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Stackato and Komodo in Portland for DrupalCon
by Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher, May 31, 2013

DrupalCon this year was an absolute blast! This was my very first convention, so it was a little nerve-racking, but it was an incredible experience. The sponsors, coordinators, and the visitors there were all great people to talk to, and the food was AMAZING.

Development lead for Komodo IDE Todd Whiteman and myself arrived over in Portland on Monday, and we got started setting up our booth as soon as the doors opened on Tuesday. We registered, got our free T-shirts, our badges, maps, bus passes, and moved into our booth for setup. As soon as we finished setting up around 11:30 and the welcoming keynotes and speeches were finished, the visitors started pouring into the main hall. We had stickers, T-shirts for both Komodo and Stackato, and some other goodies for anyone that came by our booth.

Over the course of the convention, we met with a broad range of people, and everyone had an interesting story to tell. Some were just starting up, coming to learn about the new features of Drupal 8, which is currently under development. Others had already created a few websites for clients and were either hosting them on their servers or helped their clients deploy onto their servers. Some people were there to look for technical consulting for their websites, and some companies were looking to give consulting to potential customers. There were also some people that had a very good understanding of the Drupal community, and were just coming around to see all of the new sponsors for DrupalCon. Some just wanted free stuff.

On the very last day, I was actually able to head out and listen to some of the talks that were going on. I went to a talk from KnpLabs about Business Driven Design, Behat, Mink, and other Wonderful Things. The talk was absolutely eye-opening for me. Before I came to DrupalCon, most of my applications just ran a few tests here and there to make sure that nothing big broke when I committed changes. However, with this talk, it truly inspired me to learn Behat and Cucumber, and to start using them for my applications. Not to mention that the tests are actually human-readable sentences, so I can show to anyone who is non-technical or does not work with the core development, and they would completely understand what is happening and what is the expected result. They should be able to think: “Oh, given that I’m an anonymous user, when I go to the catalog page, I should see a list of products. Okay.”

Overall, it was a great learning experience, and I hope to go back next year. Maybe I’ll recognize a few faces next time, too!

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Matthew Fisher is ActiveState’s Junior Product Manager. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, BC, Matthew is a software developer in his spare time, preferring Python as his weapon of choice. In December 2012, he graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Diploma in Computer Systems Technology. He has previously built telephony systems for customers using Asterisk PBX and Django, and has completed co-op placements doing IT/Sys Admin work with Core Information Technology and AeroInfo Systems, where he received an AeroInfo Award of Excellence. He joined ActiveState in February 2013.