My experience at Drupal Dev Days 2022
Drupal Dev Days? I'm not saying no to that! The corona crisis meant that I didn't yet know my colleagues to the best of my ability and some of them I've never even physically seen. So Drupal Dev Days was the ideal time to get to know them better and of course to gain some knowledge. A win-win situation!
The day before DDD
The day we arrived, we went for something to eat and drink with a few members of the organization. One of the members had come all the way from India to participate in Drupal Dev Days. That evening I got to hear stories about the previous Drupal events, as well as the cultural differences between India and Belgium. It set the tone for an incredible week of learning and fun, with plenty of interesting workshops every day and a new event every night.
We kicked off by setting up our Calibrate booth and testing our Drupal Quiz. Of course the coffee cakes were not to be missed!
I attended several workshops on Gitlab, PHP, progressive decoupling, how to work in the Drupal issue queue, status of the CKEditor 5, status of Drupal 10, etc.
Immersed in the Drupal community
So many interesting talks, too many to list them all, but from this I learned several things as a junior that may seem self-evident to more experienced Drupal people. For example, I got to know the people who write the modules, provide the patch files, and provide help in the issue queue.
I was amazed by the fact that these are just regular people too. Not demigods who know everything, but just people. Each with their expertise and things they have to offer the community, but also with questions and things they don't know. This was a refreshing realization, to see people with so much experience questioning, thinking and adjusting. It lit a light bulb for me that it didn't come naturally for them either, but that they gained their knowledge along the way. It gave me motivation to learn more myself, to ask questions and to look up the things that were discussed. And to ask colleagues to explain things I didn't immediately understand after the talks.
Social event in 'het Gravensteen'
During the social event at the Gravensteen in Ghent, I got to know a few maintainers and members of the German Drupal community. With a simple "hello" we chatted all evening. They gave me tips and tricks on how to expand my Drupal knowledge. There was also a silent disco where we went crazy with people from all over the world. I danced with people from the Spanish Drupal community whose infectious enthusiasm I will never forget, and who from then on put a smile on my face every time I saw them, just thinking about how much fun this evening was.
Quality time with the Calibrators
Finally! The moment I got to know my colleagues as a brand new employee. During these evenings I felt the difference, the atmosphere was good! We had a drink, played card games, darts and occasionally the work came up but in a completely different way.
It was more about how we were doing as new colleagues and if we liked our jobs. Because I was not the only new employee who had gone along to Dev Days. Several colleagues asked if we were happy at Calibrate and if there were things that were disappointing, during these conversations we could discuss in a more relaxed atmosphere things that we were mulling over at the time. This would be about interactions with the client that had left an impression or things that had happened during a project, but which we thought about as a rookie colleague in corona times "this seems weird", but then just let it be. Because we had no reference point on how it should be.
The senior developers then explained to us in detail what had happened and how the normal course of events should be, but due to the circumstances of corona and many new colleagues, this sometimes slipped through the cracks.
We were told what the company wants to achieve in the future in terms of business, but also in terms of our personal growth. A growth path will be worked out based on conversations with us and the senior developers. In order to map out what we want to achieve and how we can tackle this together with the company. Knowing that Calibrate is so concerned with our well-being and growth was a big boost for me. It underlined once again that I had made the right choice for my first job.
I could go on for hours about the fun events, community, workshops but one thing I can say for sure Drupal Dev Days 2022 was an experience I will never forget!
Drupal Con Prague here we come!🚀