Business and Open Source

Scaling you: from a contractor to a shop (and beyond)

In this presentation I’ll discuss the process of going from an independent contractor to a Drupal development shop, and specifically some of the problems I/we have gone through in building Zivtech from 1 to 20+ people over the past 6 years. We will examine some of the issues we’ve faced as we’ve grown, explore how we’ve dealt with them, and discuss where we see ourselves going as we grow.

Drupal for Nonprofits

Major nonprofits of all kinds are making the most of Drupal's contributed functionality and its flexibility as a development platform to build effective digital presences for publishing, engagement and media delivery. This session will look at several examples of what prominent organizations in the higher education, environmental policy, and public media spaces are using Drupal to accomplish.

Drupal evaluators from nonprofits and other large institutions will leave this session with a better understanding of what organizations are building with Drupal, including:

Data Analytics and the Day After

Web development never stops. After a website is built, it's just the beginning of an evolving and iterative process towards improvement and optimization. Drupal provides an excellent framework for rapid prototyping and development of web-based applications, but to make it to the next level, you need to learn. So how do you effectively learn about your application and its users? In this session, we'll explore data analytics and Drupal. We'll examine a few topics, such as:

Open Source isn't Just Good, it's Good Business

In the Drupal community we tend to talk about committing code to our public spaces (drupal.org, GitHub, etc.) in terms of "contributing" and "contributions", and while much of it can be seen in that altruistic light, there are actually very strong business reasons for publishing your code and/or attempting to get your code changes committed to the open source project that you are working on.

Some of the business reasons for public publishing we'll explore will include:

Increasing the Business Value of Drupal Upgrades

Rather than just doing a Drupal-to-Drupal conversion, build in long-desired features and functionality to justify the cost of a Drupal conversion.

It is very difficult for site owners to justify any Drupal upgrade… especially when the site is larger, working adequately and the price tag for a D6-to-D7 upgrade isn’t small. When the end result of the upgrade is a site that looks exactly the same, it's just hard to get anyone excited - clients or developers.

Instead of a traditional conversion, we have bundled conversions with major enhancements:

Taming the Project, An Agile Approach

Managing projects can be confusing and chaotic. Waterfall can help you define a project up front, but there is no such thing as a fixed scope. This is especially true in the world of digital experiences. Cowboy and Extreme programming scares clients and leads to miscommunication.

It does not have to be this way. Project management starts from initial client contracting right through to delivery of a product and support of that project.