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May 21st, 2015
This past week a few members of our team made it out to LA for Drupalcon 2015. I wanted to share a few sessions I attended on interesting subjects and some of the new features being introduced in Drupal 8. Here you’ll find information on each session and a link to the recorded video and slides.
May 19th, 2015
Since the release of Sitecore 7.5, a new security feature has been included which may prohibit your rendered images from being properly resized, scaled, or otherwise transformed from its default Sitecore settings.
May 14th, 2015
I follow several artists, but here are 5 of my favorite innovators in the design space. If you’re not following these trailblazers, you really should.
You may know Draplin from his talks but his work speaks for itself. He has this refined simplicity when it comes to his designs. He clearly likes the look of a simpler time and has an attention to detail that shines through.
May 13th, 2015
The magnetic stripe card, which was introduced in the 1970’s by IBM, is still in use by businesses across the world. In 2003, more consumers used magnetic cards for in-store purchases than physical cash. While plastic cards are still heavily favored for point of sale (POS) transactions by consumers across the US, mobile applications are starting to present compelling alternatives. Apple, Google, and PayPal all have developed apps that allow users to store their cards digitally and use them online and in stores. Near field communication (NFC) which is now integrated in most modern smartphones, allow a customer to tap their phone to a POS terminal and complete a transaction without digging out their wallet. Devices such as the Apple Watch will make mobile payments more accessible to the everyday user.
May 7th, 2015
An effective website requires an excellent user experience, but how do you know if your UX makes the cut? The short answer: Analytics. Using analytics to monitor how visitors interact with your web pages can directly impact the success of your website and allow you to learn more about your users’ behavior. It is an essential component to the UX process and without it you might find yourself missing a vital piece to the puzzle.
May 5th, 2015
The most recent version of Chrome (Chrome 42) disables Microsoft Silverlight, Java, Unity and several other browser plugins.
This has caused a stir in the software development community and also for internet media. Many streaming video solutions relied upon Microsoft Silverlight, and have had to re-engineer their sites. Don’t worry, your Netflix is safe — they’ve already migrated to using HTML5 video.
April 30th, 2015
What good is an application if no one can use it? Good applications give organizations the tools they need to accomplish their unique business needs. But GREAT applications anticipate the user’s needs and provide experiences that are so intuitive, they mask the complexity of the application.
So what does it take to create a great application?
April 29th, 2015
So much has been written about communication that I feel guilty adding to the catalog. Given all the articles written about communicating with stakeholders, clients, managers, employees, peers, prospects, children, parents, cousins, vague acquaintances, etc. one might think that we as a species have all the knowledge we need to be 100% effective at transferring knowledge to each other in any conceivable configuration.
That’s obviously not the case. So while I’m sure there are a thousand books written about working with developers, I wanted to share some thoughts anyway, from the perspective of one who has witnessed both the good and the bad. Whether your process is waterfall, agile, iterative, spiral, or something totally different, the following laws should help you streamline your interactions with all types of beardos and brogrammers.
April 24th, 2015
The reality is that “Mobile First” is yet another .COM bubble waiting to burst. Mobile first is a gateway drug for ignoring the business reality: your consumer wants information and needs a consumer experience that allows them to interact in an intuitive way with your web presence. Designing for mobile before understanding what the consumer needs or how they want it is akin to designing a very small chair for a child, who will one day grow into a teenager. Just because you know they need a chair right now doesn’t mean that the one you are building is the right one in the long run. So, what’s the solution?
April 22nd, 2015
The reality of working for an agency is that sometimes a project might pull you out of your office and into a client’s. Depending on the project’s breadth, allotted resources, and projected timeline, you could end up spending a good deal of time working remote.
It’s important to maintain company culture across these borders, especially for those working remote who may feel disconnected from the office. After all, remote employees won’t be on a project forever and will eventually transfer back into the office on a full-time basis. Remote employees are still as much a part of the team as anyone else, but it takes a bit of extra effort to make them feel included.
Perhaps the most important connections for remote employees to retain are those with their coworkers. The spirit of collaboration is dampened if people are scattered and don’t have the ability to connect with one another. Therefore, it’s essential to provide remote employees with ample resources and channels for keeping up with their colleagues and staying connected to company culture.
April 16th, 2015
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
It is quite important, more than ever, to be connected to the internet and it is even more important to be connected to the internet wirelessly. It’s no surprise that the wireless revolution in the communications field has extended to the field of mobile technology. The co-founder of Rethink Technology Research – a firm that deals with mobile technologies and analysis – has said that based on the way that mobile technology has evolved, transferring enormous amounts of data through the mobile internet network won’t be as far-reaching as it seems. By the year 2020, people will be able to use 5G technology which will have a deep and lasting impact on mobile technologies.
April 14th, 2015
Hipchat rooms can be a great place to get an “at-a-glance” idea of what’s going on in a project. Rather than having to log-in to a bunch of different sites (your agile board, code repository, whiteboard, etc.) to check on different aspects of a project, it’s really useful to have one central place to check for, among other things, when and what things are committed or commented on, where and when a build is happening, and whether tests passed or failed for a given build. The Jenkins Hipchat plugin makes adding these notifications super simple for your build and test processes (or anything else you might have Jenkins running).
April 10th, 2015
The life of a project manager is the opposite of laid back– between fielding client phone calls and emails, orchestrating team meetings, and damage-controlling project emergencies there’s barely any time to eat lunch or catch up with coworkers. Even so, Vonnie somehow manages to stay cool as a cucumber under pressure and finds her zen relaxing at home with family and friends.
April 7th, 2015
In my previous post, I talked about getting started with using CasperJS for testing Drupal sites using the Drupal CasperJS project. Now I’ll cover where (I think) the real fun starts: automatically running your tests in Jenkins and reporting the results.
This article assumes you already have a Jenkins server setup with some kind of build process for Drupal. If you do, skip ahead. If you don’t, there are many options for setting up Jenkins to build your Drupal site. How you implement will largely depend on your development workflow. A very simple command-line based build for dev might just pull new code when a change is detected from GitHub, run drush upda (or drush si -y), and clear caches. You might also want to build with ping or ant or generate files with grunt or use any number of other tools. Again, your approach will vary depending on your workflow, and prescribing one is outside the scope of this article.
April 2nd, 2015