I've been online since the days of BBS, CompuServ, and Telnet on Windows 3.1. I remember using Gopher, and playing multiplayer Doom on DWANGO with a 14.4k modem. I've building websites since '97 when I used my Windows '95a 60Mhz IBM Aptiva to FTP my first web page to www.flash.net/~groff, back when it was ok to have a url with a ~ in it, and then viewing it with Internet Explorer 4.0 with all it's animated .gif glory!
I worked professionally for a wireless broadband Internet startup in the late '90s building company intranets and customer support portals with Perl, CGI, SSI, PHP3 on Solaris 2.x SPARC and RedHat 4.x systems running Apache1.3.0. I began contacting work in 2003 and have been freelancing ever since. I remember the bad-old-days of Front Page, and WYSIWYG editors such as NetObjets Fusion. I thought I was the coolest guy on the block when I learned to php-include a single txt file on every page as a menu-bar without having to rewrite the HTML over and over for each page!
I am excited to see how far HTML/CSS and other web technologies have matured over the years and I have kept pace. I've worked with Joomla, WordPress, Conrete5, and found Drupal in 2010 after accepting a large non-profit project for which I had no idea how to accomplish :). The project was a success with D6+CiviCRM and help from both the Drupal and CiviCRM communities.
Drupal, to me, is the "Linux" of web-building software. Linux can be molded to run any device from a single-board-computer and mobile phone, to the entire back-end infrastructure the size of AWS and Google! I see that same capability with Drupal for building ANY type of web service imaginable. I proudly display my Linux Journal 1994-2000 Archive CD-ROM on a shelf next to my desk, and I think Drupal will have the same longevity in the web space that Linux has had in the OS world.
I develop using Debian Linux Virtual Machines in VirtualBox. The Dev box is an Aegir master server on which I develop the sites, then I push the sites out when they are ready to go live to various cloud servers as needed. I code in Vim or PHPStorm.
I built only one site on Drupal 6 with CiviCRM, attended DrupalCon Chicago a few months after that site launched, and have since continued to build dozens of Drupal 7 sites for various non-profit, NGO, and small businesses. I am not a hardcore PHP programmer, but I am a heavy CLI user, server admin, Drush user, and proficient with most cloud hosting platforms such as AWS, DigitalOcean, HP Cloud, Linode. I'm not afraid to get dirty and, most everything I learned was from breaking my own stuff and then figuring out how to fix it.
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drupleg helps support and grow the Drupal community with the Drupal Association.