Let’s Get This Drupal Party Started: Sessions to Attend at DrupalCon Portland 2022

We are excited to be back at DrupalCon in person again! Here’s a rundown of all the great sessions our Pantheon community has prepared for the event.

DrupalCon Seattle 2019, Pantheon Party

It’s been a really LONG time since we’ve been able to meet our partners, friends, and colleagues at DrupalCon. Forever, it seems. And if you’re anything like us, you’re probably chomping at the bit to experience all the buzz and energy of DrupalCon as a live event once again! 

We welcome you to drop by the Pantheon booth to say hi, check out the platform’s latest capabilities, and pick up your free Pantheon t-shirt!

Additionally, Pantheon is partnering with the Drupal Association to match contributions made during the event. Help us reach our goal of 350 contributions and Pantheon will donate $3500 to the Discover Drupal initiative, as part of our Gift of Open Source! Find out more event information here, and dive in below to see all the sessions our community will be presenting at this upcoming DrupalCon. 

Monday, April 25th

Rationalize Your Hosting Infrastructure with Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Presenter: Rick Ward, Senior IT Director and Web Hosting Service Manager for UPenn

Category: Higher Education Industry Summit

Date and Time: Monday, April 25th at 9:30 - 9:45 am 

Room: B110-111-112

In this brief, yet informative session you’ll learn how the University of Pennsylvania leveraged the Pantheon WebOps Platform, often referred to as platform as a service (PaaS), to transition their hosting infrastructure from a disorderly array of vendors and home-grown solutions to one centrally managed platform. 

You’ll learn how Pantheon improved organizational insight into site security and hosting costs — all while empowering individual developers and organizations with a serious upgrade in web development tools and hosting services.

Creating a Task-oriented, User-centeric, Visually Stunning Digital Experience 

Presenter: Janice Camacho, Director of Project Management, Aten Design Group

Category: Government Industry Summit

Date and Time: Monday, April 25th at 10:00 - 10:15 am

Room: B117-118-119

Pantheon Partner Aten Design Group worked with the City of Boulder to reorganize their governance and utility services, along with their detailed how-to information into a user-centered, visually stunning digital experience. 

With the help of the Pantheon WebOps platform, Aten Design Group created a sweeping granular permissions system that facilitates flexible configuration of individual, departmental, or custom administrative access. Ultimately, this enabled intuitive, distributed content management for the city’s large team, which spans across more than 30 departments and divisions.

Building and Scaling Healthcare Products with Drupal + Pantheon

Presenter: Andy Waldrop, VP of Digital Experience Solutions, Mercury Healthcare

Category: Healthcare Industry Summit

Date and Time: Monday, April 25th at 10:00 - 10:15 am

Room: A106

You’ll want to drop into this innovative session, where Andy Waldrop presents how Pantheon Partner Mercury Healthcare created unique software as a service (SaaS) products by leveraging a combination of Drupal, Pantheon, and Slack.  

These SaaS products help Mercury solve the challenges around building and maintaining hundreds of healthcare websites and applications — all with a mostly non-technical team, using a no-code approach to site building. You’ll learn how developing a custom-themed back- and front-end experience in Drupal provides a bespoke user experience (UX) that’s purpose-built for healthcare.

Tuesday, April 26th

Start Small to Win Big: New Offerings for Your Agency

Presenters: Pantheon Heroes Drew Gorton and Sarah Fruy

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 26th at 8:30 -  9:20 am

Room: A105

Many agencies hit a point where a new client shows up looking for a much smaller starting project than what they’re used to. And sometimes that new client looks like a great potential partner. As you discover the mismatch between their expectations and your singular, refined process built up over time, it looks more like ruts in the road that you are unable to break free of.

This session by Pantheon Heroes Drew Gorton and Sarah Fruy will cover the difficulties agencies typically experience when adding new revenue streams, provide real-life examples, and deliver eight new offerings your agency can try that will start small to win big.

Movin’ On Up (The Stack)

Presenters: Pantheon Co-founders Josh Koenig and David Strauss

Category: Sponsored Session

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 26th at 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Room: B117-118-119

Longtime Drupal community members and Pantheon Co-founders Josh Koenig and David Strauss will deliver a behind-the-scenes look at how Pantheon is building next-generation product capabilities with the Google Cloud Platform and Fastly. 

These two leaders in technology are applying new cloud capabilities to deliver solutions for the next ten years to come; these include headless/JAMStack, high-performance content personalization, managing data in the “post cookie” era, and more.

SimplyTest.me: The Future Built From The Past

Presenters: Pantheon Hero AmyJune Hineline, Adam Bergstein and Matt Glaman of Acquia 

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 26th at 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Room: A105

Simplytest.me, which helps you find the Drupal module, theme, or distribution that fits your needs, has now launched a complete rewrite. During this presentation, Pantheon Hero AmyJune Hineline, along with Adam Bergstein and Matt Glamann of Acquia, share the history of simplytest.me and the steps taken to revitalize the project. 

Training: Introduction to Drupal 9 Module Development

Presenter: Pantheon Hero Michael Anello

Category: Workshop

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 26th at 2:30 - 5:30 pm

Room: B116

This workshop led by Pantheon Hero Michael Anello will introduce existing Drupal developers as well as (non-Drupal) PHP developers to some of the techniques and concepts for Drupal 9 module development. The workshop includes an overview of some of the main concepts and tools, as well as several hands-on module development exercises designed to build knowledge and confidence.


• Some experience with PHP

• Some familiarity with object-oriented concepts

• Experience working in the command-line interface

• Experience working in a local *AMP development environment

• Experience with a code editor

• Existing knowledge of Drupal APIs is helpful but not necessary

• Up-and-running local *AMP stack with a fresh Drupal 9 install and Drush installed

Wednesday, April 27th

Building Secure, Compliant Hosting Environments

Presenter: Pantheon Hero Brian Thompson

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 27th at 8:30 - 9:20 am

Room: A107-108-109

You know about secure code for Drupal, but what about your hosting environment?

What should you look for in a hosting provider's security page, and what should you pay attention to if you are building your own hosting environment in-house or on a cloud platform? Come learn best practices and ways to securely host your Drupal website from Pantheon Hero Brian Thompson!

Thursday, April 28th

Drupal State and the Need for a JavaScript SDK

Presenter: Pantheon Senior Software Engineer Brian Perry

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Thursday, April 28th at 8:30 - 9:20 am

Room: B114-115

With JSON:API, Drupal offers an extremely low friction approach to make content from Drupal available to any consuming application. However, Drupal doesn't currently offer any tools to make consuming this data in a JavaScript front-end just as frictionless. This leads to developers repeatedly solving the same problems in decoupled builds, and it may also contribute to the perception that Drupal isn't JavaScript friendly.

Drupal State aims to bridge this gap by offering a common set of framework-agnostic utilities that allow JavaScript developers with limited knowledge of Drupal or the JSON:API spec to take advantage of the best features of Drupal’s APIs. This session will examine the concepts behind Drupal State, along with the role a library like Drupal State could play within the wider Decoupled Drupal ecosystem, including:

  • How Drupal State helps reduce the time necessary for JavaScript developers to start experiencing the benefits of Drupal as a decoupled CMS

  • How individual Drupal State utilities could be consumed by other Decoupled Drupal projects

  • Why having an SDK-like library available under the @drupal namespace on NPM is important for the future of Drupal

  • A proposal for how that core library could help support a future ecosystem of Drupal-friendly components and starter kits

What is Technical Strategy and Why Do You Need It?

Presenters: Pantheon Hero Dave Hansen-Lange of Four Kitchens, Heather Wozniak of Four Kitchens

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Thursday, April 28th at 8:30 - 9:20 am

Room: A107-108-109

There are two significant changes in the past decade that should prompt us to think differently about tech leadership in web projects:

  • Websites can now live forever (enabled by Drupal 8, proven by Drupal 9)

  • We now do a lot more upfront strategy when building a website (organizational strategy, content strategy, UX strategy, etc.)

Most web projects have a tech lead. Historically, that role has had two main responsibilities: 

  • Turn ideas (from designers, UX, etc.) into a technical plan

  • Lead the development team in creating it 

This has worked well in the Drupal community for “the big builds,” but once a project transitions down to a lower level of ongoing changes, it becomes insufficient. At its worst, website “support” is a purely reactive enterprise: Client puts in a request, developers make it happen. But in that arrangement all the upfront strategy can easily be lost. If the website lives on for years in this state, there will be a growing frustration that the website is not able to keep up as the organization evolves. The website will end up being torn down and the cycle started afresh.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s think about how we can re-envision technical leadership to counteract this phenomenon. You'll hear how Four Kitchens approaches its technical strategy and how this has improved the effectiveness of their clients' websites and the experience of their users.

Inequity and Isolation: Inclusive Practices for Remote Teams

Presenter: Pantheon Developer Advocate Tearyne Almendariz

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Thursday, April 28th at 8:30 - 9:20 am

Room: A106

In our quest for the autonomy that working remotely can grant, we sometimes forget the impact that remote work arrangements can have — less visibility, fewer opportunities for organic networking and mentorship, and different access to resources like working space and internet, just to name a few.

Like any inclusion and equity work, many of these problems are challenges that can be overcome through intentionality. Remote workplaces require more intentional approaches to ensure that nobody gets left behind, and the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion initiative will outline practices and resources to help you make the best decisions for your team.

Deploying from the year 2053 - The Future of the Web

Presenters: Pantheon Developer Advocate John Richards, Pantheon Director of Technical Marketing Steve Persch, and Developer Evangelist at Gitlab Fatima Khalid

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Thursday, April 28th at 11:00 - 11:50 am

Room: A105

As you know in 2022, the world of technology is one that is rapidly changing and developing. These advancements have allowed the internet to grow and evolve into something that is a part of our day-to-day lives, blurring the boundary between the physical and digital, along with giving rise to smart cities and experiences.

In this interactive presentation, we would like you to join us for our 1337th Council of Forgetful Future Maker, where we'll discuss how technology changes across different visions of the future, exploring the decades of technology and the internet trends. Among the projects and integrations, we’ll showcase virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchains.

We’re thrilled to be able to explore all of these areas with you via our dramatic and audience engaging council session!

The Good, the Bad, the Documentation: How to Craft Effective Documentation

Presenter: Pantheon Hero Jennifer Dust of Aten Design Group

Category: Regular Session

Date and Time: Thursday, April 28th at 11:00 - 11:50 am

Room: Oregon Ballroom 201 - 203

The objective of this workshop is to engage and empower those attending with the skills to craft better documentation for themselves and for development communities. Within this session, Pantheon Hero Jennifer Dust will do a hands-on review with a few examples of documentation, as well as identify the areas it lacks with regards to communication, clarity, and thoroughness. 

Then, Jennifer will walk through outlining documentation needs and how to implement them in thoughtful and straightforward ways. Documentation itself is a tool we should feel comfortable creating and using; it’s Jennifer’s goal that at the end of this workshop people will be encouraged to start improving their own documentation and contributing within the open source community as a whole.

We’re Excited to See You!

For more information on where to find us at DrupalCon Portland 2022, what sessions we’ll be presenting at, and how to attend our Official Unofficial DrupalCon Party, head over to our event landing page. See you next week!

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Topics Development, Drupal, WebOps