The 2021 virtual DrupalCon sessions I enjoyed the most

<p><span class="drop-cap">D</span>rupalCons are exciting. You get to take a week of work to travel to some new city, spend a few days away with your coworkers/friends, meet new people from around the globe that work in Drupal too, get free merchandising, and most of all, attend a ton of sessions with really cool new insights from the experts on the subject.</p> <p>I was lucky to be able to attend the DrupalCon in Baltimore in 2017, and I loved it. COVID-19 forced the latest DrupalCons, both this year and last, to be done virtually. We didn’t get to travel to Minneapolis last year, nor to Boston this one. Instead, we attended all the sessions from our living rooms, in our jammies (yes, the secret is out).</p> <p>My take on this: no time is ever lost in these virtual experiences. If the session you picked is not what you thought it would be, you still can make up for that time by looking at another previously recorded session from the day before. I think <em>this</em> is amazing.</p> <blockquote> <p>We’ll be participating in a meetup with the Drupal Buenos Aires Group (in spanish) to contribute to the <a href="https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/">Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>My one critique at this year’s DrupalCon is that the slides were too small. They would share the screen space with the face of the speaker equally, and gave me (and probably a lot of other attendees) a really hard time trying to understand the contents of the presentations. I really felt like Señor Chang squinting my eyes, looking at that small piece of text in my hand (yes, that meme).</p> <p>Now, this post is completely subjective, this is my personal experience and opinion. These are the sessions that I enjoyed the most, and felt were worth mentioning. If you have little time, and want to choose what to see, links to the videos will be added when they’re published <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAJALvsCWz8Kh6wOySHUJAA">on YouTube by the Drupal Association</a>.</p> <h2>#1 Accessibility is key</h2> <p>I’ve seen over six sessions that were really interesting and related to accessibility. All of these were enlightening in their own way. I’d like specifically to recommend: </p> <ul><li><strong>“Accessibility is a moving target” </strong>by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/volkswagenchick">AmyJune</a> gives a great introduction to the why, when, who and how’s of the subject. This is a must-watch session if you’re interested in accessibility, because she goes over a lot of important aspects: what are accessibility guidelines, assistive technologies, super useful tools for developers/content creators, tips for reviewing your own content, for example. To me, this is a must-watch session, whether you’re a beginner or a pro in the subject.</li> <li><strong>“Inclusive and accessible co-creation”</strong> by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/rainbreaw">Rain Michaels</a> emphasizes on including truly diverse groups of people when user-testing and reviewing your site. As usual, I think Rain’s talks are very interesting. I saw <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQG2z5XtKcs&amp;list=PLpeDXSh4nHjQzENjcpLo6nO3A0AkBdF8w&amp;index=77">her session “Designing for an aging population” last year</a> and it kind of opened up my eyes in a lot of aspects, so I appreciate her input very much. Again, total recommendation.</li> <li><strong>“The War on PDFs”</strong> by Danny Bluestone actually <em>defends</em> PDFs. I didn’t expect that, and thought that the session was very interesting. </li> </ul><h2>2# The editorial experience</h2> <p>This is a very hot topic too. There were also a lot of sessions about the editor experience and these are the ones that I enjoyed the most,</p> <ul><li><strong>“A Better Experience for Content Editors”</strong> by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/saschaeggi">Sascha Eggenberger</a> introduces (as if it needed an introduction) the great admin theme <a href="https://www.drupal.org/project/gin">Gin</a>. This is an amazing session really worth watching. I felt like meeting a superstar.</li> <li><strong>“Editoria11y Accessibility Auto-correct for Authors” </strong>by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/itmaybejj">John Jameson</a> introduces really cool accessible modules to use on any Drupal 8+ site. He created the module <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/itmaybejj">Editoria11y</a>, explains its features and also brings other modules to the table. In my opinion, these are a must-have on any site.</li> <li><strong>“Editor Experience: Compare Drupal, WordPress, &amp; Contentful” </strong>by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/u/pixelite">Suzanne Dergacheva</a> compares the different CMS in various aspects such as the language used in the backend pages, the publishing workflow, etc. </li> </ul><h2>3# Priority: Performance and environmentally friendly?</h2> <p>This was very important for me to watch.<strong> “How green can a website be?”</strong> by Blue State + Pantheon addresses the issue that the whole pollution generated by the internet is equivalent to that of a country. A great explanation in a quote from Sienna Svob here: “More data means more electricity consumed and more carbon emissions”.  <br /> I believe that this subject should have its own blog post, so by now I’ll just add, pretty please, if you’re in the development or content management business, and not only on Drupal, look at this session. </p> <h2>Next: 20th May is the Global Accessibility Awareness Day</h2> <p>We’ll be participating in a meetup with the Drupal Buenos Aires Group (in spanish) to contribute to the <a href="https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/">Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)</a>. We’ll be going over some tips for Drupal and non Drupal developers to help them make their sites a bit more accessible. Look for the link to our meeting on the Drupal Events page or the GAAD page.</p> <blockquote> <p>JOIN DRUPAL BA MEETUP!   <a href="https://www.meetup.com/Buenos-Aires-Drupal-Meetup/events/278213509/">Register</a></p> </blockquote>