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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... More

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... More

Watch out World – Here Comes Acquia’s University Relations Program!

At Acquia, as we begin to build our university relations program, we are excited about bringing in the next generation of talent to help move our company forward. In 2015 alone, we nearly doubled our internship program and entry level hiring. We are committed to providing an awesome experience for our interns, and we have a whole host of summer events planned to make their experiences as rich as possible. From lunch and learns with our executives and departments to a formal... More

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... More

A Crash Course in Information Architecture and User-Centered Design

All too often, a development project starts and you realize that there hasn’t been much of a focus on user-centered design, information architecture, or content. Or sometimes the content is amazing but the information architecture isn’t. Or you understand content but aren’t sure how to pare it down, to make sure your users are seeing what’s most important. So what do you do when you’... More

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.... More

Real world change with PHP and community: "The sky's the limit."

Michelle Sanver–developer at Liip–and I sat down and talked at SymfonyCon 2014 in Madrid. Michelle and I have a number of interests in common (community, FTW!) and I really enjoyed getting to know her better in a conversation in front of my microphone and camera. We covered her long history in PHP, her SymfonyCon presentation (Life After Assetic: State of Art Symfony2 Frontend Dev) the PHP Renaissance bringing communities together, Michelle's "open source... More

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... More

How to Create a Learning and Testing Agenda

One of the most important elements of developing a great personalization strategy is determining what you know, pinpointing what you don’t, and figuring out what you want to learn. From there you’ll get to know your audience much better, and can easily refine and optimize campaigns to add more relevance and more value to your customers. At the onset of any personalization initiative, you’ll want to create a Learning and Testing Agenda to stay focused on working through these questions. 1) Research and Learning Vision. First, at a fairly high level, document what drives your organization.... More

Drupal 8 - 1st product of the PHP-FIG Era

I was happy to talk with two major contributors to Drupal 8 at the same time at Drupal South 2015 in Melbourne Australia. At the time we recorded our conversation in March 2015, Hussain Abbas from Bangalore, India and Jibran Ijaz from Lahore Pakistan had both contributed well over 100 patches to D8. In this podcast we talk about their history in Drupal, open source software as a force for good in society, the benefits of contribution, Drupal as the 1st project of the PHP-FIG era, Drupal 8 for... More

Drupal in China

That's me: front row, second from the left. On 14th March 2015, as everyone was coming down from the month-long Valentines Day high, I was in the midst of an exciting Open Source event in Shanghai, China. With several hundred attendees, the camp attracted people from all over China and the world. Experts and beginners -- in both Drupal and a number of Open Source technologies -- engaged in conversations about CMS, design, language and even solar panels. Partnering with the Shanghai Barcamp, DrupalCamp China brought together Drupal users,... More

Kanban vs. Scrum: Comparing Two Agile Methodologies

Kanban and Scrum are two different methodologies that can be utilized within your development organization. Both have pros and cons as agile methodologies, and one is often suited to a certain project better than the other. Let’s explore the definitions, differences, and how to utilize them practically for your next development project. Kanban is a model of continuous slating, or continuous improvement. Essentially, when utilizing kanban, project priorities can change in real time, based on what takes priority at a certain time, so there is a certain flow to the work. Requirements can be... More

Why are Mid-Market Companies Still Looking at Adobe Experience Manager?

Since joining Acquia, I’ve been taking a close look at opportunities where we're competing against proprietary content management systems, often Adobe Enterprise Manager (aka CQ 5) and sometimes Sitecore. While Acquia competes with Adobe and Sitecore across a variety of companies - from the largest in the world to smaller higher education institutions and non-profits - I’m most surprised when I see so-called “mid-market” prospects looking at Adobe CQ. Defining mid-market is a bit tricky, but I’ll default to Wikipedia, which... More

Creating a Unified Customer Profile for Your Retail Brand

Like many consumers, I shop different brands to satisfy different needs: clothing, gifts, groceries, personal goods, accessories, etc. Sometimes I shop independent small businesses, and other times I shop larger retailers with a network of related brands. But no matter who owns the shopping experience, I expect the experience to be tailored to me. If I don’t see content and product recommendations that are of interest to me, chances are I won’t stick around long, and... More

For Marketers, IT Should be a Partner, Not an Adversary

Marketing has evolved from a sedate and predictable annual media buy to a do-or-die battle to stay ahead of the competition and keep up with the consumer. As marketing takes on this challenge, there is a temptation to deploy cloud-based technology, leaving behind IT department involvement. Purchase a turn-key, self-contained marketing system and everyone lives happily ever after, right? There’s no denying this “shadow IT” trend in which marketing and other... More

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