matthew's blog

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.

I'll Be Presenting on Project Management at DBUG

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-17 09:23

I'll be presenting at the next DBUG meeting. The meet-up will take place at Open Media Foundation, just south of Downtown Denver. 700 Kalamath St. Denver, CO 80204 (map).

What will I be talking about? About a year ago I was asked if I would keynote at Drupalcamp Austin on Project Management. I quickly altered a presentation that I was working on - it was intended more as a work-shoppy kind of affair - to be more key-notey and included cats, manholes, fighter jets, pyramids, castles, waterfalls, ravens, monsters, wine, books, and just a little H.P. Lovecraft. The presentation was updated for Drupalcon Denver and then, again, for Drupalcon Munich. Since becoming the CTO at Trellon, I've continued to evolve my thoughts on process as I work closely with this distributed team. I'll be making adjustments to the presentation on Tuesday to reflect some of these shifts.

I've included the previous presentations below if you're curious. Otherwise, come on out to the DBUG meeting on October 23rd - enjoy some hot pizza and cold refreshments provided by Aten Design Group and the amazing space provided by the Open Media Foundation - and we can have a great time together!

Drupal Association Elections - Thanks for the Support

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2012-10-07 19:04

About a month ago I decided to run for the Drupal Association elections. I've been told that I'm nuts for wanting to serve in this capacity. The fact is, in many respects I've lived a life of service. This started as a boy when I sang in a Men's and Boy's choir. This choir practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons after school for several hours. It then had two services on Sunday - one in the morning and one in the Evening.

My Top 10 Reasons This BADCamp is GLADCamp

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2012-10-05 01:37

Number 1 - A New Camp for Me
In just a few weeks I'll be headed out to Berkley with Trellon. I'm proud that Trellon is a core sponsor. I became an individual sponsor. While I've attended camps in Denver and Austin, this will be my first BADCamp. Everything I've heard about the camp leads me to the belief it will be amazing. I'm very much looking forward to attending.

Number 2 - Presenting (I hope)
I'm involved with more proposals for presentations of any Camp or Con I've attended thus far. This is really exciting to me. I hope that you'll take the time to vote them up so we'll be able to share things we've learned recently, things that we've created, and how my experiences as a process geek has helped the team approach projects. You have until October 8th. So, what session proposals am I involved with?

  • DRUPAL'S MOBILE APP GENERATOR AND YOU: LEARNING HOW TO LOVE THE SMARTPHONE / TABLET
    Do you often think about making your mobile Drupal website friendly for smartphones? Or have you already started to build a Drupal mobile application using MAG (Mobile App Generator) module and PhoneGap? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you should attend this session!

  • CONTACT MANAGEMENT IN DRUPAL: GETTING RESULTS WITH CRM CORE
    This session will present 8 things you can do with CRM Core to manage contact relationships and accelerate your site development. We will also focus on ways you can extend it to handle use-cases specific to your business needs.

  • AGILE GYMNASTICS AND TIMEBOX TUMBLING
    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.

Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 4 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-03 00:17

This is the last of the questions asked in the Question and Answer sessions for the Drupal Association elections. There were only two new questions that were asked during that time. Here are my thoughts.

1) valthebald: What threats to the Drupal community do you see, which are not handled by DA? How CAN they be handled?

The biggest threat to Drupal and the Drupal community not handled by the the Association is competition. This competition manifests itself in both other opensource projects and from the closed communities. At the end of the day, most looking for a platform or a CMS seek something that:

  1. is cost effective
  2. reflects the client's brand and aesthetic
  3. scales to the traffic they need it to scale to
  4. is easy to use

In general, we can eke out reasonable results on 1-3. There is still work to be done - but the fact is folks looking for the CMS do not...

Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 3 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-09-24 23:26

The following are the new questions that emerged from Session 3 of the DA Elections "Meet the Candidates". I didn't attend that session but thought a few short answers would be good to share. If you want to go back, you can read my original answers.

Share this post across your social networks and VOTE. I need your help to be elected to the board and I very much want to serve. Thanks for your support!


1) simesy_: I'm interested in what the other candidates think about Narayan as a candidate who will fill the gap of having infrastructure representation on the board.

I know Narayan quite well from the Examiner.com days. He brings a thoughtfulness and intelligence to every project, conversation, and challenge he faces. I said in Session 2's questions:

The board can include anybody who is active in the community and has a desire to serve. It isn't a matter of should or should not, it is a matter of interest in furthering the mission of the Drupal Association and wishes to engage in good governance. I do think having a presence either on the board and/or the advisory board is attractive.

Narayan would fill the current gap nicely and would be easy to work with.


Questions From Meet the Candidates Session 2 - Drupal Association Elections

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2012-09-23 19:16

I didn't participate in the second session, but I did want to give a few short answers on the questions asked. If you want to read my answers from session one, they are available here. I'll do the same for sessions three and four in the next couple of days..

1) nnewton: Should the Infra team be represented on the (governance) board or the advisory board. Or both?
(but anyone can answer if they have a view)
The board can include anybody who is active in the community and has a desire to serve. It isn't a matter of should or should not, it is a matter of interest in furthering the mission of the Drupal Association and wishes to engage in good governance. I do think having a presence either on the board and/or the advisory board is attractive.

2) highermath: What should be the number one goal of the Board?
Growing the community and attracting new young members.

3) highermath: What should be the relationship between the Board, the ED and the staff.
See Question 7

4) KatteKrab: In 2012 the DA was trying to achieve 6 goals as outlined here http://groups.drupal.org/node/197558 Which one in particular would you champion?
Drupal in Schools. This serves two directions I think that the DA ought to be working towards. First, growing the community. Second, attracting new young members of the community.

5) jthorson: What specific initiatives would you suggest as a DA board member, to help drive growth of the Drupal community in new regions and communities which may not currently be represented?
See Question 3

Drupal Association Elections - My Criteria for Voting

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2012-09-21 17:41

When I vote, I'm going to be looking at four criteria. Here they are.

Criteria 1
Experience - Has the candidate had experience working in the non-profit space? Has the candidate had board experience? Does the candidate have educational background that supports the board's needs? Does the candidate have work experience that supports the board's needs?

Criteria 2
Community Interaction - Has the candidate been involved in the community through Camps, Cons, presenting, code contributions, and other kinds of participation?

EDIT: Criteria 1 and 2 for me are both important, neither one is more important than the other.

Criteria 3
Technology Background - How long has the candidate been involved with technologies that support Drupal? How long has the candidate worked in Open Source? How long has the candidate worked with Drupal itself? This doesn't necessarily mean coding - it means how long have they spent time in the space in their own discipline.

ALL THESE BEING EQUAL

Criteria 4
Diversity - Does this person have specific attributes, by way of diversity, that we would like to target?

Meet the Candidates Session 1 - My Answers

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2012-09-20 18:03

This is cross posted from Donna Benjamin's request for the candidates to post responses from the questions fielded during the phone call.

I bring 17 years from the technology world, 13 years in Opensource, 6 years of highly active participation in the Drupal community, 8 years of nonprofit management in a US based Technology focused nonprofit, two VP board positions in nonprofits including policy development, and two university qualifications - one a Masters - focused on organizational management for nonprofits.

I'm passionate about Drupal and adore the Drupal Community.

You can read more about my candidacy as I continue to write about it here: At Large Election 2012 - The Drupal Association.

1) stevepurkiss: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the Drupal Association, what would it be and why?

I think it is critical to not cycle onto the Drupal Association board with a strong personal agenda. The point should be about serving the Drupal community as a whole and not seek to disrupt the DA because of an axe to grind. It is a natural progression, when working with experience board members, to direct the overall mission of a nonprofit in a 10,000 foot view. So, my first job would be to observe and absorb. I do think that the Drupal Association needs to continue to focus on outreach with a goal of strengthening membership in underserved populations. This includes untapped markets with potential and culturally diverse populations who can add their uniqueness to our own. The magic wand is hard work continuing to push forward the DA's mission and expand.


2) Senpai: QUESTION: How much money should the DA spend each year on furthering Drupal? Followup Q: How much of that money should come from the users of Drupal vs sponsorships or advertising?

This question is a bit like asking "How long is a piece of string". The amount that the DA should spend ought to be budget driven, so we really should be looking at percentages rather than how much. Some of the other candidates expressed that "The DA should spend it all!". This is naive at best and reckless at worst. All non-profits should have 3-4 months worth of operating budget at hand to weather bad times or needed expenditures such as new servers. This is just simple math. The exception to this rule is if the nonprofit has a desire to build an endowment for scholarships, grants programs, etc. In this case, the goal is to build up enough of a reserve, for this fund, to pay out scholarships/grants/program cash largely through interest. Outside of remaining fiscally viable and being a responsible 501(c)3, every last available dollar should go towards supporting the Drupal community.

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