Decoupled Is an Exciting Front-End Tech Inside and Outside of Drupal: Brian Perry | NEDCamp

18 November, 2022
Brian Perry

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. 


Join Brian Perry at NEDCamp 2022 for the session, ‘Envisioning a Design System maintained by the Drupal Community in Room: New Hampshire (Gaige 202), from 03:00 pm to 03:45 pm on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Click here to Register.

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