Bay Area Drupal Community Explosion: Groups, Camps, and Drupalcon 2010

It should come as no surprise that San Francisco is a great place to talk about technology. The area has fostered a ridiculous amount of innovation and there are always plenty of people interested in getting together to talk about the next cool thing. We have seen wonderful growth in the Drupal Project and its been great to see that growth translate to an increasingly vibrant local Drupal community here in San Francisco. It is a wonderful time to be doing Drupal in the Bay Area and I wanted to share a few highlights:
 

Drupal User's Groups: SF and Berkeley

There are two vibrant user's groups in the Bay Area. The San Francisco group meets monthly and regularly gets 50+ attendees. Hosted by John Faber in the PariSoma Co-Working space each meeting has several different presentations from community members. Across the bay, long time Drupal contributor Tao Starbow runs the monthly Berkeley User's Group well attended (40+) by UC Berkeley staff (and members of the east bay community). I try to regularly attend and speak at this groups and have recently given talks on security (feat. Neil Drumm), using organic groups to build an academic community site, and the panels module. Outside of the immediate Bay Area, there are also vibrant user groups in Sacremento and Santa Cruz. Information about these groups and their events can be found on groups.drupal.org.

Drupal Camp: BADCamp 2007, 2008, 2009

For the last three years, the Bay Area has played host to what we affectionately called BADCamp (Bay Area Drupal Camp). Started on the UC Berkeley campus in 2007 by Tao Starbow, the camp regularly draws 200-350+ people to attend sessions by Drupal visionaries, masters, entrepreneurs, rockstars, poets, and prodigies. The event is free to everyone and helps lower the barrier to entry so others can learn and join the wonderful Drupal party party.

The last BADCamp was held this past weekend at the San Francisco State downtown campus. The entire event was conceived, planned, produced, and executed in a span of about 2 weeks and was a true testament to the vibrancy and agile nature of the Drupal community. The back story here was after we finished our Drupalcon SF 2010 proposal, Kieran mentioned he had a venue downtown San Francisco and everyone agreed it sounded just about right to host an event. A couple weeks later we proposed some sessions (including a session on Panels and the End User by me and one on WYSIWYG Editors by Jen, Sun Microsystems and Acquia sponsored some drinks, and the magic just happened.

Chapter Three has been doing a number of training sessions around the Bay Area and as part of the BADCamp we proposed to hold free all day introduction to Drupal class. The class began with Kieran introducing Drupal and giving a demonstration on installing Drupal with the Acquia installer, John Faber discussed content and content management, Chris Bryant talked about site building and Views, and Jen Lampton and myself talked about Drupal theming and "Advanced Topics" to close out the day. We had over 100+ people attend the introduction training and got some great feedback from all the sessions. Total attendance was over 200 with a lot of new faces. Look for lots more events like this in the future.

Drupalcon SF 2010

As we mentioned earlier, the Bay Area Drupal Community has come together to propose to host Drupalcon North American 2010 in the world class city of San Francisco. We launched our public proposal website last month and have been working hard to refine and improve our proposal since then. There has not been a lot of movement on this from the Drupal Association (they are hard at work on Drupalcon Paris), but I think the selection process will get picked up and finalized soon.

To keep up to date with our progress, follow the DrupalconSF Twitter and check out our proposal website at http://drupalconsf2010.org/. Nota bene, we were able to secure additional dates at the Moscone Center that during the 3rd week of April which avoids major holidays + conferences and allows a Drupal party we can all attend in downtown San Francisco.