Finding Identity at DrupalCon 2016 New Orleans

DrupalConNOLA

As I arrived in New Orleans for my first time, I quickly observed why people say this is the most diverse city in America. This, in my opinion, made it the best place for a DrupalCon. I say this because the Drupal community is also immensely diverse. Whether you are strolling down Bourbon Street or the conference hall, listening to a live jazz band or talking with attendees, all around you’ll encounter unique personalities and a rich culture that proudly shows its depth and breadth of character and intelligence.

Upon reflecting on this atmosphere, I could not help but think of the diverse company I’ve come to work for and be a part of. I began to see, even after having spent nearly two years working with Janrain, even more why what we do is so important. Why it’s absolutely critical to be able to understand individuals and tailor their experiences uniquely. Not one of the nearly 200 individuals that I spoke with at DrupalCon was Attendee 1114 or Attendee 1108. It was Rebecca who loves sushi and empowering women in technology. It was Dave who hails from South Africa, and whose wife is from my wife’s home town of Redondo Beach, California. And of course, all of those folks have Drupal in common.

Some of the things I learned while at DrupalCon 2016 New Orleans:

  • Not everyone is ready to make the Drupal 8 jump just yet. Especially larger organizations that may be more change-averse or have to coordinate more complex migrations.
  • The “ecosystem” paradigm continues to be proliferated as more focused vendors deliver on specific pieces of app development, deployment, and hosting. Janrain is a clear example of where we are the popular choice for providing traditional/social registration and sign-on functionality, as well as identity data management
  • Partnerships among vendors are growing where you will see the folks who focus solely on back-end and API’s stick and offload front-end or client-side work to vendors who do that amazingly well.
  • Drupal is no joke with a user/developer base in the Fortune 1000 space, several of which were in attendance such as Pfizer, Nvidia and Johnson & Johnson. All of which happen to use Janrain!

Aside from being hit over the head with profound awareness, it was purely an enjoyable conference to attend. Personally, there is nothing more rewarding than to work with a team to build an awesome product and then face-to-face shake hands and talk to the users of that product. It’s one of the prime examples of agile development. I helped build this thing and then I get direct qualitative feedback from interfacing with the end user. Thank you to the Drupal community for all the work you have done and for seeing the value in what Janrain provides in the way of registration/login and our identity-driven marketing solution. It is the demand and realization of value that keeps us in business and gives us the opportunity to sponsor such events.