57: Godspeed, webkenny - Episode 57 rebroadcast and commentary

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Kenny Silanskas

Acquia Podcast 57 rebroadcast + commentary - Kenny "webkenny" Silanskas passed away in late 2016. Kenny was a Drupalist, a colleague at Acquia, a musician, and a good, funny person who touched my life and the lives of many others. Godspeed, Kenny. We miss you and your huge laugh. Here, Robert Douglass and I listened to the podcast I recorded with Kenny in 2012, reminisced, and talked about the early years at Acquia and the origins of the DrupalCon Prenote. The second half of the podcast is my conversation with Kenny from 2012 and the audio version of his performance in the DrupalCon London Prenote in 2011.

Podcast 57 commentary and original audio

webkenny memories

DrupalCon London, 2011 Prenote

50 Ways to write a module

(parody of Paul Simon's 50 Ways to leave your lover, lyrics by Robert Douglass and Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire) - Huge thanks to Radim Klaška for filing this back in the day.

"The problem's all inside your head," Dries said to me,
"The hooks are easy if you take it logically,
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free,
There must be 50 ways to write a module."

He said, "It's fine to fins a file to include,"
Hopefully your server's RAM won't be abused,
But in that hook, the code looks somewhat crude,
There must be 50 ways to write a module,
50 ways to write a module."

Just push it to Git, Mitt
Write a new patch, Catch,
You don't need to deploy, Roy,
Just ask Angie.
Post in the queue, Stu,
You don't need to write code much,
Just sort on the key, Lee,
And learn PHP.

[Repeat Chorus]

Dries said, "It pleases me to see you used check_plain, But if I could only get you to test again." I said, "I appreciate that, but would you please explain About those 50 ways ... ?"

Dries said, "Why don't we both just hack throughout the night?
And I believe in the morning, you'll begin to see the light,"
And then he committed a patch and I knew that he was right,
There must be 50 ways to write a module,
50 ways to write a module.

Just push it to Git, Mitt,
Write a new patch, Catch,
You don't need to deploy, Roy,
Just ask Angie.
Post in the queue, Stu,
You don't need to write code much,
Just sort on the key, Lee,
And learn PHP.

[Repeat Chorus]

DrupalCon London, 2011 - Living, Breathing Drupal: The Biology of the Request

Original Acquia Podcast post, episode 57, 2012

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.

Supporting Acquia Support

Keeping his team happy and on track is quite a challenge, considering he himself describes a typical day in Support as "One large forest fire from dawn till dusk ... in any time zone ... We wake up on fire and go to bed on fire," Kenny laughs at this point, "and dream on fire ... But that's the job that we love and that's what we do."

"What we provide here is so different from consumer-level support, it's a step above that. There's a heavy level of involvement with our customers and a heavy commitment to them."

From partner to Acquian

After working for an Acquia partner and being laid off in 2009, Kenny got a call from a recruiter who said, "Hey, you're webkenny!" ... "Have you ever heard of Acquia?" :-) Nine interviews later, an Acquian was born!

"I learned large sites while I was here." Now Kenny is one of Acquia's go-to experts on site performance. Kenny's job lets him expand his technical knowledge and use his people skills to provide top-notch technical support. "Acquia has really grown my knowledge as well as my career." Being at Acquia has also allowed him to flourish as a presenter in the Drupal and technical communities, too. He gets to combine his stage skills with what he knows to create compelling teaching experiences and spread the word about Drupal.

A career from cold to hot

From being a ColdFusion developer, Kenny moved to PHP in 2007, and heard about Drupal in 2008. From there, he got a Drupal job and went to his first DrupalCon in Washington D.C. in 2009. By 2011, he was presenting his own sessions at Drupal events, including at DrupalCon London. He even appeared as a guest star in the opening session there.

What we didn't talk about

Kenny is an amazing singer and performer. I've included some excerpts of his London performance in this podcast ... listen right to the end for more!

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