acquia

Honeypot is the 'Drupal 8 Module of the Week'

For the past few months, Acquia's Dev Center blog has been running a series of posts about modules that have been fully ported to Drupal 8, and I'm happy to announce that this week's module of the week is Honeypot! See post by Jam: Drupal 8 Module of the Week: Honeypot.

There are a good number of posts already in this series, and more to come, so check out the Drupal Modules topic on the Dev Center blog for more!

Drupal Pi project featured on Acquia Dev Center Blog

Acquia Raspberry Pi model 2 B

I recently wrote a post detailing how to set up Drupal 8 on a Raspberry Pi using the Drupal Pi project (the same setup which is currently powering www.pidramble.com!) on the Acquia Developer Center blog: Drupal and the Raspberry Pi.

Hopefully people will find more and more useful ways to use Drupal 8 on the Raspberry Pi for automation, for interactivity, and most of all for fun and experimentation!

Thoughts on the Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder Exam

After taking the trifecta of Acquia Developer Certification (General, Back-end, Front-end) exams and earned a new black 'Grand Master' sticker, I decided to complete the gauntlet and take the Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder Exam at DrupalCon LA.

Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder - 2015

Taking the test in Acquia's testing center was a welcome reprieve from taking the exams online. There's much less of a 'big brother' feel when you don't have a 'sentinel' application running on your computer and a camera focusing on your face the entire time. Also, the exam room is nice and quiet, and has a good 'library' vibe to it.

Thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Front End Specialist Exam

Previously, I posted my thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Back End Specialist exam as well as my thoughts on the Certified Developer exam. To round out the trifecta of developer-oriented exams, I took the Front End Specialist exam this morning, and am posting some observations for those interested in taking the exam.

Acquia Certified Developer - Front End Specialist badge

My Theming Background

I started my Drupal journey working on design/theme-related work, and the first few Drupal themes I built were in the Drupal 5 days (I inherited some 4.7 sites, but I only really started learning how Drupal's front end worked in Drupal 5+). Luckily for me, a lot of the basics have remained the same (or at least similar) from 5-7.

For the past couple years, though, I have shied away from front end work, only doing as much as I need to keep building out features on sites like Hosted Apache Solr and Server Check.in, and making all my older Drupal sites responsive (and sometimes, mobile-first) to avoid penalization in Google's search rankings... and to build a more usable web :)

Thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Back End Specialist Exam

A little under a year ago, I took the Acquia Certified Developer exam at DrupalCon Austin, and posted Thoughts on the Acquia Drupal Developer Certification Exam. My overall thoughts on the idea of certifications for OSS like Drupal remain unchanged, so go read that previous post to hear them.

I wanted to post a little more about the additional certifications Acquia is now offering; in addition to the initial, more generalist-oriented Acquia Certified Developer Exam, Acquia now offers:

Earlier today, I took the Back End Specialist Exam, which focuses more specifically on things like Drupal's core API, general PHP syntax and style, secure code, content caching, debugging, and interacting with the Drupal community.

Acquia Certified Developer - Back End Specialist badge

Like the other certification exams, you get 90 minutes to complete the exam (60 questions total), and you have to take the exam either online or in a testing center with an active proctor. This time, I elected to take the exam on my own computer, which was a little more annoying than taking the exam in-person at a test center (as I did at DrupalCon last year).

A New Job (2014 edition)

In 2008, I started working for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, my first job where I ended up working on Drupal sites practically full-time (my first Drupal experience was on 4.x in 2005). I also started Midwestern Mac, LLC in 2008, and from that time to now have built two SaaS services (Hosted Apache Solr and Server Check.in), and over 100 other Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 sites, along with a few mobile apps and a Mac app (Quick Resizer).

In 2011, I moved on to Flocknote, and learned a lot building a Drupal-based communications platform used by more than half a million people. This was also a full-time remote job, and I worked with a small but very strong team from Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee.

Moving on to Acquia

I wanted to post this here, since this is more of my sounding board for the Drupal community, but the details are on my personal blog: starting October 6, I will be working for Acquia as a Technical Architect in their Professional Services group!

What does this mean for this site/blog, Hosted Apache Solr, and Server Check.in? Not much, actually—they will continue on, likely at the same pace of development they've been for the past year or so (I'll work on them when I get an odd hour or two...). I am still working on completing Ansible for DevOps, and will actually be accelerating my writing schedule prior to starting the new job, since I'll have a little wedge of free time (a.k.a. unemployment!) between Mercy (my current full-time employer) and Acquia.

I'm excited to start working for Acquia, and am also excited to be able to continue doing what I love—working on Drupal, working on Solr, working on Ansible/infrastructure, and working in their respective communities.

Thoughts on the Acquia Drupal Developer Certification Exam

tl;dr: I passed, the exam is better than I was expecting, but I still have mixed feelings about Acquia's Drupal Developer Certification program.

Acquia Certified Developer 2014

When I first heard about Acquia's Drupal Certification Program, I had mixed feelings. For most programming jobs, especially the majority of web-related jobs, a certification doesn't hold a lot of weight. Certifications are often like final exams for a university course—they show that you know a particular set of material, but they don't indicate whether you can actually use that knowledge effectively.* Further, tech-based certifications are less meaningful over time, as technology progresses and the tested knowledge required to gain a specific certification becomes less relevant.

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