This Wednesday (28th October 2015) saw DrupalCambs’ Drupal 8 release session, featuring three talks about the new version of the software. The session was very well attended, with people from a range of technical backgrounds and all levels of Drupal experience present.

First up was our very own Will Hall, who gave a talk about Drupal 8 ‘out-of-the-box’, and all the new features that come as standard with the new version. He gave a brief run through of new goodies such as Inline Form Errors, the inclusion of Views and CKEditor in core, Responsive Images and Breakpoints, Fieldable Blocks, Configuration Management and all the rest of it, with a particular focus on the beenfits these items would bring for site builders.

Next was DrupalCambs co-founder and organizer Jeff Veit, who complemented Will’s UI-based talk with a discussion of the differences in the back-end structure of the Drupal 8 project compared to Drupal 7. Much of the talk was concerned with the use of symfony and composer in building Drupal projects, and the terrific opportunities those projects afford to developers, which we’re really excited about. There was also a live demo of yaml based configuration management in action, which looks like it works really well. It seems that the Drupal community is finally removing any excuses for people not to be using testing, staging and deployment environments for their websites.

Last, but by no means least, were Nathan Lisgo and Rachel Lawson, who gave an enthusiatic joint talk on their experience of contributing to Drupal 8 core, with the aim of encouraging more members of the group to get involved. They both spoke of their pride at being part of the 3,000 or so developers who have been part of building the latest version of Drupal, and shared their positive experiences of contributing at Drupal events such as DrupalCon Amsterdam and Dev Days Montpellier. Together, they did a fantastic job of making people feel more confident about contributing and I expect we’ll be seeing a slew of commits from the Cambridgeshire area soon!

All in all, the event was a really positive night for our local Drupal community; it was good to see the room full of people discussing the merits and challenges of moving to a new Drupal system. Most of the attendees decided that they were going to start trying out Drupal 8 as soon as possible, which is really pleasing. We’re really looking forward to sharing more about Drupal 8 at DrupalCambs and on this blog as we begin building projects on it over the next few months. It’s a really exciting time to be part of the Drupal community right now, that’s for sure.