John Faber Managing Partner Follow
June 19, 2023

DrupalCon Pittsburgh was held from June 5 to 9.  We were there to promote our work, meet with fellow Drupalists from around the country and beyond, and put an ear to the ground for news on all things Drupal.

Pittsburgh is a truly great city and was one of the more memorable DrupalCon host locations in recent history. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center was a superb choice of venue for the event, and as usual the agency dinner was excellent. As for the sessions and conversations, much of it pointed to a future for Drupal that is very much in line with the work we’ve been doing of late at Chapter Three.

Last year at DrupalCon Portland, we introduced our newly created Next-Drupal product to the world. This year, a steady stream of attendees at our booth wanted to talk to us about Next-Drupal. Our feedback on the tool was overwhelmingly positive, with developers and other agency representatives citing interest in it from higher education, government, and other enterprise clients.

Drupal founder Dries Buytaert opened the event with a keynote address that focused on the need to promote innovation in the Drupal community.


This led to the announcement of the winners of “Pitch-burgh,” a Shark Tank-esque innovation competition with $75,000 in sponsorship funds on the line. Of the five finalists, no less than three were headless API initiatives: Decoupled Layout Builder, JSON Data and Schemas FTW, and Drupal API Client.

Further hot takes at DrupalCon came courtesy of Josh Koenig, co-founder, and chief strategy officer at Pantheon and original Chapter Three co-founder back in 2006. In his talk “Hot Takes: Javascript and the Future of Drupal,” he explicitly stated that the future of Drupal is headless, citing a statistic showing that by May 2023, Next.js-powered sites outnumbered Drupal sites for the first time ever. He also called out Next-Drupal as a cutting-edge development in this space.

A call for a renewed focus on innovation, three new headless API initiatives, and a future centered on decoupled toolchains: it was all music to our ears. It all certainly convinced us that we’re on the right track with Next-Drupal.