How we at Big Ant were able to succeed with niche sports that no one else wanted to try - by Ross Symons
Six years ago the team at Amazee decided to start a Drupal agency called Amazee Labs in Zurich, Switzerland (read more about the Amazee journey) where I worked as a Drupal developer. Over the years, our small team at Amazee Labs grew and my responsibilities as a developer shifted. Suddenly I wasn’t coding all day. I became a team lead and finally CTO. I code much less now than I did during those first years.Michael Schmid Fri, 07/01/2016 - 15:48
Along with growing the team, we also grew Amazee. We added Amazee Metrics, Amazee Labs in Austin, Amazee Labs in Cape Town, and our newest venture, amazee.io. Each company demanded my attention, so I spent and still spend quite a lot of time in airplanes and on the road.
This growth has been awesome and a never ending journey of new challenges and learning. It’s also been exhausting and caused tensions and bottlenecks some times, as each group waited for my attention and time. Fortunately, this also taught me a very important lesson of good management: letting go.
Let go, enable your team, and make yourself redundant.
This is why I step down as CTO of Amazee Labs Zurich and pass the CTO-torch along to the next person who leads our tech team in Zurich: I’m very happy to announce that Josef Dabernig is our new CTO at Amazee Labs in Zurich from July 1, 2016 on.
Josef joined Amazee Labs in August of 2014 and has demonstrated his leadership and technology skills every day since then. He even taught me an important skill, that sometimes you need to slow down in order to be effective.
I wish Josef all the best with his new role. I am looking forward to see what his team will release. From what I’ve seen so far, they stand to deploy some pretty epic projects in the coming months.
As for me? I’ll be be spending this newfound freedom as the new CTO of Amazee Group, racking up travel miles and providing support and technical guidance for all our companies, specifically amazee.io, which we recently launched back in May.
Sarah Thrasher (sarahjean), front-end developer with Acquia, joins Andrew (remember him?), Kelley, and Mike to discuss the upcoming Drupal GovCon, what is means to be a junior developer, how the Drupal community is helping to make sure our community members stays healthy, and we bid farewell to Mike using the word "pimp". All that and our picks of week and five questions!Interview
- The Fall, 2016 session of Drupal Career Online begins September 26; applications are now open.
- Let's be human at DrupalCon - track description for DrupalCon Dublin.
- 10 Things Every Jr. Drupal Web Developer Should Know - blog post by Jonathan Westman.
- DrupalNorth wrapup.
- MyDropWizard.com - Long-term-support services for Drupal 6, 7, and 8 sites.
- WebEnabled.com - devPanel.
- Mike - Textio.com - helps HR folks write better job descriptions (via YesCT).
- Andrew - Become a Certified Drupal Association Member.
- Kelley - Typogrify.
- Sarah - Liberty.
- NYC Camp - July 8-11.
- Drupal4Gov - July 20-22, Custom Content Migrations to Drupal 8 (Mike's session).
- Design4Drupal - July 22-24.
- Learning Japanese
- Speaking at Drupalcon
- Before 2008 was a print designer. They had an internal site that needed update so hey, Drupal. Read "Using Drupal" from cover to cover and created the site.
Sorry about the audio quality in this episode. We had to go to our emergency recording of the call which is only two channels (our regular recording is one channel per participant) and heavily compressed.Intro Music
- Glory Glory: The Battle Hymn of the Association - from the DrupalCon New Orleans pre-note performed by Adam Juran, Campbell Vertesi and Jeremy Macguire.
If you'd like to leave us a voicemail, call 321-396-2340. Please keep in mind that we might play your voicemail during one of our future podcasts. Feel free to call in with suggestions, rants, questions, or corrections. If you'd rather just send us an email, please use our contact page.
With phone in hand, laptop in bag and earbuds in place, the typical user quickly scans multiple sites. If your site takes too long to load, your visitor is gone. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’ve lost precious traffic. That’s why it’s essential to build well organized, mobile ready sites.
But how do you get good results?
- Understand whom you’re building for
- Employ the right frameworks
- Organize your codebase
- Make your life a lot easier with a CSS preprocessor
Design For Mobile When you look at usage statistics, the trend is clear. This chart is from Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report.
A vast array of mobile devices accomplish a variety of tasks while running tons of applications. This plethora of device options means that you need to account for a wide assortment of display sizes in the design process.
As a front end developer, it’s vital to consider all possible end users when creating a web experience. Keeping so many display sizes in mind can be a challenge, and responsive design methodologies are useful to tackle that problem.Frameworks that Work
Bootstrap, Zurb, and Jeet are among the frameworks that developers use to give websites a responsive layout. The concept of responsive web design provides for optimal viewing and interaction across many devices. Media queries are rules that developers write to adapt designs to specific screen widths or height.Writing these from scratch can be time consuming and repetitive, so frameworks prepackage media queries using common screen size rules. They are worth a try even just as a starting point in a project.
Organizing A Large Code Base Depending on the size of a web project, just the front end code can be difficult to organize. Creating an organizational standard that all developers on a team should follow can be a challenge. Here at Zivtech, we are moving toward the atomic design methodology pioneered by Brad Frost. Taking cues from chemistry, this design paradigm suggests that developers organize code into 5 categories:
Basic HTML tags like inputs, labels, and buttons would be considered atoms. Styling atoms can be done in one or more appropriate files. A search form, for example, is considered a molecule composed of a label atom, input atom, and button atom. The search form is styled around its atomic components, which can be tied in as partials or includes. The search form molecule is placed in the context of the header organism, which also contains the logo atom and the primary navigation molecule.Now Add CSS Preprocessors Although atomic design structure is a great start to organizing code, CSS preprocessors such as Sass are useful tools to streamline the development process. One cool feature of Sass is that it allows developers to define variables so that repetitive code can be defined once and reused throughout.
Here’s an example. If a project uses a specific shade of mint blue (#37FDFC), it can be defined in a Sass file as $mint-blue = #37FDFC. When styling, instead of typing the hex code every time, you can simply use $mint-blue. It makes the code easier to read and understand for the team. Let’s say the client rebrands and wants that blue changed to a slightly lighter shade (#97FFFF). Instead of manually finding all the areas where $mint-blue is referenced on multiples pages of code, a developer can easily revise the variable to equal the new shade ($mint-blue = #97FFFF; ). This change now automatically reflects everywhere $mint-blue was used. Another useful feature of Sass is the ability to nest style rules. Traditionally, with plain CSS, a developer would have to repetitively type the parent selector multiple times to target each child component. With Sass, you can confidently nest styles within a parent tag, as shown below. The two examples here are equivalent, but when you use Sass, it’s a kind of shorthand that automates the process.
SassAlthough there are a lot of challenges organizing code and designing for a wide variety of screen sizes, keep in mind that there are excellent tools available to automate the development process, gracefully solve all your front end problems and keep your site traffic healthy.
Well it is all over the blogosphere, AberdeenCloud breakdown. I already read a couple of articles on the subject and I couldn't agree more with the one from annertech, only way to avoid this kind of issues is offsite backup. I would normally write how to recover from something like this, but sadly as codeenigma explained there isn't much we could do, their servers just collapsed and were gone. But now for 36hs we'll be able to recover our data.
How Possibly Losing Out on Money Brought Me One Step Closer to Success: A Greenlight Post-mortem - by Mike Troup
Ahhh, the great outdoors. It’s a great place to host a roleplaying game. A little camping, a little gaming, what’s not to love?
The woods. The ticks. The blistering sunburn. The blood-sucking mosquitoes. The thieving raccoons. The dead humid air on a 90-degree day.
Nothing like leaving the cozy confines of the proverbial parent’s basement and venturing into the sunlight.
Or, if your players are less adventurous than the in-game characters they are portraying, then how about the backyard patio, the front porch, or a pavilion at the nearest park. (They say D&D’s founder, E. Gary Gygax, liked to run games from his enclosed porch).
Whatever your destination for your roleplaying game, a little fresh air will do you, and your players, good.Tips for the great outdoors
So, what are some tips to having a productive rpg session beyond your game room?
- Clipboards are handy for holding player character sheets. But if you don’t have a clipboard, using clothespins on cardboard will do the trick. Some people prefer plastic sleeves, but if it’s too hot, they can get tacky. Pens explode in hot weather; use pencils when possible.
- Leave the fiddly game components behind. Unless your outdoor setup includes a landscaping table for terrain and minis, it’s best not to fuss over such things. Metal minis get too hot to the touch, plastic ones wilt (and even melt) and it only takes one stiff breeze to scatter most things. And agree to keep rules references to a minimum. NO one wants to be flipping pages (and risk tearing them) in a brisk breeze. Make quick rulings by GM fiat or table consensus and move on. Who cares what the exact perimeter of a web spell is or the intricacies of travel time or even the exact hit points of a goblin brute. Let the story carry you.
- Refreshments — pack a cooler. I prefer water or lemonade. This is important so you and your players stay hydrated. Also, let me add: This lets you stay hydrated. Oh, and one more thing: STAY HYDRATED.
- Limit distractions, as best you can. This is out of your control — when you play outdoors you might not have any control over who saunters up to your table to have a conversation. It’s up to you how you wish to handle those situations. If you are interested in continuing to play, I prefer to listen politely, then explain, equally politely, that you and your friends are engaged in a game. Would you like to play? If not, that’s OK. But if you stay, please observe quietly. Otherwise, I’ll call you later.
- Dice rolling box or alternative methods, such as resolution with rock-paper-scissors. Whatever solution you arrive at, be sure it veers toward simplicity. If you choose to allow rolls on books placed in your lap, have a “table” rule for dealing with dice that fall off the edge.
- Have the story match the environment and/or weather. If it’s a hot summer day in real life, then set your game for a hot summer day. If you’re exploring a dungeon, it might not matter. But somehow there is a nice vibe going when the PCs are experiencing nature as you are.
- Add a thematic element to the experience. This is a game run narratively around a campfire. Gaming starts at dusk, light the lanterns and play till dawn (very good for horror or expansive dungeon crawls). Want to kill a couple of hours with cold drinks and friends, maybe light the grill for a barbecue on the side — it’s an afternoon delight. Or, if schedules collide, it’s the breakfast of champions, cereal and fruit for a quick session in the cool of the morning.
All of these are great possibilities. So, pack up your gear, and go claim the great outdoors.
Acquia Content Hub enables the distribution and discovery of content from any source to create engaging multi-channel digital experiences.
This module allows to connect Drupal site to the Acquia Content Hub service.