DrupalGov Canberra 2014

To those who know me, the past couple of weeks in my schedule have been fairly jam packed with DrupalGov items. Like an aperture window, each part of the pre-planning stage relies on its neighbour before carefully interlocking in place. DrupalGov Canberra, Asia Pacific and Australia’s only Government centric Drupal event, is coming for another year.

About the conference

Right now, the most up to date conference details are available on the DrupalGov conference pages of the DrupalACT website. The show begins from 9am on the 22nd August at the National Museum of Australia with sessions running throughout the day and a strong likelihood of further events in the evening.

We'll be running three session tracks with the hope of appealing to all registrants at the event.

For those into hardcore coding, theming and DevOps, we'll have a track available to discuss the latest Drupal techniques, continuous integration with Drupal and third party technology interaction.

If you run a department or a development team in Government, then I'm hoping the Gov track will provide insights into keeping an agile workflow, managing a multitude of shareholders, starting to use open source or advice on advocating for the cloud from a decision maker standpoint.

Alternatively, for those wishing to improve the architecture of their existing sites, future planned builds or just looking to pick up on the techniques of other site builders and architects we're running the Case Study track. Covering entire builds, content workflow and site management, there should be enough information provided for all seeking it.

With these tracks and the ability to pick and choose the sessions attended throughout the day, it's my strong hope that we're going to cover a huge amount of content applicable to Drupal in Government.

Why the conference?

Even with DrupalGov Canberra 2014 as a sequel to the successful DrupalGov Canberra 2013, it's likely that an event would be necessary anyway. Only late last week did I hear news of John Sheridan's trailblazing blog post on the departmental blog. This sparked off further comments on both The Delimiter and Computer World that provide additional commentary and analysis of the decision.

Long story short, Drupal and cloud are considered with high regard as an open source solution to Governmental needs for a CMS.

This is exciting for me for three main reasons:

These three reasons combined mean that although I am not directly affected by a decision to migrate sites to a GovCMS​, many around me will be. Ensuring we have both a local Drupal user group and a best in class event to champion the use of Drupal within Government will provide those transitioning with more support as they get up and running.

Quite often around new technologies there exists a certain degree of fear; there's fear of change, the unknown and of obsolescence. While Drupal has been around for well over 10 years, it's still relatively new within Government circles, traditionally the bastion of proprietary and closed source. The community driving the development, use, training and support of Drupal is vibrant and active. Looking at an aggregate calendar shows 80 unique events spread over 6 continents globally with Drupal as the topic of discussion, this includes one such event in Canberra. The community exists, in part, to reduce the barrier to entry and inform in order to reduce fear.

One of the mottos with Drupal is:

Come for the code, stay for the community.

This is something I've found true, at least for me. The code was great, drew me in and allowed me to write code of my own. But the real thing that prompted me to stay, pushed me to develop more and allowed my passion for Drupal and open source to thrive was the community and the sheer force of effort that I observe others put into it.

So in summary. I want DrupalGov Canberra 2014 to inform those unfamiliar with Drupal, demonstrate the community driving Drupal and provide that same push I felt when I started to Government and private sector alike.

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