Ansible for Drupal infrastructure and deployments - DrupalCon LA 2015 BoF

We had a great discussion about how different companies and individuals are using Ansible for Drupal infrastructure management and deployments at DrupalCon LA, and I wanted to post some slides from my (short) intro to Ansible presentation here, as well as a few notes from the presentation.

The slides are below:

And video/audio from the BoF:

Notes from the BoF

If first gave an overview of the basics of Ansible, demonstrating some Ad-Hoc commands on my Raspberry Pi Dramble (a cluster of six Raspberry Pi 2 computers running Drupal 8), then we dove headfirst into a great conversation about Ansible and Drupal.

DevOps for Humans - Ansible presentation at DrupalCon Austin

I'm still recovering from an intense week of Drupal here in Austin, TX. I kicked things off by walking around the downtown area, then taking the intensive Acquia Drupal Developer Certification exam. Once the conference started, I attended a few sessions, met a few awesome Drupalists, and learned a lot. On the last day of the 'Con (the last session, in fact), I presented DevOps for Humans: Ansible for Drupal Deployment Victory!.

I think the presentation went well, and I heard some great questions at the end which really contributed to the discussion of Ansible and Drupal deployments in general. It was a great way to finish up the official DrupalCon sessions, though it meant I was revising slides for the hundredth time during the rest of the week, instead of relaxing and enjoying DrupalCon!

Before I post a video and slides from the session, I wanted to highlight some resources for anyone who attended (or didn't attend) DrupalCon Austin:

Below is the video and slides from the DevOps for Humans presentation. Please let me know what you think!

DrupalCon and DrupalCamp news + free DrupalCon ticket!

DrupalCon Austin

This week, the DrupalCon Austin sessions have been posted, and I'm thrilled to have one of my session submissions (in the DevOps track) selected: DevOps for Humans: Ansible for Drupal Deployment Victory!.

The session will go over how Ansible can be used to realize faster, easier, and more successful Drupal deployments, as well as Ansible's ability to make sure that every environment is 'like production', so you don't ever have surprises when you deploy code to its final destination.

DrupalCon Portland is Coming Up... and Spam-Fighting News!

Druplicon at DrupalCon - balloonDrupalCon Portland is only a couple months away (early bird registration ends soon, so get your tickets if you haven't already!), and I'll be headed out that way. If this will be your first time attending a DrupalCon, be sure to read my First Timer's Guide to DrupalCon from last year.

At this year's DrupalCon, I'm excited to hear about everything going on with Drupal 8, as we're nearing the end of the development cycle, and a release candidate is on the not-too-distant horizon.

After having a baby and shying away from much Drupal contrib/core work, I finally had some time in the past few weeks to get up to speed on many of the Drupal changes that have been committed in the past month or so—and boy are they amazing (CKEditor in core, new node edit form, new responsive layouts, new admin toolbar, config, views, etc.)!

A First Timer's Guide to DrupalCon

Preparing for your first DrupalCon? Even if this isn't your first, here are a few tips and tidbits I've learned from my first DrupalCon last year, and would like to pass on to you. (I'm posting this now so you have time to order the things you need to make your conference experience better and get it shipped!).

Keep things you need handy

I expected to have some downtime every now and then to run back to my hotel room and grab something I needed for later in the day (like a power cord), but quickly realized that I wouldn't have downtime. Instead, I ended up attending many awesomesauce presentations, BoFs (Birds of a Feather gatherings), core conversations, and informal meetings continuously, from the time I got into the convention floors until about 8 p.m. (and later!).

Bring a bag large enough to hold your laptop or iPad, a charger, a few snacks (granola bars are great!), and any other little devices or chargers you'll need during the day.

Power to the People!

Monster Outlets to GoHotels and convention centers have a very low AC outlet / conference attendee ratio. Usually something like 1:100. Most laptops' batteries last 3-5 hours. You're going to have your laptop on and with you all day, and the battery will die if you don't charge up every now and then.

One of the best things you can do, especially if you want people to not hate you for hogging an entire outlet for one laptop charger, is buy a travel power strip, like the one I bought for this year's DrupalCon—Monster's Outlets to Go Powerstrip*. There are a few other options out there, but I like this one the most due to its compactness. Some adapters even include or two USB plugs (though not all are created equal—check to make sure the USB plugs provide enough power to charge your device!).

Instead of hogging a wall jack all to yourself, you can now power one or two of your own devices, and let one or two other people charge their devices.

For non-US residents, be sure you have the proper power adapters for your devices!

Don't only go to sessions

I made the mistake of trying to attend every session that piqued my interest last year. It wasn't until the last day of the conference that I hopped out of a session that had lost my interest and found that I was missing some of the best parts of DrupalCon:

  • Birds of a Feather gatherings (people basically come together and talk about/work through things things they have in common, like newspaper websites, Church sites, or a passion for DevOps!).
  • Core Conversations (people who want to make Drupal and Drupal.org better come together and, well, make Drupal and Drupal.org better).
  • The Expo area (talking to some of the people in Drupal consultancies, or people from hosting providers, or anyone else on the expo floor, is pretty enriching).
  • The community (getting to meet people I converse with every week on drupal.org, in IRC, etc. is awesome).

User-friendly spam prevention for your Drupal site

...such is the title of my session proposal for DrupalCon Denver 2012. I'm aiming the presentation at beginners, but it should be helpful for anyone with a Drupal site that has fought the battle with spammers—and lost.

Preventing form spam chart

Since I've had experience building and maintaining a variety of sites, from small blogs with a few posts a week, to large community sites with hundreds of posts and user accounts created per day, I figured I would try to share some of my experiences and what worked and what didn't. I hope to talk about the importance of keeping your site's user experience (UX) first, while still fighting off spammers, and then speaking about particular use cases and solutions.