erdfisch Blog

Drupalcon mentored core sprint - get that Friday feeling!


This is the first in a series of blog posts on a subject I'm very passionate about. So much so, that it's hard to put down in words the way I feel about it. That subject is the Friday Mentored Core Sprint at Drupalcon.

This is the first post a three-part blog post series:
You're currently reading part one
Part two is here
Part three is here

Call to action: If you are planning to go to Drupalcon Nashville, please be sure to extend your stay to cover the Sprint Day on Friday, April 13. You will not regret it.

TL;DR: participating at a large-scale mentoring event like this is an incredible experience. In fact, it is one of the most valuable learning opportunities you will have in your career.

Take advantage of it: come along first as a participant - and then, in future, once you have seen how it works, you can join this team of mentors:

Drupalcon Vienna RoySegall Tweet

The Drupalcon mentored core sprint is not just for developers.

Let me repeat that:

The Drupalcon mentored core sprint is not just for developers. It's for sales people, project managers, freelancers, site builders - in fact anybody in the Drupal world who wants to learn about contributing.

If you are a sales person or a project manager or a site builder - the Friday at Drupalcon is meant exactly for you, and you are welcome to come along and join in. Whatever your skill set is, Drupal needs you!

The Friday sprint at Drupalcon is brought to you by an amazing team of volunteers. Everything they do is centred around creating a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere, so that everyone feels welcomed and productive.

This is your opportunity. A chance to make your first contribution to Drupal.

And - if that's not enough - you will simply meet great people, make new friends, and work together on Drupal Core with them. Friendships are made on this day which last for years.

So, what actually happens on Friday at Drupalcon?

I've been lucky enough in the past few years to have been supported by employer erdfisch so that I could go to Drupalcon.

If I didn't have a ticket for Drupalcon, I would travel there anyway, just to take part on the Friday, because it is the highlight of my professional year.

Three quick notes here:

  • You do not need a Drupalcon ticket to go to the Friday mentored core sprints.
  • If you are reading this and planning to be at Drupal Nashville then make sure you stay for the Friday!
  • Drupalcon Europe will, we hope, be replaced by a Drupal Europe event in 2018. We are certainly hoping that this will include a core mentored sprint as well.

So, what makes this day so special?

Well, here's what the Mentored Core Sprint Room looks like at 08:30 in the morning. If you look very closely you can see Sutharsan setting up his table.

Alex Burrows' tweet - beginning of the day at the Friday sprint

After an hour or two, this is what that very same room looks like:

Drupalcon Mentored Core Sprint Room

These photos make me feel hopeful and proud. They sum up for me what the Drupal community is about: people working together and helping each other to be successful.

Drupalcon Mentored Core Sprint Room

I'd like you to take a moment and really look at these pictures for a while. The people you see in these photos have had a very long week, they are sleep deprived and very, very tired. (Last night was Trivia Night).

Drupalcon Mentored Core Sprint Room

So what's going on? What's making them so engaged?

Drupalcon Mentored Core Sprint Room

This is my favourite photo, because it describes perfectly the beautiful chaos of the sprint room on Friday.

Here's another thing: most of the people sitting next to each other did not even know each other a few hours before. That is beautiful. In my humble opinion, if you come to Drupalcon and miss out on this, you're missing out on something important, something potentially life-changing.

What are these people working on? How is this whole thing organized?

I'm glad you asked, because those will be the topics of the follow-up blog posts!

This is a three-part blog post series:
You're currently reading part one
Part two is here
Part three is coming soon

A final word in memory of J-P Stacey

While preparing this post, I saw this tweet.

J-P Stacey

Last year at Drupalcon Dublin, I asked J-P to be my "mentor mentor" because
I was so impressed by his gentle and unruffled style. He organized the team
at his table with exemplary grace and good humour. I was particularly struck
by how quickly he gathered a group of enthusiastic people around him. Bye J-P,
it was a true honour to have known you, if only once a year, in this particular

Credit to Amazee Labs and Roy Segall for use of photos from the Drupalcon Vienna flickr stream, made available under the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence.