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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’... 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

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... 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

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.... Meer

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... Meer

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,... Meer

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... Meer

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... Meer

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... Meer

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... Meer

Build Your Drupal 8 Team: Non-Technical Team Roles & Required Skills


As our series continues, let's look at what non-technical team members need to understand about Drupal 8. Although they don't need to write code and implement functionality, these team members may have responsibility for defining the product or developing the content for the site. These are the non-technical roles and skills needed on a development team.
Project Manager
The project manager needs to make sure the project is completed on time and within budget. If that's not possible, the project manager needs to negotiate the... Meer

Web Accessibility for Clients - Part Two


Thanks for coming back. If you tried a few of the tips in the first part of this series, you probably realized that making a website accessible to all visitors doesn’t require much time, or cause much stress. Even if you didn’t yet try, I hope this blog further illustrates that clients need not worry about sitting down themselves to create a website that’s useful and informative to visitors with disabilities - without reaching out to a developer for help.
A Data Table for Everyone
Without proper setup, a data table will come... Meer

Identifying and Integrating Global eCommerce Systems

If you’re a retailer considering globalization, or a global retailer looking to streamline your global operations, then you probably already understand the difficulties that lie ahead. Globalizing your commerce systems and overall strategy is no small feat, but it can be done. With the right commerce foundation in place, and a strategy to execute on, you’re ready to start identifying and integrating the appropriate... Meer

Why I Love Composer, a PHP Dependency Management Tool

Like a composer who can’t wait to conduct a great symphony, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Composer, a PHP dependency management tool.
You could say this blog post is my "Ode to Joy" about using Composer. It was fun watching it update all my libraries on just a single command:
composer update.
But I shouldn’t have all the fun. I’d like to help you incorporate third-party libraries into a project by using Composer. In this post, we’ll create a test PHP project and run test cases using phpunit.
Before we hit the “update” button, though, first let’s look at what Composer is, and why you’ll... Meer

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