-ups but still he was nervous about his BoF presentation. However, later on he shared that he’d never spoken to such an attentive audience as at DrupalCon. That made him believe in himself and in the power of Drupal even more. DrupalCon is a challenges every participant to grow.
Piyush: What was your favorite food this DrupalCon?
Marnia: Guacamole! I tried it for the first time, and it was delicious.
Read the previous story about Eric’s experience.
*Birds of a Feather sessions (or BoFs) are informal gatherings of like-minded individuals who wish to discuss a certain topic without a pre-planned agenda. BoFs allow groups to meet and discuss issues relating to regular conference sessions and talk out common problems facing the community.