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Acquia retrospective 2011

It's that time of year again! In good tradition, here is my retrospective on Acquia's accomplishments for 2011. (You can also read my 2009 and 2010 retrospectives.) While 2011 was only Acquia's third full year in business (i.e. revenue-bearing year), 2011 was absolutely jam-packed. Starting with executing on our product strategy and vision, to... More

Top 10 Acquia Webinars of 2011

As many of you know, webinars are one of our favorite ways of sharing Drupal knowledge with the world. In the 2011, we hosted over 100 webinars that covered a range of topics and featured at least a dozen different partners and special guests. Below are the 10 most popular webinars in 2011 measured by total registration and attendance: #10:... More

Website Goals and Community Management

It seems that everyone is implementing a Enterprise 2.0/Social Business/Social Media tool inside the enterprise these days. Generally these tools are being implemented to enable better collaboration across the organization or, to be cynical, to be hip to the latest IT trend because of Gen-Y’s entrance into the work force. In the time honored tradition of the “If you build it they will come” IT attitude, IT departments are implementing tools without considering how users will interact with them. Probably for more than any other technology, collaboration tools should focus on the established... More

Change Mangagement with a Radical Site Redesign

The past couple of months have been exciting for the team connected with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s GlobalNET project. We have launched a number of different centers on the new platform, and so far response to the new system has been positive. This has been a large milestone that has taken us a year of hard work to accomplish. Our biggest challenge in going live was helping existing users make the transition from the old system to GlobalNET. Change management is a problem that plagues every application roll out, especially when the new application is vastly different from... More

Distributions Summit in San Diego

The year is winding down and it was such a great year for Drupal! This was my first year with Acquia however it was not my first with Drupal. I worked with Drupal at OpenProj back in 2007 – it was a very active site with downloads exceeding 2 million. It has been a new and wonderful experience getting involved in the Drupal community through Acquia. In 2012, I look forward to actively contributing to the community and making an impact with Drupal Distributions. With that, my wish list for Distros in 2012 is quite long! I am excited to announce that we are going to... More

What do Band Aid, Glee and Drupal Gardens have in common?

Acquia partner, Deeson Online has created many web sites for musicians and artists using Drupal, so they weren’t phased by the request from a music industry executive to help create a site to promote donations to The Band Aid Charitable Trust. The site www.bandaid.org.uk will be advertised at the end of an upcoming special Christmas episode of Glee to be aired in the UK on December 15.read more More

Going mobile with a web app

Acquia is going mobile in 2012. Therefore we’re using a “mobile first” mantra when approaching our designs. What is “mobile first design”? It is a philosophy of design that centers on the theory that trying to squeeze a desktop experience into a smaller screen size is counterproductive to providing a good mobile experience. Instead, you design an optimal mobile experience before you consider the desktop. In this scenario, the desktop experience that is built on top of a mobile first design can be enhanced to use additional screen space and features as they become available. Rather than... More

Drupal Training Down Under

PreviousNext is both an Acquia Enterprise Select Partner and an Acquia Training Partner. They are also the primary sponsor for the DrupalDownunder conference in Melbourne, Australia on January 14 & 15, 2012. (Yes, they are a busy and productive bunch!) DrupalDownunder is a community-driven event with presentations by a large range of developers and organisations using Drupal in Australia, and will certainly provide great value to those who attend.  ... More

Automate tests and more with Acquia Cloud Hooks

Acquia Dev Cloud is the Drupal cloud hosting platform for developers, and today I'm really psyched to announce availability of a frequently requested developer feature: Acquia Cloud Hooks. Of course, since Dev Cloud and Managed Cloud run on the same technology, Cloud Hooks are fully supported on Managed Cloud as well. If you'd rather try Cloud Hooks instead of reading about them, you can sign up right now and use coupon code BJB111209 to get the first 30 days free. What are Cloud Hooks? In my... More

A collaborative open source presentation

I presented at DrupalCon London on contributing to Drupal.  The talk is called “How to have an open relationship… with software.”  Sadly, there is no nudity, polygamy or even dirty jokes.  Nope, it’s just about how it is strategic to contribute to Open Source software and techniques for sales, marketing, management and developers. I did the same... More

Upal - a proposed test framework for Drupal 8

Meet Upal. UPal is a PHPUnit based test framework for Drupal. I hope it can replace Simpletest as the test runner in Drupal 8. It aims to run all existing tests with little or no modification. To do so, it provides DrupalWebTestCase and DrupalUnitTestCase classes which are built upon PHPUnit instead of Drupal’s Simpletest. Motivation In my opinion, there is an intractable problem with Simpletest. Namely, even experienced developers get confused between the two Drupal sites that are in use during a... More

Gaining Insight: It began with a port...

After I joined Acquia in January, I was given the task of assisting in the port of the Acquia.com/Acquia Network web properties to Drupal 7. Although other people were involved in the process, including Jakub Suchy and his team, there was a lot that needed to be ported. One such item was the Acquia Network Connector module, which links a website to the Acquia Network and passes website data after it validates its keys. On one fateful gardening day, I began the task of porting its existing code to Drupal 7, and I found myself quite impressed with... More

Getting beyond "free" - UK government uptake of open source

Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government's commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors. Open Source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on "free as in gratis". Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values... More

uTest and Acquia Partner Up

Forbes writer, Tom Taulli, wrote: “Drupal is a powerful force in the tech world.” With more than two million downloads since its inception, we whole heartedly agree. Partnering with Acquia not only gives us the great opportunity to reach web developers all over the world, but it also offers us the chance to share our respective best practices and lessons learned in building world-class communities. Just as uTest taps into its community of software professionals to provide its customers with functional, usability, load and security testing, the Acquia Network draws from the collective... More

How Acquia Tests Software (via uTest)

I started at Acquia 6 months ago, having previously worked for larger, process-heavy corporations that sold packaged proprietary, software with long release cycles. Our QA teams consisted of over 50 people (sometimes a lot more), and were always the long pole in the process, whether it was Agile or Waterfall. Not so at Acquia. At Acquia, I manage a lean QA team of 4 people (we have another team that tests usability), and we support 5 products. We work in an Agile environment, release every 3 weeks, and meet our quality goals for each sprint. Our QA testing strategy at Acquia is to perform... More

Drush away unserialize() errors

When you work with the great folks I do every day it comes as little surprise that when the stuff hits the fan and some site is in need of help there will be a legion of folks who jump into round-the-clock action to get things in a better place. While this could be a whole blog post about that alone it's not about that. Rather it's about one of those nagging little problems we came across while working on a site this Thanksgiving "holiday". The problem is one that many have seen at one point or another: [26-Nov-2011 22:35:17] PHP Notice:  unserialize() [<a href='function.unserialize'>... More

The best part of my job: Drupal Community Events 2011 Roundup

The best part of my job At Acquia, I get to help make Drupal Camps and other Drupal community events successful, with financial sponsorships and other, material support. I'm proud to work for a company that truly puts its money where its mouth is in terms of helping to grow and nurture the wonderful open source project we all live, breathe, and love. I became Community Affairs Manager at Acquia in July 2011. I'm responsible for supporting Drupal Camps and other Acquians who attend, present, code, and otherwise contribute at these events. Running our engagement with community events... More

Acquia migrates the World Economic Forum to Drupal

Introduction The World Economic Forum (the Forum) runs WELCOM, their internal collaboration platform on Drupal. The Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders. It is best known for its annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. These world leaders use WELCOM during and after the conference to work on major issues such as climate change, world health, poverty, etc. It is vitally important for our planet that WELCOM serves its users well. Before... More

Acquia Podcast 37: Conflict Resolution in the Drupal Community

In any type of community - be it software or something else - with a large, diverse group of people actively participating and contributing, there is going to be conflict. An important thing to understand, therefore, is how to resolve conflicts effectively so that the purpose of the group is not adversely affected. In this episode I discuss conflict resolution in the Drupal community with Randy Fay and Greg Knaddison, two prominent people in the Drupal community who have a lot of experience with conflict... More

Drupal + India = opportunity

Given that there live one billion people in India, many of which great engineers, one can only imagine what would happen if Drupal gained serious traction in India. To that extend, I decided to make a trip to India, and spent last week in India with Jacob Singh and Ron Pruett from Acquia. The purpose of the trip was to increase awareness of Drupal in India that in 3 ways: by organizing DrupalCamps to help create a grassroots community of volunteer developers,... More

Hit-list for top Drupal 7 module stabilization

Back in September, http://drupalcontribstatus.com/ was launched to track the porting status of the top 60 contributed projects to Drupal 7. Since then, we've whittled the list down to just 20 projects remaining, as well as tons of progress on the rest! YEAH! I contacted each of the maintainer(s) of those remaining projects and have come up with a list of next steps for each. Your help is needed if we want to get that graph up to 100% by year's end. (Just in time for Drupal 7's first birthday! :)) As a... More

The journey to build a better Drupal toolbar

Drupal is known for its power and flexibility, but it is also known for its steep learning curve. Over the last few years, Drupal has taken this concern seriously. For Drupal 7, significant attention was paid to the user experience. The Drupal 8 user experience team aims to continue this effort. To make these efforts effective, more work is needed in multiple areas. One such area is the toolbar. Trying to gauge the effectiveness of a toolbar is tricky. Over the last year, I have conducted several usability task-based studies for Drupal Gardens. The issue of not knowing where to go on the... More

Acquia Podcast 36: Neil Hastings on Solr and OpenLayers in Drupal 7

With advances in Apache Solr and Drupal, it is easier to do some really neat things with geolocating search results and displaying those results on a map. In this episode I talk with Neil Hastings of TreeHouse Agency about the work they did with Solr and OpenLayers maps for the US Dept of Energy. Show notes Neil's presentation at DrupalCamp Indy Geocoder module Geofield module... More

Does my site look drupally in this?

No naming and shaming here, but you know you've seen it. You're browsing around and see something very "drupally" about a site. Suspiciously, you view source or look at builtwith.com just to double check. What was it that you noticed? Was it some odd styling? Can we blame this "drupaliness" on Drupal? Making a theme in Drupal 7 is surprisingly easy. If you can go with the flow, much of what you want to do can be overridden with CSS. As Laura Scott wrote recently about the... More

Acquia Cloud UX improvements, free 30-day trials

We released Acquia Dev Cloud at Drupalcon Chicago and so far it has been an incredible success. Thousands of Drupal developers, small and large development shops, and businesses have been successfully building and deploying production Drupal sites on Dev Cloud for six months—and we have learned a ton from them about how to make the system even better. We've been pretty quiet for the last six months, but now we're ready to start talking! If you'd rather try Dev Cloud instead of reading about it, you can ... More

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