matthew's blog

Herding The Cats - A Drupalcamp Colorado Session

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2013-06-26 00:00

In just a few days Drupalcamp Colorado will commence. Folks will start descending on the CU Boulder Campus on Friday. Will you be one of them? The whole weekend is a mere $10 - less than two fancy coffees - for access to about 30 amazing sessions over two days and two parties sponsored by great companies.

13 Years of Cancer Survival

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2013-06-24 21:22

testicular cancerThirteen years ago I had just wrapped up surgery, a groshon catheter being implanted, foley catheterization, bleomycin, etoposide, platinol, zofran, and compazine. I had gone through an immensely stressful time that transformed the way I look at the world.

Even so, I was lucky. Embroynal Carcinoma is very treatable in its early stages. In fact, it is reckoned to be one of the more treatable cancers and can be cured if it is caught early enough. That said, untreated it is deadly and the treatment is pretty miserable. Really there are two routes you can take after having the offending fellow removed. First, you can have an RPLND - in which you are opened from your neck to your pubic bone and all your lymph nodes are dissected from your body. This lays folks up for months. The second route is chemotherapy which makes you feel very sick.

I opted for the chemotherapy.

Every year I look back at the previous 12 months to reflect. Some years I choose to write about the year through the lens of a survivor. Some years I just quietly reflect on my own. I never cease to be grateful, humbled, and amazed at how awesome my life has been since finding that traitorous lump. I have an amazing wife. I have a daughter who stuns me with her intelligence and fortitude. I've had really interesting work and joined the supportive and nurturing Drupal community. I've travelled most of the United States and to many places in Canada, Europe, and even time in Australia.

Drupalcamp Colorado

Submitted by matthew on Tue, 2013-05-28 21:53

It is that time of year. Everything is getting a little greener. The days are warming up. Drupalcamp Colorado is almost upon us! Last year the local community in Colorado decided to skip hosting what is one of the best Drupalcamps around. Why? Because we put on Drupalcon and there was a fair bit of fatigue following the event. Well, not so this year. The camp site is up and running! It is ready for registrations, session proposals, and payments!

Keynotes will be Jeff Eaton (Senior Drupal Architect at Lullabot) and Felicia Pride (Media Strategist, Content Producer, and Educator from Pride Collaborative).

Registration is a mere $10 - and is well worth it!

So Long Neil and Marta and Thanks for All the Fish

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2013-03-04 22:41

sad_face by mcmrbt

The Departure

A small portion of my world was shaken by The Drupal Association's announcement about Neil and Marta today. Neil had some rocky times with the community, but Drupalcon Denver really changed all of that. As he came to understand the community and how passionate we all are about what we do and how tight a community we all are he became one of us. I would hazard to say there are a significant number of us that don't just think of him as the con's organizer but also a close friend. I got to know Neil well during Drupalcon Denver and can honestly say that his grounded down-to-earth nature, his skills as an organizer, and his willingness to listen and adapt to how we do things was a real boon to the community. You will be missed.

I don't know Marta as well as Neil, but I've very much enjoyed my visits with her.

Project Management - Get Your Efficiency On!

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2013-02-18 23:50

drupalcon portlandIf you include the work that I have done in the theatre as a stage manager - I've been engaged in project management since 1989. 24 years is a long time to think about and practice a craft. I wrote a bit about how technical theatre seems to impact software project management. I've been writing about technology and project management since 2004/05 and I've been managing the builds of complex database driven systems since 1999. All of this has led to my using many different project management styles and tool sets.

I've submitted a session in Portland on just this subject.


Learn from my 18 years of Project Management Experience with Technology. I've done it all - cowboy, waterfall, extreme, and agile scrum.

Learn why...

  • Waterfall doesn't always work
  • Agile has a place, but isn't the holy grail
  • Cowboy can kill the relationships you have with your stakeholders
  • How "Fixed Scope" is a lie
  • That a combination of approaches is the answer

Project management requires a blend of techniques and tools to effectively shepherd projects from ideation to release. We'll explore and discuss different tools and methodologies that can help make your project successful.

Managing Web Assets Across Multiple Dropboxes

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2013-01-16 21:48

The Problem
I contract with a few different companies at a time. I have email addresses with several of them. Each have their own clients who want to share assets - things like comps, artwork, wireframes and so forth. I've played with a variety of ways of sharing these assets. You can attach them to tickets in your ticketing system, but you may not want your client to be in the ticketing system. I've also had clients that were savvy enough to use a repository like GIT or SVN - but that is fairly rare. In comes Dropbox. Dropbox synchronizes and version controls on drag and drop. Almost any client can wrap their heads around that concept.

This works fabulously for one dropbox. However, if you are in a situation where you need (want) multiple boxes, things get a little squirrelly. Dropbox does not support this. Luckily, if you are a mac user, a little script in your terminal window will fix this lickety split, allowing you to have as many drop-boxes as email addresses you work with.

The Kitchen Refresh

Submitted by matthew on Sat, 2012-12-22 17:40

Kitchen Refresh We live in a house built in the 50's. It is sturdily built as things were back then. We have made some improvements. It has a new roof. The gutters are the seamless kind with a leaf barrier. We've added central air. The outside windows and doors were replace and the living room, which had a picture window, has a giant bay window that lets in lots of bright light. Our open back patio was screened in to create a wonderful summer-time space to enjoy the warm weather but avoid the bugs. Our family room had nasty carpet, so we put in a lovely light laminate. We got a high efficiency stove to put in the fireplace to help heat during the winter.

ferrets and pupWhat we had never done was work on the kitchen. The original kitchen from the 50's. Well, the floor had been replaced, kind of. You can see *what* it had been replaced with along with our ferrets at the time enjoying a meal with our puppy at the time. The limit to the changes we made to the kitchen had been a little paint and a new vinyl floor. That was a decade ago - pretty much the lifetime of such a floor.

Lullabot Podcast on Project Management

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2012-11-30 12:26

When I was at BADCamp a few weeks ago, Addison Berry asked if I'd be willing to participate in a podcast on project management. I am a process geek having spent years working with 100s of developers, product managers, executives, clients, and project managers across the arts, government agencies, non-profits, media companies, schools, sports, and retailers. This has made for so many different configurations of project management styles, methodologies, and personalities. I've learned from all of them.

My Professional Journey

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-11-28 00:08

Changes

Six months ago or so I joined Trellon after a long stint with Examiner.com. I enjoyed the transition being the primary Project Management resource, Tech Team Lead, and liason to the Executive Committee on a single large project to CTO at a small development shop. The developers at Trellon are top notch and I want to thank them for making me feel welcome, taking my advice, and I'd like to believe coming out of the experience able to work just a bit more efficiently. I was recruited into the fold by Morbus Iff - truly a disembodied brain. Thanks Morbus, I appreciate it.

The Project Management Team of Stuart Broz and Avram Sand have been a pleasure to spend time with. I think the three of us did a great job of increasing efficiencies through use of best project management practices during my tenure. The Tech Leads - Chang Xiao, Fabian Franz, and Michael Priest - have shown terrific thinking through technical challenges in projects with creativity. I'll think back and smile about Munich - getting to know Artem, Vadim, and Vlad. John and Gil - my hopes are that you continue to grow as developers in your tenure with Trellon.

Finally, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to Mike Haggerty and Bob White for allowing me to join the Leadership Team. I do hope that my contributions have and will continue to help the organization grow and evolve.

CRM Core, Trellon, and BADCamp

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2012-11-15 12:29

Trellon LLCI had expected to get this blog post out far earlier. Unfortunately, I was one of the unfortunates that was stricken with the DrupalFlu this year at BADCamp. Turns out that quite a few people ended up getting sick. So, here we are two weeks out from the summits and I'm finally getting down to writing about what happened at the Camp.

CRM Core

I want to start out by calling out a community project I've been working on at Trellon. CRM Core has been piloted across multiple sites that Trellon has been working on. These pilots have helped the team really refine the framework and have led to a DEV release that the team is now using in public virtual code sprints.

CRM Core is a set of modules for managing contact records within a Drupal site, providing support for contacts, relationships and activities. It provides basic CRM system components and a framework for extending these components to build a custom system that will allow an organization to effectively meet their needs with respect to contact, relationship, and activity tracking.

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