(Illustration by Colin Panetta)
Much of the world has standardized on Drupal as their solution for a Content Management System for over a million websites. This is not hard to see. For example, Drupal makes headlines when organizations like NYSE (before merging with ICE) decided to switch to it.
“Once we had those sites up and running there was a huge pent up demand for other sites in the company, and we launched 37 more. It was a big task, as some of those websites hold tens of thousands of pages - being highly regulated we are required to post everything we do online.”
- Bob Kerner, NYSE SVP & Chief Digital Officer 2010
“The important thing for us is that we are able to keep a relatively small team of 60 developers”
- Bob Kerner, NYSE SVP & Chief Digital Officer 2010
“We have tons of work to do, but we will rely on Drupal to build our social community.”
- Bob Kerner, NYSE SVP & Chief Digital Officer 2010
Another example is NBC Universal.
“[NBC Universal has] 30 to 40 leading brands, such as Bravo, Syfy, Telemundo.”
- Christopher Herring, Director, Publishing Program, NBC Universal
“We continue to push Drupal as our standard across the company.”
- Rob Gill, Director, Operations, NBC Universal
One of the most recent large scale pushes to Drupal is well underway at Pfizer. I asked Mike Lamb, Director of Marketing Technology at Pfizer, a few questions about it.
How many Drupal websites are currently in action at Pfizer?
Approx 500 -
How many people would you say it takes to support these sites?
Easiest to calculate suggesting a core team of 12 and then approx 1 person for every 15 sites, so approx 45 people. That’s to keep the platform running – projects and enhancements is additional.
How many non-Drupal sites will become Drupal sites over the next few years?
I’d say approx 200 migrations per year. Drupal launches are a combination of site migrations and completely new sites.
This is a serious amount of Drupal for one, although a big one, company. I gave this info as a talk at a Drupal Camp in Connecticut, MA. In two years, it will take the total attendance of that camp to support Drupal at Pfizer.
A little closer to home, I asked Gary Parker, Systems Analyst at University of Massachusetts (my alma mater), about it.
How many Drupal websites are currently in action at UMASS?
OIT hosts around 120 production sites. I believe there are probably another two dozen hosted by various departments managing their own servers.
How many will become Drupal over the next few years?
Given the number of sites currently in development and our rate of growth, I'd expect 30-50 additional Drupal sites within the next year.
These numbers are lower but this is still a lot of Drupal. The holy grail of this type of information, however, is perhaps the growing list of Drupal sites in government. The “list includes embassies, parliaments, governmental portals, police, research centers, ministries/departments, monarchies etc. in more than 150 countries.” Check it out if you haven’t yet. It is awe inspiring.
How did this happen?
A popular answer involves a long list of Drupal’s amazing feature set. But how did that happen? Drupal is not alone. It is just another shining example of a wildly successful open source project. Drupal is to the Content Management System what Linux was for the Operating System. So how do these things happen?
The reason, I think, takes the following points as its premise:
- Open Source software is inherently inclusive and collaborative.
- The vast majority of participation is driven by intrinsic motives for personal growth, relationships, and helping others.
- Participating is an endeavor that creates actual happiness, dedication, and community.
- Open Source thrives to the extent it is shared.
It is fairly straightforward to get involved in open source. Despite current issues with tech culture, the code is available, the tools are collaborative, and the standards are, for the most part, objective. Community develops from solving intrinsically interesting programming problems. This is rewarding not only to the individuals involved, but open source and the world benefits from this collaboration.
Drupal has fostered such a community for itself by being adequately inclusive and collaborative. It is trusted experts, from this community, that are being asked what they recommend be the solution to the Content Management System issue. Across the world, they are saying, “Drupal, hands down.”
It is in this sense that we have effectively sold Drupal to the world. Now, we must stand by our recommendation. We must support it.
With worldwide adoption at the rate and scale we are seeing, there are some challenges that are coming with it. Here are some:
- Are we supporting our solution efficiently?
- Seeming talent shortage
- Team retention
Each of these challenges are not unique to Drupal and are painfully experienced across the entire IT industry. Solutions are many and vary significantly between each challenge. Taken one by one, each tell a familiar story.Are we supporting our solution efficiently?
Drupal is a powerful system with a lot of complexity. It has an infamous learning curve with nearly every Drupal project needing access to an expert a few times in its existence. Are we able to provide the needed level of Drupal support at a sustainable and affordable rate? The number of new Drupal sites is quickly outpacing the number of new Drupal experts. Salaries and rates have been increasing dramatically over the years. Is there a supply and demand issue with supporting Drupal?
A popular response from Drupal experts, “Is this a problem? What’s wrong with being in demand and making a lot of money?” During my survey on this topic, I also got responses like this:
We are basically pretty unhappy about that migration - it almost killed
support for Drupal on this campus, and still might. If we could do it all
over again we'd probably still be on 6.
-Name Withheld - VIP, A Five College Institution
The move from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 has been very painful for many. Affordable Drupal expertise is rare and in demand, but the show must go on even if it ends horribly at times. It is reasonable to believe that, if this experience were to continue, Drupal would be abandoned.Seeming talent shortage
Facts on this are popular across the entire computing industry. This one is concise and popular:
Some 1.2 million computing jobs will be available in the US in 2022, yet United States universities will produce only 39 percent of the graduates needed to fill them.
-NCWIT “By the numbers”
With a couple hundred million people out of work worldwide, an industry with an apparent talent shortage should give us pause. If you are a professional in the IT industry, consider this question:
How did you get into your field?
Nearly all answers to this question involve an entertaining tale of happenstance abruptly ending in, “...and that’s how I got into IT.” A popular term for this is, “accidental techie.” Since no career path was chosen, nor specific degree given, the person’s resulting career was accidental. For example, it is not unusual to find an English or Math degree in a Senior Programmer position. To go even further, I don’t find it unreasonable to consider Computer Science degrees in a web developer position as “accidental” in this sense. There is no college course that teaches you how to optimize your local development stack or the importance of limiting rounds of revisions.
I don’t fully agree, however, with the widespread use of this term. I’m sure some people truly do accidentally fall into a career in IT, but the rest end up there by following their heart. The issue is that the paths to entry are confusing, intimidating, and just damn hard for seemingly no good reason. It is not so much that there is a talent shortage as much as the directions in are mostly undefined.
Drupal, it seems, is no exception.Team retention
If there is a talent shortage, then retention will be a challenge. Many organizations are finding themselves a stepping stone for their employees to reach greener pastures. The big players, with deeper pockets and bigger promises, are harvesting talent from smaller players, leaving the latter’s quality of work inconsistent as they scramble to find and train new talent.
And then there are statistics like this:
56% percent of Women leave IT by mid career
-Harvard Business Review - #10094
Not only are we not producing enough talent to support this industry, but we are driving a staggering portion of it away.Recruiting
On the question, “What is the biggest recruiting challenge your organization faces?” a Talent Technology 2012 recruitment survey found “Finding good candidates” way out ahead of the pack with, “Filling positions fast,” in close second. Not only can we not find good candidates, but we can’t find them fast enough. There is no surprise here given the discussion so far.Community
The last challenge to be considered is us; ourselves. What do we do about this? For challenges so closely related, our solutions tend to be astonishingly specific. What can we do?
Hack Talent Shortage?
We can’t solve this by staying up late and building a website. And what good will it really do to find a way to pump more people into an industry where a substantial portion are going to leave mid career?
Buy more kegs for the office?
The people who want more kegs aren’t missing from this equation. The issue is that we’ve hired all the people that are excited by this sort of thing.
Get recruiters access to some NSA backdoors?
Obviously no, but allowing recruiters to be more invasive won’t fix this.
“And, what did you do?”
-Rita (Nana) Albrecht, My Grandmother (1914-2014)
When I was a kid, my grandmother used to do this thing when I would tell on my sister. I would come running to my grandmother, “She’s annoying me, she’s annoying me, make her stop.” My grandmother would always ask, “And, what did you do?” meaning, what had I done to my sister, which of course I would try to answer, “Nothing…”
She may have just been trying to get the full story but what always stuck with me was, if I just took a look at myself, I could see, I had a role to play in the situation.
So, community, we need to look at ourselves.Talent Shortage - We need to look at ourselves
Find and support those working to ease entry into this field. Some example organizations (is there a good list somewhere?):
- NCWIT: http://www.ncwit.org/resources/careers
- Anyone doing anything with Scratch: http://scratch.mit.edu/
Here are two examples close to my home:
Groups are working hard on this already and they need our support and collaboration. Find and support organizations with goals of increasing student interest in, and preparation for, careers in STEM.Retention - We need to look at ourselves
Here are some things we can do in our organizations to solve our retention issues:
Manager and Maker schedule distinction (see here)
I’ve seen this change IT company culture drastically for the better. This is a topic all its own, but the basic idea is in recognizing the value in giving your Makers uninterrupted time to complete their work. A Maker is someone who makes something. Writers, Craftsman, Musicians, Painters, and Programmers are examples of Makers. They need schedules with long stretches of uninterrupted time to focus on doing a good job. With this understanding, Managers work to be a distraction buffer, managing incoming issues in order to optimize the experience of the Makers, whose work quality then excels and personal enjoyment increases. Tasks deliver with higher quality resulting in Managers producing overall better projects. Teammates are much less likely to leave a team which works like this.
Consider who your policies and improvements benefit
Team retention means considering everyone. If your policies and improvements tend to focus on a subset of your team, other team members are at risk of increasingly feeling excluded. Not feeling like good fit, they will start to consider your team as a stepping stone to a better situation. A new ping pong table or keg in the office may seem a quick win for smaller homogenous teams but will foster fracturing in better evolved and more realistic situations.
Increase inner company dialog and communication
Have regular conversations about how things are going internally. Work to foster feelings of safety in sharing one’s pain points within the company. It is hard at first but invaluable once people become comfortable with sharing without fear of endangering their job and as people learn to listen without getting defensive. Increasing dialog, increases accountability and alleviates resentments that would otherwise lead to a breakdown in the team.
Increase inner company transparency
This one is scary for many at first: Work to share more administrative details about the decisions that concern your team. Work to eliminate closed door meetings. Increasing transparency, increases trust, feelings of being trusted and feelings of true belonging to a group. It is also a way to share responsibility and, in that sense, ownership. Bad news is easier for a team to bear, and good news has a greater impact and is more intimate, when the decisions leading up to it were shared.
Make a Company Code of Conduct
Your team may be full of people that feel they don’t need something like this. They may think things like, “if people mistreat me, I’ll just tell them off” or, “we don’t need this because we don’t have a conduct problem.” There is nothing wrong with putting it in writing what is expected and what isn’t tolerated at your company. In fact, doing so means you take it seriously. It means you recognize that people are fallible, don’t always know how to act, and putting it in writing is the first step to actually making an effort to be considerate and accepting of each member of your team. You can be sure this is extremely important to at least a few people on your team, even if they haven’t found a way to express it. Do some research on other Codes of Conduct, it is very worthwhile.Recruiting - We need to look at ourselves
We saw earlier that the biggest challenge recruiters face in an organization is finding good candidates, and fast enough. We can look at ourselves here and ask, “Who are we attracting?”
Does the organization prioritize things like:
- Beer outings
- Ping pong/Air hockey
- Long hours with big one-time rewards
The first two are examples of things that can feel exclusionary to a good candidate looking for a new team to call home. The last one doesn’t work at all for people with families, for example, and is really only a great thing for very specific individuals having certain responsibilities and not others, like children. Your organization may currently feel on top of the world with those example perks above, but your next great candidates are turning and running away.
We can also ask, “How are we attracting talent?” For example, is the classic intimidating job posting involved?
Consider replacing things like this:
If you think you have the drive and positivity to fill these shoes:
With things like this:
If you have skills in one of these and are excited by the rest:
Adjustments to our hiring techniques that make them more inviting and less intimidating are essential changes to make. We must also take this further by asking ourselves, “How hard are we looking?”
Consider this fact:
26% of the computing workforce in 2013 were women.
-NCWIT “By the numbers”
in the context of how you answered this question earlier:
How did you get into your field?
Most of us are having to find our way into IT accidentally, and many of us aren’t finding our way at all. The path to an IT career is currently pretty intimidating and rather obfuscated. It can be very hard to know whether or not you are going in the right direction or even just wasting your time trying.
Your next Drupal expert could be hiding beneath a rock of self doubt.
Community - We need to look at ourselves
Together with Fabian Franz & Marco Molinari from Tag1 Consulting, I had a talk about render caching in Drupal 7 and 8.Slides: Render caching in Drupal 7 and 8Conference: DrupalCon AmsterdamLocation: Amsterdam, The NetherlandsDate: Oct 1 2014 - 10:45Duration: 45 minutesExtra information:
When approaching new Drupal projects, I’m always excited to listen and learn about the project’s requirements. It’s an occasion to create just the right solution. With a recent project, I took the opportunity to rethink the use of Nodequeue to manage front page content, and instead used the Draggableviews and Custom Publishing Options projects. Before diving into that solution, let’s step through other solutions to manage front page content, so we can undestand the pros and cons of each.
Here's an update from the Documentation Working Group (DocWG) on what has been happening in Drupal Documentation in the last month or so. Sorry... because this is posted in the Core group as well as Documentation, comments are disabled.
If you have comments or suggestions, please see the DocWG home page for how to contact us. Thanks!Notable Documentation Updates
Here are some Community Documentation pages that were updated this past month:
- ruscoe updated several pages of documentation about the Drupal Commerce IATS module. We always love to see contributed module maintainers documenting their modules -- thanks Dan!
- andrisek updated several pages of documentation about the ERPAL CRM system contributed module. In this case, he's not even an official maintainer of the project -- we always love to see community members updating documentation too -- thanks Daniel!
- chrischinchilla went through the Installation Guide and made updates for Drupal 8. That was one of our "Priority" tasks -- thanks Chris!
- Many people updated documentation in preparation for code sprints in Amsterdam, to help new contributors get up to speed quickly. Always a good idea!
- And there were many more updates... see below.
See the DocWG home page for how to contact us, if you'd like to be listed here in our next post!Thanks for contributing!
Since September 1 (our previous TMIDD post), 229 contributors have made 629 total Drupal.org documentation page revisions, including 2 people that made more than 20 edits (andrisek and realityloop) -- thanks everyone!
In addition, there were many many commits to Drupal Core and contributed projects that improved documentation -- these are hard to count, because many commits combine code and documentation -- but they are greatly appreciated too!Documentation Priorities
The Current documentation priorities page is always a good place to look to figure out what to work on, and has been updated recently.
If you're new to contributing to documentation, these projects may seem a bit overwhelming -- so why not try out a New contributor task to get started?Upcoming Events
https://amsterdam2014.drupal.org - DrupalCon Amsterdam - THIS FRIDAY, October 3 - sprint!
http://bogota2015.drupal.org/ - DrupalCon Latin America, Bogotá, Columbia, Feb 10-12, 2015Report from the Working Group
We're pleased to announce that Antje Lorch (ifrik) has officially joined the Documentation Working Group. She's been a leader of documentation events and has been participating in WG meetings for a while, so it's great to have her officially on board. Welcome Antje!
In our last This Month post, we forgot to report on a couple of our "infrastructure and tools" projects that were completed in August:
- We updated the Documentation Management page (log in to see it): https://www.drupal.org/documentation/manage -- it is wider and has improved columns and filters. Use it to find a page you want to work on!
- We updated the tab navigation for the Community Documentation pages: https://www.drupal.org/documentation
We're currently working on a new project: integrating api.drupal.org results into the Drupal.org search box -- stay tuned for updates on that!
Finally, our next meeting will be October 22nd. We normally meet using Google Hangouts (although last month we met in IRC due to technical difficulties); if you'd like to join us, contact Boris (batigolix).
Deeson's MD, Tim Deeson, took to the stage at DrupalCon Amsterdam for the panel session 'Life in the fast lane - achieving sustainable growth'.
He was joined by Vesa Palmu from Wunderkraut, Paul Johnson from CTI Digital and Jeff Walpole of Phase2, while Robert Douglass from Commerce Guys expertly chaired it.
The hour-long session addressed a series of issues and challenges faced by Drupal agencies, shops and freelancers when trying to grow their businesses.
With questions from the packed audience and Twitter, there were plenty of interesting discussion points.
Here are our topline takeaways:1. Why grow for the company?
There are many reasons to grow, but the key one is to deliver success.
But, equally, you need to be sure you want to grow. What's more, there are different kinds of growth: acquisition and organic growth are the two most obvious. But they come with additional risks. Acquisition can prove very disruptive internally and externally with huge organisational shifts that can reverberate for a long time. Organic growth, while more steady, may enable you to optimise but can take a long time with the potential to put a company into a rut while things shift faster around you.2. Why grow for clients?
The main reason is is to deliver a broad range of services. Why? Because if your clients' businesses grow successfully, so will yours. There's a note of caution: you can hit a point of diminishing return, so as hard as it is, try to find your company's sweet spot. Also don't be an IT elephant. Be agile. This means be large enough to service your clients, but flexible enough to meet the changing demands of your clients' needs.3. How do you differentiate your business in the market?
There are different approaches to this. One way could be to identify a defining moment which changed your business, for example, when you took on your first major client. Another is to highlight specialisms you have. Whatever your USPs might be, you must tailor them to the right market. Remember it's not always one size fits all.4. Can you plan growth, or can it just happen?
There are a number of things that will help you grow, but you need to think about budgeting cycles, a defined growth path and a realistic recruitment strategy. Added into the mix are the basics such as making sure you know your products, and sell what you are good at. But before anything, carry out deal evaluation. Be good at turning down work that's not right for you. It takes nerves of steel, but you build credibility.5. How do you sustain growth?
Be bold. Tell people where you're going and why - be open. You must show cultural leadership by reflecting your values and goals in everything you do. This way you lead from the front line each day, which is critical to maintain growth.6. What is a risk to growth?
You can look at market influences, shifts in buying patterns and other such external challenges. If you start to lose your culture, then you also risk your growth. If your role as a leader becomes 'just a job', then the alarm bells should start ringing. And if you are failing, face them head-on. Failures are not expensive but hidden failures are.In summary
- Surround yourself with talented, motivated, engaged people
- Be clear what you want to achieve and why
- Have long term vision, approached with small steps
You can see more on the session at Twitter with #drupalfastlaneWant to learn more?
Come and find us at DrupalCon Amsterdam - we're on Stand 203!
I organised a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session at DrupalCon Amsterdam yesterday to discuss people's experiences of integrating Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems with Drupal.The draw
It seems like it was a pretty popular topic as 12 people joined in a lively discussion which covered a number of areas.General integration issues
We shared our experiences about integrating Drupal with remote systems, such as a CRM.
We agreed that writing custom integration modules can be a laborious process and prefer using a module to help with the integration to reduce the effort.Integration modules
If a specific integration module does not exist then the generic Web Services Client module can be used to integrate to web services and provide Drupal actions based on Rules. For a non-Rules based approach, which requires more development, there is the Web Services Integration Framework.Edge cases
Integrations also require consideration of edge cases, such as what to do if the remote system is unavailable. For example, should a user still be able to update their details on a Drupal website if the CRM is down for maintenance? If they are, how do you go about synchronising data later?Possible solutions
These are the solutions we debated:
1. The group was in general agreement that there should only be one repository of 'the truth' and data should not be contained in two systems. In the case of a CRM system, user information should live in the CRM and cache what is needed on the website.
2. If the CRM is down, we agreed on a simple simple solution. Firstly, detect the system is down, switch off the connection to the remote system and display helpful messages if talking to the remote system was required. For example, "Our database is unavailable at present, we are working to correct the problem. Please check back later". The Web Service Integration Framework module takes this approach and protects sites by preventing connections being generated to the remote service if it's unavailable, which in turn prevents slow page loads.
3. More complex strategies are needed if it's critical that the website must be operational if the CRM is down. These include time-stamping requests so the data can be correctly reintegrated when the CRM returns.Integration platforms
The group then discussed integration platforms.
These are cloud-based solutions which allow a simple mechanism for connecting two systems, such as Mulesoft, bip.io, cloudwork.io and zapier.com.
By integrating your Drupal site with one of these, you can use plugins to pass data straight to your CRM. This means less integration work as many CRMs come with plugins for these platforms already. Also, if you change your CRM provider, it's a simple matter of changing the settings in the cloud interface instead of writing or installing a new integration module on your site.
One disadvantage of using integration platforms is the rather large issue around trust. Afterall, your data will be passing through a cloud-based solution. Also, you rely on the quality of the plugin provided by the platform and custom requirements will still need to be addressed.
You can also setup and run your own integration platform using the Apache Camel project.API quality
When writing custom integrations, the quality of the CRM's API needs to be considered. Some in the group said SalesForce provides a good mechanism for integration. Salesforce also has a Drupal integration module to help, which is maintained by the helpful people at ThinkShout, one of whom was at the BOF.CRMs differences
When it comes to CRMs, there is a wide choice of systems available.
Other CRMs provide a reasonable out-of-the-box experience but were generally thought to be more work to customise.
We also discussed Erpal, a complete backend business management solution, combines a CRM and invoicing system aimed at small to medium sized businesses.
As an organisation increases in size, it might need to move its CRM into a separate system, rather than being contained within their website or backend system. If this was the case then the group said it was worth considering larger platforms, such as SalesForce or MS Dynamics.Finishing up...
There are many options in the CRM space and the BoF group went though many of the benefits and pitfalls.
It's clear that care must be taken when thinking about CRM integration. I advise having a look at what others have done before and which integration modules exist to help you before starting a custom integration.
"Why should I come to BADCamp?" you may be asking. Well, if you can get to San Francisco, one of the biggest and free-est tech events on the calendar awaits you: free training, free food and drink, free summits, free sessions, amazing keynotes (free), a party (entry fee ... probably zero), "fancy coffee", and opportunities galore all await you!
I gave my traditional State of Drupal presentation this week at DrupalCon Amsterdam. I decided to talk about the sustainability and scalability of the Drupal community. In case you didn't attend DrupalCon Amsterdam, you can watch the recording of my keynote, download a copy of my slides (PDF, 17 MB) or read my blog post on the topic.
Phase2 ran a hackathon yesterday at DrupalCon Amsterdam to encourage Drupal app and distribution development.
Although Drupal distributions can offer a lot of value, one of the Drupal project's biggest challenges right now is awareness of its capabilities and value.
This competition was setup to provide an incentive to get developers working on a distribution for Drupal or an app for Panopoly or Open Atrium.Why do we need distributions?
Drupal is aimed at a wide audience and needs configuration after installation to meet users' specific needs. Distributions help non-technical people build websites faster.The lowdown
A distribution is a package which includes both Drupal Core and a collection of other modules, libraries, themes and configuration scripts. Together these provide a fully working site configured for a very specific use case.
A great example of a distribution is Commerce Kickstart which provides a fully fledged off-the-shelf eCommerce website, something which would take some time to configure if you started with Drupal alone.
Drupal apps provide small bundles of functionality which can be added via a point and click method to an existing site. So, if you want to add an image gallery to your site then installing the image gallery app would create the necessary content types and install the right modules to make this happen.Getting started
I heard about the Drupal distribution hackathon competition at DrupalCon Amsterdam and got the details from the helpful people at Phase2. I headed there on my own and was welcomed into a team of three other animated developers where we started discussing ideas.The idea
Two of the other developers had an interesting idea about building a Drupal distribution for non-technical people which would help them build a website to deliver presentations online.
We decided to have a go at building this in Drupal 8 because it’s exciting to use a new and evolving platform.Introducing Promokit...
In seven short hours, we built a themed installation profile which configured Drupal with minimal effort from the end user. Nifty.
We called our idea PromoKit. It includes a first-time run wizard which helps you build your first presentation quickly and doesn't assume you know how to use Drupal.
We also added some additional niceties, such as an editing dashboard to manage and order the presentation’s slides.
When you access the site as an anonymous user, you are shown slide 1 of the presentation which displays to full screen. You can also page through the slides using the forward and back keys.The hack
We had a lot of fun diving deep into the Drupal 8 eco-system to understand how to build modules, themes and installation profiles. Although the finished product needs some more polish, we achieved much of our original ambition and were able to add some visual improvements, such as theming the Drupal 8 installation wizard.
Around 10pm, each team delivered a short presentation on their work. We demonstrated how Promokit used Drupal distributions to make it really easy for end users to achieve their goals. We were overjoyed when our team was awarded first prize by Phase2's CTO Frank Febbraro.Thank you Phase2
Huge thanks to Phase2 for organising the competition and putting on the food and drink to keep us going. Also, well done to all the other teams. I hope everyone had a great time like I did!
Our new An Effective Development Workflow in Drupal 8 training just made its debut at DrupalCon Amsterdam. An important part of the training is dedicated to shorten the trial-and-error period developers necessarily need to go through when converting their practices from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8: we want that proficient Drupal 7 (and Features) developers with zero, or very limited, Drupal 8 knowledge, gain a rather comprehensive knowledge of Drupal 8 (focused on configuration management) that allows them to be immediately productive when Drupal 8 is released.
As a gift to those who couldn't attend the training because it was sold out, and to all lovers of Drush, Features and code-driven development in general, we are sharing a "Drupal 7 to Drupal 8" cheatsheet that was part of the training materials. Please find it attached to this post, in PDF format.
We still have some printed copies available to give away; find us at DrupalCon and feel free to ak us for some copies!Tags: Drupal Planet, Drupal 8, Code Driven DevelopmentAttachments: Drupal-7-to-Drupal-8-Cheatsheet.pdfImage:
Today we announced Drupal 8 beta 1! This key milestone is the work of over 2,300 people who have contributed more than 11,500 committed patches to 15 alpha releases, and especially the 234 contributors who fixed 178 "beta blocker" issues. A massive thank-you to everyone who helped get Drupal 8 beta 1 done.
Betas are for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch if necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.
Drupal 8.0.0-beta1 has just been released for testing and feedback! This key milestone is the work of over 2,300 people who have contributed more than 11,500 committed patches to 15 alpha releases, and especially the 234 contributors who fixed 177 "beta blocker" issues. To read about the new features in Drupal 8, see Drupal.org's Drupal 8 landing page.Drupal 8 beta 1 for testers
Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch if necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.
Start by downloading Drupal 8.0.0-beta 1 and installing it! Drupal 8 definitely still has bugs, and we need your help to discover them. Let us know what bugs you find in the Drupal core issue queue. (Please search the known issues before filing.)Drupal 8 beta 1 for module and core developers
The main differences between the previous Drupal 8 alphas and the new beta are:
- The fundamental APIs in Drupal 8 (like the entity, configuration, and menu APIs) are now stable enough so that contributed module and theme authors can start (or resume) their #D8CX pledges and port their projects to Drupal 8.
- We have locked down Drupal 8's data model enough that developers should generally not need to perform data migrations between beta releases of Drupal 8. We will start providing a beta-to-beta upgrade path in a later beta release.
- Limited API and data model changes will still happen, though core maintainers will try to isolate these changes to only non-fundamental APIs or critical bug fixes.
Drupal 8's user interface, interface text, and markup are not finalized until the first release candidate, so it's too early to focus on user-facing documentation, translations, or themes (though by all means, adventurous contributors should start now to provide feedback while we can still fix things). Note that localize.drupal.org does not yet support the full Drupal 8 API and does not have all translatable strings.When does 8.0.0 get released?
Beta 1 will be followed by a series of additional beta releases with bug fixes, performance improvements, and improved stability.
The release version of Drupal 8.0.0 will be ready after there are no more critical issues (as of today, there are 97 remaining) and we've had at least one release candidate (RC) without adding any more critical issues to the list.
When will that be? "When it's ready." The more people help, the faster we can find and fix bugs, and the faster 8.0.0 gets released. The faster 8.0.0 gets released, the faster we can start adding new features for Drupal 8.1.0. So help out where you can, and let's deliver the best release of Drupal ever! :)Thank you!
A massive thank-you to everyone who helped get Drupal 8 beta 1 done, especially the contributors who have focused on beta-blocking issues (pictured below).Front page news: Planet DrupalDrupal version: Drupal 8.x
In the style of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, we'll lick those bugs, one at a time! The three people I nominate to also take the challenge are Tom Erickson, Dries Buytaert, and Josh Koenig. You've got 24 hours!
Prior to the DrupalCon Amsterdam Prenote (where this video was shown), I had captured a few reactions from some of my friends (a sort of market testing, if you will).
Jam and friends react.
Mike reacts.Tags: Drupal PlanetDrupalDrupalCon
- What’s your role with regards to this DrupalCon?
- What is a DrupalCon? (I’d like to start out by getting a brief overview of what DrupalCon is for anyone that might be listening who hasn’t been to one. Maybe explain that there are sessions, BOFs, Day stage, vendors, pre-conference trainings, post-conference sprints etc.)
- Where is the DrupalCon going to be?
- Why Bogotá?
- Central place, cosmopolitan city. Easy access for most Countries and a technology hub for the region.
- When is it?
- 10-12 February 2015
- With sprints before and after
- What will be the spoken languages? What percentage of talks will be each language?
- The languages in Drupalcon Latin America will be English, Spanish and portuguese.
- Do we know who any of the keynote speakers will be, and what will they talk about?
- Dries And Larry Garfield
- What track will be represented?
- What events are happening, and where can people find out more about them?
- We haven’t started planning these events, Something interesting happening on the weekend right after DrupalCon is the Barranquilla Carnival.
- Trivia night (We hope)
What does the tech community look like there?
The tech community is big in Colombia, the central government has a full ministry dedicated to promote and work with technology in several areas. Bogota is a technological Hub in Latin America and a place where companies like google, facebook and PayU Latam set their main offices for Latin America and the Caribbean.
What does the Drupal community look like?
When we talk about the community we cannot talk about just Bogota or Colombia, this is Latin America opening their doors to everyone. The Latin American community is very active, matter of fact in the next 2 months we are having three big camps: Central America, Ecuador and Bolivia. Is a community that beside the local meetings does Summits from all latin America, being the last one Drupal Picchu in January this year. we also have Important camps in Mexico and other countries as mentioned before.
What’s the Drupal adoption look like in Bogotá?
The local government in Bogota is moving or has moved all their webpages to Drupal. Several newspapers, including the biggest one, and the biggest Video on Demand service in Colombia are Drupal as well as many Universities, among others.
- Who’s going to be the “boots on the ground” in Bogotá playing “host”?
- Seed (http://www.seed.com.co/en) Is the company helping us locally in Bogota.
- Where is the best place to eat?
- Zona T, just by the venue is the zone with several fancy restaurants. Usaquen is another zone, 93th street park and the “pink Zone” which is party and bars hub in Bogota just blocks from the venue also.
- Where is the best place to drink?
- Coffee - Juan Valdez (better than Starbucks)
- Beer - Bogota Beer Company. But Don;t forget Aguardiente.
- What should anyone who’s not been before, make sure to do?
Go to the Carnival
Explore the city
Go to Zona G (http://www.bogotatravelguide.com/places-to-go-in-bogota/zona-g.php)
Go to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira.
Visit PANACA and the coffee zone (http://www.bogotatravelguide.com/tour-del-cafe-bogota.php)
There is too much to see and love about Colombia! http://www.bogotatravelguide.com/index_en.html
Today started out bright and early for our Forum One team, setting up for our part in the famous DrupalCon Prenote. This is one of the best-known “secrets” of DrupalCon. As Drupal founder Dries Buytaert puts it, “If you only get up early once during DrupalCon, this is the morning to do it.” In past years we’ve taught the audience how to pour beer (DrupalCon Munich), conducted the crowd in the “Drupal Opera” (DrupalCon Prague), and explored the funny and strange talents of the Drupal community (DrupalCon Portland). Of course, no one could forget our famous Coder/Themer Wonder Twins appearance at the Drupal Superheroes Prenote from DrupalCon Austin!
This year, the Prenote theme was Drupal memories. We heard from many of the famous Drupal core contributors about how they became involved in the community and how it ultimately changed their lives. A beautiful highlight was Nancy Beers sharing the romantic video her husband sent her from Drupal Camp in Seville, shortly after they met at DrupalCon in London. After showing the video, Nancy got down on one knee on stage and proposed!
Adam and I got to re-enact the founding of Acquia, one of Drupal’s biggest service providers. We re-enacted that first partnership between Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson in a great Star Wars-themed parody. “Join me, and together we can rule the Internets as CEO and CTO,” intoned Jay in a Darth Vader mask. The audience loved it, and, of course, Adam and I thoroughly enjoyed our parts as well.
At the end of the reminiscing, we directed the audience to stand up and take “selfies” of themselves with the stage in the background, while the core contributors up front took their own “selfies” to match. Then I took the microphone with my opera singing, Drupalist wife, Bryn Vertesi, to sing a Drupal-lyrics version of “Memories”, from the musical CATS. “Once we’re Beta, you’ll understand what happiness is,” became the catchphrase for the day!
The Dries keynote was exciting as well, mostly because of the announcement that Drupal 8 is going to Beta at the end of the convention! This is great news for developers and clients alike, as the Drupal 8 API brings enormous improvements in flexibility, scalability, and usability. Forum One’s own Kalpana Goel has been hard at work, not just helping to write Drupal 8, but mentoring others as well. She spent her day in the sprint room, where the core contributors mixed celebrating the milestone with planning sessions for the next development phase.
Today I also got to try out a new session, introducing the fundamental layout concepts in Drupal 7 and 8, and teaching people how to combine them for the best effect. Panels, Display Suite, and Context – oh my! ran overtime with a full room, and finally I decided we had to move the discussion to a “Birds of a Feather” workshop, tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it!
This was a long and eventful day for us here at DrupalCon Amsterdam. We’ll finish it off with a well-deserved beer at one of Holland’s famous breweries, hopefully somewhere along one of the many beautiful canals that dot this city. We’ll report back with more tomorrow!
If you’re reading this blog post then you probably know what Drupal is...and I’m pretty sure that you are from the “Drupal world”. But just in case you don’t know - Drupal is an awesome open-source content management system. And for me, the best thing about Drupal is the community! With over 1 million members, and 30,000+ developers, it is one of the largest and most dedicated open-source tech communities in the world. For some people “Drupal community” means their developer friends around the world, for others it’s all about giving back to the Drupal project. No matter what you think - everyone must admit that DrupalCon is one of the main symbols of our community! DrupalCons are the most important conferences of the year for the Drupal community, and an event that Propeople supports as a sponsor year after year.
Unfortunately, DrupalCon is also one of the most expensive Drupal events of the year, specially when compared with small Drupal camps and events (e.g. DevDays in Szeged or a local DrupalCamp). Companies attending the conference will usually be represented by team leads and other senior team members. All the while, there are many, more junior Drupalists that would like to attend, but are not able to. For DrupalCon Amsterdam, we have decided to give some of our younger team members here in Propeople the opportunity to go to the event.
In order to do this, we had the idea of setting up a contest for our team. After all, some friendly competition is always fun! And what’s the most useful, interesting, and honest thing to base a DrupalCon contest around? Contributions to Drupal, of course! Whoever had the most Drupal contributions and patches to their name at the end of the contest would win a ticket to attend their first Con! Actually, our formula was a bit more complex than just a sum total of contributions. We accounted for the final status of the task or issue (if it was committed to Drupal - then max points, if it’s in the “needs review” stage - then no points); kind of project (Drupal core - max points, small sandbox - minimum points); and whether the patch was just a reroll or full of new logic. Other small multipliers were also used to “keep score”. Also we had some ground rules: contributions to documentation did not count, and there was only one month.
Personally, I think that the best and the easiest way to begin contributing is to find an interesting task, grab a laptop and start writing code. Similarly, I also think that the best and easiest way to become familiar with Drupal 8 (the upcoming version of Drupal) is to start contributing to the Drupal 8 core, or to port a module from Drupal 7. And even with tasks as simple as “Replace file_load() with File::load()”(https://www.drupal.org/node/2321969) you could learn a bit about EntityAPI, new FieldAPI, internal storage API, Unit test API and even fix some non-ideal code or remove external dependency to keep the DI pattern!
As a result of our month-long competition, those who competed were involved in 80+ Drupal 8 issues, and many of them have been resolved and committed to the Drupal core! Keep in mind that those who took part in the competition didn’t have any previous experience with Drupal 8.
So here are the results of our top-three contestants, who are in attendance at DrupalCon Amsterdam this week!
Temoor Gilmutdinov (https://www.drupal.org/u/temoor) - 25 issues: 10 were committed
Yaroslav Kharchenko (https://www.drupal.org/user/2312280) 30 issues: 12 were committed
Mike Sokolovskiy (https://www.drupal.org/u/lokeoke) - 23 issues: 12 were committed
These young developers were not alone. Afterall, when you help the community, the community helps you in return. Thank you to the great mentors that helped throughout:
And of course, a big THANK YOU to our core committers:
@Webchick and @alexpott!
Overall, this was a great internal initiative for our team, motivating a number of our developers to contribute to Drupal 8. In addition to the opportunity to attend DrupalCon, they have also earned valuable experience that will be put to good use in the coming months, as we continue to be involved with the development of Drupal 8. When Drupal 8 launches, initiatives such as this will ensure that Propeople will be in a good place to continue to provide the professional Drupal services that we are so proud of!Tags: DrupalCon AmsnterdamService category: TechnologyCheck this option to include this post in Planet Drupal aggregator: planetTopics: Community & Events
Icon fonts are a flexible solution for adding icons to your website. Having the icon contained in the font allows you to switch size and scale, color and add effects easily without having to redraw an image. In addition a font needs to be only loaded once, rather than 1 call per image (unless you are using a sprite like a fancy person, but sprites don't have the previously mentioned font benefits)...
Drush Recipes has come a long way since the project was first announced on planet a month ago.