Excited for my first ever DrupalCon experience. A premium C:2 position boarding pass on Southwest Airlines on the day that Uber and Lyft decide to leave Austin. Two things I should have planned better. Do the TSA thing. Board plane and settle into a non-reclining seat full of crackers. Find a valid Southwest drink coupon in my bag. Turbulence, followed by landing. A kindly New Orleans Uber driver welcomes us into her city, but warns our group to stick together in order to avoid being robbed. Coworker reunion (including the new guy), wine, and shooting the shit at the hotel. A brisk walk to Cochon. 4K team keeps it light by ordering shrimp, crawfish, oysters, boudin, gumbo, bourbon flights, fried alligator and half of our collective weight in pork. Food coma.
Breakfast at Majoria’s Commerce Restaurant. Two face-sized biscuits covered with more pork, jalapeños, cheese, and fried eggs. I am 86% sure I can eat it all. Mistakes are made. Casual stroll to convention center. Catch the DriesNote. Locate 4K Games Booth, featuring ping pong, Double Shot, and an adorably under-sized foosball table. Try out Double Shot, do well, score 22 points. Brian immediately scores 86 points, obliterating me and setting the first DrupalCon Double Shot record. This trend will continue. Meet some fun people from Acquia, Pantheon, and FFW. Hand out some much coveted convention swag. Attend my first session, Entities 101, and learn about D8 changes — super informative. Coworkers eat lunch at the booth. I skip and focus my energy on digesting breakfast. Brian has broken 100 on Double Shot with one hand, while also preparing his D8 training session with his other. He is a magical man. Attend my first Project Management track session, Becoming a TPM: Dos and Don’ts of Technical Project Management. Find out it’s the first ever PM Track session at a DrupalCon ever. Listen to the Phase2 team talk about Scopey Changey Management in D8. Meet up with our clients from NYU College of Nursing. Make dinner plans. Amazingly delicious Mediterranean food is consumed. A good time is had by all.
Team breakfast at The Ruby Slipper. Multiple types of New Orleans Eggs Benedict. Casual stroll to convention center. Real PM talk with Let’s Be Honest: Estimation Is Guessing. Wisely skip lunch again. Watch fellow Web Chef @fluxsauce teach people how to make the internets faster in front of 400+ attendees. Not to be outdone, other fellow Web Chef @ModsUnrveled teaches 401+ people some D8 sitebuilding badassery black magic. Back to the 4K booth for lightning talks. Attendees learn about interview horror stories, Steve Martin, and the etymology of the term “cocktail.” True stories, all of them. Close out the day with former Web Chef but current Vox-er @iamcarrico talking about how he can annoy you with ads even faster. Dinner at Compère Lapin. Best. Biscuits. Ever. Back to hotel, get spiffed up for classy Lullabot Party at the ACE Hotel. Cocktails and good discussion eventually give way to dancing and live music at the Pantheon Party at Generations Hall. Sophisticated dancing and photo booth shenanigans with clients eventually lead to a midnight bus ride heading towards an afterparty that I can only describe as Cajun Burning Man meets Return of the Jedi. I retreat for the comforts of bed before the alien gets set on fire with the flame-thrower.
Last day. Start it right with breakfast at Mother’s. Consider calling an Uber to get to the convention center. Attend “I’m a Scrumberjack, and I’m OK” and enjoy it. Run over to listen to fellow Web Chef @lukeherrington talk about how his module got hacked during his interview. Back to booth. Still have no idea what lunch at the conference looks like. Brian’s over 110 points on the Double Shot, but is engaged in a friendly battle with Brandon from Lingotek. 200+ points are scored in less than 75 seconds while the Double Shot begs for mercy. Check out a great session all about inheriting other people’s messes. Start packing up the booth in order to get ready for the D6 second line mourning party. Handkerchiefs, fans, and a bad-assed jazz band lead hundreds of Drupalers onto the streets of New Orleans to mourn the loss of the sixth version of Drupal and one giant Kalamuna balloon. At The Rusty Nail bar, an impromptu swing dance session breaks out, D6 is lamented and lampooned equally, and Todd talks about “going all the way.” Against my will, I am forced to drink with my ridiculously photogenic coworkers, though some pull it off better than others. We wander across the street to Sac-A-Lait with friends and indulge once more.
Out of bed early and off to Café Du Monde for a riverside beignet breakfast. Back to the airport with the teammates, do the TSA thing again, and drag myself onto the plane. Fall asleep reminiscing about what an entertaining, educational, and engorging week it’s been in New Orleans with the Drupal community.