I Dream it and I Drupal it – My Acquia Story
by Charu Agarwal
I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new beginning which weaves more threads on to it like spider as it goes on. Acquia internship came as this new beginning to me that I always thought of and dreamt of. I admired startups with challenging ideas and read more and more about the entrepreneurs, about their success stories and the way they reached to where they are now and still envisioning in future. I loved to read and analyze what challenges these young entrepreneurs faced and how they overcome it.
I still remember a saying that I heard in childhood that “Success is a journey, not a destination”. What matters is the experience you gain, the way you look at any situation when you face it and how you get to resolve it instead of final award that you get.
And Acquia came to me exactly like that, which is full of genius people around here that you work with, an awesome workplace that you can get which gives an excellent path to walk and understand and gain the experience firsthand from these genius folks.
I joined Acquia a month ago and got a chance to be part of the engineering team and met with some awesome people of this tech world. I’m still as excited as I was a month ago when I joined Acquia as an Engineering Intern. Acquia is all about Drupal. We say Dream it, Drupal it. Though I hadn't had much exposure to Drupal before; I loved it when I got to work with Drupal team here. I have had many challenges since the day I joined Acquia.
"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it."
– Debbi Fields
keeping that in mind, I just dived in, Here at Acquia there wouldn't be a single day when you don’t learn something new or challenging and for me the learning began on day one with company culture, Drupal, new tools and techniques.
My first day at Acquia, was awesome. A warm welcome and lunch in Acquia, from Acquia, to Acquia interns. Scavenger hunt was a great way to know people and company and I had fun exploring office during that. Then I got introduced to Mac, and literally it was introduction to Mac as I never used it before but it gave me both powerful hardware and excellent operating system to work on. After the very first day at Acquia, Apple got one more fan☺.
I found myself extremely lucky when I met Chris Pliakas and his team. All of them are very friendly and helping. They are always ready to guide whenever you are stuck with something. Slowly and steadily I became somewhat familiar with the company culture and Drupal. I was introduced to few Drupal modules, development tools and techniques. Then came the Wow moment, when I contributed my first patch to “Searchandise” module. Everyone in my team appreciated me, it was really awesome, and motivated me to keep up and going good with my work.
I would like to share few basic Drupal insights as a new contributor/learner I explored while digging Drupal.
- One of the first things I was introduced to was Devel. First when I wrote this word in Microsoft word document, it got autocorrected to “Devil”, it seemed funny, but I realized it’s a “Good Devil” every Drupal programmer should have☺. This is a Drupal module that would help debugging Drupal using functions like dpr(), dpm() and many more.
- As a new programmer to Drupal, if your code and changes don’t seem to work you might think there is an issue in your code. But that might not be true as there is another thing that could make you crazy and that is cache. Always, remember to clear Drupal Cache whenever you make any change to your code.
- I am a UI fan instead of command line, so I always ignored command line, however at Acquia, in a fast paced environment where you want to do more in less time, I learnt the importance of command line, it helps you save your time and code faster. Drupal “Drush” is a shell interface that helps managing Drupal site from command line. You can download and install modules using “Drush”, can directly clear cache from command line, and many more. Some useful Drush commands I must share with Drupal learners.
- Recently, I worked on “Searchandise” module to implement Ctools exportable feature. To implement this module I have gone through a very useful module i.e. Chaos tools. This is a very powerful module to integrate and implement hooks from other modules; like in my module I used Ctools exportable to implement CRUD functions without having to implement each function individually. I would definitely use it in future modules.
- Last but not the least; do install PHP xDebug if not already installed. It will change your life, really not kidding, it will definitely ☺ , it makes debugging, pinpointing issues and resolving issues so quick. I can’t think development without using xDebug.
This is my short one month journey at Acquia. I would write my next post soon with more exciting experience I will have at Acquia.