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Expert Front End Drupal Talk Tour

Join one of the world's leading Drupal front end development experts, John Albin Wilkins, on his first multi-city speaking tour of Australia.

by Owen Lansbury /

In the Drupal community, John Albin Wilkins (JohnAlbin) is one of the top contributors to Drupal 7's theme layer and is the creator and maintainer of Zen, Drupal's most popular theme that's been downloaded almost 1.3 million times and is used on hundreds of thousands of websites. John is also the Drupal 8 mobile initiative lead and co-author of the essential textbook, Drupal 7 Module Development

John has been on the web since 1993, when he was one of the lucky few to use the first graphical web browser, Mosaic 1.0, in his computer science classes at university. His CSS creds go back to 2001 when Jeffrey Zeldman said "to hell with bad browsers" and challenged web developers to take CSS layout seriously. He was a charter member of the CSS-D group and, while helping in the table-to-CSS journey, became a widely recognised CSS expert.

In 2005, John finally learned how idiotic it is to build your own web application framework and discovered the power of Drupal. He's since worked with world-leading Drupal development firms and Lullabot before joining PreviousNext in early 2014. A perennial featured speaker at most international DrupalCons, his former Lullabot colleague, Jeff Eaton, calls John a "Smart, creative, a great communicator, and combines the ability to spot opportunities for critical process improvements with the skills to make those improvements happen".

Now based in Taiwan with his young family, this will be John's first trip to Australia since his session at DrupalCon Sydney. He'll be taking the opportunity to visit Sydney again, alongside Melbourne and Canberra to present his recent DrupalCon talk, "Managing Complex Projects with Design Components".

The talk will examine new technologies like Web Components and new techniques like OOCSS, SMACSS and BEM that prove that planning before building can make our Drupal projects maintainable, easier to debug, and smaller with reduced CSS file sizes.

This session will introduce the basic techniques for CSS layering and using design components, the heart of any front-end CSS project. John will also discuss Sass project organisation, Sass version control with Bundler and tricks to implement components when you can't change Drupal's classes. Finally, John will go through the steps necessary to automatically generate a front-end style guide to document your components.

Following his talk, John will be running a Q&A session on his experience and opinions about where Drupal's headed. Add in a bar tab provided by PreviousNext in Sydney & Melbourne, and it should be a fun evening for anyone interested in the deeper aspects of Drupal development. In Canberra, John will be a featured speaker at the DrupalGov conference.

Please RSVP via the form below so we can plan for attendee numbers!



  • Wednesday August 20
  • Bar tab: 6:00 - 6:30pm
  • Talk: 6:30 - 7:15pm
  • Q&A: 7:15 - 8:00pm
  • Venue: University Hotel (Function Room). 272 Lygon Street, Carlton, VIC
  • RSVP below (Free)


Posted by Owen Lansbury
Co-Founder & Chair