Keynote by Preston So

Photo of Preston So

We are happy to feature two keynote presentations this year. One of them will be by Preston So, a member of Acquia's Office of the CTO, the team that works with Dries on a daily basis to move the Drupal Project forward. Preston will start by asking a provocative question: "Is the CMS as we know it dead?" 

As our industry grapples every day with ever more channels for content, the traditional web-based CMS is at a critical crossroads. Nowadays, digital experiences can be as narrow as a conversation with a voice assistant or as broad as AR/VR-driven content overlays — and as small as an Apple Watch screen or as large as a digital billboard on Times Square.  

The central personas involved, however, remain identical: the end user, the developer, and the marketer.

Drupal has long prided itself on its place at the fulcrum of these three personas by providing in-context administration tools and developer experiences that, together, grant immense flexibility. But sooner rather than later, we must contend with both a widening wilderness of untapped digital experiences and innovative CMSes that don't even exist yet.

Can we shift our thinking toward universal editing? Can we edit and administer everything, not just web experiences, totally in context? How can we think about content editing agnostically and contextually to encompass not just the present but also the unforeseen future of content experiences? Together, let's divine and dissect the forward-looking outlook that is the CMS of the future — and how Drupal can get there first.

Preston So has been a web developer and designer since 2001, a creative professional since 2004, and a Drupal developer since 2007. As Development Manager of Acquia Labs, the innovation lab featured in international press such as VentureBeat and ZDNet, Preston leads new open-source and research initiatives at Acquia.

Previously, Preston managed the Entertainment Weekly website and led its development team at Time Inc. He also contributed to the Spark initiative in the Drupal project, co-founded the Southern Colorado Drupal User Group (est. 2008), and operated an award-winning freelance web and print design studio. In addition, Preston directed the most recent redesign of The Harvard Crimson's online edition, the first student-designed responsive college newspaper website in the Ivy League.

Preston has presented keynotes at conferences on three continents in multiple languages and speaks around the world about diverse topics such as decoupled Drupal, responsive design, front-end development, user experience, and open-source innovation.