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."
As Senior Director of Solutions Architecture at Acquia, Christian Yates makes sure that Drupal is able to compete head-to-head with any and all competing technologies. He translates organizations' business needs into a vision of how Drupal can solve the large-scale, complex problems that large organizations face. Since showing and doing is always better than saying, he also builds proofs-of-concept in working code to help get them on board with Drupal.
Kent Gale, Senior Director of the Client Advisory Team is on the front lines of keeping Acquia's clients happy and productive: "Every day is a pretty intensive exercise in making customers successful ... one way or the other ... either helping them develop, or deploy or maintain and manage their site."
Kenny Silanskas, Acquia's Tier 1 Team Manager, has a passion for getting Drupal right that rubs off on his team – Acquia's crew of frontline Client Advisers. They are in the happy position of being able to train client-developers in best practices, choosing and using the right Drupal modules, how to use the open source process, and more. Kenny says, "The Support Department gives Drupal sites the TLC they need." All of this results in happier and more successful Drupal users and a healthier Drupal project.
In 2004, Peter Wolanin, then a full-time scientist, discovered Drupal while volunteering on a political campaign and building its website. As he puts it, the road to becoming a full-time software engineer at Acquia started when he discovered that "pretty soon, I got more interested in fixing the bugs than building the site ... "The satisfaction of fixing things sort of drew me in."