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mike's picture

New Competition: Will WordPress and Drupal Learn to Share?

After years of building and publishing on them, I'd love to say I knew CMS frameworks like Drupal and WordPress would be this huge. In truth they got this popular because of their great open-source communities; both of which I'm trying to participate and contribute to more. Why? Because closed platforms like SquareSpace and Adobe's content platform are rushing ahead without having to worry about backward compatibility like WordPress and Drupal does. These newer, closed systems insulate users from the backend and abstract away many of the same complexities WordPress.org and WordPress.com solved. They can push forward faster with newer, cleaner, “from-scratch” user-experiences because they don't need to maintain compatibility like "the big PHP" CMS's. Read More…

kronda's picture

Quick Tip: Stop ZSH Shell Auto-Correct from Driving You Crazy

I switched my Unix shell to zsh a few months ago and overall I love it. But sometimes the autocorrect can be a little *too* helpful. After the latest upgrade I started getting this every time I typed 'git status': zsh: correct 'status' to 'stats' [nyae]? Um no. No thanks I said. Not today. WILL YOU QUIT ASKING ME THAT!?!? So I finally Bing'd* it and got the suggestion to turn off auto correct. That seemed a little drastic. Here's a less blunt solution: Open .oh-my-zsh/lib/correction.zsh and add this line to it: alias git status='nocorrect git status' You may now commune with git in peace. Read More…

maylene's picture

To Plan or Not to Plan (spoiler alert: We Do)

The importance of an creating an overarching technical plan at the beginning of a project is often debated. Based on past experience, it isn't always created at the outset of a project, if at all. Sometimes seen as a barrier to just getting things done, other times relegated to Semantics Hell (a useful delaying tactic), the technical specification is an often misunderstood document. At its core, it provides a central document for all stakeholders to reference which details the project’s design and functionality, helps the project avoid scope creep, and keeps all parties on task and on budget. Read More…

barrett's picture

Project Management Chronicles: Being a Better Listener

Listening is one of those skills that many take for granted. It's one thing to listen to what is being said, and it's a much more involved exercise to comprehend what is being expressed. After all, a speaker is much more likely to be responsive to feedback if they trust that the listener truly understands the point(s) that they are trying to convey via the conversation. Conversations are a cultural exchange of thoughts, ideas and emotions. In any wholly successful exchange, all parties walk away feeling personally satisfied with the outcome. Therefore, it behooves listeners greatly, to their own end, to ensure that the speakers are being clearly understood; scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Read More…

adam's picture

Finding the Project Manager Capacity Sweet Spot

The life of a project manager is one of disruptions. As I sit here trying to write this blog post, I've been interrupted by questions from two developers, a relatively small tidal wave of email (it can get much worse), a completed deploy to check in on, a phone call from a client, and several tickets ready for QA. But that's okay. Good, even! That's what we're here for; PMs are the interrupt driven team member on projects and help keep developers focused and efficient, clients in the know, and projects moving forward at maximum warp speed. It just means that most days my timesheet reads like a short novel of quarter hour increments! Read More…

dylan's picture

Drupal's Big Data Problem

When we in the Drupal community talk about scalability, it's most often in terms of handling high numbers of visitors. An equally important dimension, that to our detriment we often overlook, is scaling with larger datasets. One of the biggest problems I see is a pattern of loading all of a module's data at once, regardless of size. Two examples: Read More…

kent's picture

Agile Resource Planning at a Fixed-Bid Drupal Dev Shop

On any given month, Metal Toad Media will distribute the work for 25-30 different clients across 10 different development resources. The majority of our work comes from fixed-bid contracts, but we also have a number of time & materials maintenance contracts to fill in the gaps. We've tried many different software solutions over the years to coordinate this work, but we've settled on using our own set of customized Google spreadsheets to do our long-term resource planning and short-term work allocation in a very dynamic and agile fashion. Read More…

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