DrupalCon Chicago, Part I

Last week I had the priviledge of attending DrupalCon Chicago, a nearly week long conference dedicated to my favorite CMS, Drupal (it’s what I use the most to build websites, and since I’ve only been using it for a little over two years I still have a ton to learn). I went with U of L web guys Trevor and Wesley. I have a lot of photos I want to post, so I’ll be breaking this into three blogs over the next few days.

We left on Sunday for our flight out of Calgary, and had a smooth trip other than Trevor forgetting his passport on the way there (luckily we had left enough time that we could afford to go back for it!).

O’Hare International Airport in Chicago had some crazy lights going on and I was already in love with the architecture, which would carry on to the downtown district.

Our view driving in was fantastic, with the skyscrapers growing larger and larger as we neared our hotel. When you live in flat Lethbridge and mostly vacation in sprawling Los Angeles, skyscrapers are such a novel thing!

Our hotel was situated right along the river coming from Lake Michigan, and I could see a hint of the lake from my room’s window.

The day before the conference, we had each signed up for a pre-con training class, and I chose Upgrading Drupal 6 to 7, a hands-on class where we upgraded a variety of websites to the newest version of Drupal. The session was taught by Acquia members Jacob Singh, Joshua Brauer, and Erik Webb, as well as additional help from Heather James, and they were fantastic to learn from.

After a full day of learning, I headed back to the hotel to check out the opening reception. DrupalCon was now officially underway!

While Trevor went to a Bulls game, Wesley and I wandered downtown in search of food. Our walk took an hour longer than it normally should because I couldn’t stop taking photos. So beautiful! It was terribly cold, though much better than the -20C we had left behind at home, so I couldn’t complain too much.

On Tuesday morning we woke up bright (or rather foggy) and early for the opening keynote by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert and several other important figures in the community.

The man himself, Dries

An excellent Drupal suit

This was my first DrupalCon, so I was excited when Jacob Singh asked me to help out for one small portion of his presentation of the Media module. I wandered through the classroom before he began, taking paparazzi photos of the audience for Jacob to later use in his demo of uploading a gallery. Not only was it a great way to meet people (I met someone who used to go to school and be close friends with one of my art professors), but I got a shout-out during the session (at 6:36 in the following video).

Lily, who had been in the Upgrading class with me

I absolutely love this:

I saw an awesome presentation on mobile design by Fisher, who lives really close to us and who I already saw speak at DrupalCamp in Calgary. He was an amazing speaker and got away with taking a great little jab the Americans: “In Canada, we use Celsius… like most of the rest of the world. But I can also tell temperature in Fahrenheit, because we used to use that instead too. In other words, it IS possible to make the conversion…” :)

Rather than go to the Field Museum party (which we probably should have gone to, because the venue looked insane!), Wes, Trevor, and I took a walk to the Navy Pier and went for dinner. I loved it there, though it was a little too touristy after the Santa Monica Pier which I am much more used to.

We ate an amazing dinner at RIVA. I don’t like seafood, so I had the lemon chicken…

…and washed it down with a white chocolate Crème brûlée. Delicious!

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2 Responses to “DrupalCon Chicago, Part I”

  1. The holes in the architecture in the first photo remind me of the dots in your logo. Yay branding!

    Love all the night shots! The lights are pretty. :)

    PS: Your link to “DrupalCamp in Calgary” in broken, ironically. :p

  2. jam says:

    Such gorgeous photos! Nice to see someone else’s DrupalCon … and nice to see more of what was outside the hotel :-D

    Compliments.

    – jam