Feed Your Organization's Pet Drupal Project a Willing New Site Builder

Most Drupal shops always seem to have a few pet projects on the to-do list that are perpetually 2-3 months off - those pesky bill-paying client projects always seem to get in the way. If only there was some way to throw some person-hours at them as a way of gaining some momentum and making some progress. It's actually not that difficult to find the right developer (if you know where to look), the payoff could be great (especially if it can be an additional revenue stream for your organization), and it could help max out your karma score.

tl;dr: We're getting ready to graduate 18 such developers - contact me if you'd like to see if one of them is a good fit for your organization.

Bringing on a new Drupal developer who is hungry for experience could be the perfect solution since many of the posted job openings for Drupal talent are for (seemingly) everything but junior developers.

Filling the Drupal Talent Pool

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Thomas Edison said, "There is far more opportunity than there is ability," which still holds true in many technology sectors today, especially in the Drupal Community. For years we’ve sailed onward with a pretty lean "experienced" talent pool – sometimes overextending ourselves, our employees, and our contractors. We’re good, but we lack numbers. And if we keep on this way, we are not only going to lose market share for Drupal, we’re going to lose talented people to burnout and discontent.

Keynote at DrupalCamp Connecticut

DrupalCamp Connecticut logoI'm honored to announce that I'll be giving the keynote at DrupalCamp Connecticut, to be held at Yale University on Saturday, August 10th. The organizers of the event no doubt have me confused with someone else, but I'm going to show up and give the keynote anyway (heh).

Born and raised a Nutmegger, but now living in Florida, I still make frequent trips to The Constitution State to visit family and friends, and I've always tried to make time to attend a local meetup. My help in organizing one of the first meetups in Connecticut was cited as one of the reason I was asked to give this year's keynote.

The topic for the keynote that I've decided upon is mentoring. I've got pretty strong feelings about how I think mentoring is just as valuable for the mentor as the mentee, as well as how I think it is just as important to our community as contributing code, contributing documentation, or acting as a community organizer.

A Different Kind of Drupal Community Contribution: Mentoring


The Drupal community has a problem, or perhaps it's better to say a perception problem. We tend to look at contributions to Drupal through code-tainted glasses.

This isn't really all that surprising, seeing how we are an open-source software project. We'd be nothing without the plethora of talented developers who, over the past 12 years, have helped make Drupal one of the top content management systems available today. It's also fair to say that two other types of contributions are well-known: documentation and community organizing. Both play a vital role in the health of our project. Without strong documentation it would be (even more) difficult climb the Drupal learning curve, and without community organizers, I doubt anyone would argue that our growth wouldn't be nearly as fast.

But there is another huge contribution that needs to come into view. It's one that I'd argue is equally as important as code, documentation, and community organization if the project is to grow and develop; and that is mentoring. A lack of guidance among newbies is creating longer paths to proficiency, and we are destined to keep struggling with seasoned-talent shortage if we, at least some of us, don't shift our priorities a bit. We've got plenty of awesome code, but it's no small issue that our supply of developers, at the level we are all looking to hire, is becoming a handicap to the development of Drupal.

We feel it is so key to Drupal's future, that we've made it an integral part of our 10-week Drupal Career Starter Program.

tl;dr version: we're looking for mentors, you should apply.

A Sneaky (Previously Undocumented?) Views' Feature

I rencently spent a few quality hours with the Views interface trying to figure out how to add an Organic Groups Group ID contextual filter to a Views display and have the display's title overridden based on the value of the contextual filter. Actually, it's easy to do if you don't mind having the actual Group ID integer in the title. But, like most people, I actually wanted the Group name in the title of my display.

It took me more time that I'd care to admit, as well as some guidance from the most excellent maintainer of the Organic Groups module, Amitai Burstein, but eventually, I discovered a simple solution that didn't involve additional relationships, contextual filters, fields, or trickery. Well - maybe not the "trickery" part. The solution involved what I consider to be a previously undocumented feature (at least to me!) of the Views module.

Florida DrupalCamp 2013 Coding for a Cause

Caught doing good braceletsFlorida DrupalCamp 2013 invited four local non-profit organizations to take part in our annual Coding for a Cause event. Held the day after the camp sessions, over 30 volunteers help with site-building, theming, and content management tasks for the lucky organizations.

This year's event focused on four local 501(c)(3) non-profits that were selected from the application process. Each selected organization was required to agree to: