Drupal Camping in London

by Sam Street

After being a spectator to the planning and buzz for some months, DrupalCamp London; my first Drupal community event succeeded in leaving a lasting impression on me.

The three-day event which was hosted at City University (conveniently situated nearby London’s Tech City) kicked off with a business day to exemplify the power of Drupal to potential adopters.

Introduced by BrightLemon director Leon Tong, the first session of the day was presented by Mark Taylor, President of the Open Source Consortium. Mark’s ‘no notes, no slides’ talk roused Drupal agencies and individuals alike to assemble and prepare to embrace the government’s commitment to utilising open source software and technologies. The future he said, is in the hands of the community.

Paul Reeves from MTV UK took the stage next to explain how one of the largest broadcast companies in the world uses Drupal to power their websites, create overlay data in broadcasting and power a central deployment content hub. The presentation also touched on the evolution of MTV UK in using Drupal and the standardised way they work with Drupal so they can focus on providing world-class content for users.

Peter Jones @h2cm tweeted:


BrightLemon are collaborating with the MTV UK team on this project so it was especially exciting to see the details presented to the community, we can’t wait to see this launch later this spring.

Other notable speeches to included Tom Phethean from CapGemini, Rob Colleyer from JanetUK and Joe Baker from Oxfam on Vagrant virtual development environments.

Closing the day of speeches; Acquia’s Manager of Community Affairs, Jeffrey A “Jam” McGuire positioned Drupal to potential adopters to ignore the fact that the software is free and adopt Drupal as the ideal solution based on its features.

Drupal Developer, Darren Mothersele, also attended the speech and commented:

“In comparing Drupal with a closed source competitor, he [Jeffrey McGuire] commented that the implementation costs were roughly the same, the hosting and support costs are roughly the same, but you save the licensing costs and so can spend more on the stuff you care about (design and functionality?).”

As my first experience of the Drupal Community in an offline context, I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming other attendees were, even to a non-technical like me. I soon learnt that the community embraces anyone with an interest in Drupal and found people were interested in.

I personally got a lot out of the day I attended and have come back from Drupal Camp with a better understanding of the flexibility of Drupal and the power of its community.

BrightLemon Project Manager, Chris Craig, attended the weekend days:

“It was very insightful and great to see the progress being made on the Drupal 8 project. Hearing Dave from myhealthlondon discuss the potential of developers working in open collaboration with the NHS was particularly interesting.”