A Developer's Guide to Acquia Engage

  • 9 minute read

Every year, the Acquia Engage team brings together a wide variety of experiences -- from customers, from partners and from Acquia’s best and brightest. That’s what makes this conference -- taking place this year in New Orleans from November 11 through November 14 -- so valuable. 

The good news: the 2019 edition has more developer experiences on tap than ever before. Developers not only have their own track, BUILD, but there’s even more developers content sprinkled throughout the conference: particularly in the Focus ON track, and in the post-Engage workshops.  

Check out the Acquia Engage 2019 website, and see what grabs you. Expect to find sessions in all four tracks that will expand your knowledge and skills in some interesting way. 

Here are some tracks and sessions to give you a taste of what you’ll find at Acquia Engage 2019. 

The Build Track

The Build track consists of a wide range of technical presentations developed by Drupal developers for Drupal developers. The focus of Build is the tools, skills and practices you need to succeed. Topics include seamless integrations, building and iterating applications quickly and lowering development and maintenance costs.

Some Build sessions to consider: 

Growing into a Digitally-Savvy Enterprise: How Leidos maintains governance and security in the consolidating government market

Leidos is a $10 billion government contractor that doubled in size in August 2016 through a significant merger with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems business. With this merger came multiple websites on multiple platforms with many different tools available to the team. 

In a market defined by consolidation, significant acquisitions, an ever-expanding set of regulations and cybersecurity requirements, Shaun McDougall, Director of Digital Communications, had many goals. Among these goals were the centralization of website management, enhancing security and reducing the complexity of site management. These goals would need to address current needs and consider the potential for future acquisitions.

In this session you will learn the best practices in website management consolidation, how to enhance your website security and compliance and how to reduce the complexity of site management. 

On Top of Headless: Practical tips for implementing headless CMS and convincing others it’s worth it.

Headless CMS is all the rage, and at the same time multi-channel publishing is increasing in complexity and ubiquity. The brand universe that once consisted of a handful of channels now includes content for devices like smartwatches, VR headsets and smart home assistants. Is headless an investment worth making or a fad to sit out? This dialogue between Mirum’s CEO, Amanda Seaford, and VP of Technology, Demetrios Kontizas, will offer practical advice for technologists looking to better understand headless implementation and tactics to convince their marketing counterparts that it’s worth it.

Migration Mania: Drupal 8 migration veterans reveal how to plan and program a successful

Switch -- A panel discussion. 

Migrating and rebuilding sites from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 can be a long and difficult task.  Because Drupal 7 was so widely adopted there are countless stable contributed modules; unfortunately these have not all been ported to Drupal 8, making a 1:1 mapping of the migration challenging.  Acquia Lightning greatly accelerated FINRA's development, lending functionality and synergies to the build, allowing for significantly less modules to be used, while maintaining and improving the site's functionality.

Learn from six migration veterans discussing best practices and procedures for migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. 

Nothing But Blue Skies: Equip your Digital Presence with Acquia Edge, powered by Cloudflare

Performance, security and resiliency are paramount in transforming your digital footprint. Cloud edge computing is driving a standard for more reliable websites and applications that are always available on a global scale. In this session, learn how to protect and enhance your internet assets with ease while continuing to deliver personalized user experiences.

You will learn how speed and security play a critical role in your digital evolution; why Acquia’s Cloud Edge, powered by Cloudflare, is essential for enhancing Drupal websites, apps and API's; and what you can do to personalize websites and edge applications at scale.

A Non-Profit on the Rise: How UNICEF transformed its business on a global scale

In 2015, UNICEF decided to prioritize the adoption of technology to drive transformation throughout their external communication and engagement efforts. But how does a dramatically decentralized organization - comprised of 130 offices and presence in 190 countries - begin to identify technical needs, cultural match, and integration requirements for an entirely new set of technologies that will drive the next stage of growth?

In this session, Dennis Yuen, Global Head of Digital Governance and Platforms, assembled the foundational requirements and technologies that comprise the global platform used by UNICEF as the engine for digital transformation. Mr. Yuen will share best practices and lessons learned as he utilized a highly decentralized platform based on Acquia and Drupal to distribute ownership and development of the platform in a traditional product development life cycle.

A Hands-On Dev Journey: How Workfront leveraged Acquia Pipelines to Build, Test and Deploy Faster

Join Workfront’s Director of Web Strategy Ewan Auguste, and Senior Engineer Adam Baker as they discuss the journey to an enterprise website with Acquia Cloud.

You will learn how Acquia has partnered with Workfront to deliver an enterprise web strategy, automated development workflow through continuous delivery, and support for Workfront’s vision for business innovation.

Focus ON Track

This track will cover a wide range of topics relevant across organizational roles, and across industry areas of focus. Acquia experts will focus on product topics, best practices and lessons learned from customers. And, you’ll learn how Acquia partners have accomplished their goals. You’ll learn how to gain an extra competitive edge by focusing on best practices and gaining insight from product experts.

A typical Focus ON session: 

The Future is Fast: Build and ship Drupal applications in under five minutes with Developer Studio


Acquia is leading the charge to simplify and streamline the process of creating, building and deploying Drupal applications. The Acquia Developer Studio is an exciting step in this direction: a blazing-fast way to build and ship Drupal applications.

You can build and deploy a Drupal application in under five minutes using the Acquia Developer Studio, then customize your project with our new Remote Drupal IDE.

This session will offer a hands-on experience with the Acquia Developer Studio.  See what the future of Drupal development will look like.

Engage Workshops

Extend your Acquia Engage experience with a post-conference workshop, or two. These information-packed sessions will take you on a journey from the basics of each topic to a new understanding at the end of each workshop. All registered Engage attendees are welcome to attend the workshops to take a deep dive into important topics like optimization, future proofing your development and security. 

Two workshops are full day: Deconstructing DXP: Rethink Content, Data and Experience and Future-proofing Your Digital Platform. These full day sessions will run from 9:00am - 5:00pm and your registration fee includes lunch. The Optimizing Digital Security with Acquia is a half day and will run from 1:00pm - 5:00pm and includes lunch which is available at noon. 

Here are some details on the half-day workshop:

Future-proofing Your Digital Platform

This is a valuable workshop for developers and technical architects who are interested in learning the technical aspects of Acquia Developer Studio and preparing for Drupal 9. This workshop will include a free trial to Acquia Developer Studio as well as a checklist for how to prepare yourself for Drupal 9. Topics will include: setting up and getting started on Acquia Developer Studio; a brief Acquia Developer Studio overview; a demo on how setup of a Drupal 8 site locally; and preparing your Drupal 8 site for Drupal 9.

In Conclusion

As I mentioned up top, there’s plenty more to explore on the Acquia Engage 2019 site. The sessions above just offer a taste of what’s on tap. 

You can count on tons of collected wisdom and experience of all kinds -- on stage, in the hallways and at social events. 

See you in New Orleans.