Drupalcamp Manchester - A retrospective

16 Jul 2012 -


A lot has happened since the last Drupalcamp in Manchester, and when I say a lot I mean a hell of a lot. It’s been quite a few years since (over 3 years in fact!).

Back then I was working a shitty job writing ASP code for a company that had no passion, no motivation. I didn’t realise it at the time but that Drupalcamp weekend would bring big changes for me.

After way too many copy paste sessions adding new sections to brochure sites I figured there had to be a better way of doing things. That’s when I stumbled upon Joomla/Wordpress and Drupal. After playing around with all three I settled upon Drupal as my CMS of choice. I initially tried to introduce it to my old company but received little enthusiasm, although I did get to create one client site with it, although that has now disappeared of the face of the internet. This first commercial site was a great eye opener and something that helped set me off on the right path.

Once the first site was completed I decided to take a closer look at the community, being new to php and Drupal this seemed like the best way to increase my knowledge and skills. I then heard about Drupalcamp Manchester. I figured why the hell not, not forgetting a healthy load of convincing from my parents.

I remember first turning up at the event and it was hot, not the normal hot but the level of hotness you can only achieve with high level physics or a poptart fresh out of the toaster. Little did I know but I was surrounded by my current friends and colleagues from the Drupal community at large. It was an odd experience looking back as I’m the polar opposite of the person that I was then, stepping into the BBC in Manchester I was a timid, quiet ASP developer (things are a tad different ;)). Eventually after the first day was over I decided to leave and because of my stupidly timid nature and not return the next day, something which I regret even now.

During that first day I picked up all sorts of great information and most of all I learnt that their was a community out there that had passion and direction, that actively encouraged learning and didn’t try to bring you down. I also brought back with me a little blue stress ball.

That little blue stress ball sat on my desk for a good few weeks reminding me of the camp, it was then that I decided I wanted out of my old job and to start fresh. Luckily enough after trolling through the Drupal RSS feeds I found what I was looking for. Turns out that little blue stress ball would come in handy. After a hastily arranged interview and some hassling of my now bosses I landed my current job, something which I’ve never regretted leaving Bradford for.

So that’s how Drupalcamp Manchester got me to where I am now. Not only do I have an awesome job but I’m no longer a timid, shy person.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well I now help run North West Drupal User group with Phil (something which I never in a million years thought I could do) and I want to give even more back. Drupalcamps are important and it’s been too long.

Follow http://twitter.com/drupalcampnw for more details!