Saltmine U is thinking of abandoning our current CMS, which is 1-ancient, 2-clunky, 3-buggy, and 4-insanely expensive, for an open-source solution. We're debating Drupal vs. Plone, so I thought it would behoove me to go (especially since the conference was at UC Irvine, and free.)
At the conference were many of my counterparts from other UCs. It was fantastic to be in the Higher Ed session, where we could really get down to talking shop. It was great to talk to the ten other people in the entire state who also do that part of my job. No one's eyes glazed over! I felt less alone. Though, I did envy them a bit -- I was the only one who was also an art director, so the entirety of their jobs were about a third of what I do. Damn.
A typical session, as seen from the back. This one was on backend performance and servers:
Here's the group photo from Saturday. Can you find me?
Twitter came in damn handy. Many people have asked me what the point of Twitter is, and my stock reply is, 'It's great at conferences.' And it is. You simply add the hashtag for the conference (#dcla, in this case) to your tweets, and ask things like, 'Hey, where's the iCal file for the schedule? #dcla' and get almost instant responses. This might not sound like much, but when you're frantically looking for where room 1200 is in a building you're not familiar with, it's damn handy.
The Saturday night party, courtesy of MediaTemple, was particularly fun.
A night at the pub went a long way to making up for having a serious chunk of my weekend taken up with work. If only I could drink every time I was working offsite… alas.
To sum up, I met a lot of great folks, and had some great conversations. I'll definitely give Drupal a serious look, and maybe eventually use it to power my website, as a test run for use at Saltmine U.