A story of an intern at Acquia
by Nick Veenhof
The history of my engagement with Acquia started a while ago — well, a couple of months. Considering how fast Acquia is growing, I'd call that "a while ago" around here!
My name is Nick Veenhof (nickveenhof.be). After getting a Bachelor's degree in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Ghent, Belgium, I started out in a big Drupal firm in Belgium. But the itch to study came up again, so I went to Barcelona, Spain for a Master's degree in IT. While I was in a student exchange program in Portugal for a couple of months, I met Robert Douglass at Drupalcamp Lisboa 2011. I had been part of the Drupal Community for about five years at that point and had done numerous DrupalCons, but my involvement in code was always limited. As many others do, I focussed much more on site building because that was my main source of income.
But during this period of studying and working I became fascinated with the Apache Solr project and tried to catch up with it. So in this Drupalcamp I presented a session on Apache Solr to make it known to the world what it is and what it can do for your site. Then I gathered my courage and asked Robert if Acquia had spots for interns like me. After some interviews and paperwork, everything was settled — and I was excited!
A couple months later the journey to Boston started. The three weeks of team meetings and internship setup were too little to meet all the cool people in the office. The first couple of days were very intensive because I arrived in the middle of an Engineering week. Almost all the great Acquia Drupal Rockstars were present, but Dries was missing — the only one who could possibly understand my native language! Luckily, English worked out just fine.
This engineering week was meant to gather all the engineers to discuss new possibilities and services that would be part of the Acquia Network, and much more. I've become particularly interested in Acquia Search, which works on top of Apache Solr and will be my focus for the next couple of months.
The remaining time I had in Boston we used to get set up with Acquia equipment and internal services, and getting me familiar with the products. But mainly I worked with Peter Wolanin to get initiated and prepare a kind of roadmap for the Apache Solr module. I'm very much looking forward to working closely with Peter and all others that are related to search within Drupal. Stay tuned or check the issue queue to help us make the search experience with Apache Solr better. We've planned lots of changes!