Proposed Sessions

Devops, Performance, Security + Privacy

The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse was accessed by over 40 million viewers in just a few hours. In anticipation of such a large scale event, a unique viewing opportunity was created to give those viewers the best possible experience.   How did we pull off more views than last year’s Super Bowl four times…
How do you find a long-term hosting environment for your federal Drupal site, and keep it maintained and secure? cloud.gov is the platform-as-a-service for public service, fully built on open-source tools, and provides a fast path to gaining and keeping your Authority-to-Operate. In this session we…
This session will explore techniques that web development teams and QA teams can use with Probo.CI to automate accessibility testing with some command line tools and APIs available today. While automated accessibility testing is not foolproof, it can quickly identify possible problems that should…
Don't let your development team languish in the depths of development process hell. Make being a member of your team a dream job; put your team first, and deliver amazing work because of it. In this session, we'll talk about leveraging the best in modern tooling and processes to turbocharge your…
This past Spring, Drupal site maintainers raced to patch their sites to address back-to-back critical security issues on Drupal 7/8 that required action within hours. This is in an ever evolving security environment that is seeing a greater range of hostile actors executing more sophisticated,…
Most development agencies have started the migration from VM's to containers and using docker. With docker and docker-compose becoming a more mature technology, and the improvements by the drupal community; it's easier than ever to replace vm's in your development workflow with lighter weight…
Continuous Integration and Deployment continue to be an interesting challenge moving forward with Drupal 8. Hosting platforms are now providing "kits" to provide some of these services if you are willing to take the plunge and implement them. So far, Acquia has given you bits and pieces to this…
We all know that your website’s performance is critical to the success of its mission. Conversion rates are proven to plummet if with every second of page load time.  What can we do about this? Why is the web still slow in 2018? In this session, we’re going deep into modern web performance, and you…
It’s hard enough building websites that are accessible, meaningful and useful, it’s worse to have to do so in a consistent manner while handling frequent upgrades. Developers are constantly required to migrate code as clients upgrade or maintain environments, taking significant time that could be…
How do we know we are delivering the right things? How are we informing our customers of this work and getting their feedback effectively? How can we find out what will improve our product? With all of the advances in DevOps, it is easy to focus on delivering more, faster, as our important measures…
At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Digital Communication Division has a long-running program for collecting user feedback which has evolved from a custom solution that we developed in-house (Voice-of-the-Consumer) to a subscription-based, commercial-off-the-shelf product (…
Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, promises to deliver improved performance for websites that implement AMP’s stripped-down libraries served from Google cache. Given Google’s unique influence in establishing mobile Web standardization, and our commitment to using a Create Once, Publish…
Search is big deal and Google Search Appliance is being retired. That leaves you with basically two alternatives for replacement. Purchase the services of a proprietary vendor or build your own. Join us for a presentation of the replacement we built using these popular opensource technologies.…
This is NOT a session about upgrading to Drupal 8; you already want to, you already know you should, and you've already attended 32 different sessions about how. This is for the people who have projects that keep limping along in Drupal 7 and there's no time or budget in sight to upgrade. This is…
We often think of DevOps in a siloed context (eg one project at a time), but having an organizational DevOps plan/strategy and some cross project standardization is really how you benefit. This talk is about the business value of horizontal DevOps across people and projects.   Who? Beginner /…
Remember the good old days when monitoring a Drupal site was as simple as waiting for a panicked call from a client or end-user screaming "THE SITE IS DOWN!"? So do we. Fortunately or unfortunately, the rise of the cloud and contemporary DevOps practices have made monitoring infrastructure, and…
Section 508, Accessibility regulations and usability best practices can become cumbersome.  We have taken advantage of Drupal and automated tools to help alleviate challenges on content editors and QC testers. Join us to learn what hooks and other tools we use to make testing and compliance easier…
Drupal 8 has changed a lot and the process of creating, building, testing and deploying a site is not the exception. During this session, you will understand the process of creating, building, testing and deploying Drupal 8 sites, and learn which tools you can use to improve your local development…
Giving up a manual task to automate it can feel like something straight out of a science fiction story like “Westworld”. Giving up the time required to innovate process improvements is also a difficult pill to swallow. We know automation is essential to any DevOps project, but why? Is it really…
One of the biggest challenges I face as a technical architect is supporting my teams and clients' teams in their local development workflows. It's hard! It's a lot easier than it used to be thanks to packaged solutions for Drupal 8 like Drupal VM, Docksal, Lando, Dev Desktop, etc. It's still hard!…
What is the smallest viable production-ready environment that you can build? What are the most common pitfalls that you can avoid when taking your site to production? What changes need to happen to a site to lower it's scalability costs? As an engineer working with customers, I've been wresting…
The world of technical operations has never been more exciting: skies full of clouds, containers full of containers, and servers serving without servers. Yet, teams still struggle with changing code safely, scaling effectively, and recovering when disaster strikes. Drawing on firsthand lessons…
Continuous integration methodologies and containerization technology can deliver huge efficiency gains for web development teams. However, even though many teams are overburdened with feature requests, new projects, and other #DevProblems they still still spend countless, often needless hours …
Does your site take more than 3 seconds to load? If you answered yes, you’ve already lost 53% of your visitors, according to Google research.  When we migrated HHS.gov to Drupal in 2015, we reimagined our site to be responsive and user-focused to help people get the information they need quickly…
There are a lot of obvious benefits to using version control for your projects, but there are a lot of non obvious benefits too. In this session, learn how to create an industrial grade version control workflow using Git and automatic testing. Topics that will be covered include: How to Use Git…
Or,  "Drupal, AWS GovCloud and you"   This detailed session on implementing Drupal on AWS GovCloud covers: Configuring a LA(M)P stack with RHEL on EC2 Encrypted MariaDB on RDS Simple subnet with rules EBS with encrypted filesystem How to mount S3 as a filesystem Brief review of SELinux, Drupal and…
As an organization who needs to step up their accessibility compliance, accessibility testing and remediation is a big deal. Accessibility testing has a lot of moving parts! There are so many tools. So many! Plugins, suites, crawlers, dashboards, CI tests, and more. Which one is right for you? Will…

Project Management

Project managers work hard to ensure project success, but what if your goal was to ensure project failure? How could you take a project that was progressing towards a successful outcome and clutch defeat from the jaws of victory? Join us for a light-hearted look at a serious subject as we draw on…
Project management seems straightforward. You set a deadline. You set a budget. You select the right people. The project gets done. But according to the infallible Murphy’s Law, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”   Crises come in all shapes in sizes, whether financial, technological, or public…
You know that your federal site must be 508 compliant. Do you know what that means today? WCAG 2.1 requires more from you while giving you options you didn't have before. There isn't enough time to train you in everything you need to know. That would take days. However, we can get you started…
Who are your users? Where do you start? Let me show you how we used Value Proposition Canvases to identify who our key user segments are (hint: they are not who we thought they were) and how to target what we build to meet user needs.  What VPC can do for you -  Understand what really drives your…
This talk will focus on a large scale Drupal project as a case study for this topic. Products as Projects If the focus or your group's work can be considered a product, then ideally, development delivers features into operation, to the delight of customers. While dividing different aspects of the…
If you have been around software development for a while, you know that feature creep can kill any project dead in its tracks. Defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can keep feature creep in check enough to launch a project that can then be iterated upon in future releases. Fewer, or simplified…
Government contracts are increasingly asking for Agile project teams. But government systems from contracts to delivery are designed for Waterfall. How can we as project managers, engineers and designers meet client demands while still leveraging the benefits of our Agile methodology? In this…
When taking a law enforcement website from one platform to the next, it can seem like a daunting task with various stakeholders at play. These growing pains are what we, the ATF Media Branch, went through to launch the organization’s Drupal version of www.ATF.gov in 2016. This included taking a…
What happens when you encounter a project that seems broken beyond repair, but for whatever reasons, a brand-new fresh start is not possible? You may run into the following challenges with these "broken projects": No clear scope No requirements documentation Far less remaining budget Far less…
It's often difficult for Project Managers, CIOs or other leadership to understand "computer stuff". In this session, we will provide 6 high level lightning talks on topics that will break down why leadership should understand technology issues from a high level birds eye perspective. We'll provide…
Did you know that the Sydney Opera House was delivered ten years late and went 1357% over budget?  Or that Healthcare.gov went 220% over budget? If these sound like your last Drupal project, this session is for you. In this talk we will cover: Real world examples of projects and situations that…
Years ago, I pitched a client on Google AdWords. I asked them to spend $1,000 a month to increase their traffic. They turned me down. Turns out, clients don’t want to spend money on things they don’t care about. And this client didn’t really care about seeing their traffic go up. You might be…
This session will cover key issues, strategies, and methods for addressing risks and achieving success while managing a large-scale federal Drupal project in a decentralized organization. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or “the Service”), a federal bureau within the Department of the Interior (…
Are you a project manager or site owner who works closely with developers? Does it sometimes seem like they are speaking a different language? Is it frustrating when you put in a request and get back a totally different result than you expected? Why are developers so reluctant to commit to an…
We’ve all seen it happen. Individuals who are great team members continue to get promoted because of their top-notch performance. Eventually, they get promoted to a leadership role where they spend more time figuring out how to guide a junior team member instead of which PHP library best handles…
“Agile Product Managers are not Project Managers” is a well-known truth in agile project management. However, project managers have many skills that can transfer into the product management role. In this session, I will explain how project managers can retrain themselves to become effective product…
“Scrum Masters are not Project Managers” is a well-known truth in agile project management. However, project managers have many skills that can transfer into the scrum master role. In this session, I will explain how project managers can retrain themselves to become effective scrum masters.…
Do you have a team that has lost their stride and lost interest in their work? Do you understand what really drives teams to perform their best? As a manager what can you do to create an environment where employees feel engaged and enjoy coming to work? This session will: Help you understand what…
Throughout my career of two decades of Web development, I've been given some really terrible advice. As I persisted, despite them, I advanced to a position of leadership. That opened the door to some more really terrible advice about how to manage. There’s a difference between being a boss and…
Product management and project management are two of today’s fastest-growing roles. Harvard and Cornell are among the business schools that have added product management curriculums to meet demand from students. Meanwhile, the Project Management Institute predicts that employers will need 88…
Find out what development risks you should be prepared for on a Drupal 8 build and how to prepare your stakeholders ahead of time. The module base is still regenerating for Drupal 8. Some modules that were your go-to’s may not be readily available just yet and steadfast modules may have some…
It’s no secret that Project Managers, Developers, and even Clients speak different languages. As PMs we’re relied on to be the bridge between our development teams and our clients. But as a project manager working with many different developers, and sometimes new and changing members of the team,…
Did you know that a project can fail even when you use best practices in project management and development? In fact, it's almost guaranteed to fail if you don't think about the soft skills needed when working with internal and external teams. Many times, we think of the most important parts of a…
You’ve assembled an all-star team to do a complete website redesign. Web development, design, UX, content. Everyone is experts in their area and have numerous projects under their belt, but for some reason you are 2 sprints in and are already behind. You know it has to do with the team culture; the…
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse across America shaped up to be one of the greatest scientific events of a generation - a sentiment shared by over 40 million viewers that tuned-in to NASA’s online coverage of all things Eclipse over just a few hours.  Needless to say, there’s a significant amount of…
We all know DevOps is about tools, right? Download a few open-source packages, rev up your CI/CD engine and you're off to the races! FINALLY, we can have 100% error-free software deployments every 11 seconds with nary a human being involved! Except that automation has never been a cure-all for…
You’ve probably been late to something once, only to find as you drive onto the freeway hoping that you can try to make up for some of that lost time, it’s backed up for what looks like miles and miles. You call your friend and update them that the 15 min drive is now looking like at least an hour…
For most teams working in an Agile environment, the backlog is the central artifact for planning, measuring, and tracking our work. On the other hand, given all the manipulations the backlog goes through, it can easily become an impediment to a project’s success. Key topics: In this session we will…
Usability testing is how we know that what we have created is really resonating with our users. It is a waste of resources to build the perfect "thing" only to have users ignore it, as if it isn't there. If only there was a way to get user feedback as part of the development and design process.…
"What do you want to do when you grow up?" is a question we use as an ice breaker for interviews, one-on-ones, and learning / growth plan discussions. It always brings a chuckle and a genuine response from everyone - regardless of age, role, or job position. But figuring out what you want to do can…

Content Strategy

48% of project managers use the Agile methodology for non-software projects, but just 11% of content marketers use Agile to plan their strategies. This session will share how content strategists can use Agile to iterate their work based on real-time feedback. We'll cover: The 4 pillars of Agile.…
Successfully migrating to a new CMS is as much a Change Management program as it is a Technology project. In this session we will follow the journey of two government agencies that went through Drupal migrations in two very different ways. Using a fun and interactive story about two families…
This is the story of how a SCRUM team built a federal agency’s website from scratch using a decoupled Drupal 8.  We did it two weeks at a time, without a plan or a governance model. This is why you should never, ever do what we did. -- This is the inside scoop of SBA.gov, a project we started in…
As a content strategist or site builder/architect, you’ve most likely encountered CMS bloat, like a Drupal website with three times the number of content types it needs, or a dozen taxonomy vocabularies that rarely get used. In this session, we’ll look at techniques to fight that bloat by designing…
To build a good website, you have to have good content. But many website overhauls focus on the design and development process, and miss the opportunity to assess the content. During this session, we'll talk about how to carry out a audit that helps you make quantitative and qualitative decisions…
It's the email every content manager dreads. "These two web pages aren't consistent. Can we make sure that we're saying the same thing on our website?" On a really bad day, there are 30 people on the CC field. Maintaining consistency across a website—especially on big .gov or other publishing-heavy…
The development community has seen an immense increase in productivity through automation tools created through the DevOps community. Why shouldn't the content strategy community take advantage of the same concepts? In this session I will outline a series of tools Lullabot uses to automate and…
A spectre is haunting the web strategies of America's governments, museums, associations, and enterprise businesses -- the spectre of Document Libraries: page after page of link after link to .txt, .rtf, .doc, .docx, .dotx, .pps, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .odf, .odg, .odp, .ods, .odt…
Government agencies often struggle whether their publishing model should be "centralized" or "decentralized."  This session will discuss the pros and cons of each approach and facilitate a discussion regarding how different agencies are tackling this challenge.
Despite what you may have read, SEO is not dead. But it has changed shape over the years. The good news is that maintaining your site’s search engine visibility doesn't have to be “one more thing on your plate.”  While improving SEO can seem overwhelming, especially for government agencies, there…
It doesn’t matter how great your content is if your users can’t find it. Drawing on experience designing Drupal platforms for government agencies and nonprofit organizations, learn how to leverage empirical design methods to define and evaluate effective information architecture. Discuss how a user…
So your developer added Google Analytics tracking code to your Drupal site. Now, you (occasionally) measure visitors and pageviews. It's not really the data you need, but you aren't sure what to do next. This talk will help website managers navigate Google Analytics’ features and get the data they…
Whether you are starting from scratch or redesigning, developing a strategy for organizing your website structure saves you time and frustration while ensuring your site is consistent and follows standards.  The three main building blocks you will need to consider are: Content Audit is the activity…
Drupal is a powerful tool to architect and build flexible, user-friendly websites, and any Drupal site is ultimately going to serve as the structure that houses the site’s content. To know what type of structure you need to build, you’ll have to have a deep understanding of the content that will…
Tired of comparing PDF reports to understand performance? Have you just about had it with Excel messing up your data? Worse yet, have you ever tried navigating your way through Google Analytics? Never fear, Data Studio is here! In this short hour, I will show you how to build an interactive…
Don't you wish there was a way to write content faster without having to log into your Drupal site?  Turns out there is and it is called Markdown, which can be written in any text editor you choose.  Based on the basics of HTML and with a goal of making marked up content as readable as possible,…
Is your team gearing up to migrate a site into Drupal 8? In this presentation, I’ll walk through the steps I’ve taken to prep my developer for a Drupal 8 migration. Topics covered will include the following: Factors that affect migration Different migration methods and when to use each What to look…
Personalization is the new digital experience battleground, but what kind of personalization is most effective and how do you implement it? While adding personalization to your digital assets may seem daunting there are many strategies to phase in personalization and improve citizen experience and…
Content migration is often one of the most time-consuming headaches of a web redesign or build, but it’s also one of the most critical elements of a successful site. Don’t think it’s just getting your content moved from one system to another. It is the “meat” of your website and doing it without…
Tim Woods (USGS Web Reengineering Project Lead) and Mary Matalas, Mobomo’s Director and Program Manager for the USGS Web Re-enigeering BPA will present together on how their teams have collaborated to leverage and extend Drupal to deliver products for the Federal government that align with USGS IT…
Since 2016, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Digital Services team has been hard at work reinventing our digital front door, Mass.gov. By creating a site that serves as the single face of government for Massachusetts, our goal is to give constituents confidence that they can find what they need…
A content audit is the basis for ensuring great user experience. It helps align your organization’s brand, message, and objectives with the needs and expectations of your site visitor. It lays the groundwork for the site architecture, content model, and page layouts. It addresses content ownership…
Content is a part of every project. From a full article on a web page to a single word on a button, every word defines how a user experiences technology. So every project should incorporate thoughtful content strategy. Come learn more about what microcopy is and why content strategy matters for…

Business + Community

The most revolutionary act right now is to be optimistic about the future. The current political and media climate is creating tension in all aspects of our lives, regardless of political persuasion. This can amplify feelings of uncertainty and doubt regarding our commitment to work in the public…
If you've ever logged into Google Analytics and wondered just exactly you were looking at and what to do with it, this session is for you. We'll break down all that Google Analytics has to offer, how to decide which metrics are right for you, and how to use that information to make decisions to…
No one would assume that to move actual mountains, the right people and the right shovel would do the job, right? Then why launch into a major application upgrade with little to no preparation at all? As a project manager, you know that any change requires planning, particularly if you are shifting…
The team that reinvented Mass.gov is now charged with bringing a data-driven, constituent-centric, “digital first”, approach to all of the state's web properties. Our vision is to stitch together a coherent experience across Massachusetts' diverse constellation of websites and technology stacks.…
Becoming a manager is awesome! You have a whole team of people you can pass projects off to, so that you can focus on strategy, innovation and leadership! Wait, why aren't you passing projects off to your team? They won't do it the way you do it? They might make a mistake? You don't have time to…
Good work leads to promotions -- and promotions from development to management come with more than increases in responsibility. While they're often awarded based on mastery of one skill set, they require you to learn a whole new one. Plus, the methods you've previously used for learning new skills…
When a project goes wrong, most of the time it fails as a result of mismatched expectations.  This can be avoided for most clients by following a repeatable and thorough discovery process.  Understanding how to ask the right questions up front can mean the difference between happy clients who are…
Diverse communities are strong communities, and Drupal is less diverse than we would like. Open source has the potential to transform society for the better, but we are currently missing out on much of that opportunity. We can make the Drupal project better by making the Drupal community a place…
Humans think in stories. Every story follows a general pattern.  Once we learn to see these patterns we can more readily create new stories.  In this session we will explore these story structures and how we can use them when we deal with our peers and clients.  Learn how to translate your clients…
The European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) became effective on May 25, 2018. Requiring potentially significant changes to affected websites, the GDPR has the potential to usher in a new era of user centric data privacy practices. However, aspects of what is actually required and…
Government open data initiatives continue to gain momentum and, through the international, community-based Project DKAN (https://getdkan.org/), Drupal has become a global leader in powering government open data platforms worldwide. Founded in 2012 and actively driven by its community partners, DKAN…
I drank the Drupal community Kool Aid about 7 years ago at a moment in my life when I was looking for more than just a CMS. Drupal and the Drupal community have filled needs for me that extend beyond the technical requirements of a client project. Sometime, I wonder if I expect too much from a…
Everyone will face criticism. No matter what you do. No matter how good you are. And the more invested you are in your work, the harder it is when someone comes along and criticizes it. In this talk, I address both the personal and professional aspects of dealing with criticism. We will go over:…
So you want to use Drupal, but lack developers -- just hire a contractor, right? Maybe look for a small business -- but then how do we pick from the many (many!) quotes that come in? We'll talk about choice of contracting vehicle, the RFI, RFQ and selection process. Then we'll open-up the…
There’s been a lot of ink spilled about how the RFP process is broken, particularly when it comes to technology projects. This session isn’t going to litigate various viewpoints on that front, because RFPs are not going anywhere anytime soon — especially when it comes to government projects. I say…
Drupal has been referred to as a do-ocracy. Find something to be insufficient? You have the ability to change it yourself!   We tested that theory by hosting. A barrier free sprint, and revamping the pathauto module’s documentation. 
How many times have you been in a situation where the client is never happy with the results, no matter what you do?  How many 'emergency' messages have you responded to because the site isn't quite right in some new way?  How many clients have you lost or fired because they honestly had no idea…
In this session we are going to talk open source licensing and what everyone who is involved in the development of open source software should know. The focus will be on general open source licensing concepts relevant to anyone involved in the production or creation of free and open source software…
Sharing is at the root of our community. We share code, knowledge, experiences, and sometimes even conflict—all in the interest of making Drupal better, our community stronger, and improving ourselves. But sharing is rarely easy to do. Competing forces like lack of time, imposter syndrome, and the…
It happens in every project across every organization. Deadlines approach, scopes expand, QA finds bugs and engineers do what they do best: make a square peg fit in a round hole. Never has a software project been launched without introducing a non-zero amount of technical debt: cludgy code, hacky…
As a nonprofit marketing consultant, all my clients understand the importance of *having* a website. What they don't realize is how to leverage this website as a hub for digital fundraising. From the typical "donate" button, to running proactive crowdsourcing fundraising campaigns such as…
Did you know that with the increase in mobile usage and services like Alexa and Echo that accessibility doesn't only matter for those with disabilities? We often talk about how to make our platforms accessible and what manual and automated tools we can use to meet accessibility best practices. But…
From down in the trenches of a multi-year US government software project, to a bird’s-eye view of the entire federal contracting landscape, we’ll take you on a tour of what’s going wrong with government contracts and how they are causing inferior software to be created. We’ll cover how the basic…
Despite AI's potential to help teams save time and money, some software vendors offer empty claims that their tools have AI. For example, saying that a software tool has "chatbot features" doesn't always mean that the tool in question has AI. If the chatbot can't improve its own conclusions from…
The Drupal and WordPress rivalry rages on and with WordPress now in use by an estimated 30% of all websites, it appears that Drupal may be losing ground. Recently we undertook two large site migrations for the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health and wound up using…
Please delete this session submission, I forgot that Cheney put in a similar joint session for us
“Oh. My. God.” “We HAVE to redesign our website.” “And we need it yesterday.” So far, you’re nodding in agreement. Of course “we” need a new website. And “we” need the impossible, done yesterday. And then the hammer drops. Leadership has decided YOU are the perfect person to find the firm and make…
I’m a big fan of nature and one of the first things I thought when I got my first “work from home” job was, “I’m no longer tethered to an office!” For some, this means scoping out your favorite coffee shop. For others, it means working from the comfort of your own home where it’s quite and secure.…
It is an ongoing challenge for delivery teams to realistically estimate the effort and cost involved in web design projects when responding to certain RFP and RFQ language. This is the case for both web design only and design-develop-deploy projects. Really, RFPs are very high level requirement…
It’s a dangerous world out there -- and if you’re in government, your shop probably hasn’t supplied itself with the redundancy (or a clever deputy) that it will need if you fail to show-up at work for a day, a week, or more. That’s where our “Hit by a Bus” list comes in. How many people does it…
In this session, I will share experiences from my dive into the world of Drupal. I’ll talk about the tips, tricks and lingo I learned during my journey learning Drupal with the Palantir mentoring initiative as well as opportunities other novice Drupalers can take advantage of.. Topics :  …

Design, Theme + UX

The modern development workflow is modular/components-driven. With the introduction of Twig in Drupal 8 and the Paragraphs module, front end developers have been empowered to replace template-driven development with a modular approach. Pattern Lab supports this method by providing a framework for…
Section 508 law has changed! Federal agencies must comply by the updated accessibility standards as of January 2018. Join Drupal Front End Developer Karen Kitchens and accessibility expert and designer Daniel Ferro as they go over Section 508 2.0 and how the updated accessibility law ties into your…
The African proverb, “It Takes a Village to raise one child,” speaks to my upbringing as a person with a disability in which my parents, teachers, doctors and therapists all worked together to help me ‘live in the mainstream.’  It’s now time to pay it forward and use the power of our network (both…
Have a messy front-end in your newly upgraded Drupal website? Keep an existing theme from a previous site because it was too much of a hassle to get the approvals through in time? Often with projects and contracts there is a decent amount of turn over with staff. Wouldn't it be nice if we could…
Trying to add accessibility to your website after it launches is like trying to add chocolate chips after the cookies are baked. Is there a recipe to bake accessibility into your site? Drupal 8 has accessibility built into Core, but what if you want to add your own ingredients? This session will…
In the rapidly evolving world of digital product design, it is often hard to see the forest through the trees when creating a consistent experience across teams of designers and developers in large organizations. As a result, we have moved from focusing on the design of individual applications to…
Over the last two years our community has seen the rise of countless solutions to implement design systems and components within Drupal. During the same period across camps, cons and the internet at large Adam and Brian have been having an ongoing conversation about best practices in component…
Since the release of Drupal 8, great strides have been made to develop a component based theming workflow that takes advantage of the best that Twig has to offer and also plays nice with living style guides and pattern libraries. Gone are the days of redundant styles and markup, making way for the…
Web development and design teams can improve efficiency, scalability and innovation by maintaining a consistent approach and defining standards in their processes. Design systems have emerged as a tool that can help organizations achieve this. A design system is a collection of reusable components…
When strategizing and architecting a new Drupal site, the usually areas of consideration that come to mind are deployment strategy, development best practices, front end UI/UX, site architecture, and content strategy. Most often the experience of content authors are incidental. Enhancements and…
I set out to build the best user Authoring Experience for my Drupal based systems a few years ago. At the same time, I was experimenting with a technology called Polymer and went down a rabbit hole to a magical land called "Front end development" and more specifically the future of all development…
Great design helps you reach your audience, increase credibility and achieve organizational goals. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s impractical to hire a designer for every visual task—whether it’s editing an image for social media, creating a flyer or an entire website. You may be left to your own…
How do we know we are delivering the right things? How are we informing our customers of this work and getting their feedback effectively? How can we find out what will improve our product? In seeking the answers to these questions, the team behind Mass.gov uses the powers of Drupal to shorten the…
In discussions about accessibility and diversity, our thoughts tend to jump to ARIA links, screen readers, and people of different ethnicities. While these are key aspects to both topics, this talk will push your thinking to considerations beyond accessibility and diversity basics. At its core,…
Have you ever looked at a website and thought it wasn't fulfilling its purpose? What about your website? Is it reaching your audience and providing value to your consumers? As a digital director, I find that many government websites do not connect with the general public. We need to turn our…
This session will talk about how leading with user experience (UX) helps to mitigate design, development, and operational risk for large-scale federal Drupal design and build engagements. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or “the Service”) maintains a public website (fws.gov) that consists of…
Today, the lion’s share of key decisions about citizens and their experiences are owned by a small contingent of educated people. But when those biases are released into the community, there is only so much we can do to rescue an investment that fails to resonate. However, there is hope; in some…
Component-based UI development offers a sustainable technical ecosystem with many benefits.  The modular approach allows for reusability, speeds up development, and ensures user experience consistency throughout the website. No wonder everyone is starting to jump on this bandwagon! When we embarked…
The Digital Services Playbook defines several guidelines towards improving government digital services by becoming more user-centric and putting user experience at the forefront of all service and product design.  However, rules and regulations currently hinder both government agencies and…
Increasingly in the digital age, government and community change-makers depend on reliable and digestible big data, disseminated across digital platforms. Two different products, the City Health Dashboard (cityhealthdashboard.com), and County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (countyhealthrankings.org…
You are eager to become more user-centric in your next project. Hoping it will remove the clutteriness and complexity on your project. However, you don’t really know how to approach it, or tad skeptical if any of this well wishing can fit in your tight timeline and budget. Don’t worry, I’m here to…
Storybook is a development environment for UI components built using JavaScript frameworks including React, Vue, and Angular.  While it does share some similarities to projects like Pattern Lab, it also provides some unique options for visualizing the interactive state of your application, along…
JavaScript had it’s biggest release since 1996 with ES6 (ECMA2015), and new features are being added with regular releases. Have you begun the process of transitioning your coding style on your Drupal sites? In this session, we’ll look at several new features available in ES6, including new…
Before Drupal 8 and its integration of Twig, limited PHP knowledge generally meant limited control over your site's theme layer, particularly its templates and markup. Thanks the the power of Twig, you no longer need to be a PHP wizard to work magic with custom templating. This session walks…
“Understanding the process of finding a solution is far more valuable than the solution itself.” Lea Verou, author of CSS Secrets. The addition of Twig has revolutionized the way we do theming in Drupal 8. Although very powerful and expressive, it is significantly different to what we did before.…
Larry Gillick (DOI.gov) & Scott Horvath (USGS.gov) With the revision in accessibility requirements, audio description has become an important challenge for federal websites to meet. Divergent efforts within the U.S. Department of the Interior have led to a pair of technology solutions and a…
If you have been working with accessibility on the web, you’ll know that the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG version 2.0) have been around since 2008. In those nine years, the web and the way we interact with it has changed — a lot. Since version 2.0 was released the smartphone…

Site Building + Using Drupal

Voice Assistants are beginning to play a large part in our everyday lives - with the popularity of Amazon Alexa growing, organizations will need to consider how to best extend their omni-channel content strategy to include delivery of content on voice and chat platforms. In this session, we will…
Nonprofit and governmental organizations need a quick and easy way to build a membership application where users can join your Web site, pay for their membership, renew their membership annually and have access to premium content on your Web site via Drupal's permissions model.  Trevor James, the…
Configuration is a key concept in Drupal 8 that sits at the intersection of backend development, dependency management, theming, site building, and (in)sanity. Already the community has seen several significant shifts in the recommended "best practices" and with the announcement of a second…
coming soon the presented slides are a German version  of a presentation I held in 2017 at the biggest German government IT conference please feel free to adjust the selected "session track" as I am not sure where the topic fits best - moved to site building (kirsten)
Follow Voters Pledge as it built a modestly interactive Drupal 8 site using production-ready modules. Learn the basics of Composer and get an introduction to H5P interactive content.
Learn to move content to your Drupal site using the Migrate module without writing a single line of PHP. This session is aimed at site builders who will learn to combine various contributed modules and write YAML files to accomplish content migrations. No prior experience with the Migrate module is…
One of Drupal's biggest strengths is its ability to create semantic relationships between pieces of data. But what happens when site builders take these relationships too far? We'll explore some of the most recent trends in site building like Paragraphs, Entity Reference Revisions, Field Collection…
We have a One EPA Web philosophy at EPA.gov along with 39 web standards. We built the WebCMS to support those requirements. We built a Drupal Training site.  We also offer classes for everyone at the Agency.  We programmed into our system, content review.  If content is not reviewed, it is removed…
In a perfect world, requests are well-defined, there is no project creep, and those pesky analysts stop asking to add more tracking code. While I have no control over the first two, I will show you one surefire way to get those analysts to focus more on analytic-y stuff and less on bugging you.…
Drupal has emerged as a powerful platform to help governments successfully manage open data initiatives. The Drupal distribution DKAN is a community-driven open data platform with a full suite of data cataloging, publishing, and visualization features. Used by countries worldwide - plus U.S. states…
Are you managing a site with multiple content types?  Wish there was a better way?  Well, there is!   We have found a way to make our sites as flexible as possible for clients to be able to have their cake and eat it too when adding content to their sites.  Long gone are the days were two column…
Drupal 8 is a powerful CMS, and integrating Salesforce with it—one of the most widely used CRMs in the market—makes it user/member focused, too. Many organizations use Salesforce as their CRM to store member information. By integrating Drupal with Salesforce, members will be able to manage all…
Media is now in core!  Feel free to break out into your happy dance at any point while reading this abstract.  Let's be honest...handling media in Drupal has been a nightmare in the past.  Now that media is in core—thanks to the Drupal Media Team—handling images, video, and other media assets has…
The Paragraph module has been widely adopted in Drupal 8 projects to structure content. It also gives the opportunity to create custom layouts for individual paragraphs. This allows for an authoring experience bound to predefined restrictions, yet permits very flexible designs. When upgrading to…
“Should I use Drupal multisites or multiple sites?” was the question often asked by many Drupal architects and developers when building multiple Drupal sites. To help you answer this question, we will share our experience and lessons learned in working with several Drupal sites using the Drupal…
One thing that makes Drupal CMS stand apart from all others is its vast community of users available right at our fingertips on Drupal.org. We ask and browse questions, share versatile solutions, or simply high five each other in our quests to make beautiful, functional, and accessible government…
So you wanna move your site to the cloud, and you’ve heard about the benefits of continuous delivery and deployment. But Drupal’s architecture isn’t immediately well-suited to that. After this step-by-step session, you’ll be prepared to refactor your site to run in a cloud environment. A little up-…
We will explore the Group module in D8; how to set it up and configure your groups. Discover the power of a module properly using the D8 Entity API and the flexibility and usability that comes with it! Along with that, natural integrations with D8 core field API, Views in core make this module a…
Drupal is an extremely flexible system. To achieve this, various layers of abstractions were built into it. A lot of concepts were created to explain these abstractions. Unfortunately, they are not always intuitive. For example, the ubiquitous word 'node' does not represent a point in a network nor…
*Composer Beginners, that is ;-) ​​In this session, you'll learn the basic basics (technical term) of using composer to manage a Drupal 8 site. There's a steep, painful learning curve for many strong Drupal site builders who start using composer with their Drupal 8 sites.  This session will help…

Coding + Development

The LDAP module for Drupal 7 is a very powerful tool for handling authentication and authorization on a webserver, but with that power comes a lot of overhead and fragility when it comes to meeting the security needs of a government agency. This presentation will cover a development team's journey…
508 compliance and WCAG 2.0 have been around for decades in an attempt to make sure websites are accessible to all people, regardless of disability. While these guidelines have been around for quite some time, over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in high profile lawsuits for websites that…
Adding test coverage to your website and applications provides lots of benefits. For example, making sure requirements are met and preventing regressions from happening. One of the many approaches for testing is Behavior Driven Development (BDD). This can be accomplished in Drupal 8 using a series…
Drupal is an extremely powerful CMS that our clients want because of its usability and our team loves because it’s open, flexible, and powerful. But what happens when a client comes to your team with more data than you’ve ever loaded into Drupal and requires a user experience that PHP templates can…
A decoupled, API-first architecture can be fast and efficient. But it can also generate lots of different things in the oddest places: calendar events over here, a newsroom over there, and loads of actual content in a whole bunch of places. And if you’re a developer interacting directly with…
Dive into the more complex ways the Views module can be used to create content lists with robust functionality. We’ll walk you through a year’s worth of Drupal 8 projects that had their own unique quirks and desires, and show you the little intricacies, roadblocks, and landmines we came across, and…
The API Platform framework is a set of tools to help you building API-first projects. The API project Platform is built on top of the Symfony framework, it means you can reuse all your Drupal 8 and Symfony skills and benefit of the incredible amount of Symfony documentation and community bundles.…
What's a Compound Field? Imagine a cake recipe. It consists of ingredients to bake this cake. Every single ingredient consists of multiple atomic values: amount, metric (tsp, tbsp, cup, gram, ml), a description, calories, etc. In a recipe, however, an ingredient is a single, cohesive field that…
•    Portable scan stations can be used at conferences, meetings, offices, buildings, or any access-controlled points. Within one second of scanning, the Drupal backend is consulted and a decision is announced: Enter, Your Meeting is in Room 1024, or See the Service Desk or any other message that…
We've started embracing the world of Composer, the PHP dependency manager. However, it has become one of the biggest pain points reported by  Drupal 8 developers. Once using Composer with Drupal, you can no longer simply download zip files to manage your project. I will go over Composer basics;…
Outline Developers have used MAMP or LAMP stacks to develop Drupal applications. In this session, I would like to present how docker can be used to fasten the development phase of any Drupal solutions. Abstract Docker is one of the best container platforms in the world. This session would explain…
Drupal 8 government developers must use and know more tools than ever. Some are specific to government and some more general. Based on years of lessons learned, we’ll explain, compare, and contrast the critical tools you should know and how to use them better in the real world. Key Development…
REST APIs have become an integral part of the development best practices emerging in the Web Application industry today. REST is a logical choice for building APIs, as it allows users to connect and interact with cloud services. Drupal 8 core includes the HAL module which allows for a consistent…
It is all fun and games modifying existing code, but what about when you have to venture out to unknown waters and create your own custom module? Don’t worry! We can get through this together! This talk is a deep dive into creating custom modules from scratch, and the role of each component in the…
Everything (nearly) about Drupal 8's development process is different than it was in Drupal 7. Some of it is a "little" different and some of it is so totally different you wouldn't recognize it as belonging to the same software. That's ok! Different isn't scary, it's just... different.  One of my…
In this hands-on session, attendees will learn how to setup and integrate Drupal with the Apache Solr search engine.  We’ll discuss advanced Solr set up, advanced facets, and other advanced elements that create a great search experience on Drupal/Solr websites. We will also discuss the advantages…
Are there some Excel or Google Spreadsheets that are critical to your organization? Spreadsheets are easy to make and easy to edit, but when you hit their limitations it’s time for a database-driven web app. Sounds like a big project? Drupal makes it easy. In this session we will build a web app…
Progressive Web Apps are web applications that work on mobile devices as if they were native apps. They have an icon on home-screen, they run in a standalone window (without browser UI), can display push notifications. Heck, they even work in offline mode (with obvious limitations)! And yes, now…
With Drupal 8, developers have to get used to object-oriented programming. This has been a difficult transition for many people; especially, if you don't tend to have your face buried in code all day. Over the past couple years, I've trained developers of all skill levels how to program with Drupal…
I have a great job working on the public-facing Drupal site of an important government agency. It's where you might go to find a prison inmate, learn if a sex offender lives in your area or jump-start your career as an Attorney. Shortly after coming on board I was presented with a work laptop that…
Even Sherlock Holmes doesn’t know everything. There are simply too many acronyms and technologies to understand. This talk will discuss some of the concepts I’ve touched, but never really understood with a focus on computer networking. Let’s look underneath the hood and see what’s going on. This…
Whether it is for re-using the same code or deploying a bug fix or just for better document management, one of the most important leaps any site builder will ever take in their path towards becoming a developer is learning a version control system, or VCS.  Since Git is the standard VCS over 80% of…
In short: Drupal 8 Migrate is awesome! It goes beyond just a simple migration solution and is a tool that can be used for almost every solution that requires pulling content into Drupal from almost any source, at any time. Thanks to Yaml and the library of plugins that exist, it's easy to learn and…
Migrating multiple legacy government websites into one Drupal instance is a daunting project.  Based on first-hand experiences transitioning major federal web properties, including Justice.gov and FCC.gov, learn big-picture lessons as well as in-depth technical approaches for executing large-scale…
If your a freelancer, solo developer in a company, or just a small team you know there's never enough time to do everything. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality just to ship good code. In this talk, I'll share the tools and practices which will help you ramp up your productivity so…
It's easy to explain the syntax of Classes and Objects in PHP. It's another thing to have it all "click" and write code which is more than procedural functions written inside of a class. In this talk, we'll look at practical examples of using interfaces, abstract classes, and objects to write code…
Moving from a collection of single websites to a managed Drupal 8 platform can usher in high-value advantages and efficiencies such as accelerated site creation, sharing common features, user data, and content. This session is intended for technical audiences and will discuss some of the most…
As engineers and developers, we tend to be passionate about building something great, which Drupal is perfect for doing. We tend to put a high priority on the quality of what it is we’re building. The best way to ensure sustainable quality in what you build is through testing. While Drupal already…
In this session we will analyze different strategies for decoupling Drupal 8, Whether we are pursuing a fully decoupled architecture, a progressively decoupled architecture or a standard Drupal architecture. With this presentation I answer questions like: Which architecture should we choose? Where…
Co-speakers: Natalie Beneventi, Web Operations Coordiator, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and Kevin McCulloch, Lead Developer/DevOps Engineer, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts/New Target The Administrative Office of the United States Courts is an agency within the judicial branch…
(This is an update to my last year's ReactJS+Drupal presentation, with many improvements.) ReactJS is the shiny new JavaScript framework that everybody wants to use in their next project. It's a component based approach to building JavaScript based web-applications and SPA's (single page…
To cache or not to cache?  That question has confounded the Drupal community for years and created a whole slew of separate challenges along the way.  How do we create performant sites at scale while still allowing content editors to use the Drupal platform they know and love? Static site…
Headless Drupal and decoupled front-end systems mean a lot of things to different people. This session will explore the many nuances of headless Drupal, API-first architecture, decoupled front-end systems, and the concept of progressively decoupled Drupal. As with any implementation strategy, the…
"What do you mean I can't simply 'upgrade' to Drupal 8? What the heck is a 'migration'?" Migrating an existing site to Drupal 8 seems straightforward at first: "We'll just use the Migrate module! It's built into core now". In reality, it never seems to go smoothly. This session will reveal some…
Outline: Composer is an open-source one stop shop tool for updating (or reverting) Drupal core, modules, and patches that will also manage all of their dependencies while also help improving your site’s security. This presentation will show you how you can use this powerful tool for your project…
There are tons of tutorials to show you how to start testing your website with Behat. But how do you write effective tests? How do you know what sections and flows in your application need to be tested? In this talk, I'll share my experience over the last two years of diving into using tests for…
Using Machine Learning to Improve UX
Your client has a large dataset that they would like to integrate into an application or website. However, their data is difficult to access, in a strange or non-standard format and the client is not sure how to display the data in a compelling fashion. You’re unsure the best way to get the data,…
Writing a chatbot for multiple messaging platforms as Slack, Telegram, Facebook or your custom one it's quite a hard and complex task, this is because each messaging platform has its own API. During this session, you will understand how to create a multiple-platform chatbot and how to integrate…
Imagine: you and your team spends months working on a project. You make the deadline. You launch successfully. There is much celebration.  Then, there's a critical security update for Drupal and you merge and deploy in a hurry (because hey, the Internet told you to!) Then, you realize that a…
In this session we’ll map out how the parts of Drupal 8 work together by examining how Drupal is like Walt Disney World! Having an accurate mental model of a complex system helps you work more effectively. Basing the model on a fun and friendly place like Walt Disney World makes it both more…