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.
Well it has started in earnest. The Colorado community is organizing for this summer's event. We're using Drupal.org's issue to organize our activities for the second year. There was a short debate on whether to use a ticketing system like dotproject or redmine, but in the end using the tools that the drive our other projects forward seemed like the right move. The project is setup here: https://drupal.org/project/dcco if you want to get involved. We're setting a deadline of December Friday the 13th to firm in place the core team.
It may seem like ages in the future, but it really isn't. This past summer I agreed to do the project management for Drupalcamp Colorado 2014. I'm going to start organizing the project in a ticketing system - probably dotproject or chiliproject. I'm going to need help! I've included a sign up form below for you to indicate you want to be helpful and what kind of helpful things you would like to do.
Examples of some roles could include:
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...
At about 4:30 am local time I had a flurry of SMS messages that came from Prague - THANK YOU Mike Meyers, you were the first to send me a note. An official announcement had been made at the open board meeting that I had been elected last week to the Drupal Board as an At Large Member. I guess my time zones were a little off - I had set my alarm to go off at 5:00 am to jump into the meeting by telecon to listen in.
Twittering, both Direct and Public, began with posts like:
Today the "polls" opened to elect two At Large board members to the Drupal Association. I'm hoping to serve the community for the next year in that capacity. I need your help.
Who Can Vote?
Anyone with an account on Drupal.org (D.O), who has been active in the past 12 months, and created that account before 31 August is eligible to vote.
I'm running for the Drupal Association Board and today was the second day for "Meet the Candidates". I took part in the that call and the meeting was great. The thoughts and ideas being shared underlined how many terrific options, as a community, have to choose from. We were asked to talk a little bit about ourselves - who we are and why we want to serve. I wrote a bit about this a few days ago.
I'm Director of Client Services at Aten Design Group. I have been working in/with/for the nonprofit sector since 1995 in Canada and the United States. This has included board work on both sides (as staff and board member). I have been working in technology sector since 1999 and with Drupal since 2007. I'm a process geek. I'm personally invested in the Drupal community and have helped organize Drupalcamps in Colorado, I've presented at many camps and cons including keynoting for Drupalcamp Austin, and I helped organize Drupalcon Denver.
How Should a Board Interface with a Non-Profit?
About a year ago I threw my hat into the ring to serve as an At Large Board member at the Association. Immediately after the election ended last year, I had several people ask me to run again. There were inquiries, after Holly made the call for 2014 nominations, if I would be running. My desire to serve has not diminished in the least. If anything, the last year has increased my respect and connection to the community as a whole.
This past year has brought a lot of change to my professional life. I worked as an independent Project and Process Management consultant and was incredibly grateful to all my clients who really made that eight months meaningful and kept my family well taken care of. I'm also pleased to have joined Aten Design Group as the Director of Client Services. This shift in my career has truly allowed me to flex my process and project management muscles.
Why does this matter? It speaks to my motives for running for the Association Board.
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" ;) .