My BADCamp 2014 Experience
I have been privileged to be able to attend a number of conferences and events, such as DrupalCon Austin, Portland etc, since we started Cheeky Monkey Media. In the past, we’ve talked about having your DrupalCon Survival kit prepared before you head out the door to help make the most out of any conference or large group you are attending.
BADCamp (Bay Area Drupal Camp) is no exception to this rule. For those of you who are not aware, BADCamp is a conference which focuses solely on the people behind the keyboards and is held annually in San Francisco. The organizers do a ton of work to make this event happen and it shows.
This was our first year going to BADCamp and what an experience. We had the opportunity to check out a great city such as San Francisco and to meet a lot of like minded Drupal developers. The speakers, the sessions, the mini-summits, all delivered on the value we had hoped they would.
Going to this event, we had to make sure we followed our own advice and got prepared.
Why are we going?
That was simple, to just have an opportunity to be there to learn and network with peers on a one on one basis. Typically when we hit events like DrupalCon, there are a lot of competing factors which can get in the way of having the time to take in sessions, such as manning the booth, meetings … the list can go on and on. This time though, we went simply to learn something new and bring it back to our team.
Where are we staying?
We found a great deal on Hotels.com for an older character hotel in the core. We got to experience a bit of glam and see some of the spots we were warned not to go at night time. From our location, it was a 5 to 10 minute taxi ride to most events, and if we were ever in a bind, we had a BART station right outside our hotel.
What events should we hit?
The simple answer, all of them. We had the privilege to be included in the Pantheon Partner dinner, which was amazing food and drinks, while connecting with friends. We knew we were going to hit the two main evening events listed on the site, which as always with a Drupal conference, was never disappointing. On the Friday night, we even found a few people who were wearing our t-shirts we gave away at DrupalCon in Austin, which really made our night.
Who do we want to meet?
This trip for me was not being Gene the owner, but about being Gene, one of the gang :) Before leaving the conference, I reached out to all the people I work with on a weekly basis, as a number of their companies sent people to BADCamp. I made sure to get cell numbers and arrange times to meet face to face. The highlight of my networking was finally getting to meet Drew Stephens after 4 years of talking on the phone, skype and a ton of emails.
What was most important?
For this trip what I found most important was to stay open to any and all opportunities to learn, which we most assuredly did. There wasn’t a single day where we didn’t walk away with more than one great gem to take back to our team, and for me, that is what made the cost and time for the conference worthwhile.
For my first BADCamp, it was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to be back next year. It is my goal to work with my monkey troops, to come up with something awesome that we can share back with the Drupal community. If you haven’t attended a BADcamp yet, I highly recommend giving it a go, you won’t regret it. If you do decide to attend in 2015, look me up, as it would be great to meet more of our kind!