Design Your Agenda for DrupalCon North America 2021

  • 9 minute read

DrupalCon is an exciting time. Lots of talks, lots of sessions and topics to attend. However making sure you see everything and anything you want can be stressful as well. So what should you attend to make the most of this DrupalCon experience? 

Fear not, I am back to give you some of the highlights of an amazing week packed with talks, learnings, surprises and more. 

And with the quantity and high quality of the sessions this year, no matter your interests, be assured, there is a session for you.

DrupalCon Keynote(s)

 In the keynote arena, DrupalCon says the more the merrier. This year won’t just have a single main keynote, but up to 6 (yes, 6!) keynotes between keynote initiatives, where you'll learn what has been going on in the latest months of Drupal development.

Each day of DrupalCon Initiative Day is devoted to a specific major Drupal effort. The four Initiative Days are:

  • Decoupled Menus Day: Tuesday, April 13
  • Easy Out of the Box Day: Wednesday, April 14
  • Automated Updates Day: Thursday, April 15
  • Drupal 10 Readiness Day: Friday, April 16

The opening keynote, Unlocking The Power of Diversity by Sheree Atcheson will talk about Intersectional allyship and the ongoing efforts to create inclusive environments in the tech community. Sheree is a Global Diversity & Inclusion Senior Exec and is an international multi-award winner for her services to Diversity & Inclusion in industry. 

And of course, Wednesday will have  the traditional Driesnote by Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, which needs no introduction at all. This year’s Driesnote is happening  Wednesday, April 14 - 16:30 to 17:50 UTC and will focus on the future Drupal roadmap. 

Drupal 10 Readiness

Drupal 10 is coming fast, and although we already know that the big deal about the next Drupal versions is that “there is no big deal,” there’s still quite a big deal of improvements and innovations. On Friday, April 16, DrupalCon’s main initiative focus is all about how to prepare for the upcoming Drupal 10 release. Here’s a few sessions I recommend checking out.  

Drupal 10 survival manual for developer, agency and clients - Friday, April 16 - 15:35 to 16:05 UTC

Drupal 10 readiness initiative keynote - Friday, April 16 - 15:00 to 15:30 UTC 

Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative Keynote Q&A - Friday, April 16 - 15:35 to 16:05 UTC

Drupal 10: Modernizing Core JavaScript and removing jQuery - Friday, April 16 - 16:15-17:00 UTC  

Decoupled Drupal 

Decoupled Drupal continues to be a hot topic years after it was first introduced. Proof of that is the amount of talks about the subject, from initiatives to real case examples or integration with pretty much every front end framework you can think of. 

An Iterative Approach To Decoupling Your Existing Drupal Site With Gatsby - Tuesday, April 13 - 15:35 to 16:05 UTC 

JSON:API 101: UNDERSTANDING JSON:API IN DRUPAL - Tuesday, April 13 - 16:15 to 16:45 UTC

 Decoupled horizons: Drupal's next decade - Tuesday, April 13 - 16:15 to 16:45 UTC

How Drupal can be decoupled CMS that marketer will love too - Monday, April 12 - 17:05 to 17:20 UTC

An Iterative Approach To Decoupling Your Existing Drupal Site With Gatsby - Tuesday, April 13 - 15:35 to 16:05 UTC 

Getting started with the Lupus Nuxt.js Drupal stack - Tuesday, April 13 - 16:55 to 17:10 UTC 

Decoupled Translations with Drupal and Gatsby - Tuesday, April 13 - 17:20 to 17:50 UTC 

And, of course, the Decoupled Menus Initiative Keynote! Don't miss the talk on Tuesday and the QA session after that:

Diversity and Inclusion  

Accessibility, diversity and equality are all essential parts of making the Drupal community work. That’s why DrupalCon is committed to promoting diverse voices and ensuring that Drupal events are a safe space for all. To learn more about the progress being made, check out these sessions focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Building Successful Mentorships for People of Color in Tech - Tuesday, April 13 - 16:15 to 16:45 UTC

Beyond COVID: Drupal Virtual Event Platform That Makes Sense - Friday, April 16 - 16:15 to 16:45 UTC

Leadership and Teamwork

 It’s been a difficult few months since the start of the pandemic, and we’ve all had to reinvent ourselves, be our learning to work more effectively from home or improve our leadership skills. These sessions are designed to show you how to lead and manage a great team and drive stronger, better open source innovation. 

 Leading with authenticity in open source - Friday, April 16 - 16:15 to 16:45 UTC

Recruit, retain, and grow: How to build a great Drupal team- Monday, April 12 - 16:45 to 17:00 UTC

100% Remote: Tips for Managing a Fully-Distributed Workforce - Monday, April 12 - 18:10 to 18:25 UTC

 Drupal Modernisation and Front-End Development

Drupal was a pioneer introducing jQuery but ping was that time and long have happened since. I’m very curious about what is coming next for Drupal on all front end front lines from CSS to JavaScript to everything in between. 

Modernizing default Drupal Core markup and CSS - Friday, April 16 - 16:55 to 17:10 UTC

Drupal 10: Modernizing Core JavaScript and removing jQuery - Friday, April 16 - 16:15 to 17:00 UTC

Dissecting Tailwind: A design tokens tale - Monday, April 12 - 17:30 to 18:00 UTC


If I have to choose a topic that I personally think it’s going to revolutionise our industry, personalisation is a front runner. See how you can build personalised experiences in Drupal from these expert speakers. 

Open Personalization with Apache Unomi & Mautic workshop - Friday, April 16 - 17:20 to 18:20 UTC

Increase conversions through personalization & automation - Tuesday, April 13 - 18:20 to 18:35 UTC


 What is a site with a proper search? Drupal goes way beyond search basics and allows you to build extremely powerful search experiences. And if you’re looking for proof, check out the amazing amount of sessions on this topic.

Manually Curated Solr Search Results - Tuesday, April 13 - 18:45 to 19:00 UTC 

Improving Search Experience in Drupal: The Painless Way - Wednesday, April 14 - 18:40 to 18:55 UTC 

Building Google-Like Site Search - Friday, April 16 - 16:45 to 16:55 UTC

Migrating a 20-Year-Old Perl Application to Drupal - Friday, April 16 - 16:40 to 17:10 UTC

Real-World Examples of Drupal Success

 We can’t leave DrupalCon without seeing real live cases of people using Drupal to build amazing experiences. Who doesn’t love a story or a demo? And believe me, we have a few.

Enabling The Customer-Connected Experience with Webster Bank - Thursday, April 15 - 17:20 to 17:50 UTC

 Building decoupled informational web for the Czech government - Tuesday, April 13 - 17:20 to 17:50 UTC

Case Study: Rehabilitating Broken Drupal Users - Tuesday, April 13 - 16:15-17:25 UTC

Archipelago Digital Object Repository architecture to last - Tuesday, April 13 - 18:20 to 18:50 UTC

Need even more inspiration for what to do at DrupalCon 2021?  Stop by Acquia’s booth for Lightning Talks, Trivia and exclusive activities!