We went to DrupalCon 2016 in Dublin
Once again this year we had the ultimate pleasure of being guests in another exciting European city as we attending the first ever Drupal conference in Dublin Ireland.
This year only Barry and I attended the conference, and as per usual we decided to fly from Heathrow (London) in what was surely the shortest flight of our lives! In less than an hour from taking off we were touching down in Dublin Airport.
Whilst the flight was mostly uneventful, we couldn't have asked more from our first meeting with a local. Our taxi driver was hilarious and very welcoming and even tried to convince us to pop to the pub to have a pint of Guinness over lunch with him. If we hadn't been meeting the agents with whom we'd booked an apartment we'd have most certainly have joined him.
I don't know that I've ever arrived somewhere and felt so welcome in such a short space of time. And this would be a theme that ran throughout our stay - the Irish certainly are a great bunch of people.
Once we'd picked up the keys to our apartment (which ended up being more like a house than an apartment) we decided to head straight in to the heart of the city to see what all the fuss was about and we certainly weren't disappointed.
Immediately, we stumbled upon an Oktoberfest celebration in the street which was in full swing. This party continued throughout our stay and was only just winding down on the day we left. It would appear that we'd have no problem tracking down a party in this city!
The city of Dublin is a great blend of traditional and modern in just about every aspect. For every traditional pub there's a flashy modern restaurant. For every historic building there's a huge contemporary glass structure. Dublin is home to some huge tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook and you can see how an employee might be attracted to come and live in this city. The food was fantastic. The beer (not just the Guinness) was unbelievable. The night life was incredible.
In short, Dublin is a place everyone should visit. It has something for everyone. It most certainly will not be my last visit.
The conference was held at the recently completed (September 2010) CCD which is "The Convention Centre Dublin" located in Dublin's Docklands. The CCD was situated right on the River Liffey at Spencer Dock and boasted some fantastic views from the upper floors. The building was designed by architect Kevin Roche and now acts as a key landmark in the city.
The hospitality and professionalism of the staff at the CCD was impeccable and for me the best service we've ever received at a DrupalCon although I must confess I was not present at the much loved and now infamous Munich conference of 2012.
Once again the sessions were fantastic, and the keynotes were inspiring. You can now watch back most of the sessions for yourself on the DrupalCon Dublin website.
I was even once again reunited with my apparent drupalganger or Drupal twin (if you will) - Bart Feenstra.
If anything, I suppose I'd have to admit that the resemblance must have grown stronger as I had several people coming up to me at the conference who I'd never met and started talking to me like we'd been friends for years. Then after a few seconds a look of utter bewilderment would fall upon their face before they'd utter the same words: "Oh you're not Bart!"
I still maintain that we look nothing alike though. We are just two people with long hair, glasses and beards!!!
Of course Barry wasted no time snapping a photo again and posting it to twitter just so that anyone at the conference who wasn't in on the gag could join in!
After such a fantastic conference, the moment we're always excited for is to learn where next year's European conference is to be held.
I think it is fair to say that nobody was disappointed to learn that 2017's DrupalCon will take place in the city of Vienna in Austria for the first time since Drupal's inception.
As usual we hope to attend and sample a new city, country and culture and to once again meet with like-minded Drupal folk to learn more and better ourselves as Drupal developers and users and as people in general.
Hope to see you in Vienna!