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.
This 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.
What do these three things have in common? Not much it would seem, however currently they are three things that are in the forefront of my mind.
The last two months has had the Saunders looking for, making an offer on, and buying a house about 25 miles away from where we had lived for about 13 years. At that time wireless networking wasn't as prevalent (or cheap) as it is these days. Back in my graduate school days, I had helped network the dormitories with fibre, coaxial, and CAT5. We threw away long runs of cable that weren't any good for large school buildings, but I thought would be useful when I had a home of my own. I collected roughly a spool worth. I used that to wire our house. Part of what happened this last month was dismantling that network and setting up a wireless network in the new house.
Anybody need half a dozen lightly used switches?
Moving, in the best of times, dominates your life. But we are now getting the old house cleaned up, walls repaired, and painted. We're getting it ready for market. This isn't without a certain amount of sadness as I bought this house on the onset of my professional career as a technologist and ultimately a Drupaler. Joining the Drupal community brought me to...
Last year I wrote my Top 10 Reasons BADCamp should be GLADCamp. I'll be going again this year representing Aten Design Group from Denver. This year I'll be presenting Herding the Cats, Keep the Focus, a session on effective communication with internal and external stakeholders. Last year at this time, I was running for the...
I 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.
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.
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.