Drupal Camp Cebu Thoughts

So I just came back from Drupal Camp Cebu 2014, which was... I'll explain later. Just thought I'd post about it while I'm still fixing that AC100 and SAO 2 episode 19 downloads. So how was the event? Hmm, I had mixed feelings about it for one. Let me get this straight before hell breaks loose: It didn't suck.


What I did

For the most part, I picked out the talks that would relate to my end of the work. I do front-end for the most part of my work but I'm also interested in dev ops and performance. So for the talks, I went for the ones talking about SASS, HHVM (though I slept through half of it), Vagrant, Docker, Continuous Integration and two DB migration sessions (each using different tools). It wasn't fully Drupal so for the non-Drupal folks, they had options.

Schedule

It was seriously inconvenient. It was a whole Saturday and half a Sunday. They could have just squeezed everything in one day, just skipped formalities and started immediately. They could have also limited the presentations down to 30 mins, demos and QnA inclusive. Some were just too long and boring.

Talks

Talks were very informative, and the presentors did try their best. And yes, we all face that issue where we try to demo code on the spot and either the internet connection sucked or the projector projects terminals badly. Been there as well. However, the presentors could have done a better job if they just prepared in advance. Also, basic rule: Talk to people, don't read slides.

Internet Connection

Well, not the fault of the organizers, though they could have provided for one. There's no internet connection anywhere in the building. Demos like these need live code on live servers. Geez (computer engineering department)! For all that fab in the curriculum, classroom furnishings and all that "high tech" methodology, a simple internet connectivity couldn't even be possible.

Provisions

...was awesome! Well, for us USC students at least. We only paid P150 because we hosted the venue and several other stuff. Prices were P500 for professionals and P300 for students. It's standard price for year-end meetups though. It will be used to fund the next year's free meetups. Minor sacrifice for a greater cause.

People

Programmer culture doesn't discriminate by race because teams are usually multi-national. But discrimination takes on another form. Students get left out from the professionals and travellers get left out by the locals. Being the anomaly of the system (both full-time dev and student), I tried to mingle with people. But I look like a student to professionals, appear like the odd stranger trying to talk to the students, basically a nobody.

Etiquette

Every classmate I had there was just in it for the "certificate" (which didn't exist) and the food. Ok, let's just say food was free, but you should not be absent the whole event, appear in the food part, then leave again. Worse, taking food that could have been for another person, like say take 2 spaghetti meals for one's self. Sometimes I just want to distance myself from my friends who just don't observe etiquette. I feel embarassed in front of professionals and dev friends.

Venue

FAK THE VENUE!!! Of all the places, the CAFA theater that's on top of the hill... on a Sunday... where there's no shuttle service. They could have just went for the Engineering AVR which is just near the school entrance, and any of the classrooms as the other room.

Or just skip USC and go for our workplace at The Tide.

Conclusion

The event could have been better. I learned a lot, 50% from the talk and 50% from the environment. Life is all about gaining experience and sharing it to others. I'm gathering what I can so I can share and optionally be famous. Hahaha.

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© Joseph Descalzota