Report from DrupalCamp Sofia 2011

On January 22nd and 23rd we had the pleasure of taking part in DrupalCamp Sofia 2011, the yearly meeting of the bulgarian Drupal community. In a snow-covered landscape, the Red Building of the Cultural Centre of Sofia hosted 160 drupalistas for a full weekend. A 3-person delegation from Point Blank participated in the meeting, giving two presentations. It was a very rich event, perfectly organised with numerous participants!

We ought to congratulate the organisation team for a perfectly organised meeting. The call went out successfully to several sectors beyond the developer community, bringing together people from marketing, advertisement and creative agencies, graphic designers and Drupal programmers. The women numbered around 50% of the total participants, a fact that gathered many positive comments as it is a rare occurence in an open source software event.

The central keynote speaker from the international community was Robert Douglass of Acquia, who talked about the business opportunities of the Drupal platform - a talk that extended the topics presented in December in DrupalCamp Athens. Robert also presented Acquia in detail, a company founded by many major Drupal contributors that provides solutions for networking, support and consulting for demanding Drupal projects.

George Papadongonas from infowonders

A central point of interest in the event was the new Drupal 7 version that was released a few weeks ago. The Drupal platform is adapting fastly to the changing technological landscape, offering profound improvements in a number of issues. The presentation of George Papadongonas by infowonders on the new e-commerce solutions as well as the presentation by Ivo Radulovski from segments on search engine optimisation and RDF data showed some of the numerous new improvements offered by Drupal 7.

David Bash giving a talk about the jQuery library

On our side, David Bash gave an introduction to the jQuery library, a JavaScript library that can be used to create animation and transition effects on HTML pages. Through a series of practical examples, David showed how someone can introduce the jQuery functionality into a site (based on Drupal or not), showing both the simplicity as well as the power of the library for dynamic effects.

Stelios Kourakis presented the use of Drupal as a management platform for data and rich media, powering websites built on Flash. The "heretical presentation" of the conference showed how Drupal is an excellent choice for media management and manipulation, offering a flexible solution that can accompany perfectly sites based on Flash.

As in other meetings of the community, we had ample opportunities to meet new people. We were glad to see familiar faces from earlier DrupalCons and DrupalCamps, as well as meeting new people with talent and great ideas from our neighbouring countries.

Closing, we extend our greetings to all participants! It was a great pleasure to meet you all, and most likely we will be meeting each other again on a future Drupal gathering!