Kelly Albrecht on what to expect at NERDSummit

As New England enters Spring, we also see the arrival of the New England Regional Developers Summit, also known as NERDSummit in Amherst, MA. I got the chance to sit down with the lead organizer Kelly Albrecht, DevOps and Agile Coach at Last Call Media.

What is NERDSummit?

Kelly said that this event comes from the evolution of their local Drupal Camp. One of the goals of the event is to help get Drupal developers “off the island”, a term that refers to expanding the horizons of the project to be part of a larger web ecosystem instead of wholly focusing on only the internals of the project. Now that the event is expanded past just Drupal, NERDSummit is the perfect place for anyone to come and learn from other technology enthusiasts in the New England area, no matter if they are using Drupal, WordPress, PHP, JavaScript, or anything else.

What sessions he is excited about

Kelly is super excited about the keynote from Jared SpoolIt’s a Great Time To Be a UX Designer”. He also is proud that they could get Mickey Metts as the other keynote for the event, with her very intriguing session titled “How can we prevent the Orwellian 1984 digital world?”.

Kelly is also intrigued by the concept Robert Hurlbut from Bank of America will be speaking on, “User-Story Driven Threat Modeling”. I am looking forward to these as well and I am also super excited to present my talk: Bash is magic # No it's not: Writing your first scripts. Fortunately for everyone who might not able to make it to the event, Kevin Thull will be in attendance and recording all the sessions to put on Drupal.tv and the NERDSummit Youtube channel.

What should a first-time attendee know?

This year, for the first time, NERDSummit will be holding a Fun With Code track, where presenters will be helping beginners learn how to use specific tools. Kelly expects that there should be a low bar to entry for the event as a whole, so no matter what skill level you are at, there is something for you. The spirit of the event is exploration and learning from one another, no matter if it is about development, DevOps, UX, or design.  

For folks visiting the area, Amherst is referred to as the ‘Five Colleges” region with a lot to do and see. For lovers of natural science, Kelly suggests looking forward to exploring the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) at UMass Amherst, where NERDSummit takes place. As far as getting to the event, Kelly informed me that there is not an Amherst International Airport quite yet, so fly into Bradley Airport or Logan over in Boston.

If you want to get ahold of Kelly, you can reach out to him @KSAlbrecht on Twitter or Drupal.org.

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