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Drupal, meet PHP FIG - Larry Garfield

February 5, 2016 at 2:28pm
DrupalCon Asia Mumbai background imageDrupal, meet PHP FIG - Larry Garfield

Larry Garfield aka crell: Drupal 8 Web Services Initiative Lead, a subsystem maintainer for a couple of things, relevant and Drupal representative to the PHP Framework Interoperability Group. Make sure you listen to the podcast for the full origin story of Larry’s online handle!

This conversation with Larry Garfield (@crell) is the first in a series of interviews Campbell Vertesi (@CampbellVertesi) and I carried out in preparation for DrupalCon Asia in Mumbai. We are building the world’s longest DrupalCon session and packing all 6+ hours of it with information and personalities you won’t want to miss! So actually ... For our one hour in the spotlight in Mumbai, we’ve been doing a lot of preparation. Our “session” will include a lot of additional materials like podcasts and blog posts about what we’ve learned along the way.

Our session, Meet PHP-FIG: Your community just got a whole lot bigger, Drupal is about Drupal 8’s membership in the new, interoperable PHP community. We’re covering the basics of what the PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG) is, what the various PSRs are and do, talk about testing and dependency management, and what it means to be a part of the new PHP community — including having better architecture, cleaner code, and more interoperability. All of this adds up to a big move to get projects “off their islands,” saving developers a lot of code, and companies a lot of money, among other benefits.

I apologize for the poor audio quality in this recording and hope the quality of the conversation makes up for it.

“I don’t want to speak to PHP from Drupal. I don’t want to speak to Drupal from PHP because that implies that those are different things that aren’t a part of each other or that I’m part of one talking to the other. That’s not the point. The point is that Drupal and PHP are not separate entities. Drupal is part of the PHP world and the PHP world is part of Drupal. That collaboration has helped us produce Drupal 8 and that collaboration I’m sure would continue to produce not just future versions of Drupal but better practices, more robust practices in PHP itself. So I would encourage everyone from these two large robust communities ... don’t look at them as two large robust communities. Look at them as different pockets of one larger community that we can all learn from, that we can all benefit from, and together we can build a better PHP for all projects.”

More by or featuring Larry, further reading
  1. Getting off the island in 2013
  2. Building Bridges: Linking Islands (2014)
  3. Drupal & PHP: Linking Islands, the podcast – part 1
  4. Drupal & PHP: Linking Islands, the podcast – part 2
  5. Drupal 8: Happy, but not satisfied
  6. Larry’s challenge for us: “Giving Back in 2016. Contribute to other projects. Get your name on the contributors list for a new open source project.”
Interview video - 43 min.

What is the PHP FIG--PHP Framework Interoperability Group--for and does it have something like a mission statement?

Larry: Okay. So a history lesson. The Framework Interoperability Group began life at php[tek] in 2009 in Chicago as the PHP Standards Group. We got together in a hotel room and said “With PHP 5.3 coming out and all these namespaces, it would be really cool if we all use them the same way and hey, we could do some cool autoloading stuff with that.” So the original goal was simply “Let’s collaborate and push this out to the community.” It was renamed to the Framework Interoperability Group in I think 2012. It didn’t really do anything more useful for several years.

In practice these days, pretty much any project that matters is using either the PSR-0 or PSR-4 autoloading standard. A project that doesn’t then has a huge amount of pressure to start doing so.

The PSR-2 coding standards: Most projects that are just random projects have now adopted tooling PhpStorm and phpcs, support by default, and there’s pressure on projects like Drupal that don’t use it to start using it just for conformity’s sake.

If you’re going to do anything new with HTTP messages now and you’re not already using Symfony’s HTTP foundation, you’re foolish to not use PSR-7 or something very close to PSR-7 because there’s a lot of tooling and tools built on top of that already.

So who are the members of the FIG group these days?

Larry: There’s I think 41 or 42 members now. I don’t remember all of them off the top of my head. They’re listed on the website. I’ll say they include pretty much very major project except Wordpress. So Symfony, Zend, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, about a dozen libraries like Monolog or Stash or Doctrine, some smaller libraries you may not have heard as much about like Jackalope. It really runs the gamut from really big players like Drupal to really small players like Jackalope and everything in the middle.

What are some valid reasons why projects like Wordpress or individual developers would choose to ignore this interoperability movement, not take advantage of the PSR standards?

Larry: I think the biggest reason that projects wouldn’t follow PSR is legacy code bases. If you have a code base that’s been around for eight, 10 years or even just five years, you probably have a lot of internal conventions already built up and changing them is hard. Not like Drupal knows anything about that. ;-) So for a project like Wordpress where mission statement number one is backward compatibility, switching their logging system to use the PSR-3 logger would be an API break or at least extra API clumsiness so they’re not willing to do that. Certainly for a project by Drupal, switching our coding standards to PSR-2, whatever the technical benefits or downsides to that are, regardless of whether PSR-2 is a good spec or a bad spec, would mean changing literally millions of lines of code. It could be scripted to cover 98% of it fairly easily, but it still means every single patch and every single person’s local configuration and defaults in their IDE change. That’s not a small ask. So I think the biggest impediment to PSR adoption is simply existing standards, existing code bases, existing practices, which are sometimes legitimate complaints and sometimes not.

Actually, there’s one comment which you made in your Drupal 8 launch blog post which I recommend for everybody to read ...

... continued: You mentioned actually one of the most significant things about the launch of Drupal 8 is proving that it is possible. Before we manage to do this, it was an open question, is it possible for the entire community to retool, change the entire API method of thinking and switch to object-oriented concepts and unit testability. We managed to drag one of the world’s largest open source communities through that and successfully launched a product. You’re right. It’s an enormous undertaking to understand other projects not wanting to do that.

Larry: I actually have a keynote that I gave called Eating Elephants that is that exact point of this is a lot of work. If Drupal can pull it off, so can anybody, but it’s still a lot of work. Not every project necessarily wants to go through that, the level of overhaul that Drupal did and not necessarilyevery project needs to. But I think over time, simply through natural project churn, most of the standards are going to become widespread in practice.

What are the choices that people should be making now outside of implementing the PSRs?

... continued: So outside of FIG, of course FIG is just one part of a broader movement for interoperability and standard behaviors across no matter what it is you’re building with PHP. So what are some of the architectural implications of this exciting new world? What are the choices that people should be making now outside of implementing the PSRs?

Larry: I think the most important, just general good modern practices for collaboration these days are:

  • use a PSR-based autoloader because everyone else is. It just using your code and sharing your code dead simple.
  • Register it with Packagist because then getting it through Composer is dead simple.
  • Use proper dependency injection because that makes it a lot easier to swap out pieces and plug your system into someone else’s ...
  • ... which also means build your code in small standalone components rather than one big monolithic system.

This is really a movement that Symfony started with Symfony 2. It was the first project to really have a component library that was loosely coupled and then built a framework on top of it. Others have since done the same. Zend Framework 3 is moving heavily in that direction. The Aura project is strictly decoupled components with a framework built on top. A lot of major components now are completely standalone.

I think the biggest thing is think in terms of small, discrete pieces that you can mix and match. Same kind of Lego block approach that Drupal has striven for at the module level for years, even though we didn’t do a very good job of it at the code level all the time. We’re getting better. The more you do that, the easier it is to exchange code with people, the easier it is to reuse code, and also the easier it is to test.

Good unit testable code is also loosely coupled, is also easy to swap out, is easy to reason about. All of these concepts overlap on each other.

Testability, understandability, debuggability, ability to share with others all have the same underlying structure, underlying needs. So focusing on any one of those will make the others better.

What are some wheels that we decided to bring in from outside in Drupal 8, rather than reinventing them?

Larry: So the big first wheel we got from elsewhere was our routing system which we pulled in from Symfony and along with that, a new architecture that spread throughout the rest of the system and took over. The template engine, of course, Twig is new and that’s been a huge win. Everything I’ve heard front enders adore it. That’s third-party code. The places we didn’t, the configuration system is primarily homegrown in large part because we needed the UI integration for it. Symfony’s configuration system, for example, assumes you’re doing configuration by editing files on disk. Drupal assumes you’re doing configuration by pushing buttons in the UI. These are fundamentally different assumptions and that same underlying tooling that supports one is not really going to support the other. Not very well.

Drupal’s coming to the fold or gotten, become part of main line PHP. Talk about how this new world of interoperability has allowed Drupal to start making contributions outwards into other systems and other frameworks, other applications.

Larry: Honestly, I think at the moment, our biggest contributions are patches we’ve submitted to other projects, be that Symfony, Guzzle, Zend, whatever. Just being the poster child for this new PHP world. Drupal, being a demonstration that yes, it is possible to teach an old CMS new tricks, yes it is possible to embrace these modern tools and techniques, yes there’s benefits to doing so, you will survive. Honestly, I think that’s our biggest contribution is just proving that it can be done. We’re not the only project that has adopted lots of Symfony but I think just the evolutionary pressure we give that way is probably the biggest impact. It’s that the proof is in the Drupal 8 release, that it is a thing and it can be done and we should continue to provide that example of growth and of maturity enough to admit that you can change things. I think that’s probably our biggest contribution to PHP at the moment.

So OO isn't so hard after all ...

... continued: I think early on when we were talking inside the community about adopting object oriented practices, about adopting some of the Symfony. A lot of the conversation was around Drupal being not so accessible for newbie programmers, people coming to write their first lines of code. It seems like it’s so much easier when it’s procedural. What I’m most excited about with Drupal 8 is watching what happens in the next two or three years as we demonstrate that anybody can code with modern practices, too. And that in fact, it makes it easy. If you can learn how an IF statement works, you can understand what a class is. So I think that’s another cultural export that we’re offering the rest of the PHP world.

Larry: You don’t have to be a comp sci grad from school in order to write in modern object-oriented code. We have thousands of people now from Drupal who have picked it up without being in school for it and are liking it.

In the last few years, you’ve done a series of posts and sort of challenges to I guess the broader PHP world.

... continued: Initially, “Hey Drupal, we’ve got to get off our island and accept that we shouldn’t carry all this liability ourselves.” Then there was a building bridges post which said “Go visit people in other communities” and there was a challenge this year, build something in a project that’s not your home project. What’s your mission statement and challenge for all of us in 2016?

Larry: I know what I’m going to say. First one was go out and learn from other projects. The second one was go out and build with other projects. So I’ll say it now. Your challenge for this next year, contribute to other projects. Your goal is to get your name on the contributor’s list for a new open source project, some project that’s not your home project.

Podcast series: Drupal 8Skill Level: Intermediate
Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal 8 Module of the Week: Admin Toolbar

February 4, 2016 at 12:35pm
Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuireDrupal 8 logoAnimation of Admin Toolbar in action

Each day, more Drupal 7 modules are being migrated over to Drupal 8 and new ones are being created for the Drupal community’s latest major release. In this series, the Acquia Developer Center is profiling some of the most prominent, useful modules available for Drupal 8. This week: Admin Toolbar.

Tags: acquia drupal planetadmin toolbardrupal 8Drupal modules
Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal Global Sprint 2016, New England-Style

January 29, 2016 at 8:43pm
DC Denisonlaptop with stickers

Tom Kraft and Renato Francia were conferring in the kitchen, laptops open, “trying to make the Feeds module work better out of the box.”

In a nearby conference room, Dan Feidt was juggling a bunch of open windows on his laptop screen, tackling “a little puzzle around virtualization and Vagrant.”

Kay VanValkenburgh, who was in charge of beginners and onboarding, was roaming, talking to attendees, “removing barriers.”

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Maintainer's Toolbox: git blame

January 29, 2016 at 2:04pm
Jess (xjm)garden tools

This blog post is part of a series on everyday tools and strategies for code review, drawn from Drupal contribution experiences. xjm is a Drupal 8 core maintainer and release manager.

If you have spent much time developing software with others, you've probably asked yourself some of these questions at one time or another:

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal 8 Module of the Week: Scheduled Updates

January 28, 2016 at 1:13pm
Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuireDrupal 8 logoScheduled Updates Module field options interfaceScheduled Updates Module embedded update interface

Each day, more Drupal 7 modules are being migrated over to Drupal 8 and new ones are being created for the Drupal community’s latest major release. In this series, the Acquia Developer Center is profiling some of the most prominent, useful modules available for Drupal 8. This week: Scheduled Updates.

Tags: acquia drupal planetscheduled updatedrupal 8
Categories: Planet Drupal

D8 Module Acceleration Program - January Releases

January 27, 2016 at 3:31pm
John Kennedydrupal 8 logo

I looked at my Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program (D8 MAP) Trello board this morning and was struck with the enormity of what we have accomplished over the past 4 months.

If you want an overview of the Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program check out my post on Acquia.com.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Web Services 101

January 26, 2016 at 3:15pm
Larry GarfieldWeb Services 101

Web developers are discovering that Web services have become critical to interacting with third parties -- whether on Web sites or in applications.

Many Drupal developers now have the need to expose content and features on their site via an API. Fortunately, Drupal 8 now has this capability in core. And some contributed modules are attempting to make it even better.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Acquia U: "Making the world a better place, one Drupalist at a time." - with Amy Parker

January 26, 2016 at 12:09pm
Image: Amy Parker and Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire talk at Acquia's Boston HQ.Body: 

Part 2 of 2 - Amy Parker, the Director of Acquia University, and I sat down in Acquia's downtown Boston headquarters to talk about Acquia's technology boot camp, affectionately known as "Acquia U". In this podcast we talk about the diversity of candidate backgrounds, the candidate selection process, and go into what makes a successful Acquia "Ubie." We also talk about measuring the success of a program like this in human terms.

In part one, we went over the course and how it covers much more than Drupal. The curriculum is designed to produce people able to work in tech companies: Drupal and related technologies, agile methodologies, project management tools, trouble shooting tickets, presentation skills, and more. Listen to Part 1 to learn more.

Interview video - 14:30 min.

More Amy and Acquia U on the web!
  1. Acquia Podcast: Acquia U: "Jump in and own it. Kickstart your career." - meet Amy Parker
  2. Acquia Podcast with Keith Donaldson, Acquia U graduate, 2015: Drupal, the fastest way from idea to MVP
  3. Amy spoke with Brian Lewis in 2015 on Modules Unravelled Podcast 132, AcquiaU (here's the video of their conversation).
  4. Amy was a guest on DrupalEasy podcast 141 in 2014.
Guest dossier
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Categories: Planet Drupal

Acquia U: "Jump in and own it. Kickstart your career." - meet Amy Parker

January 22, 2016 at 5:05pm
Image: Body: 

Amy Parker, the Director of Acquia University--aka Acquia U--and I sat down in Acquia's downtown Boston headquarters to talk about Acquia's technology boot camp. The course covers much more than Drupal; the curriculum is designed to produce people able to work in tech companies: Besides a whole lot of Drupal and related technologies, it includes agile methodologies, project management tools, troubleshooting tickets, presentation skills, and more. Listen to our whole conversation to learn more.

"If you think about it, the very senior-level, highly skilled Drupalists are already employed and there isn't a succession plan and there isn't a talent pipeline. This program is really not just about Acquia's ability to hire internally; it's about partnering with our community to be able to offer an opportunity to ramp up their teams."

What is Acquia U?

Amy: "Acquia U is a 14-week, hands-on, intensive, technical boot camp to take people who have a strong interest in web technology and bring them into the world of Drupal. [At the end of the course], depending on their skills coming in, they're prepared to become people who can build websites using Drupal and integrate it into a larger digital platform and a digital strategy ... Entry level Drupalists!"

"Drupal is unknown to people entering into the career market in web technologies. The problem that we find from an education perspective is that it's not taught in a lot of high schools or universities," even among computer science majors.

Interview video - 25 min.

Origin story

A need arose in 2011--Amy mistakenly says 2001 in the recording--to hire more people faster and Acquia U was launched as an internal initiative, taught by Acquians. "It was very successful. They had nine people in the program. Eight completed the program. Eight were hired here at Acquia." And many are still at Acquia, while others have moved on to careers outside the company. "I don't consider that a loss, because those are Drupal evangelists out in other technology fields."

Mission

Acquia U's mission is to help make Drupal better known overall, help create more interest and Drupalists, and connect people with careers in Drupal. It also has the ambition to try to fill the gap Amy describes thus: "There's no way that we can't not give back talent into the organisation. Acquia is struggling to hire. All Drupal companies are struggling to hire. If you think about it, the very senior-level, highly skilled Drupalists are already employed and there isn't a succession plan and there isn't a talent pipeline. This program is really not just about Acquia's ability to hire internally; it's about partnering with our community to be able to offer an opportunity to ramp up their teams."

"In the next year to two years, I would like to see this program filling the void of junior-level talent in a lot of different spaces: whether it's in a non-profit, at a partner company, a client company, at another digital, Drupal shop."

The ideal candidate

"For me, it's about finding people who might not otherwise get a job here ... so I look in other places. If I think about it, somebody who's looking for a position at Acquia U may not know how to navigate a Drupal career path, so I go to places they may not have looked before. Going to the places where you might not think to traditionally find Drupalists is the place to go to find new Drupalists."

"I have a strong interest, as does Acquia, in hiring people in underserved populations: women ... veterans ... different age groups. My vision of the ideal candidate has nothing to do with age or background. The foundation of being successful here is potential. I define potential on:

  • What's motivating them: "If I'm motivated by giving to the community or participating in something larger than myself, that's awesome."
  • Curiosity: "One of my favorite questions [to ask] is 'What's the last creative thing that you did? What's the last thing that you did that was really interesting?'"
  • "We look for people that are motivated by their sense of integrity and wanting to learn.""

"A good candidate, the people that are successful and come through the program ... are the people that demonstrate strong interest in something innovative, creative, fast-paced. They're looking for not just a job."

More Amy and Acquia U on the web!
  1. Acquia Podcast with Keith Donaldson, Acquia U graduate, 2015: Drupal, the fastest way from idea to MVP
  2. Amy spoke with Brian Lewis in 2015 on Modules Unravelled Podcast 132, AcquiaU (here's the video of their conversation).
  3. Amy was a guest on DrupalEasy podcast 141 in 2014.
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Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal 8 Module of the Week: BigPipe

January 22, 2016 at 3:42pm
Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuireDrupal 8 logoBigPipe page loading model, animated

Each day, more Drupal 7 modules are being migrated over to Drupal 8 and new ones are being created for the Drupal community’s latest major release. In this series, the Acquia Developer Center is profiling some of the most prominent, useful modules available for Drupal 8. This week: BigPipe.

Tags: acquia drupal planetbigpipedrupal 8
Categories: Planet Drupal

Chris Pliakas on How to Successfully Manage Software Projects

January 21, 2016 at 7:15pm
Chris Pliakas

Chris Pliakas, the director of Content Services Engineering at Acquia, has been leading the Acquia Content Hub project since May, 2015. A certified ScrumMaster, Chris has been working at Acquia since 2010: as a technical consultant, solutions architect, scrum master, and engineering manager.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Drupal 8 Module of the Week: Services

January 19, 2016 at 3:17pm
Reena Leonedrupal 8 logo

Each day more Drupal 7 modules are being migrated over to Drupal 8. In this series, the Acquia Developer Center is profiling some of the most prominent, useful modules that have crossed the chasm. This week: Services.

Kyle Browning, Drupalist since 2006 and Technical Consultant at Acquia, provides some insight on this Top 150 Drupal module he maintains.

What does the Services module do?

Tags: servicesdrupal 8acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Minimizing maintenance time while updating thousands of Acquia Cloud Site Factory sites

January 18, 2016 at 6:22pm
Peter WolaninAcquia Cloud Site Factory logo

Note (January 2016):  While this blog post was originally written about drupalgardens.com (originally published April 06, 2010), the same basic strategy for updating sites has continued to be used in the Acquia Cloud Site Factory (ACSF) platform that emerged from it. Some of the very specific details in the original post are outdated (for example, we now use git instead of svn), but the strategy of using two docroots with different code versions and two different vhost ports to choose between them is how ACSF still works to update sites.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

Continuous Translation in Drupal 8: The Lingotek Experience

January 15, 2016 at 2:31pm
Christian Lopez Espinolalingotek logo

Lingotek’s Translation Network is a cloud-based solution that connects all your global content in one place, giving you the power to manage your brand worldwide. Our technology pairs with the best-in-class applications, such as Drupal, to continuously push dynamic multilingual content to all of your global markets.

Lingotek’s collaboration with - and development work for - the Drupal community began over four years ago with Drupal 6. Our first Drupal module was released in fall of 2011 for Drupal 6. We now have contributed modules available for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

What the geeks got right - #HROS - Ambrosia Vertesi part 2 of 2

January 13, 2016 at 5:59pm
Image: Ambrosia Vertesi, Global VP Talent, HootsuiteBody: 

Part 2 of 2 - Sharing is good for business. Ambrosia Vertesti, Global VP Human Resources at Hootsuite, and I sat down to talk about how open source models are spreading to human resources and other, non-code parts of business today. In part one, I strove to understand HR's needs, terminology, and perspective and what drew Ambrosia and her peers to open source. In part two, our conversation moves on to how open source values like sharing and contribution are helping human resources and a lot more about #HROS.

"The How isn't competitive intelligence. That should be baseline."

I learned about the #HROS movement watching Ambrosia and Lars Schmidt co-present the keynote address at LinkedIn's 2015 Talent Connect conference. Check that video out!

Interview video - 22 min.

#HROS - Sharing The How

The sharing and contributing aspects of #HROS--the stuff that makes it "open source"--came about out of necessity, just like so many open source software projects and tools. When she was hired as the 20th employee, Ambrosia was the sole HR person at Hootsuite and she was responsible for four other departments ... Welcome to startups! She lacked time and resources and turned to her network for help. "I was in Vancouver. We weren't in the epicenter of innovation and startups. We were in a place that the ecosystem was just growing around us. We needed to collaborate. I was empowered by our founder to take risks and find a different way to do HR. This was my opportunity to see if this thing is real!"

"It started out of necessity and being empowered to take a risk. That was me reaching out to people. 'I'm the only person here. I'm trying to find a way to do things.' I explained the problem I had and asked, 'Do you have The How?' Because a lot of times, people talk about why you should do something and what you should do. If you read Forbes articles about best workplaces and all that kind of stuff, like 'Performance Management Should be Dead!' And I say okay, but how are you going to ensure that you have a high-performance culture that is fair and equitable? So The How is missing from anything you read online. And in safe-safe circles, behind closed doors, people were telling me The How."

"The How isn't competitive intelligence. That should be baseline." Ambrosia recognized that this practical information--what she calls "The How"--is like the code in open source software. It doesn't give you a competitive advantage over others, that all lies in other areas, just like we can all use Linux or Drupal to level the playing field and then compete on other areas of differentiation. "Competitive intelligence is me taking that and making sure it fits with my organization ... I've probably combined it with 4 or 5 other Hows ... It's alchemy. There are things I see as competitive intelligence: compensation, stuff like that."

Opening up - asking for help, giving help

I wanted to know how Ambrosia's peers reacted when she opened up to them about her needs, problems, and challenges. She told me, "I found they were very collaborative. My experience has been that anybody I ever sent a Bat-Signal out, asking for help, people have come and helped me. And then I've reciprocated when I was able to." Ambrosia could swap, for example, her expertise in the world of social media for someone else's experience of policy scalability at large corporations. "It was really about equal value propositions. It wasn't just about solving a need. I felt as though we could give something back and that every HR practitioner would have something they're up against," this sounds so familiar to me from the development and website-building world, "and that they could give an equal-value reciprocity ... if the got over themselves and the stereotypes and the reputation."

#HROS isn't the first time HR practitioners have ever shared or collaborated, but Ambrosia explains, "My thought was that we could bring this out into the practitioners' space instead of it being a group of people who were ... sharing because we know each other. What if you're an emerging practitioner? It was a way to even the playing field and a way to showcase that HR is very innovative and they are very collaborative and they do want to support each other. And that nobody does have the perfect answer, so let's all work on it together ... and openly."

Partnerships: external and internal

At Hootsuite, Ambrosia is extending this idea to collaborating with employees to improve internal systems and processes, too. "For me and a lot of HR practitioners, the stuff that is servicing people's daily jobs and removing roadblocks and empowering them should be done in collaboration, it should be done openly, and it should be up for debate."

"As HR practitioners, you need to be connected to your employees because they're your customers. So if our team sees us saying 'We did this thing and here's the parts that we missed,' now I've been humanized to them. Now, they're able to come and tell me when things might not be perfect because I'm not projecting and I'm not posturing and I'm not guarding against it. There are things in your job HR that are very serious, very regulated, very compliance-driven, but there are sandboxes where you can have a lot of fun and you can really connect with people. And we want to put some of those things out there to educate not only HR people, but employees, because the more they understand about our profession, the more they understand how we can work together to build a culture and a company that we both want to be at."

What are the geeks getting right?

"What are the geeks getting right? High level: The mindset of 'We're all in this together. Let's work on this together. Let's support and share.' ... Those are things that business should be taking into their practices. We're all intellectual capital businesses, those fundamental practices create amazing workflows and better businesses. The engineers got that right. At the very highest level, that is the right mentality to build your business on.

More from Ambrosia Vertesti and #HROS on the web
  1. Open Source Beyond Code: #HROS with Ambrosia Vertesi - 1 of 2
  2. What the geeks got right. - #HROS - Ambrosia Vertesi part 2 of 2
  3. #HROS: Open-Source Comes To HR Ambrosia Vertesi & Lars Schmidt, Talent Connect Anaheim Keynote
  4. Open Source HR - #HROS - hros.co
  5. When Open Source And HR Collide - Glassdoor
  6. Insight on Culture, Brand, and Ego from Hootsuite's Ambrosia Vertesi - Techvibes.com
Guest dossier
  • Name: Ambrosia Vertesi
  • Work affiliation: Global VP, Human Resources, Hootsuite
  • Twitter: @hambrody
  • LinkedIn: Ambrosia Vertesi
  • Current projects: #singitfwd "Music changes lives. Pass it on."
  • About: Over the past five years running HR for Hootsuite--and growing it from 20 to 1000+ employees!--Ambrosia Vertesi has had to figure out how to keep up with Hootsuite's enormous growth. Dealing with the challenging realities that many of us face at startups, like limited resources, budgets, and (perceived) talent shortages, forced her to get creative. Along the way, she and a group of her peers noticed that software professionals had institutionalized the way they benefitted from swapping favors, and connections to get things done: Open Source HR (#HROS) was born!
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Categories: Planet Drupal

Announcing the Acquia Cloud Log Streaming Chrome Extension

January 11, 2016 at 6:52pm
Isaac Sukinlog image

Today we’re releasing a new Log Streaming Chrome extension that allows developers to see the logs they are generating in real time as they click around their websites.

Imagine you run a large e-commerce website powered by dozens of servers, and your customers are reporting problems checking out. You’re losing money by the minute. What do you do?

Tags: acquia drupal planetAcquia Cloud Log Streaming Chrome Extension
Categories: Planet Drupal

2016 Drupal Sprint Weekend Coming Up -- January 30 and 31, 2016

January 6, 2016 at 7:55pm
DC DenisonDrupal Global Sprint, 2015

Coming right up: a great way to start getting familiar with Drupal 8.

It's the annual Drupal Global Sprint Weekend, happening all over the world on the last weekend in January, the 30th and 31st. 

Acquia, along with Genuine Interactive and OwnSourcing, will be sponsoring the Boston location, so if you live in the general area, please stop by. 

Genuine's office, in Boston's South End, is spacious and inviting. And there will be a free lunch and plenty of beer. 

Tags: acquia drupal planetdrupal global sprint 2016
Categories: Planet Drupal

Open Source Beyond Code: #HROS with Ambrosia Vertesi - 1 of 2

January 5, 2016 at 2:07pm
Image: Ambrosia VertesiBody: 

Part 1 of 2 - Getting beyond the talent war. I was thrilled to have the chance to sit down and have a conversation with Ambrosia Vertesti, Global VP Human Resources at Hootsuite. It's part of my exploration of how open source thinking and practices are spreading beyond the world of code to influence and improve the businesses and cultures around them; in this case, to HR practice and what has become #HROS.

"I am fiercely competitive, but I am collaborative before I am competitive." - Ambrosia Vertesi

Over the past five years running HR for Hootsuite--and growing it from 20 to 1000+ employees!--Ambrosia has had to figure out how to keep up with Hootsuite's enormous growth. Dealing with the challenging realities that many of us face at startups, like limited resources, budgets, and (perceived) talent shortages, forced her to get creative. Along the way, she and a group of her peers noticed that software professionals had institutionalized the way they benefitted from swapping favors, and connections to get things done: Open Source HR (#HROS) was born!

Apart from being fascinated to learn more about Ambrosia's world, I was exploring, peeling back the layers and trying to understand her terminology and perspective--and what drew her to open source. When I get there, I see how and why she and her peers are so keen to apply open source thought and practices to their work. It is for all the same reasons we do it in code and technology: taking advantage of commodity functionality and specializing in what differentiates you saves time, effort, and money. Giving your best back to a community of the like-minded--and admitting what you don't know--will reward you with receiving the best back from your community in return.

Interview video - 21 min.

The Talent War

I heard the term "The Talent War" watching Ambrosia and Lars Schmidt co-present the keynote address at LinkedIn's 2015 Talent Connect conference.

I asked Ambrosia about it. "For a long time, the conversation around recruitment was about this 'war' for talent," she explained, "People started thinking about it as a very combative, carnivorous environment. You had to step on each other to survive. I think this idea was very destructive to HR. People are not resources, they are human beings. A rising tide floats all boats and we should be building ecosystems and we should be collaborating on what's happening in the workforce. I am fiercely competitive, but I am collaborative before I am competitive." Ambrosia points out the importance of creating more talent rather than simply trying to buy everyone on the market. "This idea of the 'War for Talent' ... talent won a long time ago. They decide what they want their education to be; they decide what companies they want to work for and what problems they want to solve. I should be supporting and enabling them in that. And supporting and enabling other practitioners about how we get better about being employers that people want to work for."

No more rock stars, ninjas, and gurus

I brought up Drupal's decade-long challenging hiring situation. Ambrosia suggests that if HR professionals thought "about how you see yourselves ... 'There's a lot of work, we want to build all these amazing things and there's not enough of us!' If we thought the same way, we'd look to partnerships with universities, resourcing the next generation of talent, you'd look at mentorship programs (and reverse mentorship programs!). Why are we not telling the story about the core competencies that are needed? Why are we not showing the data about what's being educated and what's being hired?"

"I think people are doing that now, I think there is a narrative there. But for a long time it was more like, 'There's not enough of you!' You're so precious!' And these words 'rock stars', and 'ninjas' and 'gurus' and all these horrible things. I think it is in mentorship, education and awareness," where you find the real, sustainable solutions to this problem. "I think you have to get to people really early--elementary school, even--to get people interested. As a business, creating an environment that's not a brogrammer culture, that's not based around ping pong tables, and focusing on things like diversity. I want to focus on building those environments so that it becomes more approachable for people who are interested in getting involved."

Based on my experience, I point out that the more different people--from different backgrounds, genders, geographies, and so on--you have helping to solve a problem, the better the solution will be. One thing that truly surprises me in the tech world is how little focus has been placed on diversity, especially since every other conceivable aspect of efficiency, improvement, and practice has been explored and refined to produce the best possible results. Ambrosia agrees, "We all know that. Especially if you are trying to solve a universal problem. Good luck building a technology if you're all just people in Silicon Valley, solving your own problems and drinking your own Kool Aid. You need to have everybody represented."

Fix it with data, mentorship, education, and awareness

"I think technology gets that, but it will be solved through education, accessibility, and exposure. I think a lot of people like the idea of innovation and the democratization that is happening, but if you make it not inclusive, but you make it about the cool kids, or the early adopters, or only Silicon Valley ... the decentralization of the Silicon Valley is a good thing because then people feel like it is something they could do. I hope that this is where the continued investment goes in order for people to feel like this is something as normal as becoming a nurse or a doctor."

Technology is actually approachable and learnable. Not everyone wants to be a ninja or a rock star and you don't need to be one to be in tech. "What I see, having worked in technology for ten years, the people who are creating [technologies] have to have a humility and egolessness--especially if they are working in an open source environment--because people are punching their ideas apart and they want to be collaborative. And those things are required. You see them a lot in technology teams, but as businesses evolve, you don't see the same level of vulnerability and the same level of humility. I hope in my practice, if we can go, 'Hey, we're all trying to solve these problems. No one's perfect. Stop talking about rock stars and how amazing you all are.' And lead with a little bit of, 'Here's the problem we're trying to solve ... This is what we know. This is what we don't know. Can you help us?' ... And build more partnerships, that it'll become a workplace that has a lot more talent at top of funnel."

More from Ambrosia Vertesti and #HROS on the web
  1. #HROS: Open-Source Comes To HR Ambrosia Vertesi & Lars Schmidt, Talent Connect Anaheim Keynote
  2. Open Source HR - #HROS - hros.co
  3. When Open Source And HR Collide - Glassdoor
  4. Insight on Culture, Brand, and Ego from Hootsuite's Ambrosia Vertesi - Techvibes.com
Guest dossier
Workflow: PendingNode rate: 0
Categories: Planet Drupal

Art, PHP, Sculpin & more at SymfonyLive Berlin 2015

December 14, 2015 at 8:34pm
Image: Body: 

I sat down with Rebekah Simensen & Beau Simensen as SymfonyLive Berlin 2015 was wrapping up. Beau is the maintainer of the Sculpin PHP static site generator and was until recently a voting member of PHP-FIG. Rebekah is the artist known as ninjagrl, whom I had heard of because of her #ossart, open-source-inspired work. Beau has promised to come back on the podcast soon to explain all about the PSR 7 HTTP message standard interfaces, but I didn't want to pass up this chance to meet such interesting people!

Topics covered in our conversation include Drupal 8 and its release cycle, fish, Sculpin and its origin story, Symfony and SensioLabs, ninjagrl's #ossart, PHP-FIG, and more.

Comparing company- versus community-driven projects

In our conversation, Beau and I touch on the differences and benefits between a company-driven open source project like SensioLabs supporting Symfony, Twig, and their communities and the larger, wilder world of the community-driven open source project Drupal. Beau points out that in the case of Symfony, "You end up with people who are committed to providing it. They put money into supporting the ecosystem that they're building. I think it's a nice thing and I don't see it that often. It's unique and it's interesting to see what they've done with the community. And they've still been able to build a big ecosystem around it even though it's funded by a company." He continues, "It's nice to have someone who has the final say: 'This is going to happen. This is not going to happen.'"

We then talked about the long Drupal 8 release cycle as an example of something that probably would not have gone down the same way if Dries or a specific company had tighter control over Drupal. To be fair, the Drupal core developer community has recognized this weakness and committed to regular releases and semantic versioning (new features every six months!) for Drupal 8.

Ninjagrl and #ossart

Among other projects, Rebekah's online artist persona "ninjagrl" has made a series of paintings--#ossart--"that have been inspired by the names of open-source projects, services, PHP community lingo, and related technical jargon." We talk about how she was exposed to this world through long runs with Beau and his venting about the stresses and politics of being part of PHP-FIG around 2013.

The poignant "Pull Request" ...

Pull Request by ninjagrl

ninjagrl's #ossart!
  1. Check out ninjagrl's site and galleries at https://ninjagrl.com/
  2. Buy #ossart prints!
Interview video - 22 min. 30 sec.

Guest dossier - Beau Simenson

Beau's bio from monii.com sums it up pretty well:

I keep the engineering team running at maximum power. I architect, design and oversee platform development. This picture we’re painting? It’s got my signature all the way through it, not just in the bottom left hand corner.

Beau Simensen (@beausimensen, beau.io) has been a professional polyglot programmer since 1998. He is the Co-Founder and Software Architect for monii.com and is co-host of That Podcast (@thatpodcast, thatpodcast.io).

An active open-sourcer, he created Sculpin (sculpin.io) and helped create Stack PHP (stackphp.com). He is also the Sculpin representative to the PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG). Beau is a proponent of framework agnostic code. Unglue all the things!

At dflydev Beau was responsible for high-touch client services for two major clients over five years. Tasks and projects included devops, continuous integration, online resource management, enterprise application development, and writing C code for embedded systems.

For Monii, Beau is responsible for ensuring Monii’s technical execution follows (and keeps up) with the commercial requirements of the business. These responsibilities include architecture, design, and workflows to support continual development, testing, and deployment.

Categories: Planet Drupal

Scan: December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015 at 4:00pm
DC Denisonscanners

When Acquian-authored content starts piling up elsewhere around the Web, it's time for a Scan.

In this edition: 5 handy Drupal modules, a localization client module for Drupal, and some advanced thinking from Drupal's founder on the white hot topic of "decoupling."

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Planet Drupal

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