The New England DrupalCamp 2022 is in this weekend. We asked between 5 to 8 questions to every speaker at the camp via email/slack. Some questions were common to all, and some were specific. We also gave them a choice not to answer any particular question. The Drop Times got written responses from most of the speakers. We are publishing those short conversations as a series. Here is the eleventh interview.  

A Senior Technology Consultant (Staff Engineer) at Pantheon, Brian Perry is the maintainer of Decoupled Menus Initiative in Drupal. Brian will talk about ‘Envisioning a Design System maintained by the Drupal Community’ in Room: New Hampshire (Gaige 202) from 03:00 pm to 03:45 pm this Saturday, November 19, 2022, as part of the New England DrupalCamp 2022, happening at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Here is what Brian Perry told us. 

TDT: [1] A brief introduction about yourself and your work in Drupal.  

Brian Perry: I’ve been part of the Drupal community for over 10 years, primarily focused on the front-end. For many years in the freelance and agency space, and most recently as a Staff Engineer at Pantheon, I have been leading a team working on starter projects and open-source tools for building decoupled sites.

TDT: [2] The community parlance is that ‘you come for the code but stay for the community.’ How did you first get introduced to the community?

Brian Perry: Tom Wolf (t-dub) was an early mentor who introduced me to the Drupal community and encouraged me to attend my first Drupal event. And then MidCamp in Chicago was a significant factor in me ‘staying’ for the community.

TDT: [3] Tell us about what you present in the New England DrupalCamp 2022 and who should attend your session.  

Brian Perry: My talk is “Envisioning A Design System Maintained by the Drupal Community.” I’ll be discussing the Generic Drupal Web Components project and why I think framework-agnostic web components could be a good fit for Drupal. If you’re interested in learning more about web components in general or contributing to a set of Drupal-friendly components, there is something in this talk for you.

TDT: [4] Everyone is waiting for the Drupal 10 release this December. What is the most exciting feature of Drupal 10 for you?  

Brian Perry: I’m excited to learn more about what is possible with CKEditor 5, especially from the perspective of embedding custom components.

TDT: [5] Can you share your experience as a GSoC mentor for Drupal? 

Brian Perry: It was a positive experience. Working with a mentee helped move the Generic Drupal Web Components project forward while giving the project some additional visibility in the community. I did find that providing the appropriate level of support and feedback was a larger commitment than I anticipated: a worthwhile commitment but something for mentors to consider.

TDT: [6] You focus on decoupled solutions at Pantheon. Why decoupled? More specifically, do you see megalith structures such as Drupal as a deadweight in agile development with a mobile-first approach?  

Brian Perry: I’ve always been interested in working with front-end components and Drupal, and I see decoupled as another variation on this problem. As a curious front-end developer, exploring this approach allows me to work with new and exciting front-end tech inside and outside of Drupal. I don’t see monolithic Drupal as a deadweight, though. There are many sites for which this traditional approach still makes perfect sense, and experienced teams can still build excellent sites and deliver them efficiently. 

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