What's a DrupalCamp?

A DrupalCamp is a short conference organized by a community of Drupal enthusiasts. It is usually put on by a local Drupal group (in this case the Iowa, Eastern Iowa, and University of Iowa groups). The goal is to bring the community together to teach and learn Drupal and have a little fun. Because this is a open community we invite anyone and everyone to participate. Anyone can present a session or organize a "birds of a feather" meeting. It doesn't matter if you are newbie or an experienced elite core hacker, you have something to contribute and share with others at the camp.


What makes a camp different from a normal conference?

Camps are different from most conference because they are community driven. They are not put on by the Drupal Association like DrupalCon is. The goal is not to push a particular product or make money, it's about networking (the off-line social kind), and sharing ideas. Camps are smaller, usually between 50 and 200 attendees, so you are not going to be as overwhelmed. Because the goal is not to make profit, we try to keep prices low. We solicit sponsors to pay for most of the event.
All the sessions and "birds of a feather" meetings are done by community members. Anyone can propose a session and any topic that can be arguably about Drupal. If you didn't get a session, you can reserve a room for an ad-hoc "birds of a feather" meeting. The camp is really run by the community.

How do I get ready for a camp?

First step, is to purchase your ticket. If you are a total newbie or have a specific goal in mind, you should check out our training opportunities. Some of these sessions will help you get a great start with the basic understanding of how Drupal works. Other trainings allow you to get experience in the specific subject area. For both the newbie and the experienced developer, training is a great opportunity to get some time with experts.
Once you have your tickets, you may want to prepare your equipment. Set up a local development environment on your laptop. Bring your power cables and be prepared to take notes. You may want to use an iPad or tablet to take written notes during sessions to keep your laptop battery going for the entire day. We'll make every effort to make power available in as many places as possible, but it may not always be convenient to plug in.
If you are not sure about going to the camp, but want a taste of what it's like, consider attending one of your local Drupal user's group meetings. They are free and are usually welcoming to new people. You can also read about how to convince your boss.

How are sessions handled?

Sessions are done by anyone who volunteers to share their ideas. You can propose a session on the site up until the deadline. Then the sessions are reviewed by the event organizers and published to this site. Each session is almost like a mini user's group meeting. We have slotted about 45 minutes for the presentation.  We have 15 minutes between sessions in case it runs over a bit, or there is a good Q&A session afterwards. Sessions are categorized by experience level (just starting, beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and track (coder, builder, business, designer/themer, large Drupal). 

To get an idea what sessions we had last year, you can visit last year's site and view the videos of the sessions.

What are the Experience Levels?

  • Never heard of Drupal until recently - You haven't even installed Drupal once.
  • Beginner - You have installed Drupal, have a test site or a simple site already published. Already know how to install modules, upload site to the server and perform core and module updates.
  • Intermediate - You are competent at administring and using a number of contrib modules effectively and perhaps a little work on custom modules, themes, or contributing code back to the community.
  • Advanced - You could probably present on 80% of the sessions at the camp.

What is the Sprint (media module)

Sunday will be a sprint. Anyone at any level is invited to help out. We will be working on media module issues. Even if you don't know how to code, you can contribute by providing documentation, testing fixes, and learning.  This event is free and open to anyone, even if you did not regsiter for the camp.

What's a BoF (Birds of a Feather)

BoFs or Birds of a Feather gathering is an impromptu meeting of people with similar interests. They are usually not determined until the camp starts and are advertised on a whiteboard in front of the room they will be held. The meetings can be in any format and about any topic. For example there can be a BoF for people to find jobs, or help installing Drupal for the first time, or even a discussion on disc golf.  Anyone can put a BoF on the board and anyone can participate.