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Front End Performance Strategy: Styles

The quest for improved page-load speed and website performance is constant. And it should be. The speed and responsiveness of a website have a significant impact on conversion, search engine optimization, and the digital experience in general.
In part one of this series, we established the importance of front-end optimization on performance, and discussed how properly-handled images can provide a significant boost toward that goal. In this... Meer

Improve Your Site’s Security by Adding Two-Factor Authentication

Identity theft and site compromises are all-too-common occurrences -- it seems a day rarely goes by without a news story detailing the latest batch of user passwords which have been compromised and publicly posted.
Passwords were first used in the 1960s when computers were shared among multiple people via time-sharing methods. Allowing multiple users on a single system required a way for users to prove they were who they claimed to be. As computer systems have grown more complex over the last 50 years, the same password concept has been baked into them as the core authentication method. That... Meer

One year later: the Acquia Certification Program

A little over a year ago we launched the Acquia Certification Program for Drupal. We ended up the first year with close to 1,000 exams taken, which exceeded our goal of 300-600. Today, I'm pleased to announce that the Acquia Certification Program passed another major milestone with over 1,000 exams passed (not just taken).
People have debated the pros and cons of software certifications for years (including myself... Meer

Caching to Improve Drupal Performance: The Three Levels You Should Know

In our continuing mission (well, not a mission; it’s actually a blog series) to help you improve your Drupal website, let’s look at the power of caching.
In our previous post, we debunked some too common Drupal performance advice. This time we're going positive, with a simple, rock-solid strategy to get you started: caching is the single best way to improve Drupal performance without having to fiddle with code.
At the basic level, it... Meer

What Drupal Code Should/Should Not Be Included in a Public Repository?

This is the third post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. In previous posts, we've discussed the basics of GitHub, as well as what the public can see and do with GitHub. In this post we'll look at what Drupal code should and shouldn’t be in a public repository, and in future posts, we'll discuss users and permissions on organizational accounts and developer workflows.
What code can be safely made public and what code should be made public are not always the same thing. What custom code should or should not be made public depends on what your agency’s objectives are in... Meer

How Weather.com Improved Their Page Load Times


In November, 2014 Weather.com launched on Drupal and became one of the highest trafficked websites in the world to launch on an open-source content management system (CMS). Mediacurrent and Acquia are excited to announce a new, 3-part blog post series that will share insight around how Weather.com was migrated to Drupal. Our team of experts will share best practices and what lessons we learned during the project.
There's an old saying, “... Meer

Achieving Agile in Government - It Can Be Done


Implementing agile development methodologies in a government setting can be quite difficult. Government agencies often want to know upfront exactly what they’re getting, and exactly what it will cost. From an agile development perspective, this is a major challenge.
According to Agile In A Nutshell, “Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end. It works by breaking projects down into little... Meer

What Can The Public See and Do With Things I Put On GitHub?

This is the second post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. In the first, we discussed the basics of getting your government agency up and running with GitHub. In this post, we'll take a look at what the public can see and do with GitHub, and in the upcoming posts, we'll discuss what Drupal code should and shouldn’t be in a public repository, users and permissions on organizational accounts, and developer workflows.
Here’s a quick overview of things that become visible and interactions that become public when a person makes a code repository, or “repo”, public on GitHub.
1... Meer

Build Your Drupal 8 Team: The Forrester Digital Maturity Model


In business, technology is a means to an end, and using it effectively to achieve that end requires planning and strategy.
The Capability Maturity Model, designed for assessing the formality of a software development process, was initially described back in 1989. The Forrester Digital Maturity Model is one of several models that update the CMM for modern software development in the age of e-commerce and mobile development, when digital capability isn't an add-on but rather is fundamental to business success. The model emphasizes communicating strategy while putting management and control... Meer

Going from .NET to Drupal? Here are the top 5 ways they are different


Drupal is an incredibly flexible and expressive CMS and development framework. As a
developer, it allows you to express yourself quickly and easily. That being said, being able to do
anything​ can be a little overwhelming.
Switching from .NET to Drupal 7 isn’t easy for most people. They take fundamentally different
approaches to development that aren’t called out. There is also a surprising lack of articles and
documentation on the subject. Two years ago I made the change to Drupal. I didn’t have
anyone to help, so the transition was harsh. Developers not only struggle with the... Meer

Tips for Managing Remote Development Teams


It’s often the case for technical development teams to have both on-site and off-site team members. If confined to a certain geographic area when hiring, it’s likely your business won’t be able to tap into a wide enough developer skillset as you might find with no geographic boundaries. But when managing teams that have remote members, it can be a challenge to create unity and harmony across the team as a whole.
Here at Acquia, this is a hurdle we’ve had to address and overcome. We seek the best Drupal developers we can find, but that often means that our team members are scattered across... Meer

Migrating Content to Drupal: The Weather Channel


One of the major challenges facing every digital publisher is making sure its content will display properly up on every possible venue: desktop, tablet, and phone of course, but also in web services, and on the emerging display opportunities arriving with the Internet of Things, like wearables.
Acquia partner Mediacurrent recently tackled this challenge on an awesome scale: migrating the giant The Weather Channel site to Drupal in a way that worked with all the above venues, and then some... Meer

Document Everything: It Will Help You Later


Strong documentation is the product of good writing. It’s funny I suggest that because for the longest time, my idea of writing well applied only to writing lines of code. But when I started my internship at Acquia, I quickly realized the importance of writing everything well. Every project here depends on easy-to-understand, descriptive writing.
I immediately took more notes, scribbling down anything and everything. When introduced to new tools, technologies and services, I look up unfamiliar terms on Google to find helpful blog posts, articles and API documentation to improve my... Meer

GitHub 101 for Government

This is the first post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. We’ll discuss what the public can see and do with GitHub, what Drupal code should and shouldn’t be in a public repository, users and permissions on organizational accounts, and developer workflows.
Scenario
Your government agency is new to Drupal or open source. Someone you respect suggests creating an account on GitHub.com. But you don’t really understand what GitHub is. You want to know why you need it, what you should do with it, what new communications channels it opens up, and how to steer clear of landmines.... Meer

Easy Shortcuts That Will Make You Like JIRA


It seems as if almost every Web developer hates using JIRA. Many developers feel it’s tedious, time-consuming work and they’d rather do just about anything else.
But JIRA doesn’t have to feel that way. With the help of some easy-to-learn shortcuts, you can use JIRA more efficiently and have time to do something you enjoy. In fact, these shortcuts are all but guaranteed to make you like JIRA more – or maybe hate it a lot less.
I recently reviewed the shortcuts with Acquia’s India team, and developers there couldn’t thank me enough for simplifying things. As you probably know, JIRA provides... Meer

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