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.
PHP core contributor, security expert, and Senior Architect at NBCUniversal, Anthony Ferrara and I sat down to talk 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 this part, we talk about what the Four Freedoms mean to us as IT and web professionals, but also the growing impact of open source software outside the world of software development.
I met PHP core contributor and security expert Anthony Ferrara at the PHP BeNeLux '13 conference. He is a Senior Architect at NBCUniversal on a team that works a lot with Drupal. In this first part of a three-part interview, we sat down to talk about open source as an ethos and how it affects business. In the next two parts of our conversation, we talked about the consequences and practice of the Four Freedoms that define open source software, and the security of PHP as a programming language.
Moshe Weizman is Acquia's Director of Research and Development in the Office of the CTO. Over the years, he's built many of the development tools that have been instrumental in Drupal's growth and success. Now, alongside his ongoing contributions to Drupal itself, he works with Acquia's product teams from conception, through architecture and prototyping, to helping coordinate ongoing development.
Erik Webb – aka "Southern Gentleman" within his team – Senior Technical Consultant with Acquia's Professional Services group helps some of the "biggest Drupal users" in his job. In any given week, he might be doing anything from training people brand new to Drupal, to performance tuning and everything in between to make projects succeed. "I helped a Fortune 100 company move their entire web presence to Drupal." At this scale, Erik's job is about how to take Drupal to that next level and making it something that works for millions of people," day in and day out. "The Drupal community is really about trying to make an experience and make something that people want to come back to."
Andrew Melck, Solutions Architect on the Pre-Sales Team in Acquia Europe is the subject of the first Acquia podcast of 2013.
Chris Pliakas is a solutions architect at Acquia. He works closely with the Acquia sales representatives and potential clients "to help people who might not know about Drupal or might be considering a proprietary solution see how Drupal can help them. It's really great to be out on the front lines helping people to see Drupal the way we do."
Michael Hofmockel is a technical consultant at Acquia, based in Ames Iowa. Like many Drupalists, Michael's background wasn't in computer science, but led him to Drupal nonetheless. As he puts it, "Drupal's great because you can come at it from almost any angle ... and we do!" Michael was building databases as a soil chemist at Duke University. When he needed a web interface for a database, "I decided not to build it for myself, tried Drupal and I never needed anything else again!"
Sam Lerner is an Acquia Client Advisor with something of a specialty in search technologies; he is the co-maintainer of the Google Search Appliance and Apache Solr Drupal projects. His job is to use his own knowledge and take advantage of Acquia's "deep bench" in all things Drupal to help clients make their websites successful. He calls working at Acquia "fuel injected knowledge".
Hernâni Borges de Freitas, a Technical Consultant at Acquia, specialises in "Doing lots of things with Drupal at scale: training and helping people go the right direction in Drupal. Acquia is bringing Drupal to different markets and perspectives, to big companies who want to use it to achieve better results. We make sure they go in the right direction. When they choose Drupal, we help make sure they choose the right solution, adapted to their needs, and that can grow with their business, instead of some closed solution that dies after a while."