2nd - 4th March 2018

City, University London

Learning frontend development as a backender

  • Some experience with Drupal 8 backend development
  • Some experience with generic frontend development "core" skills such as CSS, Javascript. 
    • SASS/Less/React/Angular etc not essential
  • Drupal frontend exposure such as twig nice to have
  • A willingness to learn frontend skills

Although I have marked this as "Good working knowledge" someone with a good "basic understanding" should be able to understand everything I say and demonstrate here.

Session content

Over 2017 and into early 2018, I have been trying to learn more about front-end development.  The aim, to be less of a 3/4 stack developer (As I have described myself for years) and to become a more rounded full stack one.

As a back-end developer, I have found developing some of these skills hard, due to the speed that front-end development seems to move when compared to the back-end.  This talk will be based on my experiences rebuilding my personal and company website from something using Bartik through to a Patternlab based site, which I could decouple if desired.  In this talk, I will provide an overview of tools and techniques I have found useful in developing the site including:

The use of PatternLab and setting up a PatternLab theme in Drupal 8.
Overcoming difficulties with PatternLab and other front-end toolchain pieces such as Node, Gulp, Webpack, and several other "buzzword" technologies.
Why I chose not to use various CSS frameworks like Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation.
Why I rejected the Drupal 8 versions of well-known D7 base themes such as Zen and Omega.
If time allows I may look in the future for further frontend techniques, such as React
This talk is not aimed to be a complete howto.  I hope to help educate back-end developers who wish to increase their front-end skills, as well as start a conversation about how the Drupal community can help foster back-end developers personal development with front-end skills.

Skill level
Good working knowledge
Coding and Development
Session room
Session day

Keynote speakers

Ryan Szrama

Commerce Guys

Ryan Szrama

Ryan got his start in web development through an online sales company based in Louisville, KY. It was there that he nursed Ubercart through its infancy to its use on over 20,000 websites as the Project Lead and community face of the project.

In 2009, Ryan co-founded Commerce Guys and eventually led the development of Drupal Commerce for Drupal 7. He grew the new project from its first full release at DrupalCon London to its use today on over 60,000 websites.

As of February 2016, Ryan acquired control of Commerce Guys and assumed leadership of the business with his time split between managing the company and contributing to its various open source projects.

Chris Teitzel


Chris Teitzel

Chris has been part of the Drupal community for 8 years and during that time has been fortunate enough to be involved in all aspects of the community. Originally part of the team supporting the Omega theme, he helped drive documentation and community support to lower the bar for theming in Drupal. He’s since been involved in projects spanning the globe working with all levels of business from top enterprises to startups building everything from bootstrapped humanitarian tools based on SMS to airline ticketing systems built in Drupal Commerce. In the recent years he has set his sights on security in Drupal and specifically around data privacy and security to again lower the bar for developers to adhere to best practices.

Baddý Sonja Breidert


Baddý Sonja Breidert

Baddý Sonja Breidert (baddysonja) is the CEO and Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET, one of the largest Drupal web agencies in Germany. 1xINTERNET has offices in Germany and Spain and has clients all over Europe.

Baddý graduated with B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Reykjavik in 2003 and after that completed her M.Sc. in Engineering Management from the Technical University in Vienna, where she today teaches Agile Project management and IT. She is also an European champion in Robotic Soccer - where she competed with her University in 2008.

Baddý has been very active in the Drupal community and has organised conferences and events both in Iceland and Germany. Currently she is one of the main organisers of Drupal Europe, which will take place in fall 2018.


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