Stefan van Hooft is an awesome site builder who took the audience through a pure build demonstrating how different location based contrib modules can be used to build a GPS coordinate aware photo mapping site with Drupal… and Stefan braved a live demo! touché!
Stefan’s feedback on presenting at the First Drupal Camp in Pakistan…
@stefanvanhooft@ @icomputedotbiz @DrupalCampPK @Kubair @Ikonami
stay tuned for Jeni Tehan’s interview coming up next…
Though I did at some point promise not to milk the first Drupal Camp in Pakistan as much as I appear to be… but naah! its gotta’be done!
So a few of the Speakers at the Camp agreed to a video interview to share their feedback, and we are kicking it off with Shakeel Tariq from DrupalFront (@shakeeltariq) talking about Views.
stay tuned for Stefan’s interview coming up next…
Back in Blighty and its been hectic from touch down… but its time to reflect on the last 2 weeks of November that have been nothing short of epic.
Starting form 17th November; DrupalCamp Pakistan kicked off in awesome style, our charity Peace Through Prosperity delivered mind blowing results from its first cohort of micro-entrepreneurs gone through its mini-MBA program, connected with some awesome people from the Drupal scene across Pakistan, connected with some awesome people working on social projects to nurture prosperity and peace, marched in a protest with many thousands of others on its 1331st anniversary and just recovered from a killer man-flu.
It started back in the spring of 2011 and seeing it be the success it was on the day in Nov 2012 has been extremely fulfilling to put it mildly, its been a journey to get to the starting line! and it is the lessons along the road so far… that I share in this post with y’all out looking to put together the very first or the next awesome Drupal Camp in your patch on the third rock.
I went global with the challenges of the Drupal community in Pakistan at DrupalCon Munich 2012 with my session in the community track with Liang. This got both the global community and the local Pakistani community to take note… this was quite literally the silent boom since the audio recording cocked up and the session recording is a set of silent slides! the silent boom had its desired impact on both global and local community members. It paved the way to get community members from other geographies involved and volunteers to aid came from Britain, Belgium, Finland, USA and as far afield as Australia. The community members in Pakistan saw a session at DrupalCon with their name on it!… that is hard to ignore! and soon after they heard chatter about global community members volunteering to spare their time on a saturday to share their knowledge and experience, and that woke up the masses. By the way you need not wait for the next DrupalCon to go Global!… Broadcast before you narrowcast.
Communicate the WHY
The international speakers approached to volunteer their time to speak at DrupalCamp Pakistan were informed why doing this was important for the indigenous Pakistani Drupal community and its benefits to the wider regional and global community. The indigenous speakers likewise were informed why they must not shy away and man-up for the indigenous community!… the value was made obvious… it is all about connecting communities.
Engage to ENGAGE
Engaging the global community was not a simple lookup on Drupal.org/Linkedin/Twitter and then drop them a cold email… I have met with and built a relationship with community members at DrupalCamp, meet ups and at DrupalCons, I am part of the community… so the community gives me the privilege of their time to hear me out and then some. Its not cold calling! its relationship building… its about connecting with the community.
GIVE to receive
I take time out in London to meet up with and guide newbies to Drupal, I attend Drupal meet ups in cities I visit for work or holidays.. I have attended camps and meet ups in London, Brighton, Chicago and Utrecht to list a few and took a weekend out to speak at DrupalCamp Helsinki in person. Because I give I expect to and receive, it is simple Karma!… its about living in the spirit of the community.
Pakistan is euphemistically called the land of WordPress! we did not shy away from playing Jehovah’s witnesses and convinced a bunch to at least step out of the Dark side! if only for a day! in that respect we pitched to and included people from all disciplines from novice Drupalers to .NET hacks, PHP aficionados and anyone with a hint of curiosity displayed. We roped in end users, developers, designers, newbies, old hacks and a few journalists too!… it is about building an inclusive community from the get go.
Then there are the BASICS…
…like sorting out a kick ass venue, getting the infrastructure tested etc… these need to be thought through; We had the choice of a few venues and decided on Preston University above other venues (academic and non academic) for specific reasons (common sense and localised ones)… yes we did get into a tiff with their networking guy who was being very naughty about their dedicated LAN line for our connectivity. Finding sponsors will always be a challenge and the lesson there was be brave and go it alone if no one seems interested and reinforcements will arrive at the 11th hour (we were lucky). Our first sponsor was signed up at DrupalCamp Helsinki and the local sponsors were late to follow – we secured our local sponsors the day before the Camp… it is about recognising the difference between a community and private groups.. and adapting your engagement strategy accordingly.
and lastly…Secure the FUTURE
Making the first camp a success is the start of an epic journey and we have benefit of a kick ass, Jawsome (jaw dropingly awesome) start! we used the impetus to make our current Drupal meet-ups truly community meet ups as opposed to ikonami’s Drupal team’s monthly shindig!
We announced and got promises of attendance for the monthly Drupal meet-ups in Islamabad and kicked off a meetup.com group (if your’e in the vicinity or not) sign up and we’ll keep you posted on up coming meet-ups. And we finalised the next stop for the roadshow! Lahore March 2013.
Every embryonic movement (Drupal or not) needs a catalyst to bring them together to build a community… the Pakistani Drupal scene needed a Lawrence of Arabia!…. they did not get T E Lawrence from Wales… they got K Shirazee from Kent and an awesome local contingent from ikonami to be the catalysts for them.
…my personal moment of zen was seeing everyone from team ikonami involved! from Admin through to our non-Drupal practises involved with the event and with the community that came to the event… team ikonami played awesome hosts. Mighty proud of team ikonami, thank you. As for the local Drupal community, they came out in their droves and it was awesome networking with them and hearing their tales from the hinterlands!
#DrupalCampPK #Ikonami #Kubair
So its started sinking in to the masses what Saturday meant! and we have been reflecting on what we could have done better, what were our own faux pas! … connectivity was one, we should have had our own back up line.. in Lahore we will. the other lesson learned was.. capture the group pic in the morning or at lunch… but having left it for the end was cool too for of the 119 people (yes we got an exact number) who attend 47 stayed for the last session too… pretty awesome we reckon!
We shall be uploading screen casts of the presentations and setting out the plans for Drupal Camp Pakistan – Lahore March 2013 before the end of the year and are banking on even more Drupalistas from around the third rock to contribute over Skype or in person…. watch this space.
This is Kubair Shirazee (totally knackered) with cameraman Nauman Khalid reporting from Islamabad.
Not quite live since our wifi connection got switched off for over loading the public access pipeline at the University and Sunday was a PTP day (the charity we support… and request you should too) – the end of the day got raw all over again! it had been an anxious few months, we’d been wanting to bring the experiences of DrupalCamp to Pakistan since spring of 2011, we had one false start, quite a few kicks to the crown jewels, all those evenings and weekends spent, yada yada yada… all of that does not matter…. we delivered a super successful first ever Drupal Camp in Pakistan on the 17th November 2012. We made History and we Kicked ASS.
Summing up the day, tons of gratitude is in order:
1) Thank you team ikonami for making this happen, for delivering so awesomely such an awesome Drupal Camp (I am so MIGHTY proud of team ikonami)
2) Thank you to Ikonami’s admin staff for staying involved in something outside their job role and interest (though that may have changed after today!)
3) Thank you to all the attendees who took time out and attended the camp and participated vociferously! and more so to those who travelled from Dubai, Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar to be here
4) Thank you to all our speakers who took time out on a Saturday at awkward times across multiple time zones to share their knowledge and experiences with the community in Islamabad – a uber awesome display of the community spirit
5) Thank you to Preston University for providing us with an awesome venue (and we promise to stop moaning about the connectivity!)
6) Thank you to the facilities staff at Preston University for keeping things clean presentable for over 100+ people and staying later than their working hours to bear us geeks a little longer.
7) Thank you to our sponsors, Aberdeen Cloud, App Desk, DruPak, Ikonami, Pasha (Jehan Ara in particular) and Vizteck
8) Thank you for all the other Drupal Camp organisers across the third rock and their followers on Twitter for their support and encouragement both online and offline
All those who sat on the fence waiting to see if the Camp soars or dives… Boom! we are f**king soaring! mofos!…. to infinity and beyond
DrupalCamp Pakistan… dreamed of in England, delivered in Islamabad.
This is Kubair Shirazee with cameraman Nauman Khalid reporting from Drupal Camp Islamabad.