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Drupal and Drinking

03 Apr 2009

Last night the Twin Cities Drupal User Group had its first, of hopefully many, Drupal Happy Hours. I think it was a big success, and I personally had lots of fun. We thought about what kind of projects we could do as a Drupal group, Advantage Labs raffled off training, drank lots of good Surly beer, had heated discussions about the feasibility of contributing back to Drupal within the non-profit sector, and for some of us, went into the late hours of the night drinking and talking of Drupal. It was like DCDC all over again!

So, Why a Happy Hour?

Is there really a need to answer this question? Not really. But, in wanting to talk about our Drupal community and the larger Drupal community, I would like to explain why I organized this. We already do have a regular meeting (it’s the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7PM at Advantage Labs, if you’re in the neighborhood). I had two main reasons for organizing this event.

The first being that our regular meetings are more formal. We usually do a presentation style approach where there is one main presenter and then maybe some smaller presentations or talks. It’s great and has lots of value, but the meetings are not always that interactive, and are the “presenter and audience” sort of thing. I learn lots of great things, but having just been at DCDC and seeing how much I learned outside the regular conference hours (i.e. drinking), I thought it would be a good idea to bring that informal approach to our fair cities.

Secondly, there are many great Drupalers here in the Twin Cities, that don’t make it to the regular meetings. Hell, I don’t always make it. But, I think changing the context, time, and place, opens up the local Drupal discussion, and allows for people that otherwise can’t make it (for whatever reason) to participate more.

A TCDUG Project, My Second Objective

My first objective was just to get people together and talk (and optionally drink) without any kind of schedule or guidelines (no laptops were opened). But, my second objective was to have a short conversation about ideas for a TCDUG Drupal community project. Meaning that as a group, we decide on a discreet project that we can do in a reasonable amount of time, that helps out the Drupal community as a whole.

We came up with some awesome ideas. The full dynamic list is here, but I will put the initial list below. From the initial discussions, it looks like a documentation sprint is in the lead (I’m sure add1sun will be happy about that).

  • Build a module.
  • Solve a specific patch. (1)
  • Code sprint. (2)
  • Usability testing for D7. (3)
  • Funny Drupal cartoon or comic. (1)
  • Documentation sprint. (5)
  • Drupal sticker campaign.
  • Group bug hunt. (1)
  • Work through a module queue. (1)
  • TC Drupal Camp. (3)
  • Review books.
  • Screencasts for documentation.
  • Drupal kvetch (complaining) sessions.
  • Build a site for someone (and maintain it). (1)
  • A how-to and webcast on AJAX.
  • Drinking beer. (1)

Things Learned and Highlights

Here’s some things learned, or reinforced:

  • Celebrate. Drinking and Drupal go well together.
  • Careful. Drinking and Drupal go well together.
  • Drupalers like to just talk about Drupal. Most of us spend so much time working in Drupal, it’s important to step away and talk face-to-face with other people doing similar things.
  • An agenda is not needed.

Some highlights of last night:

  • Amanda won the free training from Advantage Labs, but is way too smart for any sort of training, and will be giving it to our F1 Challenge non-profit.
  • Advantage Labs raffled off training!
  • Bryan played devil’s advocate in discussing how to give back to Drupal when serving or working for non-profits.
  • Hard Times was delicious! Well, Christian did not have the same sentiment.
  • We realized there are lots of Twin Cities technology groups, but no place to keep track of them all (hence no link).
  • There was some amazing music at Palmer’s.
  • Someone locked my brake cord to their bike. I am not sure why that happens to me so often.
    • Also, unrelated to Drupal or this event, earlier in the day, my front wheel became unattached to my bike while I was riding it, which ended with me on the ground, face down, and the bike on top of me. Oddly enough, just some minor bruises. But all I can say is one word: Sabotage.
Building a Module