A few weeks ago, I and several others helped some friends of ours pack up their apartment into a truck in preparation for moving cross-country from Chicago to New York. It was, as such moments generally are, bitter sweet. It's always a good feeling to help out a friend, but when you're helping them get further away from you it's not as pleasant.
Of course, me being me, what struck me most about the whole process was how well it served as a model for software development and project management in general.
I've spoken at several DrupalCons by now. It's always an interesting question deciding what to submit for a session, knowing that only some will get picked but not knowing if I'm going to end up doing just one session I wasn't really interested in or 4 that I have to prepare (yoinks!). So this time I'm going to do something different. I'm going to ask you.
Well, it's been long enough after DrupalCon for me to survive another conference and a business trip, so I finally have time to reflect.
(See below for slides from my sessions.)
I admit it, I'm on Twitter. I have been for a little over a year. I have a fairly low opinion of it in general, but I am still on it and make random comments to people from time to time.
Earlier today, one of the people I follow tweeted that his young (under 5, I believe) daughter had just done something stupid. Nothing illegal or immoral, just the sort of embarrassing and sometimes destructive stupidity that young children tend to get into. And he then tweeted it.
Which means that his under age daughter's actions are now part of the permanent archive of the US government.
It's been five years since I had a major life change. Five years since I finished grad school, found Drupal, and joined the team at Palantir.net, all within a few months of each other. I've learned far more in the past five years than in the seven before it in college and graduate school, both technically and socially. Having a real job will do that to you.
But, it has been five years and it's time for me to move on before I get too settled and lose all forward momentum in my career.
Once again, I am slated to present general Object-Oriented techniques at DrupalCon. It's an important topic; sadly a large number of Drupalers don't really "get" OO programming, but Drupal 7 is starting to make heavy use of OO. There are also an enormous number of places in Drupal where a more Object-Oriented approach would make the code vastly cleaner, simpler, and faster, if only more people thought to approach it from that standpoint.
Of course, the question is how to target such a session. I don't want to talk over people's heads, but I also don't want to waste your time with "this is a mouse"-level material.
Ah, the spring. So many things happen in the spring. Snow melts. Flowers bloom. The Easter Bunny sells cheap chocolate. People set their clocks ahead in an attempt to confuse their pets. It is also the start of conference season in the northern hemisphere, which means flying about the country talking about Drupal. This year is especially busy, with 10 presentations in 4 cities so far. (Possibly more to come.)
Here's where you'll be able to stalk Crell in the coming weeks:
For those who don't know him, Aaron Seigo is one of the leading KDE developers and community leaders. (KDE doesn't have a "lead developer" position, just as Drupal does not, but my understanding is if you merge Earl Miles and Angie Byon you sort of have Aaron's role within the KDE community.) He also blogs far more than is probably healthy, but his posts, while long, tend to be very spot-on.
His latest article is one that is of particular interest to the Drupal community, I believe, because as a large, minimally-structured, Open Source development community we face many of the same challenges that other such projects do, such as KDE. In particular, the challenge of who to listen to.
The "smallcore" debate has heated up again of late, with all its various tendrils. However, I still see a lot of the same misunderstands that I've been seeing for weeks. That can only mean one thing. Time for me to write something. :-)
I do not consider myself a "smallcore" advocate, for one very simple reason: It's horribly misleading. Allow me to repeat what I already said there:
The goals of the "smallcore" movement can be obtained without removing one single module from Drupal core.
Instead, I look at the question of Drupal's future direction from a simple architectural perspective: Is Drupal going to be an additive system, or a subtractive system?