There is a huge number of people in Europe who have had to face reality and finally accept that they will miss DrupalCon San Francisco – and we are among those people. It would be all too easy to just spend the next few days in bed with a pillow over our heads, but as this post shows, this may actually be an opportunity to make some really good things happen.
There's been a couple of days of public mourning and misguided anger here in Europe, with lots of emotional outbursts by drupalistas on Twitter etc. Now however, there seems to have been a slight shift in mindset, and I'd like to take this moment to present the top five alternative activities that can help cheer things up, and – in fact – help you take full advantage of this unexpected empty slot in your calendar.
1. Simulate DrupalCon: meet up, network & party
When you think about ut, it's kind of obvious: if we can't go to DrupalCon, we'll have to make [the spirit of] DrupalCon come to us! Already, there are DrupalVolCon events planned in Belgium, London and Paris. Crazy things can an will happen when crowds of slightly frustrated people with empty calendars come together.
There is also the possibility to participate in DrupalCon remotely in a more practical sense: follow the live stream which hopefully will cover keynotes and some sessions.
This is the perfect time to finally do those contributions to the Drupal project that you've postponed due to heavy work load. Submit a patch for that feature you'd like to see implemented, help fix those critical Drupal 7 bugs, or help improve the documentation.
3. Work on your pet project
Most of us have one or two really great ideas tucked away somewhere in the back of our heads. Now's the time to make things happen! Depending on what your project is, it may end up becoming new Drupal modules, but remember: most of the time someone has already done almost the same thing as you, so be sure to research the contrib module repository first, and try and build on what already exists! If you need to discuss your ideas with someone, #drupal on IRC is your friend!
4. Get back on track
This could also be your chance to get your professional life in better working order. Doing boring stuff may not be what you need to cheer up now, but it means you don't have to do it later. Use the unexpected free time to get back on track with things like:
- Working on your email backlog.
- Doing accounting/budgeting, etc.
- Finding new planning tools, backup solutions etc.
- Redecorating your office.
- Learning new skills from books, tutorials, blogs etc.
- Reading a book!
5. Get yourself a kitten
There's nothing to cheer things up like a cute little kitten. I all else fails, find one and give it a new home! Spend a couple of days with it at home and you'll be best friends before the end of DrupalCon.
This may sound far fetched, but it's exactly what Sofia at SthlmConnection did yesterday. So far it seems to work great!
I myself plan to do several of the things above during the next couple of days, including hanging out with cats.
Photo credit: Corie Howell