What’s Next for Drupal? Takeaways from Drupal Dev Days 2023

Our developer, Marco Villegas, shares takeaways from this summer’s Drupal Developer Days 2023

What’s Next for Drupal? Takeaways from Drupal Dev Days 2023

Drupal Developer Days is an annual event where attendees gather to exchange ideas and collaborate around the Drupal content management system. This year, it took place in Austria at the University of Vienna, and our incredible developer, Marco Villegas, was able to attend. Marco shares his experience and takeaways below:

a bird's-eye-view image of the attendees from Drupal Dev Days 2023 wvaing to the camera

Meeting Virtual Collaborators in Real Life is Magical

There are a lot of technology events happening these days, and a crucial element around them is meeting people with similar interests. Some of those events are focused on open-source technologies, like Drupal Developer Days, and unlike other conferences, attendees care not only about what is coming on the tech side but also about what developers can accomplish together.

The community behind Drupal is extremely friendly and collaborative. It is so easy to feel welcome and comfortable there! Getting there and meeting people you have only talked with over the Drupal.org issue queue in person is just magical.

One of the interesting aspects of this event is the all-time-open contribution lounge. It is a nice place to contribute together with other developers and exchange ideas about specific projects.This entire event is about meeting lots of people again, learning from each other, and collaborating together!

A Drupal Dashboard May Be Coming

One interesting initiative that has been talked about at the event is the project that Christian López Espínola (penyaskito), and Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) have been leading.

Drupal has iterated in the past to try to provide a dashboard. There used to be a module in core to provide it, but it was removed, mostly because it was not providing enough useful information. In time, Drupal has evolved, and the underlying tooling has changed quite a bit. Christian and Cristina’s project is trying to provide a way to handle dashboards in Drupal.

The goal is that these dashboards will provide a more personalized experience for the users, giving them the opportunity to get information at a glance and in an easy-to-understand format.​

More information about this session is available here.

Cristina Chumillas (ckrina), also gave another talk that covered the work she is leading to make the admin UI experience better.

It is a nice overview of what has been happening lately and how the Drupal UI is evolving.Watch that session here.

​Peer Code Review Best Practices

Jess (xjm), gave a talk on code review practices. It is based on some previous academic research and her experience as a Drupal core maintainer, where she does a lot of code review for the changes coming into the project. Jess has over ten years of Drupal core experience and talked about how to give an efficient and effective peer code review.

Watch the session here.

It’s Time To Revamp Transactional Email in Drupal Core

Lorenz Schori (znerol) opened a conversation about e-mail handling inside Drupal core.

He talked bit of the history of how we arrived to the current point and gave an overview of the current state of email and some possible alternatives to consider for the future.

The e-mail internals in Drupal have been quite stable for a while, and they definitely have some shortcomings. There are multiple contributed modules to handle more advanced workflows, but taking a step back and evaluating things may be worth it.

Watch the session here.

Entities Explained

Sascha Grossenbacher (Berdir), one of the Entity API subsystem maintainers, gave an in-depth talk on the architecture and the interaction between the components behind it. Even if you have been developing around Drupal for a while, there are always new things there to discover, and this talk definitely expanded the knowledge horizon of the attendees.

Watch the session here.

If you weren’t able to attend and are interested in learning more, check out the sessions available on YouTube. Enjoy!

Gathering together with the Drupal community is an amazing experience. It is great to see the healthy participation of so many individuals and organizations in a nice open-source ecosystem.

There were always new things to learn about, projects to work on together, and especially new people that participate in the community to meet. If you have the chance, do not miss attending Drupal Developer Days next year!