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Why Drupal Developer Days Milan was amazing!

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

I have just returned from Drupal Developer Days (DDD) which was held in Milan, Italy this year. 400 people from around the world gathered for 6 days of working together, learning and talking about Drupal.

The event has been taking place sin

ce it started in Munich in 2010 since which time it has been held in Brussels, Barcelona, Dublin, Szeged, Montpelier. It now sits firmly on the annual calendar of events in Europe on a similar weight with the DrupalCons.

I was very glad to return as DDD 2014 in Szeged, Hungary was one of my favourite Drupal events ever, especially as it was my first Drupal event outside London and the one during which I made my first core contributions. Needless to say I was sad to miss last year's DDD which took place in Montpelier, but getting married was a pretty good excuse for not attending :)

As this was the first DDD held since Drupal 8 was released in November, it was particularly exciting as it is still new. While we were there we reached 100,000 websites using Drupal 8.


I was very proud of the dedication and commitment of my fellow Drupal community members. Over the week we managed :

6 days373 tickets107 sprinters123 museum tickets40 excited football fans (there were many more, but these are the ones who watched it at the venue)36 food-overloaded speakers8 tireless cyclists (they did actually have tires)0 hours of sleep (for the organisers, participants had a few hours more between the socials and the keynotes in the morning)

Sprint outcomes :

There were over 210 issues worked on by over 100 sprinters 

80 needs review46 needs work73 active11 reviewed & tested

Sprint teams

There were lots of teams working on topics including UX, Multilingual, Media, Search API, Drupal Commerce 2, Drupal 8 Rules, Open Social, Private Messaging, Devel, Group, GraphQL, Migrate, Contact & Paragraphs. The sprint planning spreadsheet gives more details.

Sprints & Drupal 8.2

A lot of the issues worked on will go into Drupal 8.2, some will take a bit longer to be agreed and finalised.

One of the most exciting features of Drupal 8 is that unlike previous versions, new functionality is released throughout the development lifecycle. When Drupal 7 was released in 2011, no new functionality was added, just bug fixes and security updates.

There are just 5 weeks left until 8.2 beta starts at which point a code freeze will take place and no further issues will be accepted.

I worked on Drupal 8 core usability issues and was very happy to get some of my work into RTBC status (reviewed & tested by the community), taking my total up to 8 core commit credits.

Sprint mentoring

At this event I was mentored in addition to mentoring new contributors. During the process of contributing I was assisted by ifrik, Gabor Hojsty, Marc Van Gend, Daniel Smidt, Stefan Ruijsenaars & Jeroen Bobbeldijk.

I was very happy to be able to help new contributors by introducing them to the issue queue, its statuses, identifying novice issues with the relevant tags and tools like Dreditor and

If you'd like to find out more see Contributor tasks.

Sessions & workshops

In addition to the 3 full days of sprinting, there were an additional 3 days where sessions & workshopsalso ran alongside sprints. With upto 3 sessions taking place simultaneously there are far too many to be able to cover them all here. My favourite sessions were

My session

I also delivered a talk of my own "Site building for developers : what you need to know to better support them". Encouraging developers to use sitebuilding techniques wherever possible saves development time, maintenance & support costs. 

Speakers dinner

The speakers dinner was very generous and was a really great treat for us all. Thanks to Pierluigi of Wellnet for the restaurant recommendation, I'm sure all 36 of us speakers would go back in a heartbeat!


Volunteering at Drupal events is an essential part of making them a reality. I have been lucky to get to know a lot of people and understand just how much work goes into organising by volunteering at previous events. 

At this event I was glad to be able to assist with social media marketing, in addition to looking out for the needs of participants, speakers & sponsors and liasing with organisers when challenges arose.

I always enjoy introducing people to others especially those who are more shy, or when I see people who don't know too many other people and connect them with their interest areas. I recommend volunteering whenever you get the opportunity as it really helps the organisers and subsequently the attendees and community gain the most from the event.

I only assisted a little, the real heroes were : Alessandra Petromilli, Alessandro Sibona, Andrea Pescetti, Antje Lorch, Chiara Carminati, Claudio Beatrice, Edouard Cunibil, Fabiano Sant'ana, Guillaume Bec, Julien Dubois, Kester Edmonds, Luca Lusso, Marcello Testi, Marco Moscaritolo, Paolo Libanore, Pierluigi Marciano, Riccardo Bessone, Simone Lombardi, Tamer Zoubi, Yan Loetzer, Yi Yuan, Zsófi Major.

Thank you

To the organising team Claudio (omissis), Marco (mavimo) & Riccardo (bessone). To all of the sponsors, volunteers, speakers & participants for being amazing!

See you next year!

Read Josef Dabernig's blog for more detail on the sprints, bike tour & the museum trip. He also took some of the great photos on this blog post, you can see the rest on this Flickr album. See you again soon!

Director / Web Developer

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