Research contributions when problems are already solved

Posted on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 10:41

What happens when there are a lack of open problems? On the surface, it seems to make it more difficult to have impactful contributions. I just think it requires you to think outside of the box. Drupal is a great platform to look at this issue. A few nights ago, I was using my online banking system which required me to answer security questions as a form of two-factor authentication. I thought this would be a great problem to solve in Drupal. However, this is a solved problem: How does one contribute when problems are already solved? Let's consider

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Design issues of a distributed Drupal system

Posted on Thu, 10/03/2013 - 13:22

Scale and performance are major issues for high traffic websites. The design of the Drupal system poses many challenges to building a distributed system that can support load balancing. In Drupal, the design of the system has three principle components: code, database, and files. I will be sharing potential solutions in later blog posts. Code: This includes Drupal core and the modules that run on the web server. By running multiple web servers, you need to ensure the code is consistently maintained during deployments across all of the servers (see: continuous integration). The issue of timing

development drupal

Keeping up with the Joneses

Posted on Thu, 10/03/2013 - 10:24

Apple's release of new iPhones and iOS7 has been criticized for what analysts claim is a lack of innovation. Such things have been prevalent for years in Operating Systems, productivity software, tablets/mobile phones, etc. Even a slight market share can be earned by ripping off ideas from others, so businesses choose to do so. So, what suffers? Innovation. Companies have a limited number of resources. If the resources are dedicated to building features just to stay on par with their competition, how can they move forward? They fear being left behind. Sometimes marketing and profit needs

Some perspective on difficult customers

Posted on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 20:03

We've all had to deal with difficult people at work. It doesn't get easier when the difficult people are those you serve. My director once shared his thoughts on a particular audience and it has stuck with me. In higher ed, some of those served are faculty members that have made their living questioning the world around them in research. This same perspective very likely is what elevated these folks above their peers and afforded them opportunities. Looking at this group in this light, it's no suprise that they are labeled as critical or difficult to work with. Some do not have the ability to


A call for simplicity

Posted on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 15:44

You've heard it all before. "The old programmer did this and it's crap" or "This person used this tool and it's no good". It's the age old grudge match between the old and the new. And, it doesn't help anyone move forward. Ultimately, people don't care about the how or why. They want results. What can be done to help limit this scenario moving forward? Standardization (frameworks, design choices, etc) and common practices help, especially when they are documented. Team members can come and go, the work remains consistent. But, this has been well adopted and this issue still exists. Let's try a

development people

Learning is giving, not just receiving

Posted on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 21:13

I recently read this article:… You can't ask for a better justification to throw up a blog and share some information. It made me realize a few things. First: You have an opportunity to help others out because you most likely learned something someone could benefit from. Second: Don't be shy. If anything, someone may post a comment and share information with you again. Third: Tools like Drupal were built by people who were not afraid to give back. Step up and take your turn.

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Don't solve the same problem twice

Posted on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 23:04

If you spent hours solving a problem, what is the likelihood you will remember exactly what you did the next time it comes around? Don't solve the same problem twice. Find a way to automate routine tasks so you can focus on other challenges. What are some strategies used? Let's start by proposing a frame of reference: We have features, representing software requirements or components We have tools, which create or support features We have configuration, which sets options or behaviors of tools for use in features Let's consider the following example. A restaurant has content management needs

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