Great Drupal and BBQ in Austin, TX
I had a great time last weekend taking part in DrupalCamp Austin as a learner, a helper, and a presenter. I also enjoyed sharing an apartment and eating meat (and/or ice cream ) with my fellow Commerce Guys, Mike and Tim, and it was doubly fun to get reacquainted with folks I hadn't seen since last year's Drupalcon Szeged or Do It With Drupal.
As a learner at Drupal events, I tend to benefit most from sessions that discuss meta issues in Drupal development... how to grow your community or business, interact with clients, deploy and manage sites in the wild, etc. Ben Finklea of Volacci didn't disappoint with the weekend's opening keynote session, Building a Successful Drupal Business. He focused a lot on building good business processes for tasks ranging from managing sales leads to hiring. I missed out on Ben's SEO chat later but actually had the pleasure of joining him for church on Sunday morning, a rare opportunity on a Drupal weekend!
As a helper, I had fun doing a little bit of Drupal / Ubercart triage in the Commerce Guys room. Myself and a few other experienced Drupallers fielded questions and offered site building advice to various folks looking to iron out issues with their latest sites and prepare for upcoming projects. Aside from the communal eating of meat and ice cream (see above... and below), this is probably my favorite part of Drupal events.
Last, as a presenter I walked through the installation and configuration of Ubercart starting with the UberDrupal installation profile. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done and helped folks in the audience visualize how to use the sweet Acquia Prosper theme and leverage Ubercart's core systems. I was scheduled to discuss the ongoing Ubercore Initiative the next day, but most in the crowd were there because they had chosen Panels over Ubercart the day before. So, with a slight adjustment, I presented another Ubercart overview with glimpses of the plans for future development (like those in my last post on products). Those interested in learning more than that session afforded should hop in the #d7uc IRC meeting scheduled for Nov. 20 at 1 PM EST and keep an eye on http://d7uc.org.
On the recommendation of Todd Nienkerk of Four Kitchens, I drove the rental with Mike and Tim down to Driftwood, TX (nowhere near a beach) for some Salt Lick BBQ. They brought us plates piled with meat fresh from the open fire pit, treating our taste buds through our yummiest business planning meeting ever. Here's hoping there's a trip to Austin (for Drupal and/or BBQ) in my future!