23
Apr

Australia's first Drupal meetup, and my weekend in Melbourne

I've just gotten back from a weekend away in Melbourne (I live in Sydney), during which I attended Australia's first ever Drupal meetup! We managed a turnout of 7 people, which made for a very cosy table at the Joe's Garage cafe.

The people present were:

Gordon and John at the Melbourne meetup

Gordon and John at the Melbourne meetup

David and Simon at the Melbourne meetup

David and Simon at the Melbourne meetup

Michael and Andrew at the Melbourne meetup

Michael and Andrew at the Melbourne meetup

Andrew and Jeremy at the Melbourne meetup

Andrew and Jeremy at the Melbourne meetup

As you can see, Gordon impressed us all by getting a T-shirt custom-made with the Druplicon graphic on it:

Gordon with the Druplicon T-shirt

Gordon with the Druplicon T-shirt

The meetup went on for about 2 hours, during which time we all introduced ourselves, asked a barrage of questions, told a small number of useful answers (and plenty of useless ones), drank a variety of hot beverages, and attempted to hear each other above the noisy (but very good) jazz music.

As the most experienced Drupalite in Australia, Gordon was the one that did the most answering of questions. Gordon was the person that arranged this meetup (thanks for organising it, mate!), as well as the only one among us who works full-time as a Drupal consultant (with John and myself working as consultants part-time). What's more, Gordon is now the maintainer of the E-Commerce module.

However, I still had time to do a bit of category module evangelism, which has become my number one hobby of late.

One of the hottest topics on everyone's mind was the need for training, in order to bring more Drupal contributors and consultants into the fold. This is an issue that has received a lot of attention recently in the Drupal community, and we felt that the need is just as great in Australia as it is elsewhere. Australia is no exception to the trend of there being more Drupal work than there is a supply of skilled Drupal developers.

While I was in Melbourne, I had a chance to catch up with some friends of mine, and also to do a bit of sightseeing. Here are some of the sights and sounds of Melbourne:

Melbourne's Yarra River

Melbourne's Yarra River

Trams in Melbourne

Trams in Melbourne

Flinders St Station

Flinders St Station

Federation Square

Federation Square

I was also very pleased (and envious) to see that Melbourne is a much more bicycle-friendly city than Sydney:

Cyclists in Melbourne

Cyclists in Melbourne

Bike racks in Melbourne CBD

Bike racks in Melbourne CBD

In summary, it was well worth going down to Melbourne for the weekend, and the highlight of the weekend was definitely the Drupal meetup! I am very proud to be one of the people that attended the historic first ever Aussie Drupal get-together, and I really hope that there will be many more.

So, why didn't I go to DrupalCon Vancouver? Well, Vancouver is just a little bit further away for me than Melbourne. That's why I think the next worldwide DrupalCon should be in Sydney. ;-)

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