code sprint thoughts

I spent Friday morning/midday at the Mentored Core Sprint. It was a weird mix of extra-hand-holding and being thrown in the deep end, at least for me. I had 99% of my environment set before I got there or in the first 10 minutes: I already have a Git client (yay Tower!), and since I was up at 5:15 am AGAIN that morning, I went ahead & installed MAMP, then installed Drupal 8, so when I got to the sprint (early, see also 5:15 am) all I had to do was clone the main Drupal repo in Tower, install Chatzilla, and rediscover that my nickname was already registered. (Thankfully using an old default password.) I couldn’t get xdebug working, but got told that wasn’t strictly necessary.

But then…I don’t anything about applying patches. I don’t have object-oriented programming experience. I do some PHP, and I can usually work my way through it, but I’ve realized that in the Drupal parlance I’m a site builder, not so much a developer. And I was in a giant conference room with probably hundreds of other people, and really really really nervous about doing something wrong.

What I probably should’ve done was find the documentation team and offer my wordsmithing skills.

What I actually did wasn’t too bad, though. I found a bug in Views tagged “novice” that actually just needed someone to see if a bug was still a bug. So I walked through the steps — which also meant creating a new content type and fields in Drupal 8, and getting the hang of a few different parts of Views that I haven’t used much — determined that the thing seemed to work as intended, and posted some screenshots to the issue. I’m pretty proud of that, TBH. It was an environment that managed to simultaneously trip both my “student ahead of the class” thing and my “fake programmer” anxiety. And yet I did a thing, on what was marked as a Major bug.

After all that, and a little lunch, I was all the brain fry (did I mention 5:15 am?), so I did a little work-related stuff. But before I took off, I went to one of the organizers to say thank you. Because whatever was not quite right for me, it was pretty amazing that all of this was happening. She asked what I’d done, and I explained it, and she wanted me to get up and say something. Which OMG NOPE. Still, she gave me a couple of stickers, which ok, I’ll take that.

With that, me and my luggage were off away from DrupalCon. It was a good week. I feel like I managed to balance on-time and downtime, meeting people, catching up with people, seeing a few sights, and knowing where my boundaries were. I only went to two parties, and that was PLENTY. (It’s kind of reminding me of some SxSW experiences, and I feel ambivalent about that. I really wish there had been a game night or something. If I go again in the future, I WILL organize one this time.) I learned a bunch, and also created a bunch of mental bookmarks: things I need to come back to and explore in more depth on my own.