Drupal Camp Lahore was held on 3rd May, 2014
Drupal is fun and arranging Drupal Camps is no less. Drupak along with its team and partners upon numerous requests from developers in Lahore arranged Drupal Camp in Lahore , Pakistan on May 3rd 2014 at Information Technology University ,Arfa Technology Park. Drupal Camp Lahore was long in sight for us, but when Muhammad Qandeel Aslam , an avid and experienced Drupaler from Pakistan, and our to be Keynote speaker for the Camp contacted us for some Drupal Community Gathering, we thought it was the right time for the event to be organized and from the same moment, search for the venue started. It is always tough to get the venue in this part of the World , and that too for Drupal , still an alien among many. Drupak contacted Information Technology University , Punjab situated at Arfa Technology Park in Lahore , a state of the art building named after the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional Arfa Karim.Arfa Technology Park is home to the country’s top level IT firms . Sami Khan and Haseeb Virk from Information Technology University were the guys behind arranging this Drupal Camp at ITU.We the Drupal Community in Pakistan are extremely thankful to them and their Vice Chancellor, Dr Umer Saif.
DRUPAK is stationed in Peshawar, a city 450 miles away from Lahore. Drupak’s team consisting of CEO S M Azmat Shah,Naveed Khan, Sadam Hussain, Salman Haider Khan, Sajid Afridi and Yasir Khattak reached Lahore two days prior to the event . Thanks to sponsorships from YASGLOBAL,MUGALTECH and Community Cultivation from Grant from Drupal Association that we were able to bear some of the expenses of the event. Our excitement grew when we visited the venue a day before the event. Wow, what a peculiar place it is. The way Arfa Technology Park has been setup for IT companies and trainings is exceptional. We had long meetings with Sami Khan, who was kind enough to be with us for most of the day in preparation for the event. Thank you Sami Khan
On the 3RD May, 2014, the Camp day arrived finally. After having slept very late at night preparing different things for the event,Fear of getting up late on the Camp day let me sleep only just a little. CEO YASGLOBAL, Yasir Ahmed Siddique –our Silver sponsors for the camp, had flown from Pakistan’s Largest City Karachi,some 1100 KMs away from Lahore, and he was staying just next to our rooms in hotel. He had arrived on the eve of the camp and was backing all of our team, spurring us on and narrating us his DrupalCon visit stories. It was great fun and a source of joy and inspiration having him just alongside us. Thank you Yasir Ahmed.
Our team and Yasir Ahmed had an early breakfast and we set for the venue. Camp had to begin at 10:00 AM and we were there by 9:45 AM. Our keynote speaker Muhammad Qandeel Aslam , who had to come for the event from Islamabad, was already there at the venue waiting for us. He had to set for Lahore at 5 30 AM and reached there by 9 30 AM. This is what we love in Drupal Community, so much commitment and interest to join other Drupalers and share knowledge and experiences.
After some wait for seats to get filled , Qandeel Aslam began his Keynote Session titled WHY DRUPAL? Qandeel began his session by asking the audience of their background and experience, and it was astonishing to know, that most of them were from Wordpress and PHP background, but not Drupal and they had come to know about Drupal. When you have Wordpress Developers in the audience, another great platform to build websites, there are always questions embarked on the speaker and Qandeel is experienced enough to answer them gracefully every time a question was asked. Qandeel has international experience working in Drupal and has worked for World Bank and some very high traffic websites and every question he was answering had a series of proofs backing it. He demonstrated one of his gigantic Drupal websites, in which more than 400 fields have been used, and is live and gathering user submitted data. Audience couldn’t stop themselves clapping, when that website was demoed. Qandeel showed the audience all the good things associated with Drupal and Drupal, the beautiful was revealed to them. Thank you Qandeel for such a great opening session in a Drupal Camp setting the day for us.
Like always in Drupal Camps I am attending, I present the Hello Drupal Session. It was a Marathon session of two and a half hours. Starting from all the basic concepts in Drupal, I moved on to all the powerful modules in Drupal like views and panels etc. Audience was glued to the session for they were experiencing something very strange and amazing they had not seen before in their programming careers. Hello Drupal session is very important especially for those who have never experienced Drupal before and for understanding the more complex in nature sessions normally scheduled for later in the day. The Drupal Speak as they say was introduced to them as well as all the key inner workings of Drupal were discussed. During the session, one of the presenters of the day and Drupal 8 core contributor and author of some Drupal 7 modules like User Reference URL Widget , Views Vertical Tabs Style Plugin, Views Fieldset style plugin Jibran Ijaz https://drupal.org/user/1198144 had arrived too.
The participants had lunch after the Hello World Session. Attendees had time to commingle with the Drupal Gurus of the country and discuss all the technical and many other aspects of Drupal.
First session after the Lunch was that of Jibran’s on Drupal 8.To be precise the topic of his session was What’s new in Drupal 8? Who else could know better on Drupal 8 than Jibran himself, who is contributing into the core of the next Great version of Drupal , i.e Drupal 8. If Drupal 8 was an alien to many in the CAMP, it was not so after his presentation. His knowledge of Drupal was exemplary depicting the degree of Love he has for Drupal. No wonder why Drupal Association has funded him for Drupal Camp Austin. Audience was bombarding a series of questions upon him and they were being answered with extreme details by the Drupal Guru.
Jibran’s session was followed by the Views Primer session by Shakeel Tariq, the soft spoken and experienced Drupaler from the host city Lahore. Who can deny importance of VIEWS in Drupal’s paradigm and Shakeel Tariq was up to explaining all the nitty-gritty things of VIEWS. After all the basics of views ,Shakeel gave a practical demo of creating a colorbox based photo gallery in Drupal.Newbies to Drupal always ask about photo gallery modules in Drupal, but they had an answer for this question after Shakeel’s Session.Thank you Shakeel for such a crispy session on views.
I again had a session on Panels in Drupal.During the session , Multilinugal related questions were also raised by the audience and they were answered jointly by me and Shakeel Tariq who demonstrated one the latest Urdu websites he has developed in Drupal.