NEDCamp 2019


New England Drupal Camp returns to Rhode Island College in 2019. "Being human" means to remember that while the digital world is run by robots, it is not built by robots. It is built by people. If we want to build and accomplish great things, we need to keep in mind the human side of the digital world. We need to protect the health, well being, and growth of our teams, our peer, and ourselves. 

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Come learn the basics of Drupal and see why Drupal 8 is helping fuel the growing adoption of Drupal around the globe. We'll first take a brief look at the reasons why Drupal is a good fit for many website needs and then we'll explore what you get out of the box with Drupal 8 core.

Topics will include:

- What to consider when choosing Drupal

- What benefits does Drupal provide

- What Drupal 8 provides out of the box

- What's new in Drupal 8 - layout builder, media, workflow, migration, configuration management, etc.

- Why converting to Drupal 8 now is a good idea


Drupal Freelancer
Drupal project manager and site-builder since 2011. Active in the Drupal Community as an event organizer (Design 4 Drupal, Boston and NEDCamp), sprint organizer, mentor, trainer and volunteer. Over thirty years experience in the tech field as a software developer and project manager.

Winner of 2019 Aaron Winborn Award. This annual award recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community

Recently elected to the Drupal Association Board of Directors
If you're anything like me you've avoided using Apache Solr for your search needs. Who has time to learn another technology, written in another programming language? And using the built-in database search with the Search API module works just fine, right?

In this session we'll go through the basics of setting up a Solr server, connecting it to Drupal, and using it to return search results. All inside of an hour!

We'll discover together that running a Solr instance isn't as daunting as it may seem, and we'll look at the benefits of what using Solr for search can do for your website.

Senior Drupal Development Engineer
As a Chief Marketing Officer and digital marketing veteran, I'm heavily invested in the success of my company's website. Corporate websites represent a significant portion of the marketing budget, both in terms of time and money, and are often the key growth driver.

In this session, I will outline the top 5 objectives that a B2B website must achieve to generate business value. I will detail how an optimized website will attract the target audience, personalize their experience, engage and nurture them over time, and convert them into qualified sales leads. I will share my personal experience in working with a number of digital marketing agencies and in-house development teams to drive measurable revenue growth.


Chief Marketing Officer
Elizabeth Clor has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. She's currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Contegix, where she is responsible for driving awareness and growth. Prior to Contegix, Elizabeth held marketing leadership roles for several B2B technology companies including MicroStrategy, Clarabridge and Opower/Oracle. She has a passion for driving digital engagement by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
CSS is global by nature. Given the name, style sheets are intended to cascade and a single CSS rule could apply to multiple elements on your site. This is a powerful feature of CSS that can allow you to create consistent styling throughout your site with small amounts of code. But increasingly there are cases where front end developers want to instead scope their styles to a specific component and ensure that component styles are consistent and don’t impact other areas of the site.

This session will provide an overview of the various approaches to scoping CSS, both when using CSS alone, and when using CSS combined with JavaScript.

Starting from the perspective of CSS only approaches we’ll look at:

A brief review of CSS Inheritance and the Cascade

Scoping with BEM and other naming methodologies

Atomic or Functional CSS

Next we’ll examine the various scoping approaches when using CSS in JavaScript, including:

Scoped styles using CSS Modules

React CSS in JS libraries including Styled Components and Emotion

Component styling in Angular and Vue

Finally, we’ll wrap up by looking at a few ways that global and scoped CSS can be used together effectively.

Approaches to using both global and scoped CSS when using CSS in JavaScript.

Ways to share styles between ’traditional’ styling and CSS in JS approaches.



Lead Front End Developer
Brian is a versatile developer with experience building complex, interactive web applications in support of large-scale localized sites. Recently he has focused his efforts on evolving Drupal front-end development practices, decoupled Drupal, and style guide development techniques and has spoken on the topic at various Drupal events. Brian is a Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 Acquia Certified Grand Master and loves all things Nintendo.
Networking with other professionals is an important part of everyone’s career as it allow for creating mutually beneficial and meaningful professional connections. But, it can be overwhelming to attend a conference, prospective client meeting or a public event and try to connect with others. The ability to network successfully seems to be a dark art that a handful of people know or an inherent skill that only certain types of people possess.

Like anything else, networking with other professionals is a skill anyone can learn. It is an act that can be broken down into a series of repeatable steps that can be learned and followed by anyone and everyone. This presentation breaks down the act of professional networking into a series of simple steps and practices. Using the speakers personal experiences as case studies, attendees will learn how to follow these steps and practices to build and grow their own professional networks.


VP of Technology
I have been working with Drupal since 2008. I have done everything from theming, module development, to full on project architecture. I am active in the Drupal community and I submit modules, patches, organize sprints, speak at conferences/camps and help run the Boston Drupal meetup. I am an "Acquia Grand Master" and in 2014 was named an Acquia MVP for the Drupal work I had done.

I am the V.P. of Technology for the Digital Agency Genuine headquartered in Boston. I am also the host of the podcast Developing Up (, where we talk about the non-technical side of being a developer (such as how to work on a team).

You can find me on at mikemiles86, Twitter at mikemiles86 and my personal blog
Everyone has heard about Drupal 8's new media management features, but not everyone understands how to use them. This session will explain everything you need to know about the media system in Drupal 8.

I'll explain what media types are and how to create them, and how to use them to build and manage a media library. I'll show you how to use the kick-ass Media Library module to give your users a great media handling experience. And I'll clear up some of the more confusing aspects of the wider module ecosystem for media management. You can trust me; I'm one of the system's maintainers. And I'm here to dispel your confusion and answer your questions.

This session is appropriate for beginner to intermediate Drupal 8 site builders and developers. I'll assume a solid understanding of things like content types and fields.

If there's extra time and interest, I'll also give a brief bonus overview of how developers can extend the media system. (This will be more under-the-hood and technical, and will assume knowledge of PHP and Drupal's plugin system.)


Senior Software Engineer
Gatsby JS is a static site generator that pairs particularly well with Drupal 8.

In this session, we will review the shared landscape between Gatsby + Drupal in order to better understand:

What Gatsby is and the benefits that it provides
What you loose coming from a traditional Drupal application, and how you can fill those gaps
Where it does (and doesn't) make sense to employ a blended architecture between Gatsby & Drupal
This talk is designed to be accessible to a beginner audience. However, it does assume some familiarity with Drupal.


Senior Technical Solutions Manager
Our industry has been exploding! This has been amazing for growth and financial advancement of the industry, but comes with a huge negative cost to the workforce.

When business demands (constantly) exceed capacity, strong leadership must be present to prioritize initiatives to mitigate downstream impacts. Unfortunately, important services for the workforce tend to be the first to go, widening the gap for developing future leaders and technical SME.

Currently, our technological advancement is outpacing our ability to develop the current technical workforce, creating more constraints and disparity among the engineering communities. How can we help to solve this critical issue and maintain the control over our own development and career advancement?

We must EMPOWER every engineer with the information and knowledge to create, implement and execute their own PDP.

This is why I want to drive home the message that everyone is responsible for THEIR own professional development.

My talk will cover:

What is a professional development plan (PDP)?
When do you need a PDP?
How do you start a PDP?
Why is a PDP so important?
Who needs to be involved?
Professional planning is a journey. The more individuals learn, the more aware they become of what is valuable to them. This is why it is extremely important to emphasize the value that comes from going through the process.


Managing Director
How can a group of thousands of people talk about and decide anything? How's this 'community' concept supposed to work, even in theory?

Any Free/Libre Open Source Software project will have elements of do-ocracy (rule of those who do the work) but not all decisions should devolve to implementors. Rather, a basic principle is that decisions should be made by the people who are most affected.

Particularly when a decision strongly affects more than those who carry it out, therefore, we need better ways of making decisions that give everyone their say. This starts by letting people by heard by everyone else. Fortunately, we can scale conversations and decisions in a fair and truly democratic way.

Learn why meritocracy ("rule of those with merit") is a bogus and harmful concept.
Gain a passing familiarity with various ways decisions are or have been made in Drupal and other projects.
Add sociocracy and sortition to your vocabulary and understand how these esoteric concepts can help our community scale.
The most important things we have to do need to be done together. And our work together is most powerful when we make decisions about it together.


Worker-Owner / Developer / Bottle washer
As digital strategists we focus on tailoring web experiences to targeted user groups. We should be applying those same same personalization tenets to our client relationships.

Let's focus on how you can better understand your audience (clients) and their needs and how that knowledge can lead to more effective communications, stronger client relationships, and ultimately more business.

Ellen Diamond has been working in client management for over 15 years - both in the world of web design and higher-ed fundraising. Ellen regularly leads strategic sessions with Oomph's clients and mentors Oomph's project management team on how to be more personally-oriented in their client communications. And to back up her expertise - she's the two-time recipient of Oomph's Personal award.


Oomph Inc
Account Director
In Drupal 8, we use the core Migrate API for

Upgrading Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 sites
Migrating sites from other systems to Drupal
Recurring imports from external systems (feeds)
It is a robust, flexible tool.

Drupal works best with structured data, and the Migrate API supports this: file attachments, related taxonomy terms, references to authors or other nodes, and so on. Along with the structured data, we also have to deal with blocks of text, and these blocks often contain HTML markup.

Until now, the Migrate API has supported basic processing of text fields using regular expressions. The speakers contributed some plugins to the Migrate Plus module to support proper HTML parsing. This is easier to use and more reliable than using regular expressions.

We originally wrote these plugins while working for Isovera on a project for Pega Systems. Both Isovera and Pega have supported sharing these plugins with the Drupal community. We hope other developers will use them and give back some of their own plugins that use the same approach.

In this session you will

Get an introduction to the new DOM-based plugins in Migrate Plus
Learn how to use the new plugins in your own migrations. (Demo time!)
See how to extend the framework with your own custom plugins


Senior Developer
The John Carter Brown Library (JCB) at Brown University has one of the world's most impressive and extensive collections of manuscripts, maps, and books of early Americana, covering North and South America from Pre-Columbian times to 1825. But its treasures appeared to be locked behind the 20-foot steel doors of a building with few windows and an imposing edifice. New leadership at the Library sought not only to open up access to its collections for remote scholars but also to demonstrate for broader audiences how these primary sources detailing the process of colonization and lost languages and cultures have tremendous relevance for today’s world. With a rich set of material to present online, the JCB needed a sophisticated and flexible content strategy that satisfied the needs of academics and curious browsers alike.

This case study will cover how JCB and its partner Message Agency helped the Library reimagine its web presence as it also sought a rebrand—from the development of detailed personas and user journeys to identify the needs of current and aspirational audiences to constructing online exhibition-building tools and thematic browsing experiences using some of the latest Drupal 8 modules.


Message Agency
Founder and Principal
John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
Assistant Director for Academic Programming and Fellowships
There's been a lot of discussion abut CSS-in-JS and all the benefits it gives. It might have its place in Javascript applications, but what if you want to reuse your CSS across multiple websites? I'll talk about why plain old CSS and preprocessors are still relevant and why you'd still want to use them on your project.

In this talk, I'll go over:

Why CSS-in-JS isn't the answer for every scenario
A basic introduction to BEM and how to use it in your design system or website
Why preprocessors such as Sass still have a place in the front-end development world
What makes the 'cascade' in Cascading Style Sheets so useful
You will come away from this session knowing why CSS and preprocessors are still relevant today and how you can implement more modern CSS practices to your design system or website.

This session assumes a basic knowledge of CSS and basic understanding of modern front-end development practices.


Senior Front-End Developer
The digital workplace can be filled with static. Emails, Slack messages, project management systems, notifications, meetings, training opportunities, and that “one more thing” or “last minute need” that throws your plan for the day off. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that our time matters too.

Together we’re going to talk about the value each of us brings as professionals, regardless if you’re been in this a while or not. We’re going to talk about the challenges surrounding things such as focus, balance, and expectation setting. We’ll talk about the most common things I’ve seen and then we’ll open this up for discussion and learn a bit from each other.

It’s like flight attendants always say - we need to put on our airbags first or we’ll pass out before we can help those around us. In a community filled with people pleasers we need to remember to take care of ourselves. Come to the session and learn to breath a bit more.


Kanopi Studios
Support Client Lead
I am a muse.

People would often read stories as children and see the muses as the artistic beauties that were the daughters of a god, inspiring their marks with magic. Me, I see them as creative strategists whose mission is to empower the people around them.

Connecting with people, digitally or otherwise, means growth, evolution, and ultimately success. Over the years I’ve learned the value of a conversation, writing, the importance of building rapport and connection, while establishing a common vocabulary. It sounds basic, almost trivial, but those simple lessons are the cornerstone of my approach. Accessibility can be hard to relate to, but being human is not.
Did you know that around 1 in 68 people are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder? People with autism and Asperger's are becoming a growing part of civilization, and a growing part of the tech workforce, yet in spite of their high intelligence and remarkable creativity and passion, they often go unemployed and underemployed within our society.

This presentation will attempt to debunk myths around autism and present autistic strengths and challenges, while also sharing why we believe it is important for Drupal firms and other employers to start considering accommodating potential employees with autism spectrum disorders.

The presentation would cover the following topics/issues:

1. Debunking the Myths surrounding the Autism diagnosis, which would include providing information about this diagnosis and how it might present in the workplace or in general, which would include providing statistics as to the percentage of autistic individuals who are in the tech field and what tech employers, including Microsoft, are offering them.

2. Covering the challenges and strengths of an individual on the spectrum and how his or her participation in the tech workforce could be a very good fit for this individual and the tech employer.

3. How does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) impact the tech employer when it is considering employing an individual who is on the Autism Spectrum.

What are some examples of reasonable accommodations that an employer should legally offer an employee or potential employee with autism under the ADA?

What are potential modifications to the workplace that the individual with autism wants an employer to offer even if the employer is not legally required to do so under the ADA.


Lynne Knox, JD. As a retired Administrative Law Judge who headed the Employment Security Division of the Connecticut Labor Department, Attorney Knox specialized in labor law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. She is also the mother of her co-presenter, Morgan Giosa, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and is a Drupal web developer.

Morgan Giosa. Morgan has studied extensively with Dr. Mark A. Friedman, who is a Drupal specialist who taught at both Trinity College and Central Connecticut State University. Morgan has also been employed as subcontractor for Redfin Solutions and has developed websites independently for his clients, including Andres Forero, who is currently drumming in the Broadway musical, Hamilton. He is also an accomplished blues guitarist and visual artist.


Connecticut Department of Labor (Retired)
Retired Administrative Law Judge
Tempera Solutions (
Morgan Giosa has studied Drupal web development and computer science extensively with Dr. Mark A. Friedman, a Drupal specialist who taught at both Trinity College and Central Connecticut State University. Morgan has also been employed as subcontractor for Redfin Solutions and has developed websites independently for his clients, including Andres Forero, who is currently drumming in the Broadway musical, Hamilton. He is also an accomplished blues guitarist and visual artist, who has recorded and released an album of original music with his band, the Fake News Blues Band, and has been leading an ongoing concert series at the Windsor Art Center in his hometown of Windsor, CT. He produced and created an autobiographical documentary film, "Outside the Box", which has been screened in New Haven International Film Festival and Mystic Film Festival in 2019.

For more information on Morgan or to see his work, please visit the following websites: (partial Drupal portfolio) (visual art/music/personal website) (band/music) (autobiographical documentary)
This is the session to attend if you are considering developing a Gatsby website using Drupal as a backend content source. We will cover static-site generation with Gatsby, compare and contrast different content sources (or backends), and even show a demo of live content preview capabilities between Gatsby & Drupal.

This session is intended for beginners looking for a high level overview of the design/development process. We will live demo a working Gatsby / Drupal site while providing an overview of:

How to structure your data and fields on your Drupal website
How to pull content into Gatsby from your Drupal website using GraphQL
How to design and structure dynamic pages and lists of pages in Gatsby
How content changes can be live previewed using Gatsby Cloud
Having some basic knowledge of Javascript / React will help when looking over code examples, but is not required.


Third & Grove
Senior Developer
Accessibility is a challenge that we can all rise to with the right perspective and drive. I’ve been interested and involved in accessibility for 3 years and have much to share to help anyone else understand this unique but important approach.

In this presentation, you will get:

A brief overview behind the “who” and “why” of accessibility
Information on testing and tooling, both automated and manual
Drupal specific modules and gotchas
Accessibility examples you can start thinking about and fixing now
This session is appropriate for any beginner to intermediate person working on the web, this can be developers, site builders, themers, and project managers. I might reference basic Drupal functionality and popular contributed modules, but this shouldn’t hinder anyone from joining this presentation.

For Accessibility 101 information, check out this webinar I co-presented with my co-worker J. Hogue


Oomph, Inc.
Senior UX Engineer
Hi everyone, I’m Kathy Beck and I’m a Senior UX Engineer at Oomph, Inc.. I’ve been working in Drupal for over 10 years now! As a UX Engineer, I’m usually site building and theming Drupal 8 projects. For the past couple years, I’ve been digging into all things accessibility.
Layout Builder is the new page building tool that was just made stable in Drupal 8.7. It provides content editors with a modern page building experience using components that are superior to other page building tools like Paragraphs. In this session, we're going to look under the hood on how Layout Builder works, how to customize it for your requirements, and how to elevate the experience of Layout Builder for a content editor.

Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

The Drupal Plugin API
Defining layout plugins
Define a Layout in a YAML file
Define a Layout in a PHP class
Defining block Plugins
Filtering blocks in Layout Builder
Overriding user interface functionality for Layout Builder
Code sample:


General Assembly
Senior Software Engineer
The TL;DR is that sketching is a fast way to communicate intentions clearly, iteratively, and collaboratively, and is crucial in our lean discovery and UX processes. Let me show you what works for me.

From Moleskines to Post-its to digital tablets, I sketched and doodled my way through design school and my previous career as an Art Director. Thankfully, this practice is just as relevant for me now, as a UX Designer working on large-scale Drupal websites (as well as within other project roles you might not expect).

I'll present ways you too can sketch your way to a successful launch. Harness your innate ability to ask your project team "do you mean this?" and to align everyone around a quick doodle. Communicate functionality and jumpstart development without all the pixel polishing.

In this talk, I will walk through several sketch-based artifacts and activities we use at Lullabot, sharing examples from recent content strategy & user experience projects. This will include sketching remotely, on-site workshop activities, and digitally iterating from either.

This session is good for:

Interactive Designers
Project Managers & Product Owners
Anybody interested in communicating complex ideas visually
Note: While the session will provide some intermediate information, beginners are super-duper welcome and will also find value!
Leave with some clear action items, tool recommendations, and ideas for how to incorporate sketching into your process… and hopefully also some doodles in your camp notes.


Senior UX Designer
Marissa Epstein is a Senior User Experience Designer. In a former life, she was a student of psychology, a packaging designer, and an Art Director. Today, Marissa solves complex UX problems alongside the Lullabot team, bringing her passion for users and her OCD-level organization skills to usability research, responsive design, information architecture, web project management, and more.

Marissa currently resides in a Cape Cod in Providence, RI with her huge dog, Elwood, and an also-embarassingly-large vinyl toy collection. When not behind her desk, she can often be found at concerts, design events, and reading non-fiction.
Variable fonts are a transformative evolution of type design that has huge performance and design implications for the web. When coupled with CSS custom properties and calculations, they make for a completely new way to think about typography and UX. This talk will show how these can be combined in a unique way to enable far more expressive layouts and dynamic scaling typography that reacts to screen size and other aspects of user context (light/dark modes for example). It’s a perfect complement for better design systems and accessibility, too. We'll also look at the latest developments in variable fonts including the new Google Fonts API that will serve them.


Web Typographer
Jason spends much of his time working with clients to establish their typographic systems and digital strategy, helping design and development teams works smarter and faster, and running workshops about all of the above. He is a seasoned design and user experience strategy leader with over 20 years’ experience on the web in both creative and technical roles. Clients range from type industry giants, Ivy League and High Tech, to the NFL and America’s Cup. He also researches and writes on typography for the web: he’s author of Responsive Typography from O’Reilly, articles for .Net Magazine, PRINT Magazine, HOW,, and frequent podcast guest. Author of online courses for Aquent’s Gymnasium platform and Frontend Masters. He’s an experienced speaker and workshop leader, having presented at over 50 national and international conferences. The real story: mainly he just follows Tristan and Tillie around Turner Reservoir, posting photos on Instagram.
Long term success in the digital world requires a careful balance between project needs, organizational goals and employee health. Join our keynote panelists; Dori Kelner, Matt Westgate and J.D. Flynn as they answer questions focused on the intersections of self care, caring for employees and caring for the work. They will be sharing their thoughts and expertise on how to keep these balanced to make sure everyone has what they need to be successful.


Dori Kelner
Insightful Culture

Matt Westgate

JD Flynn
Drupal Technical Architect


Michael Miles
VP of Technology
The Tome module enables you to create a static website from Drupal. Static websites run fast and have low-security risks. You use Drupal admin to maintain content and Drupal templating to control the layout. Tome then outputs the entire website to static files. No headless, no JS tools, just Drupal. In this session we will cover:

How Tome works
How to setup Tome
Using companion modules TomeSync and Time Netlify
When a static website is and is not appropriate
How to deal with limitations of a static website


Stephen co-founded Parallax Information Technology 1996 and has been working with Drupal for ten years and building websites for more than twenty. He is currently working on Drupal projects with the Department of Justice. He is also the host of Talking Drupal.
We are told that we need to take a vacation, buy something nice, or achieve work/life balance. But those actions do not get to the source of burnout. Within days, stress returns as fierce as ever. Without addressing the causes of habitual stress, we will never experience the wholeness of our lives.

A majority of US adults suffer from on-the-job burnout. This leads to serious physical and psychological illness, low productivity, declining motivation, rising turnover rates, and increasing healthcare costs. In May of 2019, the World Health Organization recognized burnout as a mental health syndrome related to work.

The growing public health crisis that is stress can be understood from a scientific perspective. Join a trained mindfulness teacher, with a many decades long IT career, as we address how companies can tap into their ability to adjust organizational culture to care for those for whom we are responsible. We will discuss the concept of mindfulness, and how it works to reduce stress, leaving us empowered, productive, and fulfilled.

This session was presented at Drupal GovCon and Baltimore DrupalCamp.


Insightful Culture
Dori Kelner has a unique perspective on the tech industry, working as a woman in tech for many decades, as well as living the entrepreneurial lifestyle. She has served for over 15 years as Managing Partner of Sleight-of-Hand Studios, a Drupal agency in the Washington, DC area, assisting her clients in creating solid strategic visions for their web presence.

Dori also owns Insightful Culture, a firm committed to assisting companies and individuals to find a mindfulness approach to managing stress. Dori identifies corporate culture issues that lead to stress in the workplace, customizing programs and workshops to alleviate burnout. She is a certified yoga teacher and is studying at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University School of Public Health.

Dori holds an AB from Cornell University and an MS in information management from University of Maryland University College. She serves on the planning teams for, and has spoken at, DrupalCon and Drupal GovCon. She is also active in NTEN, ASAE, and the Cornell Alumni Association. In her spare time, Dori loves to cook and play golf and is a certified wine educator.
In 2005 I made the switch from Windows to Mac as my primary desktop working environment. Thirteen years later I made a similar switch to Linux. And eighteen months after the switch, this Apple 'fan boy' is not looking back.

For a full stack Drupal developer, a Linux development environment makes sense. In this session, I will share the reasons why I switched to Linux, how it has impacted my day-to-day tasks, the ease and pain points of the switch. We will cover:

Reasons to switch to Linux
The easy way and the hard way
Choosing a distribution
Transition plan
Software compatibility and alternatives
Breaking away from the Apple ecosystem or not
One year after the switch and moving forward


Stephen co-founded Parallax Information Technology 1996 and has been working with Drupal for ten years and building websites for more than twenty. He is currently working on Drupal projects with the Department of Justice. He is also the host of Talking Drupal.
This presentation will explore how site owners, site builders, designers, and developers can leverage the Webform module for Drupal 8 to build complex and robust forms for their end-users.

Topics include…

Why site owners should use the Webform module?
How site builders can build complex and maintainable forms?
How designers can build visually appealing forms with engaging user experiences?
How developers can customize forms and handle submission data?


The Big Blue House
Drupal Software Architect

Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert.