Why this years' Drupal Camp London was the best

7 Mar 2016

Now in its 4th consecutive year, Drupal Camp London is one of six annual camps in the UK and the 2nd largest in Europe with 600 attendees.

  1. You can really feel that the Drupal community is filled with love. I have attended quite a few other web conferences and they really don't give you that feeling. There were many established community members making time for new ones, taking time to explain things.
  2. The organisers, volunteers and staff at City University ran the event super smoothly with great organisation 
  3. Many sessions were presented to a full house, some with standing room only (UX : The elephant in the room.)
  4. BoF (Birds of a feather) sessions were well attended and a great way to get changemakers in a room together, e.g. Charity fundraising platforms initiative & the Drupal Apprenticeship scheme.
  5. There were 2 sprint rooms - one for new contributors and another for experienced ones.
  6. Jam's moustache was looking better than ever before, especially with his Indian yellow waistcoat.
  7. Many attendees, speakers, sponsors & organisers were now in their 3rd or 4th consecutive year.
  8. Consistently we have the 2nd largest Drupal Camp in Europe, with 600 attendees.
  9. Many Drupal apprentices were in attendance and actively participating in the camp (I spotted some from Code Positive & Catch Digital).
  10. The volunteer team was a diverse group from around the world (Hungary, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the UK of course).
  11. The CxO/Business Day was full of people sharing their experiences in a helpful, non-competitive way.
  12. Attendees I met at the same camp in 2014 that attended the camp as newbies went on to attend their local user groups, other camps, DrupalCons and are helping other newbies to get acquainted with 'the Drupal way'.
  13. Michael Schmid 'Schnitzel' was here highlighting the importance of voting in the upcoming elections to select a 'Director at Large' community representative on the Drupal Association board.
  14. As Drupal 8 was launched in November, we were discussing many sites that have been launched and use it, or sites that are in progress, with many sessions focused on the new Drupal release. There was a lot more excitement around it than ever before. At the CxO day Paul Johnson said some clients are now requesting it in briefs.
  15. Many clients, marketing people and project managers were in attendance showing it is not just an event for technical folk.
Chandeep Khosa

Drupal Camps in the UK 2016

1 Jan 2016


Was a very exciting year for Drupal camps in the UK. In addition to the regular annual camps in London & Edinburgh, we saw the first camps in Brighton & Bristol, in addition to the new Drupal Camp North in Sunderland (a joint effort between North West, North East & Yorkshire user groups). It is great to see so many camps in the UK, it is becoming increasingly popular in the country.


In addition to the regular line up we will also see a new camp added to the list 'Drupal8Camp' in Leeds. 'Drupal7Camp' was held in May 2011, just a few months after the release of the last big Drupal version.

Benefits of attending camps

I was very fortunate to be able to attend all of the UK camps for the first time in 2015, which was very rewarding for me. It helped me with 

  • Growing my network in the community and better understanding how variety of different skillsets help us on projects
  • Inspiration to learn new things including improving my knowledge of performance, scalability and front end development
  • Seeing real life case studies and having the opportunity to ask questions to the teams behind them
  • Becoming a sprint mentor for the first time at Drupal Camp North, thanks to Emma Karayiannis and the other mentors
  • Making new friends and strengthening relationships with my existing colleagues across Europe and the world.
  • Connecting people new to the community by introducing them to people I knew
  • Being able to assist in promoting camps on social media by sharing quotes and photos

I encourage you to attend as many camps as you can and persuade your employers and colleagues to do so as well. Sponsorship is also a necessary part of making camps possible, valuable and keeping entry costs accessible to all. Anything you can do to help finding sponsors will be much appreciated too.

Chandeep Khosa

The Best Drupal Training resources

9 Oct 2015

Drupal can be difficult to learn without good resources or a helping hand. Here are a list of great resources that I have found useful while learning Drupal, including blogs and video tutorials. I hope you find them useful.

If you are a complete beginner, I recommend starting with this video Absolute Beginners Guide to Drupal

Image credit : OS Training

Chandeep Khosa

Let's go to DrupalCon Dublin 2016

25 Sep 2015

We are very excited to hear that the next European DrupalCon will be in Ireland. DrupalCon Dublin will take place 26-30th Sep 2016. The announcement was made at the closing of yesterday's DrupalCon Barcelona in front of an audience of over 2000 Drupal enthusiasts from around the world.

We are very pleased to see that the website is not just a landing page like many others, but already has useful content including which hotels we get discount at and how to sponsor. No doubt the volunteers must have worked very hard to get it all ready in time.

Drupal Ireland

The Drupal Ireland community has been doing great work for years and in 2013 organised a very successful Drupal Developer Days event in Dublin. They organise the annual Drupal Camp Ireland which is one of very few that is free thanks to its generous sponsors. Their next event will Drupal Camp Belfast taking place 20-21st November. Recent camps have taken place in Portumna, Cork, Westport and Ballyvaughan.

They are home to great Drupal companies including Annertech who launched their own website in Drupal 8 last September and regularly organise DrupalCon quiz nights. 

We are very excited and looking forward to attending the event and visiting Dublin for the first time. It will be great meeting more of the local community and seeing the jewels of the Emerald Isle!

What is a DrupalCon?

It is an annual conference for the Drupal community where developers, designers, content editors, project managers and business owners come to learn, share and discuss issues. Many new contributors also learn how to contribute to Drupal core for the first time.

The founder of Drupal started the project from Belgium in 2000, and soon it started to be organised in both Europe & North America since 2005. Last year was the first time that it took place outside of these territories and was brought to Bogota in Colombia. It was the first time a 3rd annual DrupalCon took place each year alternating between South America and Asia. Next year will see the event going to Asia for the first time, to DrupalCon Mumbai 18-21st February 2016. North America's event will be DrupalCon New Orleans 9-13th May 2016, it promises to have lots of great culture and food.

Previous years in Europe

Over the past years it has taken place in :

  • 2015 - Barcelona, Spain
  • 2014 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2013 - Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2012 - Munich, Germany
  • 2011 - London, UK
  • 2010 - Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2009 - Paris, France
  • 2008 - Szeged, Hungary
  • 2007 - Barcelona, Spain
  • 2006 - Brussels, Belgium
  • 2005 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Chandeep Khosa

What is Drupal & Intro to Drupal workshops - Global Training Day

1 Aug 2015

We are happy to announce that we are running Drupal training sessions this month as part of the Global Training Days. The initiative is run by the Drupal Association to introduce new and beginner users to Drupal.

Come and join us on Friday 21st August to learn about what Drupal does and how it can help you. We will discuss the software and show you examples of it in action.

What is a Drupal Global Training Day?

Drupal Global Training Days is a worldwide initiative to increase the adoption of Drupal. All across the world, people are teaching and learning Drupal, and sharing that open source love.

During the last session run on May, 25 training companies from 15 countries participated in hosting Introduction to Drupal sessions. We are happy to be a part of this for the first time.

The two types of sessions are :-

  • What is Drupal - is a half-day workshop to address the basics of Drupal. It is designed for those interested in evaluating or implementing it.
  • Intro to Drupal - is a full day introductory training workshop. Attendees will leave having successfully built a Drupal site. It is designed for those interested in Drupal as a career path.

Who should attend

  • Web developers/designers willing to get started with Drupal.
  • Project managers managing or considering Drupal projects.
  • Decision makers evaluating Drupal. 

What is Drupal - Course outline

  1. Introduction to CMS
  2. Why Drupal; Comparative analysis of Drupal with other CMS.
  3. Case studies / Sites using Drupal
  4. When to and not to use Drupal?
  5. Where to find Drupal and Drupal installation
  6. Inside of DrupalGetting a functional site set up in 30-45 mins. Using contrib modules/themes/distributions, and getting community-based support
    1. Overview of each item of admin menu (e.g. Content, Appearance)
    2. Create and edit content
    3. Work with menus from admin
    4. Content type and its usage
    5. Block and where to find them
    6. Working with roles and users
  7. Getting a functional site set up in 30-45 mins.
  8. Using contrib modules/themes/distributions, and getting community-based support
  9. Support Drupal.org and Drupal Association
We are holding this event in partnership with CVS Brent, who will be hosting us. They work with many charity & voluntary sector organisations to better deliver their services.

Eventbrite - What is Drupal? Free half-day workshop

Chandeep Khosa

Drupalaton 2015 : our perspective

17 Aug 2015

Last week we attended Drupalaton, a Drupal camp in Hungary for the second year in a row. It was so valuable to us last year we couldn’t resist returning, especially after all the great friends we made and met again there. See our blog post from last year Drupalaton 2014.

What is Drupalaton?

It is a 4 day Drupal Camp which takes place on the edge of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. It started off as a group of 50 Hungarian Drupalers that knew each other quite well, as a Drupal Camp in the city of Pécs. After it grew the local community decided to move it to Balaton and change the name. After 1 year they decided to open it up to a much wider community, so in 2013 lots of attendees came from neighbouring countries.

Last year in 2014 there were 79 attendees from 13 countries including Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK. This year it was great to see us reach 115 attendees from a more diverse group of countries, many of which re-attending for years (including Pieter Frenssen).

What makes Drupalaton different from other DrupalCamps?

  • Sessions - Longer, friendlier & more interactive.
  • Weather - At 35C during the trip it was great to make sure relaxation was had. Having the lake a few steps outside the hotel was very much welcomed.
  • Social activities - Morning jogs, group meals, evening drinks, boat party, grill party, swimming together on the lake, Go Karting.
  • People - The great weather and opportunities for socialising make it an amazing environment to make new and strengthen existing friendships. Some attendees brought their children who also made new friends!

The amazing organisers

We can’t say how much we appreciated all of the organisation effort that went into the event. The team was led by Tamás ‘York’ Pintér, with support from Zsófi Major, Gábor Reisinger, István Csáki. They are the real heroes of the event, and in addition to the months of organisation, they put in lots of additional time from early in the morning until the late night socials. They deserve a huge round of applause.

Extended sessions/talks

These were longer than usual 1 hour given at other Drupal Camps & Drupal Cons, but also in a workshop format. These were upto 3 hours in length, people had their laptops out on tables and were encouraged to ask the speakers questions as they went.

Boat party

This was a lot of fun and also a very good opportunity for attendees to exchange experiences and knowledge with eachother. There was tasty food, beer thanks to the fantastic sponsors. The boat journey was perfectly timed to give a view of an amazing sunset.

Grill party & the Drupalaton song

More tasty food followed, truly a feast which was much appreciated. Here some played poker with Druid's scrum cards and others played with the children, all before we were treated to a perfomance of the Drupalaton song. There were guitars and singing provided by Ruben Teijeiro, Gergely Csonka, Ernő Zsemlye & Tamás Hajas who gave us 'Drupal Get Commit' and the catchy chorus "We’re up all night to get a commit". YouTube video.

Fun games

5Net from Hungary gave puzzle pieces in everyone’s goodie bags which were used to create a giant jigsaw puzzle with the Drupalaton logo. REEA from Romania brought a unique game Crokinole, in which you slide pieces into circles and knock your opponents’ ones out, during which I won a t-shirt & mug after beating my opponent.

Family friendly

Lake Balaton is a popular holiday destination for the whole family which is one of the reasons many Drupal attendees brought their partners and children. It is very pleasing to see how happy everyone is and how much they interacted with the rest of us during the social time. It is good fun for the whole family and encourages them to all become friends with each other too. Perhaps in future events we could even have sessions for children, what do you think?

Drupal in Hungary

With famous Hungarian Drupalers including Gábor Hojtsy & chx , it was a different environment than you would normally see them in. I was very pleased to find out about how the Drupal community started to grow adoption in the country, especially in the early days.

Drupal in Central & Eastern Europe

Drupal companies in the area are keen to get away from the outside world seeing them as a cheap place to outsource to. They prefer to work on a partnership basis where you gain a relationship with team members, instead of ‘resources’. It is interesting to see that they are increasingly working on local client projects too. I was glad to see many friends again from the nearby countries of Serbia, Romania, Slovakia again from last year as well as other camps. For some local attendees Drupalaton has become an affordable alternative to DrupalCons as wages are generally a lot lower than in Western Europe. It will be exciting to see what happens with Drupal Iron Camp next year in Budapest, an event that aims to showcase the talent of the area and provide accessible Drupal training with low cost tickets.


Tamás ‘TeeCee’ Szügyi has perfected his art of photographing Drupal events with precision and was everywhere capturing it all. He has added photos to this Flickr group. If you have any photos please share them there too.

Next year

For 2016’s event the dates have been announced for 11-14th August. Hope to see you all at Drupalaton again next year!

Chandeep Khosa

Drupal Camp North : Why we loved it

26 Jul 2015

This weekend we were very pleased to be able to attend the first Drupal Camp North in Sunderland. The great event took place at Sunderland Software Centre and was made possible thanks to them and Make It Sunderland.

In previous years there have been camps for different user groups in the North East (Sunderland), North West (Manchester) & Yorkshire (Leeds), and this is the first time they have all joined forces to make sure this is better. It also ensures that these events are funded in the best possible way as there can be a shortage of sponsors to make them a reality. Future camps will rotate between the 3 locations and we are already very much looking forward to them.

On the rooftop for the red arrow


We are really glad to see such a geographically diverse group of Drupal people coming together, not only from the UK but also from the following :

  • Finland (Lauri Eskola, Druid)
  • Netherlands (Bart Feenstra, Druid)
  • Switzerland (Josef Dabernig, Amazee Labs; Emma Karayiannis, Amazee Labs; Lewis Nyman, Wunder UK)
  • USA / Germany (Adam Juran, Forum One)

Packed house for Holly Ross keynote


All of the above mentioned people were sprinting during the conference, and they also gave talks. The sprints were led by Emma Karayiannis who we all agreed did an amazing job, including helping me to become a sprint mentor for the first time.

The five days of sprinting were organised to encourage and mentor new and existing contributors to help get Drupal 8 to be launched as soon as possible, as well as helping to start the regular sprints that will be taking place on a more regular basis across the region. We were all very excited to hear that over the weekend as we managed to break the 3000 contributors to Drupal 8 milestone!


A lot of progress was made on in the issue queue and this was reported in a very easy to understand way at the end of the Business Day by Lewis Nyman & Lauri Eskola, to a diverse group of people. We were happy to see this as it allows better transparency, which leads to better organisation-wide understanding support via camp attendance and encourages learning, sharing and ensures financial support continues.

Lauri Eskola reports on Drupal8 progress


Keynote - Friday

For the Business Day on Friday we had an opening and welcome from Andrea Winders from Sunderland City Council, followed by Bob Paton from North East LEP. Bob shared the story of how he lead the business case for Accenture to open a delivery centre in Newcastle and the importance of growing local talent through education and skills programmes. By talking us through the Accenture apprenticeship scheme he gave insights into how we could improve Drupal training for young people, which dovetails nicely with a later talk on the Drupal Apprenticeship scheme given by Crispin Read & Sheena Morris. His talk was very inspiring and we're glad he shared it with us.

DrupalCampNorth 2015 - Friday

Keynote - Saturday

David Rozas, a Drupal Developer and PhD student from University of Surrey gave a very interesting talk on "Talk is silver, code is gold? Contribution beyond source code in Drupal". We felt very special to hear his keynote first before he improves upon it and delivers his keynote at DrupalCon Barcelona this September.

It covered research and analysis of open source communities and other organisations of contributions and gave insights on how we can encourage members to contribute in person by running Drupal events such as local user groups and volunteering on training projects. It was exciting to see how his research could influence as action research, and lead to improvements of Drupal.org user profiles and related benefits.

DrupalCampNorth 2015 - Saturday



There were a diverse mix of sessions for business people, project managers, designers, developers and newbies which great for all skill levels and interests. You can read about them here

Air show

We were lucky to be present during the Sunderland Air Show with displays from the Red Arrows which was very enjoyable too.



For more photos see the Flickr albums by Paul Johnson & Amazee Labs (Thursday, Friday & weekend)


To all organisers, volunteers, speakers, sprinters & sponsors for making the event possible!

Chandeep Khosa

New website launch : Poached Creative

3 Jul 2015

We are proud to announce the launch of the new responsive site for Poached Creative. The previous site was a simple Blogger blog, that didn't respond to different device or screen sizes. The transition to a fully responsive website using the Drupal content management system was a huge improvement.


We are very pleased to work with Poached Creative and support all the positive work that they do. They are a communications agency which also trains up disadvantaged people and gives them work opportunities with them. They are a social enterprise and member of Social Enterprise UK, and as such their profits get re-invested into the community and helps them make a greater social impact. They also helped to create Buy Social, a directory of social enterprises to encourage more people to buy from and support them.


The new site is also full of images to make use of the funky collage style of tiled images on landing pages. There are interesting hover transitions on these images that show more details of the project shown. These reveal title, description and link through to the relevant project.

The site also makes use of caching, which prevents load on the hosting server and makes the site a lot faster to load. It is hosted with Pantheon cloud hosting which scales with sudden increases to website traffic.

Key benefits

  • Content approval workflow, with multiple users able to edit the same content
  • Very easy to add new content, and automatically see it appearing on other pages as teaser content (avoiding duplications)
  • A media library for images, allowing the same ones to be re-used and save users having to upload the same images multiple times
  • Search engine optimisation dramatically improved, bringing lots of new visitors to the website
Chandeep Khosa

Come join us at Drupal Camp London 2015

9 Feb 2015

There are only 3 weeks left until Drupal Camp London​ takes place (Fri 27 February - Sun 1 March). It will be hosted by City University London​ in Angel as it has for the past 2 years.

Whether you're a Drupal​ pro or just want to learn more, follow the link for weekend, business day and volunteer tickets.

Session submissions have now closed and are being selected for the schedule. In the meantime feel free to look at last year's site for an idea of what is on offer Drupal Camp London 2014

Drupal Camp London 2015


"This year is going to be mega for Drupal with the release of Drupal 8 and the viable use of it for projects. Now is the time to help get Drupal 8 out the door and we're organising Sprints to assist in that. Now is the time to head along and learn what is going on in the Drupal world and ensure you're ready for the future. Oh, and now is the time to come along, make new friends, learn how awesome Drupal is and have a great time.

We've sold out the last two years so please be sure to get your tickets nice and early. The Drupal camp London organising committee looks forward to welcoming you to our wonderful city and and fantastic Drupal camp!"


If you'd like to see how the event was last year, below are a few photos taken by our friend Michael Schmid.

Chandeep Khosa

Drupalaton 2014 in Hungary, at the largest lake in Central Europe

26 Aug 2014

Wow my Hungarian friends - you have done it again! Two weeks ago, I spent a long weekend at Drupalaton, a Drupal camp in Hungary with the difference that it also served as a short relaxing break. It was the perfect combination of a holiday and work with the beautiful surroundings of Central Europe’s largest lake Balaton.

I was very excited to return to the country after the amazing Drupal Developer Days in Szeged event that I went to in March. It was also filled with meeting amazing people from all around the world, learning and sharing knowledge and connecting with so many inspiring people.

At both events the thing that really stood out for me was the great hospitality shown by the Hungarians I met there. I have really been humbled by how friendly and hospitable they have been, and all of the time they put into making the event so amazing for all the attendees.

This was the fifth year that large Drupal events have been taking place in the country, but the second where the language hasn’t been exclusively in Hungarian. Last year’s event brought people from Romania, Serbia and other neighbouring countries but this year we had a much more international event with people from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, & the UK in attendance.

The team that made it happen

Tamás ‘York’ Pintér, was the main organiser and lives in the area of the camp, Zsófi Major co-ordinated many aspects of the event including community outreach over social media & sponsorship management, István Csáki, helped to create the website and other support, Bálint Fekete, made some amazing design work (in particular the innovative scroll on the website where the boat moves across the page which I spent far too long playing with!).

Also on the team were Gábor Hojtsy, (Drupal 8 multilingual initiative lead) helping with event-marketing, István 'PP' Palócz who helped with finances (and helped me learning some basic Hungarian phrases) and last but not least Tamás ‘TeeCee’ Szügyi, the photographer who documented the great event.

Some numbers

In the recent newsletter to all attendees from the organisers the following statistics were disclosed.

"We are really proud of the following numbers, so let us share with you:
Our 79 attendees came from 13 countries from all over the world, and only a bit more than half of them were from Hungary. This lucky number is significant for us, as Drupalaton started as a local Drupalcamp, and now we can proudly say that we are on the big Drupalmap :)"

  • You spent more than 1420 minutes (almost 24 hours) on 8 workshops with learning.
  • The sprinters worked on 70+ issues during the 4 days. This a great number, you can find more thoughts about it in Gábor Hojtsy's blog post.
  • During the 4 days you consumed 134 pcs of Túró Rudis, 132 ps of Marzipan ladybugs, 260 cans of beer, 60 kilograms of different fruits and 7 kilograms of nuts."

Next year

If any of that sounds good you should attend next year, 6-9 August 2015, I'm very excited about returning. Even the founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert regrets not attending! Maybe he will join us too next year, that would be awesome!

Check out the pictures from Flickr below, or on Twitter and the Facebook page!

Chandeep Khosa