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dylan's picture

Simple password grants with OAuth 2.0 and Drupal

Like many Drupal developers, we have become big fans of decoupled front-ends using Drupal as a RESTful backend (a.k.a. "headless" Drupal). The myriad of authorization options can be confusing, however. We've settled on OAuth 2.0 for most situations. When OAuth is brought up, many people will think of the single-sign-on flow in a browser, with the associated redirects and permission dialogs. This flow is widely used, but not always a good fit for first-party applications, or machine-to-machine API interactions. Read More…

adam's picture

Agile Versus Waterfall, Once and For All

As we race towards the date of my presentation at this October's Digital PM Summit, I'm working to crank out the remaining posts in my series that started after I first presented on the topic of growth at Drupalcon Austin. This seventh post touches on one of the biggest debates of the last decade in digital and software project management: Agile versus Waterfall. In my presentation I purport to "solve" the debate in two slides. This post will give a bit more context to those two slides! Read More…

nathan's picture

Capistrano Deploy to dynamic AWS EC2

At Metal Toad we use Capistrano to deploy our projects to their respective servers. Normally this is done with a configuration file for each stage (Dev, Staging, QA, and Production) that contains a list of servers. Below is an example of one of those files. Read More…


steve's picture

DC Comics & Hip Hop

Many years ago I got into skateboarding, soon after, that lead to hip hop. Something about the two seemed to be synonymous around that time, or perhaps it was just my area (Metro Detroit). While skateboarding and hip hop were like PB & Jelly, I found comic books and hip hop seemed to also have a complimentary relationship that permeated throughout the art form.  Flash forward many years--to current time, I have the honor of being the Project Manager for the DC websites (,, Read More…

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benteegarden's picture

10 Months as a Junior Developer

I am now within a couple days of having survived as a Junior Developer at Metal Toad for 10 whole months. To celebrate, I considered starting my first blog post with a well worn cliché about the passing of time and the having of fun. Fortunately I hold my literary career to a much higher standard. However in all honesty, if I had stooped to such a pathetic low, it would have been a completely accurate description of my time here. It has been an incredibly fun experience working at Metal Toad and I can't believe I've been here for so long. Better yet, I've stuffed my brain so full of new information that a less talented writer might exclaim that my head is about to burst! Read More…

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adam's picture

Communication Styles and Team Dynamics

Here's the sixth post in my series following the session I presented at Drupalcon Austin, entitled "Oh look, we're growing!" This post goes a bit deeper into a framework for looking at team dynamics based on the communication styles of doer, thinker, challenger, and supporter that I first came across at the University of Oregon business school. Read More…

nathan's picture

Evolution of the Custom Cloud: Part 2 "Building the Cloud"

In part 1 we covered our Architecture for the Custom Cloud. Now we’re going to walk through how we build one. This will require access to the AWS Console. Login to AWS and go to the VPC Dashboard. Do NOT click on the VPC Wizard. Instead, select the “Your VPCs” on the left and click “create VPC”. Read More…


adam's picture

Beware the Matrix Model?

And now for the fifth post in the series following my Drupalcon Austin session, entitled "Oh look, we're growing!" This post follows closely on the heels of the fourth post in the series which focused on small, cross-functional teams. One of the questions that post raises is in regards to management structure: who determines the outcomes of the teams and who manages individual team members? Read More…

nathan's picture

Evolution of the Custom Cloud: Part 1 "Architecting the Cloud"

Last year Metal Toad launched its Custom Cloud Service. Since then, our Custom Cloud Architecture has evolved to handle the increased complexity and security requirements of our clients. It all started September 2013 when we quickly moved the Emmys to AWS in time for their Prime Time event. The setup was as basic as it could be; With Lots of EC2 instances, RDS, and an Elastic Load balancer. It was secure and it was stable, but it wasn’t elegant. From the outset, we knew the best setup would involve the use of AWS VPCs but for the Emmy’s we didn’t have the time to build one out and develop the tools for managing it. Read More…


steve's picture

A Symbol of Culture

Cultural anthropologists in the 60s started a study known as “Symbolic and Interpretive Anthropology”. These few found the connections between objects of significance and the larger culture around them (notably: Mary Douglas, Victor Turner, and Clifford Geertz). If I were to put on the hat of a symbolic anthropologist, and my mission was to study Metal Toad, the first object that would come in focus would be The Kegerator. Simply, it shows who we are. This could be why Metal Toad is so often showing it off to everyone. Clients, friends, and pretty much anyone else who wants a beer--I recently even invited the guys at my favorite coffee shop Barista to come up to the office for a beer. Read More…