On Day 3 I attended the session led by Acromedia, from British Columbia, on meeting client expectations. This is an area that I intersect with every day at work and I thought it would be good to sit and listen to how others engage clients. Interestingly, the theme of this talk was "Meet them, don't try to exceed them." I've included what I heard in that presentation and inserted my own thoughts as they seem to apply.
If you're a sales person you need to:
Jacob Redding, John Zhu, and Scales ran this session. I've known Scales for about a year and a half and was pretty amazed (but not surprised) when he announced that he was moving to China. The three of them talked about China, the Drupal project, and why the Open Source community makes so much sense in the Chinese environment.
Jay Batson and Dries presented an introduction to Acquia. This is a report on what was said and is based on my notes at the time.
Dries had the idea to start a company and at Drupalcon in Sunnyvale, Jay "dropped out of the sky". Drupal was finding its way to a tipping point. Its usability has improved, but still could be further improved upon and to be really successful the overall ecosystem must be increased.
Acquia will seek to be a provider of services like Ubuntu, Zend, RedHat, and MySQL all of which have commercial ventures/companies behind them.
Cooperation and Collaboration--can it happen between shops?
One of the challenges faced by different Drupal houses is overlap of efforts. For any given client, there may be several solutions for the same problem that has faced other developers. Similar solutions come up again and and again--meaning there is a waste of time and a waste of code. Often code that goes into a client project, it dies in a client project. If code is contributable back to the community, share it. It belongs in Drupal CVS.
A word to the warning--these notes were taken on the fly and represent, to the best of my rapid fingers, the essence of what Dries said.
Things have changed and not changed. Dries started out indicating that the folks who are registered this year are still 93% male and 7% female. There are 34 countries represented with the USA and Canada as the top two representative countries.
State of Drupal Boston--some highlights.
Usability Testing and Drupal 6
"Yowza!" was the big sound bite I took away from the Usability Testing session. "I didn't expect to feel so stupid. I don't like feeling stupid" "I need a tutorial!" "I already lost the page I just created". Drupal is harder than it looks, and we in the community tend to overlook that. Things that take us 30 seconds can take 30 minutes or more for a new user.