Tom Martin's Blog

User Story Insights Using Google Sheets

By using Google Sheets as a tool to glean metrics on user stories, Product Owners and Product Managers can increase the probability of project success by ensuring their team is building the right features for the most value and assisting in creating a healthy balance between releases.
By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
July 3, 2016

Drupalcon Austin: Toads in Texas

Drupalcon Austin

Turns out that Toads migrate south in the summer. At first, we assumed this was some instinctual need to get as close to the sun as possible. But then we realized it was just the bright beacon of Drupalcon drawing us in. We must obey our master.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
June 12, 2014

Creating a Custom Glossary Filter in Django

The Scenario

You have a project that has lists of data and you need to have a way for users to filter the list by the first letter of the title/name/etc. This is commonly referred to as Glossary Filtering and can be a bit trickier than you'd think to do well.

The Example


This post uses code that was done in the Django 1.5 Python framework but the concepts used could easily be transferred to other languages/frameworks.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
December 27, 2013

Drupal Debugging: Clues from the Database

Have you ever chased a bug down a rabbit hole and spent a few hours down there only to come back up for air thinking "why, oh why does the bug taunt me"? If you have then you know that every clue can count. Any given clue can send you on the shortest path from A to B, or it can send you spiraling. When looking for clues always remember that your code is not the only place to look. Sometimes valuable hints can be gained from the database as well.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
August 8, 2013

Site Administration: Remember the Admin

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…."

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
May 19, 2013

Passing Page Arguments to View Panes

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.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
May 4, 2013

ChickTech High School Workshop

All developers know the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a tricky section of code. To me that feeling is a distant second to the accomplishment felt when teaching someone else the joys of this hobby/career that I hold so dear. This past weekend (Jan. 26th & 27th, 2013) Portland State University graciously hosted the Chicktech High School Workshop where I had the privilege of being on a team that introduced an entire lab full of high school age young women to Drupal.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
January 31, 2013

Getting Kids Interested in Programming with MIT's Scratch

By day, I am mild-mannered web developer, but by night I go by another title: "Dad". Like most parents, I hope that my children will spend their days doing something constructive instead of wasting precious early development time absorbing mindless entertainment. Bonus points if those activities are things I can get overly excited about showing them.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
December 26, 2012

Crafting an Apache Solr Schema.xml

Using Apache Solr with Drupal is fairly simple thanks to the apachesolr module, but recently we were tasked with making Solr a vital component of a custom Django project. The Drupal module comes with a Solr schema.xml that is already set up specifically to play nice with Drupal, but we had to craft our own. Setting up Solr, filling it with data, and getting it back out again is relatively easy. However, much like taking a north-Philly street brawler and turning him into Rocky, it takes a bit of work to do it well.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
December 17, 2012

Behat with Drupal Domain Access

At Metal Toad we have been expanding our testing to include more behavior driven testing. The end goal is to bridge the gap between the languages that we developers speak (which tend to be more logic than spoken) and the languages that our clients speak (commonly English or some other language that normal people use for communication). One interesting challenge we found was taking all the "awesome" that behat has to offer and applying it to a site that has several domains being served from a single Drupal install running the domain access module.

By Tom Martin, Senior Product Manager
November 21, 2012

Ready for transformation?