From my vantage point the sprint day was extremely well attended. I spent my day working on a patch I had submitted to the Flag module and working on OG Forum and OG Forum D7.
We had the traditional live commit in the afternoon.
There wasn't any announcement if any more critical bugs were squashed for core.
How many of you participated in the sprints? When did you head home? Are you participating on Saturday?
A number of us from Forum One are sticking around for Friday’s sprints, but that’s a wrap on the third day of DrupalCon and the conference proper!
Wednesday and Thursday were chock-full of great sessions, BoFs, and all the small spontaneous meetings and conversations that make DrupalCons so fruitful, exhausting and energizing.
Forum One gave three sessions on Wednesday. John Brandenburg presented Maximizing Site Speed with Mercy Corps, a case study of our work on www.mercycorps.org focusing on performance optimization. Kalpana Goel of Forum One and Frédéric G. Marand presented Pain points of learning and contributing in the Drupal community, a session on how to even better facilitate code contributions to Drupal from community members. And finally Forum One’s Andrew Morton presented Content After Launch: Preparing a Monkey for Space, a survey of content considerations for project success before, during, and after the website build process. The other highlight from my perspective on Wednesday was a great talk by Wim Leers and Fabian Franz on improvements to Drupal performance/speed, and how to make your Drupal sites fly.
Then Thursday, Daniel Ferro and Dan Mouyard rounded out the seven Forum One sessions with their excellent presentation, To the Pattern Lab! Collaboration Using Modular Design Principles. The session describes our usage of Pattern Lab at Forum One to improve project workflow and collaboration between visual designers, front- and back-end developers, and clients. This approach has eased a lot of friction on our project teams. I’m particularly excited about how it’s allowed our front-end developers to get hacking much earlier in the project lifecycle. We were glad to see the presentation get a shout out from Brad Frost, one of the Pattern Lab creators. Other highlights for me on Thursday were the beloved Q&A with Dries and friends and sitting down over lunch with other Pacific Northwest Drupalers to make some important decisions about the PNW Drupal Summit coming to Seattle this fall.
In addition to looking ahead to DrupalCon Barcelona, the closing session revealed the exciting news that DrupalCon will be landing in Mumbai next year!
— DrupalCon LosAngeles (@DrupalConNA) May 15, 2015
And the always anticipated announcement of the next DrupalCon North America location… New Orleans!
— DrupalCon LosAngeles (@DrupalConNA) May 14, 2015
That news was ushered in soulfully by these gentlemen, Big Easy style, pouring out from the keynote hall into the convention center lobby.
— Andy Hieb (@AndyHieb) May 14, 2015
And to finish off the day properly, many of us hooted and hollered at Drupal trivia night, MC’d by none other than Jeff Eaton.
— Jeff Eaton (@eaton) May 15, 2015
A great con was had by all of us here at Forum One… On to the sprints!
Our team, made up of designers and developers from Forum One, along with Booz Allen Hamilton, Avar Consulting, and IFC International, worked on a solution for IAE’s Vendor Dashboard for Contracting Officers. We were tasked with creating a vendor dashboard for displaying GSA data that would enable procurement officers to quickly and easily search and identify potential vendors that have small-business or minority-owned status, search by other special categories, and view vendors’ history.How did we tackle the problem?
Our team initially split into smaller working groups. The first group performed a quick discovery session; talking with the primary stakeholder and even reaching out to some of the Contracting Officers we work with regularly. They identified pain points and looked at other systems which we ended up integrating into our solution. As this group defined requirements, the second group created wireframes. We even took some time to perform quick usability testing with our stakeholders, and iterate on our initial concept until it was time to present.
The other group dove into development. We carefully evaluated the data available from the API to understand the overlap and develop a data architecture. Using that data map, we decided to create a listing of contracts and ways to display an individual contract. We then expanded it to include alternative ways of comparing and segmenting contracts using other supporting data. Drupal did very well pulling in the data and allowed us to leverage its data listings and displays tools. Most developers see Drupal as a powerful albeit time intensive building tool, but it worked very well in this time critical environment.
Our two groups rejoined frequently to keep everyone on the same page and make sure our solutions was viable.How much could we possibly accomplish in 6 hours?
More than you might think. Our solutions presented the content in an organized, digestible way that allowed contracting officers to search and sort through information quickly and easily within one system. We created wireframes to illustrate our solution for the judges and stakeholders. We also stood up a Drupal site to house the data and explained the technical architecture behind our solution. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a front-end developer participating in the hack-a-thon, so we weren’t able to create a user interface, but our wireframes describe what the UI should eventually look like.
Some of us even took a quick break to catch a glimpse the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover from the roof. It was also broadcasted on the projectors in the conference room.
It’s interesting to see how others break down complex problems and iterate on solutions especially if that solution includes additional requirements. Our solution was more complex than some of the other more polished data visualizations, but we won the challenge in part because of the strategy behind our solution.
We’re excited to see what GSA develops as a MVP, and we’ll be keeping our ears open for the next opportunity to attend a hack-a-thon with GSA.Finally, a big shout out to our teammates!
- Mary C. J. Schwarz, Vice President at ICF International
- Gita Pabla, Senior Digital Designer at Booz Allen Hamilton
- Eugene Raether, IT Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton
- Robert Barrett, Technical Architect, Avar Consulting