Here is part two of my multi-part post on what it takes to be a successful digital project manager. In part one, I covered the vast responsibilities of most project managers at web agencies and what makes great project managers tricky to find. This post starts to look at specific individuals and the skill set needed to succeed in the role. Other posts in this series:
Being a programmer is a profession. It is a high-skill job that demands a large initial investment of time as well dedication to continuing education to stay at the top of your game - much like a doctor. Yet, programmers often lose sight of the fact that the skills we bring to the table are only part of the equation; like a medical professional, our "bedside manner" is incredibly important to our overall professional success. Why is that?
First off, yes, I realize it's "sound bite", but given the context, "byte" sounds more applicable. The Toads have been at Drupalcon Portland this week in force! With a sponsor booth to manage and two different parties to organize, we've been busy, but I've managed to squeeze a few sessions in as well. Here are some top quotes and takeaways along the way:
Here we go! Portland's Drupalcon is here. Here is a quick update about some of the exciting things that Metal Toad is bringing to the event. Stop by our booth (#207) and come party with us Tuesday and Wednesday. Come watch us record the podcast live and even step up to the mic if you dare. T-shirts, wine, stickers, foosball, Drupal!?!?! Whoa.
Meet Jake. Jake administers a Drupal site. Jake is not a developer, nor does he want to be. Jake does not care about field formatters, image styles, or even draggable views. What Jake cares about is being able to load new content to his site without feeling a tingling sensation up his spine that keeps saying: "just throw the monitor… that will make it better… yeah…."
The most important question we should ask is, "to what are we responding?" It's not too far to jump from that question to the point I want to drill in: we're thinking about the wrong kinds of interactions. In some cases it's egocentric, but the main idea is that we must change the thinking and dialogue to focus more on real-world user interactions.
Project management. Is it a dark art? Is it science? Probably some combination of both. Across the web/app/software development industry, consensus seems to be that finding project managers is easy, but finding great project managers is hard to impossible. At Metal Toad (and likely many similar organizations), a project manager needs a much broader skill set than the ability to create Gannt charts, track budgets, and manage scope. Metal Toad project managers are truly directors of their…
Recently I was faced with the task of passing off multiple page arguments to a view pane, which seems simple enough after you have done it once, but the first time around I found myself wading through settings for far too long. The scenario: we were working with Page Manager to create pages and within a page we had a View Pane that needed to be filtered based on the context filters being passed to the page as arguments in the URL.
ToadCast 16! A very special episode all about home brewing. Joining me on this episode are three Metal Toad employees with a lot of brewing experience - Dylan Tack, Peter Bliss, and Tyler Ward. Learn some of the basics of brewing beer, common misconceptions, equipment, books, and a little bit about wine making.
Joining me for Toadcast 15 is Tom Martin to discuss ecommerce. That's right, a show all about a single topic!