Rick from Monarch Digital brought one of his clients, "Tony", to the camp to discuss the Client Perspective of development. The session really had its seed in fear, worry, unrealistic ideas and goals (or even no real goals). Hearing candid and honest conversation about what caused so much distress was eye opening. My notes are below and the presentation broken into two videos below that.
Tony's first experience was a failure and the second was a success and these experiences represented the good, the bad, and the ugly.
His First Experience
Matthew Dorman from NorthPoint gave a presentation at Drupalcamp Colorado on project management, focusing on questions to ask with a look at different tools. These are my notes and the video I took of the session is at the bottom of the post.
Get involved by going to:
- NorthPoint uses Jira with Greenhopper
--allows you to do agile development with scrum, create stories, issues, etc
- uses Open Atrium
- Pivotal Tracker
Bitner Burns and Brown from the Bots gave a presentation on estimating. These are my notes from the presentation, followed by the video I took at the session.
The Bots started out by indicating that the presentation was really for the estimation of rather large sites and not for small sites $3K to 5K. They indicated that "Complexity defies prediction." and that no large site is truly built in an agile way. In fact, if a build has any of the following four characteristics, you are not operating in a truly agile way.
- planning beyond one sprint
- fixed bid
Justin, of Aten, did a presentation on working with clients at Drupalcamp. He made it clear that the presentation was not about being critical of any clients, but that there are techniques and strategies that can help you avoid confusion, misunderstandings, and make your boundaries clear. The following are the notes I took at the camp and some video of the presentation.
Justin described four challenges:
Challenge 1 - clearly describing the process
-- Dissatisfaction with an apparent lack of progress can frustrate clients.
Webchick kicked off the Drupalcamp in Denver with a keynote. As always, she was eloquent and engaging. Her presentation was full of cute cats and kittens, stats, and keen observations. The presentation largely focuses on community participation, touching on how you don't need to be a coder to have meaningful contributions to the project. Contributions can include everything from simple dollars to helping on issue queues to testing to coding to theming to documenting. Very few individuals who download Drupal actually end up contributing at all - something like .05%
These are my bullet points from Ryan's presentation on Drupal Commerce at Drupalcamp Colorado. I've also included some video.
--Out of the box commerce is making as few business needs decisions as possible
--thinking about installation profiles as a way to handle some of those needs
--Makes heavy use of fields in core
--you can reference different node types to one another using a node reference field.
--You can create reference - you can add a product to a shopping cart and that is a reference to the cart.
Square is cool and an incredibly simple and good idea. Square is an application that runs on your iOS (iPad, iPod Touch - 2nd gen and beyond) and Android device. The application allows you to run credit and debit cards without having a merchant account. You can manually enter numbers into the device, or use a small card reader. Both the application and the reader are free.
Setting it Up
Setting up Square is pretty ridiculously easy. I'm going to assume, as I walk through the process here on an iPad, it is virtually the same on Android. So, if you have ever used the Apple App Store or the Android Market you won't have any problem. What do you need?
- An iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Android Device. You can check if your device is supported on the Square site.
- An Internet Connection on your device.
- Your finger.
Piwigo is an open sourced gallery package that is specifically designed for one purpose - creating and managing images. It does this one thing extremely well. It is fully featured and fairly easy to set up. The current feature set supports photo uploads, category organization, tagging, browsing by date, privacy settings per photo, many themes and plugins, commenting, multi-language support, stats and management tools, slideshows, metadata support, an API, friendly URLs, and spam filtering.
There are three options for installation.
1) You can download the package from Piwigo's download page
2) From the same page you can download an installation script which you run from your server or
3) You can choose a hosted solution.
In this particular tutorial, I'm using the first option - manually setting up the package. I'm doing this on my localhost on my Mac.
What the Heck IS Multivariate Testing???
Multivariate testing is a way you can test all manner of different permutations of layout and functionality on your site. Unlike A/B testing - which limits you to two variations (like two versions of the same page) - MVT allows you to manage individual elements like block treatments on a Drupal site or the styles on a header or location of graphical elements on a page. The options are pretty much limitless.
When utilising MVT, you need to have a way to track clicks on the different variations. Essentially you use your live Web audience as a test group carving segments to each of the variations and then observing through your traffic monitor what version gets the most clicks or the more desirable path through the site. It is common to use a traffic tracking suite like Omniture or Google Analytics to manage the analysis of the patterns. Often MVT is used by marketing departments to determine the best treatment of pages.
When a variation is determined to be the better, that treatment is adopted and the process starts again.
What Different MVT Methodologies are Out There?
MVT and Drupal
There are quite a few options to make use of multivariate testing with Drupal. Three jumped out when looking at different options.
Google Optimizer seemed to have the strongest combination of inexpensiveness (free) and great features. It is also pretty keen that there is a module out there that makes use of the Optimizer service.
Happy Birthday Examiner! Examiner.com was launched in April of 2008. It is three years old this month. I've had the pleasure of working for the site since December of 2009 helping shepherd the site from Cold Fusion to Drupal 7.
Last week represented a significant release for Examiner.com. The site made its first major shift in look and feel since its summer 2010 release in Drupal 7. This came after a launch partnership with Facebook comments a few weeks back. The site now has a combination of Drupal comments (on pages that already had comments) and Facebook comments on any node that doesn't have a comment yet.
The Home Page
This is the first step in a series of site updates that will give the Examiner.com visitor an improved experience. The updated look has a cleaner and easier to use header. It is tighter with the menu more closely integrated with the header itself. The advertisement has been taken out fo the header and put directly above the main content area. The colour scheme itself makes the page feel much more open and inviting. Rounded corners have been removed from the design. There are plans to overhaul all the blocks on the site as well. The login block has been moved to the top of the header as has the invitation to write for Examiner.