27 Questions (and Answers) from My First Site Build with Drupal 8

Drupal 8 brings many changes—from grand shifts in philosophy and mindset, to trivial renaming of files.  We've all read about these changes with great anticipation over the past several years.  Now I ask the question: what is it like to actually build a product with this thing?

In this fast-paced talk, I'll describe my first Drupal 8 site build, and answer all of the questions that tripped me up in the process.  No matter how deep your knowledge of object oriented programming, when the rubber meets the road, you're going to have questions.

I Survived Drupalgeddon: How Hackers Took Over My Site, What I Did About It, And How You Can Stay Safe

This a comprehensive post-mortem of the Drupalgeddon SQL injection bug as experienced on one of my personal web sites.  In this talk I'll explain in-depth how the SQL injection bug worked.  I'll show the way real hackers used this vulnerability in the wild, and how you can defeat a similar attack on your website.  I'll show how I recovered an infected site, and the new security measures I put in place as a result of this security breach.

Controlling Markup with Display Suite, Semantic Views, Custom Theme Templates, and Media


Drupal feels disgned for a backend developer. A typical workflow for a medium or a large team is to have a backend developer configure a content type and page and hand off rendered pages to a frontend developer to style.

This pattern is no fun!

There are many tools which are simple to use that allow developers to shape the generated markup to fit the way they want to manage pages. This is essential in a world of semantic HTML and flexible responsive sites. You can do anything!

Get VAMPD about Local Development and Automation

How do I get this instance of a site up and running locally? 

MAMP, WAMP and custom LAMP solutions tend to fall short when working in a team or individually. The problem is that local environments do not mimic staging and/or production environments, while cloud hosted dev environments are dependent on having a strong internet connection. 

Security: Tales from the field.

Most security presentations show vulnerabilities and how to protect against them.   In this presentation, we will take a different approach,  We will look at 4 compromised sites, and learn how they were compromised, how the site owner learned about the issue and how to prevent it from happening to your site(s).   We will look at configuration errors as well as coding errors that these "real" site owners made.   We will then look at what it took to clean up the sites after compromised and the consequences that might have resulted. 

We will leave time for questions and answers. 

I Want it All and I Want it Now: Configuration Management and CI

How fast can you get all the changes to production? Theoretically, in only the time necessary to deploy the code. How often though do pushes turn into nail biting, hair pulling, obscenity screaming, hours-long events? How often does one hear, “But it works on my machine!” Nail biting, hair pulling, hour-long pushes, be gone! Let the excuse “it worked on my machine” ring no more!

View modes: Use them already!

One of Drupal 7's great advances was full-featured View modes. Much has been written about them, but many site builders fall to see the benefit of using them. I'll explain them purpose -- and their power -- in simple terms that an intermediate site builder can understand.

Will discuss benefits of View modes, including:

Simplify your life with Panels

Learn to harness the power of Panels ecosystem to architect easy-to-maintain and powerful web sites. I'll show how to use Panels to control every part of the page, thus avoiding Display Suite, Context, and core Block module (for placing blocks). I'll give tips to site-builders for when to use Panels vs. Display Suite/Context.

Specific topics:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive Your Project!

Large, complex Web projects often have many different moving parts and are overseen by diverse groups of stakeholders with competing goals and motivations. Whether you’re someone who develops Web solutions for other people or are part of an in-house team, success in these situations requires discipline, understanding, and empathy, which are also values frequently explored in children’s literature. In this non-technical session, we’ll take a look at what classic books like "Amelia Bedelia" and "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” have to teach us about how to manage Web projects.

jQuery with Drupal: You're (Probably) Doing It Wrong

"jQuery with Drupal: You're (Probably) Doing It Wrong" is for those of us who don’t fully understand how to write custom jQuery for a Drupal 7 project. Too many of us copy an example file, empty the middle, hack away until something works, slap it on the page, and run away screaming. It doesn’t have to be like that.


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