Thank god Acquia got new offices. Oh wait, I meant Zivtech.
I say thank god because the rumor is they have spaces where they can hold multiple trainings during Drupal Meetups (whilst serving beverages and pizza of course). I couldn't go to the party because I had to get home and go to sleep so that I could rock the Philadelphia Triathlon the next morning (yeah, i'm bragging). So, I've been slightly dis-satisfied with the last few meetups, and it's my own fault. It's my fault because I haven't volunteered to present things. That will now cease.
A System for Proposing Topics
So, I would like to set up a system where we can more formally propose topics -especially in advance, meaning we say what we're going to have a session/BoF about for the next meeting, giving people something to prepare for (both to teach and to come up with effective questions).
How long do I have to listen to this drivel? So we should also set up structured times for these sessions to start/stop, hopefully allowing someone to be exposed to two topics per meetup or one more in depth one. So, that looks like two 45 minute sessions with a pizza break and one concurrent long-haul preso, perhaps.
The more complicated version is for us to set up a COD or something for each meetup (I don't really know how COD is structured (i.e. whether we can create multiple, miniature conferences or not)). It doesn't have to get as far as proposing and voting on sessions, but that would be cool, and it would be cool for people to be able to at least more formally propose miniature talks for the next meetups (i.e. say "i'll facilitate X topic" and that go on the meetup description - name of facilitator and name of topic).
Now, I like to learn as well as teach, and if it's going to be a learning experience for me, I'd rather propose I facilitate sessions on topics that I don't have mastered. I'll start by volunteering to facilitate (not both in the same night):
Requirements gathering for rookies. I went to the session at Drupaldelphia and learned some cool stuff (I'm using it this week and mah boss is impressed already -thanks twenty bucks!) but in no way shape or form would I consider what I learned exhaustive enough to be practical, but the baby step is nice. So I still have to make stuff up as I go along (aka "build the plane in the air") and I'd rather work through this with other semi-experienced people than learn all the mistakes I'll have to unlearn later.
theming for real dummies So, I've learned to hack around themes to where I consider myself competent, but not enough to do template preprocessing and whatnot. I'd volunteer to teach a session called "make this look like that" where we go through some of the decisions about selecting a template, defining and modifying regions and other miscelanesous minutae (like should you put padding or margins on blocks and what affects might that have down the road).
I want someone to help me learn Git and SVN. So what, I don't want to set everything up to be a core contributor, but I do want someone to walk me through setting up Git and/or SVN on my machine and explain the differences as I'm getting to the point in my job that I'm going to need them soon and I'd like to be ahead of the curve, not behind. So, this is more of a request for a 'get you up to speed' sprint-type of request than a 'oh, here is what it is'. I'll pay anyone with Zivtech's free beer to help with this.
Keep 'em coming back for more jawns
I'd also like to propose that people who want to talk about, ask questions about and teach other how to do X, that if there's enough interest that they propose a series of sessions on a topic rather than just have one-off sessions.
I also want to propose Better taxonomies for Drupaldelphia the notions of beginner, intermediate and advanced were way off. I propose that instead we use multiple categories thusly (yes, I wrote "thusly"):
- level - intro, intermediate, advanced
- complexity - mild, medium, hot, jalapeno seeds
- role - client manager, designer, site builder, project manager, developer etc.
Why? I propose these because I went to a 'beginner' session on panels (Penelope, and you can't tell me its spelled any other way) where that was actually an introduction for relatively competent site builders. I would classify that as: intro, medium and site builder. I also went to a 'beginner' session on testing - I would classify that as: intro, hot (because they don't tell you how to install the stuff they go over, they mostly named tools and demonstrated one) & developer. See how this starts to clarify things? And yes, we need to probably choose better words, but I definitely want something called 'jalapeno seeds' so I never go to those, unless Tim Plunkett is teaching it then I'd go just to heckle him.
Thankfully an end
Okay, I think I put just about everything I wanted to say/propose. But let me summarize.
- Zivtech rocks. Thanks for being gracious hosts.
- I'd like to have meetups more structured too
- I want to kind of know what to expect at the meetup before I get there (formal or not)
- I'm putting my foot where my mouth is (wait) and volunteering to facilitate a few sessions
- I did the Philadelphia Triathlon, hence, I'm a rockstar.
- That is all. For now.