Looking back on 2014, it was a great year of events and conversations with people in and around Acquia, open source, government, and business. I think I could happily repost at least 75% of the podcasts I published in 2014 as "greatest hits," but then we'd never get on to all the cool stuff I have been up to so far in 2015!
Nonetheless, here's one of my favorite recordings from 2014: a terrific session that will help you wrap your head around developing for Drupal 8 and a great conversation with Frederic Mitchell that covered the use of Drupal and open source in government, government decision-making versus corporate decision-making, designing Drupal 7 sites with Drupal 8 in mind, designing sites for the end users and where the maximum business value comes from in your organization, and more!
While speaking with Melissa Anderson about behavior driven development (BDD) at BADCamp 2014, she suggested I get John Bickar from Stanford Web Services in front of my cameras to talk about his experience during last year's "Drupalgeddon" security vulnerability. The result is this podcast and some great insight into how this kind of testing can significantly improve initial, ongoing, and emergency delivery of software. As John puts it, using BDD means: "delivering better software, delivering it faster, and knowing that it is delivering the value that we have promised to our partners." I would have named this episode of the Acquia Podcast more in the spirit of Dr. Strangelove: "Behat tests mean death to Linky-Clicky or how BDD helped Stanford Web Services recover fast during Drupalgeddon," but reason won out.
PHP security expert and member of the Global Cybersecurity Group at Hewlett Packard, Chris Cornutt and I had the chance to meet in person at PHP World 2014, in Washington, D.C. We compared notes on the "PHP Renaissance", looking over other projects' shoulders, sharing code, and PHP security basics.
Tips and tricks for getting the most out of simplytest.me – Patrick Drotleff is a passionate contributor to the Drupal project whose work – including simplytest.me, pareview.sh, and the tongue-in-cheek BreakingHead card game – often centers around building tools that help others contribute to Drupal. Within minutes of Drupal 8 beta being announced at DrupalCon Amsterdam, I saw a tweet saying it was available to try out on simplytest.me. Though I had used the service before, I wanted to know how it actually worked and Patrick was kind enough to agree to show it off here on jam's Drupal Camp.
Eric Mandel, CEO of infrastructure provider Blackmesh, and I got the chance to speak at PHP World 2014 (where I was also a keynote speaker). We spoke about his history with development, open source, and Drupal. I also had the chance to ask Eric about how Blackmesh has become a leader in the area of corporate contribution to Drupal, employing Cathy Theys to work on Drupal core, mentor new Drupal contributors, and help out at code sprints around the world.
Part 2 of 2 – I ran into Elia Albarran, Four Kitchens' Operations Manager at BADCamp 2014. She mentioned she'd read my blog post 10 Tips for Success as a Remote Employee; we started exchanging tips and ideas until I basically yelled, "Stop! I need to get this on camera for the podcast!" She graciously agreed and brought along two Four Kitchens developers for the session, too: Taylor Smith and Matt Grill, whom I spoke with in part 1.
Presenter Brad Czerniak caught my eye with a blog post entitled "10 things I learned using Drupal at a hackathon," based on his experiences taking part in the #hackDPL (Detroit Public Library) competitive hackathon. In our podcast interview we talk about that – before moving on to Brad's session about the Drupal development best practices he and his team use at Commercial Progression in Michigan.
Part 1 of 2 – I ran into Elia Albarran, Four Kitchens' Operations Manager ... ahem "Funmaster", in the inspiring atmosphere of BADCamp 2014. She mentioned she'd read my blog post 10 Tips for Success as a Remote Employee; we started exchanging tips and ideas until I basically yelled, "Stop! I need to get this on camera for the podcast!" She graciously agreed and brought along two Four Kitchens developers for the session, too: Taylor Smith and Matt Grill.
I met Ian Read, Front End Development Team Leader at TSO/Williams Lea Public Sector at Drupal Camp Brighton, where I found out that he has recently been involved in a subject close to my heart: Drupal and government. He was part of the team that designed and built the attractive, responsive, and very functional London Borough of Croydon's new council website. In our conversation, we touch on the value that the Drupal community provides to everyone involved; Drupal and innovation in government digital services; the thought process, needs, design and more that went into the new Croydon Council Drupal website; and more!
Lorna Jane Mitchell is back to show us some great reasons for upgrading your projects to PHP 5.3 or newer. Drupal 8's minimum version requirement is already up there at 5.4.5 (as of 2015.Feb.02), so we're doing well! Lorna and I have a quick chat about her history and experience, open source versus proprietary software development ("Projects and companies that work in that open source technology space make much better use of tools ... and they are wonderful, free, and well-supported tools!") ... specifics of how and why the PHP "Renaissance" is happening, and Drupal 8 as a PHP meta-project before she gets down to her jam's Drupal Camp presentation.
Dustin Whittle, Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics, and I sat down at SymfonyLive Berlin 2014 to get to know each other. We touched on PHP's past and potential futures through HHVM or PHP7, how competition and collaboration both improve open source software and how business benefits from that, Drupal 8, and more. This podcast is some extracts from that conversation!
Sally Young, Senior Developer at Lullabot, let me take her away from the DrupalCon Amsterdam sprints to talk with me. I was thrilled to finally get her in front of my podcast microphone and camera. She is a smart and interesting developer involved in innovations including headless Drupal and mobile applications. More importantly to me, I've been figuratively dying to get her story on tape about her mother's misunderstanding of her first job ever since I first heard it a couple of years ago. Listen on and you won't believe what happens next! ;-) ... We also touch on the beauty of her job, CMS v Framework, the Drupal community, being an open source developer, why Drupal 8 will be nice for developers and clients.
David Aponovich knows the web content management business far beyond just the "Drupalsphere". I was thrilled when he joined Acquia from Forrester Research in 2014, since I believe his voice, experience, and insight can help convince more businesses of the benefits of using Drupal, especially given the upcoming release of Drupal 8. He and I sat down at DrupalCon Amsterdam – David's first Drupal community event – and talked about digital transformation from the "information superhighway" to today, corporations and open source software as a pragmatic choice, and how the definitions of cooperation and competition are changing in business today.
I am looking back on a great year of events and conversations with people in and around Acquia, open source, government, and business. I think I could happily repost at least 75% of the podcasts I published in 2014 as "greatest hits," but then we'd never get on to all the cool stuff I am lining up for 2015! Nonetheless, here's a recording from one of my favorite moments from 2014: Drupal Dev Days in Szeged Hungary, where more than 300 contributors went wild working together on Drupal, I was honored to be the keynote speaker, and where Adam Juran and Campbell Vertesi debuted their now-legendary "Coder v Themer" ultimate smackdown grudge-match. In this podcast, Michael "Schnitzel" Schmid and I talk Drupal 8 from his perspective as a service provider.