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.
Part 2 – Larry Garfield and I had a long chat in front of my camera at DrupalCon Amsterdam to warm him up for writing "Building Bridges: Linking Islands" in the Future of PHP guest blog series on Acquia.com. In this second part of our conversation, we touch on Drupal's specialist value-adds over and above straight PHP, what defines community, sustainable contribution and services v products businesses, rebuilding Drupal's foundations to make a better project for everyone, the php[world] conference and Drupal 8 itself as manifestations of all the good changes coming with PHP interoperability, how communities are building bridges between their islands and sharing innovation, and how to do the Drupal Hug™.
Part 1 – Larry Garfield and I had a long chat in front of my camera at DrupalCon Amsterdam. Part of the idea was to help Larry prepare his thoughts for writing the blog post that has turned into "Building Bridges: Linking Islands" in the Future of PHP guest blog series on Acquia.com. In this part we cover Larry's start in Drupal, some project history, what Drupal can teach (and needs to learn) about contribution and community ("celebrating the newbie" and the power of "thank you"), The New PHP, fuzzy project boundaries and inter-project collaboration.
Chris Jolly, CTO Ontraq Europe, and his company have a strong technical background, going back to "old school" (pre-internet) IT. Their main focus until now has been eCommerce, Symfony, and solving hard problems like legacy-system integrations. Now, thanks to its use of Symfony framework components, they've started using Drupal 8 as their content management technology of choice! Chris and I talked at DrupalCon Amsterdam about getting there and what they're up to now.
At the 2014 Government ICT 2.0 conference in London, I gave a presentation on Drupal and open source software as an essential facilitator in the practice of good digital government today, "Code for a Better World: Open Source Drupal + Government." (presentation slides embedded below). Hugo Pickford-Wardle, Chief Innovation Officer at Matter Digital, helped me out by speaking for ten minutes about Matter's activities and experience on the front lines of government transformation in the UK today. Afterward, we got the chance to sit down and talk in front of the camera about all this and a lot more.
Voices of the ElePHPant / Acquia Podcast Ultimate Cage Match Part 2 - I had the chance to try to pull Cal Evans out of his shell at DrupalCon Amsterdam. After a few hours, he managed to open up and we talked about a range of topics we have in common. In this part of our conversation we talk about 'Getting off the Island', inter-project cooperation in PHP and Drupal's role in that; the reinvention and professionalization of PHP core development; decoupled, headless Drupal 8; PHP and the LAMP stack as tools of empowerment and the technologists' responsibility to make devices and applications that are safe, secure, and private by default.
Voices of the ElePHPant / Acquia Podcast Ultimate Showdown Part 1 - Cal Evans and I got the chance to sit down and talk (a lot!) at DrupalCon Amsterdam and talk about a range of topics we have in common. In this first part of a 2-part series, we talk Drupal, PHP convergence and the "PHP Renaissance", open source communities, proprietary v open source business and the ethics of helping, and more.
I met Vinita Rathi at the recent Digibury Weekender, where she gave a presentation entitled "Why we all need women in tech." Her presentation was thought- and audience-question provoking and I was thrilled when she agreed to sit down with me and talk about women in technology. In this conversation, among other things, we touch on how businesses with more women in leadership tend to be better performers financially; motherhood and maternity leave as a business advantage; perspectives on problem solving; and how to move technology companies and industries towards gender balance and diversity.
Kalpana Goel - web developer with Forum One - and I sat down to chat at DrupalCon Amsterdam. We discussed the topic of Dries Buytaert's Amsterdam keynote: the potential benefits of "gamifying" and rewarding companies for supporting contributions, especially to Drupal core; Kalpana's discovery of Drupal; her contribution to the Drupal 8 web services initiative and Drupal's culture of sharing, and some of the benefits that are coming with Drupal 8.
"Like a lot of people, I did both sides of technology; working on paid, proprietary systems [and open source]. There is a big difference. I can't imagine myself going back to any proprietary system where I have to pay; I can't share the code I am doing with anyone; I have to ask a company about the right tool to use. I love the way that everybody contributes to the same piece of code, trying to make it the best ... and for free!" declares Luc.
Part 2 of 2 – Kris Vanderwater (EclipseGc), Acquia’s Developer Evangelist, and I got together in a Google Hangout to catch up on our impressions of DrupalCon Amsterdam. We prepared a list of our top ten sessions from the Con for you to catch up with at home (technically nine sessions and one “other cool thing”). In our list, there’s a little something for most everyone, from coders, to themers, to site builders, to those of us who pitch sell Drupal to clients – but we would recommend all of these sessions to anyone involved in Drupal. See how the other side lives!
Part 1 of 2 – Kris Vanderwater (EclipseGc), Acquia’s Developer Evangelist, and I got together in a Google Hangout to catch up on our impressions of DrupalCon Amsterdam. We prepared a list of our top ten sessions from the Con for you to catch up with at home (technically nine sessions and one “other cool thing”). In our list, there’s a little something for most everyone, from coders, to themers, to site builders, to those of us who pitch sell Drupal to clients – but we would recommend all of these sessions to anyone involved in Drupal. See how the other side lives!
Apart from presenting a terrific session that will help you wrap your head around developing for Drupal 8, Fredric and I had a great conversation 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!
DrupalCon Amsterdam was something of a family outing for me. My wife Francesca attended all week and my kids were able to come out Thursday evening to attend Trivia Night and the Friday sprints. My daughter Victoria had sewn a dress and a cape to appear as Drupal Girl on Thursday evening. Her weeks of work on that really paid off; she was a big hit. She also got to meet her Drupal idol, MortenDK, who was the inspiration for her brand new Drupal.org and Twitter username: Drupal_Princess. There's a great photo of her meeting Webchick floating around online, too.