The Drupal tribes of the NYC metro area gathered in Brooklyn for DrupalCampNYC 7. Developers, themers, publishers, and newbies participated in the "un"conference. Topics for the sessions were collaboratively proposed and scheduled. An informal and electric atmosphere pervaded, as people traded knowledge, and asked and answered questions.
Drupal Camp NYC 7 sessions I attended included InstallFest, performance tuning and caching, debugging and patches, Drush, Services, and Open Atrium. There was also an attempt at a Drupal Kata for Features but I was the only participant who prepared the pre-installs - I think a larger attendance would be necessary to produce the critical mass of people interested AND prepared. I was interested in the group learning exercise as a possible training tool if I join Acquia (I've had two interviews, waiting for the next for what could be a dream job) - I offered to help Bram with future Kata experiments.
From the intro by Eric: "Drupal is free as in kittens. Free, but you need to take care of it, nurture it, and clean out its litterbox."
Bagels were provided for breakfast, and pizza (including meat-free) for lunch.
Even at lunch the information kept flowing with mini "lightning" talks. One that got my notice was a description of Poverty's Demise, a charitable organization for children that proposes passing 100% of donations to recipients by leveraging the savings of open source, sponsorship and advertising. If you are planning to get me a present, give it to Poverty's Demise, sounds like a good cause to me!
Lunch break concluded with a raffle of some donated books and vouchers for House of Brews (site of the monthly DrupalNYC meetup).
Free beer was provided by Zivtech at Floyd afterwards. Alex brought in yummy hummus, baba ganoush, roasted eggplant, stuffed grape leaves and pitas from the famous Atlantic Ave neighborhood. I spoke with Nat (who presented the Drush session) about both of us having been tour guides and how that helps us in classroom settings.
I may be imagining this, but I perceived an anti-Acquia mindset at the meeting, or at least a studied indifference to Acquia.
During a discussion of Solr search, advice was given to use Google solutions if possible, unless there is a need and budget for installing and configuring Solr. I observed an Acquia subscription would also provide an Acquia Search/Solr blade. The comment fell on dead ears.
Later, in a session about OpenAtrium, a designer reported frustration with technical support from the Drupal community on the drupal.org forums. (I have had gr8 experiences on d.o. ~ perhaps it depends on the question asked.) Someone observed that an Acquia subscription would provide the desired support. She said she tried the Acquia distro and was unimpressed. I advised that is only a slightly enhanced version of mainstream Drupal 6, and serves as a starting point for additional development and configuration.
Why this indifferent attitude towards Acquia in NYC?
I think that many NYC Drupal developers are working for Sony and other large corporations, and see Acquia as either irrelevant or a competitior. New Yorkers are also notorious individualists.
Also, there do not appear to be many high-profile Acquia Partners in NYC. Sponsors and Acquia partners Tree House Agency and Drupal Staffing kept a low profile at the camp. Zivtech is also an Acquia partner, located in Philadelphia. Perhaps the NYC Acquia partners have not made an effort to integrate with the (pre-existing) organic NYC Drupal developer community.
Maybe next DrupalCamp, I will propose an Acquia session - I might even be working for Acquia by then!