2013 - A Year of Changes

Submitted by matthew on Tue, 2013-12-31 09:14



Happy New Year to all. 2013 was a year of many changes. These were professional, personal, and on a more macro level. I had recently left my job with Trellon to pursue contract work. We had just finished renovating our kitchen - just in time for a New Year's Eve party that involved a large percentage of guests from the Drupal community. Our little dog, diagnosed with mast cell cancer, wasn't expected to live for much longer (spoiler - he's still kicking it with us). Congress, in the United States, continued to be deadlocked culminating in a partial shutdown of the government, and a populace that was sick and tired of 534 people who simply could not agree on anything. There was a seriously flawed rollout of the healthcare Website, which as a Web Application professional I found fascinating.

I thought that sharing some bits and pieces from my life over the last year might be fun. If you feel interested enough to follow along my geeky and Drupally year, that would be just fine.


I had started working as an independent consultant with several clients late in 2012. The biggest one was 5 Rings Web, where I was consulting as the COO and managing the project management side of the shop for my good friend Lindsay Ogden. 5 Rings is largely a Drupal shop and I started by auditing processes and helping the group of excellent developers and designers organize in a more efficient manner. I was lucky to work with some terrific clients supporting existing Drupal sites but also defining some complex architectures for several companies and helping the team organize around Agile Sprints to bring web products to market. I am very proud of the work I did there when I was more heavily involved in working with them. Some how I managed, while doing operations for both Vintage Digital and 5 Rings to write a blog post on Managing Multiple Drop boxes


In March the community found out that Neil and Marta were leaving the Drupal Association in a restructure of the organization. This came as a shock to many. There were those who had really come to know Neil and respected his hard work on the Drupalcon. He had a pretty rough go of it with Drupalcon Denver in 2012 as he better integrated into the community. I was amongst those who were deeply saddened by the departure. Holly reached out to many in the community, including myself, to reassure us.

BADCamp 2013 - A Wrapup

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2013-10-28 01:22

baby squidThis year's BADCamp had me doing a couple of presentations, attending a few sessions, and having lots of conversations with many different people. It also had me eating some pretty great food including marinated baby squid.

I spent time in the Large Scale Drupal meeting. There were lots of companies that many Drupal shops would not necessarily think about as being traditional Drupal users. In fact, one of the more interesting deployments was with the Princess Cruise Ship line. They are using Drupal internally on the ships to provide information to passengers. They are running their own servers on the ship to avoid using external Internet because of the unique issues that come with moving around the world in places that don't always have access to communications that would provide Internet.

I also attended the Higher Education Summit. Aten Design Group was a sponsor. I gave a lightning talk with 3 2 minute case studies covering three sites that Aten has created. I talked about Poynter's News University, Stanford + Connects, and Aspirations. They are all complex sites whose goals are to extend the educational experience of learners ranging from those planning for college to those who are looking to learn beyond graduation. It was great knowing that Aten had helped the camp have the money they needed to conduct the summit.

Drupalcamp Colorado 2013 Wrapup

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2013-06-30 22:08

Drupalcamp Colorado has wrapped up for another year. This year's event was a little more intimate than recent Colorado and took place in an awesome location in Boulder Colorado. While I don't think in previous years (due to the number of attendees) it would have worked - for this year, the space was awesome. Power at every seat, great space for the keynote, and nice restaurants within walking distance. Aten colleagues', "No Taco Bell is NOT my idea of a good Mexican Restaurant" ;) .

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.

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!

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.

The Drupal Association Elections - I'm Running

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-09-10 22:59

Vote in the Drupal Association ElectionsThis is the first in a series of posts I'm going to write leading up to the Drupal Association elections. I've put my hat into the ring because I feel like I can make a substantiative contribution to all of you through helping with good governance of the Drupal Association. I want to encourage others to do the same!

A friend in the community asked, "Why on earth would you want to do this? It'll eat your time and what will you get back for doing it???" This is pretty simple to answer.

I believe in contributing value back to supportive communities. I am grateful to the men and women who have made Drupal successful. When one views the world through a filter of gratitude, it has the effect of increasing a person's desire to contribute and help nurture those who are also participatory. You genuinely care about the people who are also involved in that community and they genuinely care about you. For me, this belief has borne itself within the Drupal community so many times that it is hard to express how thankful I am for you all.

While I started experimenting with Drupal in 2006 it really became the way I've earn my living in 2007. When I started participating in the community, first by attending meetups but later by making presentations, evangelizing, contributing a bit to documentation, engaging in governance discussions for the community, and helping organize events, what I gave came back double. This deepened my commitment to the community as a whole. When I've had challenges, suggestions and help are only as far away as an IRC client.

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