Attending NYC Camp

A "tico" lost in New York City

Kevin Porras
5 min readFeb 12, 2017


From July 8th to July 11th I attended New York Drupal Camp and I want to tell a little about the experience in this blog post.

Some minor notes before entering in details:

  • I traveled solo to New York
  • This was my first solo trip
  • This was my first USA visit
  • This was my first talk outside Costa Rica and it was also my first english talk

After some delay in the second flight, I arrived to New York around 19:30 on thursday and I took the shuttle to my AirBnb. That day, I was totally tired, so I just ate something and slept.

The next day, before leaving the room, I took some screenshots of Google Maps indications to get to the UN Headquarters and I started trying to buy a SIM card in order to get internet; however, I failed in that because stores usually don't open before 9 am, so I had to go without internet. Guess what happened? I obviously got lost into the metro and then I walked around 1 and half hour to get to my destination (in my way there I finally was able to buy a SIM and get internet access). When I arrived to UN, the camp staff was giving the access passes and the trainings hadn't started; so, I succeeded in getting in time to the event. After security screening and some more delay, the layouts training was started by Suzanne Dergacheva. The training was really good and she explained some different ways to make layout stuff with Drupal 8.

After the training, we had to get our food because camp didn't provide it for training or summits days; so, while I tried to look for something to eat, I went out of the UN building and then I decided to take my afternoon off; so, I went to explore the city: I walked a lot, ate pastrami sandwich at Subway, met the Madison Square Park, the NY Public Library and since I was near, I obviously had to met a Barnes & Noble store. The day was awesome and I totally fell in love with the city.

The next day (saturday), I had my first session: CI Tools Overview; but, before that, I attended Decoupled Blocks session; it was really awesome and now I really want a project to take a deep look into that module. Then, I gave my session; everything went well. After my session, I attended WCAG 2.0 and You where I learnt a lot about accessibility and why it matters and then, I went to "Testing Your Code as Part of an Industrial Grade Workflow" given by Matt from Pantheon: awesome! Now, I want to use quicksilver in every project. Drupal 8 caching was other good talk that I attended that day before the great, awesome, <insert any other good adjective> "Testing Drupal 8 with Behat" by Frank Carey; maybe, I should say, this was the BEST saturday's session. Then, in the same room, I went to a less technical session about Organic Groups and why it's almost the only way to do multisite with Drupal. Once finished the sessions for this day, I went to the AirBnb because I wasn't feeling ok and I totally wanted to be better for the next day; so, I took some rest.

The Sunday I started feeling better; I could go to Mass in UN Church and it was quite rare for me to see the priest doing everything in the Mass and no having choir at all. After that, I went to the event and started going to some sessions in the morning, then; I gave my second talk and I was rooting to go to the security sprint that afternoon, but; I couldn't find it. Nobody knew about it but the page and there wasn't a location in the page. So, in the afternoon I went to a session in Civic Camp and I should say, it was awesome. NY City Council and NuCivic CEO Andrew Hopkins talked about using technology and open data to make cities better. That session was probably the best session in the whole Sunday. Then, I took some rest and later I went to a VR Video session that was also really good.

Once I got out from the building that day, I went home, left stuff there and went to Empire State building, the views from that 86th floor are AWESOME. Everybody who goes to NYC should totallly go there.

On Monday, I went to the event with a clear idea: attend security and privacy summit; however, when I arrived there, I found that submit was scheduled for the afternoon and had no room indicated; so, I went to media summit, there were a couple of nice talks there that I really enjoyed; however, I was focused on getting the security summit and guess what happened? I couldn't find it; I still don't know whether it happened or not. When the event last day finished, I decided to go to Central Park, so, I walked a lot that day and enjoyed so much that beautiful place. I decided I had to go back the next day.

Tuesday and my last day in the city, I obviously had to go to Central Park Zoo; it's amazing to see those animals that otherwise will be impossible for me to see: penguins, grizzly bears, seals and other. After my visit to the zoo, I took another walk to the park and when I was really hungry I decided to trust in Foursquare by the first time in my life and the result was great: I found a Cuban restaurant where I ate rice and beans for the first time in the last 6 days, I really was missing them and I enjoyed the food so much. However, I ate such an amount of lunch, that some minutes later I was almost unable to walk and had to take a small nap in Central Park, it was nice to be able to rest in the middle of the park.

After all that, I was so tired and I had to finish to pack my bags, so, I went early to the AirBnb and tried to sleep soon (soon is about 10 pm in this context) because I had to leave really early the next day.

During Wednesday’s morning I discovered how so easy it’s to leave USA; I didn’t have any problem and everything went really smooth.

I really enjoyed the camp and the city; everything was really really great and it’s an excellent learning opportunity that I’d love to repeat.



Kevin Porras

Drupal, DevOps, Backend, PHP...