This week's podcast features two Drupal Scots: Duncan Davidson (recorded live in a back alley right after Drupal Camp Scotland 2013) and Brian Ward (recorded via Skype, post-event). Duncan is the Scottish regional manager and UK Professional Services Manager for i-KOS and Brian is a developer at heehaw.digital in Edinburgh.
Shannon Vettes is the Partner Manager at Commerce Guys in Paris; the company leading the way in making Drupal the platform of choice for eCommerce. Among other things, she has the rewarding job of coordinating adding modules and services to the Commerce Marketplace and getting integrators involved in the platform, too.
In this episode – "Meet Angie Byron, Part 2: The Return of the Webchick" – we cover how Angie got into the Drupal project, how to hide under blankets, and how to break other people's modules.
I recently sat down at Acquia HQ with my friend and colleague, Angela "webchick" Byron. She is a Drupal core co-maintainer, book author, Drupal Association board member, public speaker, equality advocate, and all-around powerhouse contributor. Angie works with Drupal Lead, Dries Buyteart, in the Acquia Office of the CTO (OCTO): "My job is to make Drupal awesome. We figure out together what's the biggest thing holding Drupal back right now, and whatever it is, we just tackle it."
If you can, I would like you to make a donation to this IndieGoGo campaign to help Vincenzo Rubano DrupalCon Portland. What's this all about? Read on.
Lately, some people on the web have been making arguments like "It doesn't matter if a CMS is open source or proprietary. It's about features and service. I promise my (proprietary, license-fee charging) CMS will do what you need. Nobody cares about the rest." I call BS.
Matt Edmunds, UX Interaction Designer at Acquia, talks about his 9+ years of working with Drupal ... since version 4.3! This gave us the chance to reminisce about the days when we felt we could keep an eye on roughly the whole project on any given day or week. This was probably not truly the case back then and it certainly isn't now.
Erica Ligeski, Acquia U graduate, now full-time Marketing Engineer on the Acquia.com website is another of the many Drupalists with a non-technical background. Her path took her from performance and dance, to arts management, to total geekery! Just like me, at some point along the way she needed a website for an arts project and fell in love with Drupal. The rest is history.
New shows, new gear
The Acquia podcast crew has been hanging out at HQ in Burlington, Massachusetts this week recording a bunch of new material. The newest member of our team is the appropriately named Deadkitten wind protector by Røde microphones. I can't think of a better one for Drupal podcasts!
I also thought of calling this episode of our Four Freedoms podcast series "The interesting journey of a company producing proprietary software being involved in an open source project," ... not so catchy. Or maybe "Why business and openness do not have to be enemies." The point is that on February 12, 2013, Opera Software announced that it was dropping its own, proprietary rendering engine in favour of the open source WebKit engine. I wanted to know more about that decision and the consequences going forward. What I discovered is a company with a commitment to open standards, knowledge sharing, liberal licensing, and a long-term history of actions to back those claims up.
Robert Douglass, Director of Products at Commerce Guys, the originators and maintainers of Drupal Commerce sat down with me this week. We talked about how content, community, and commerce relate and help each other and why Drupal is the best platform to provide you with the digital elements of your users' experience of your online presence. Commerce Guys, in partnership with Acquia also has the support mechanisms that you need to succeed with Drupal and Commerce: from architecting your site, to training your developers, to the ongoing enterprise support that you would need for a serious store in the long term.
Three great past podcasts this week on Drupal in government. The first (and the audio included directly here) is "Helping the Federal Government solve public sector problems with Drupal" with Acquian Bryan Hirsch, originally from May 2012. Check out the other two I have linked to for other interesting perspectives on this important subject.
Heather James, Acquia's Manager of Learning Services, has been in and around Drupal since the version 4 days. She says people new to Drupal "have an easier time at this stage coming to Drupal" than they did 6 years ago. Nonetheless, her early experiences learning how to use Drupal are still reflected by the questions people ask learning Drupal today. This, combined with her excitement about Drupal's potential and her background as an educator, motivated her to become a Drupal trainer. She is passionate about education ("When you're teaching, you're building a bridge from what people know to what they don't know.") and says about her job at Acquia, "I feel like I have a patron who helps me do the things I like to do, which is get out there and teach people."
Mark Sonnabaum, performance engineer at Acquia, comes to open source on a straighter path than some ... despite his university degree being in music composition! He was a systems administrator at the University of North Texas and chose Drupal – in the Drupal 4 era – as the replacement for a mish-mash of legacy, static systems at the university. Today, he is a contributor who has made significant improvements to how Drupal performs for all of us.
This is part three of a conversation I had with Anthony Ferrara – PHP core contributor, security expert, and Senior Architect at NBCUniversal – at the PHP BeNeLux '13 conference. In part one of our conversation, we talked about open source as an ethos and how it affects business. In part two, we talk about what the Four Freedoms mean to us as IT and web professionals, and the growing impact and influence of open source software.