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KnackForge: How to update Drupal 8 core?

Planet Drupal -

How to update Drupal 8 core?

Let's see how to update your Drupal site between 8.x.x minor and patch versions. For example, from 8.1.2 to 8.1.3, or from 8.3.5 to 8.4.0. I hope this will help you.

  • If you are upgrading to Drupal version x.y.z

           x -> is known as the major version number

           y -> is known as the minor version number

           z -> is known as the patch version number.

Sat, 03/24/2018 - 10:31

Cloudflare Traffic Manager: The Details

Cloudflare Blog -

Cloudflare's investment into building a large global network protects our customers from DDoS attacks, secures them with our Web Application Firewall and Universal SSL, as well as improving performance through our CDN and the many network-level optimizations we're constantly iterating on.

Building on these products, we just introduced Cloudflare Traffic. To explain the benefits, we'll dive into the nitty-gritty details of how the monitoring and load-balancing features of Traffic Manager can be configured, and how we use it within our own website to reduce visitor latency, and improve redundancy across continents. We'll do a similar post on Traffic Control soon.

We're also kicking off the Early Access program for Traffic Manager, with details at the end of this post.

The Details

One of our primary goals when building Traffic Manager was to make it available to everyone: from those with just two servers in a single region, to those with 400 scattered across the globe (and everything in between). We also wanted to solve some of the key limitations of existing products: slow failover times (measured in minutes), and a lack of granular decision making when failing over.

  • We can failover within seconds for proxied ("orange clouded") records. Connecting clients don't need to wait for recursive DNS caches to expire, or trust that they respect sub-60s TTLs, and we can therefore respond to changes in the availability of your origin servers as quickly as needed.
  • At 100 data centers (and growing!) we can assess the availability of your origins and make fine-grained failover decisions at a per-data center level. A network path failure to your origin in London should not impact how we route traffic in New York!
  • Traffic Manager is built on Cloudflare's existing Anycast DNS infrastructure, benefiting from our resilient DDoS protection and our experience in making DNS fast. DNS failures can deeply impact the availability of your infrastructure: by leveraging Cloudflare's highly available network, you can relax.

Existing solutions are often challenged with these requirements. On-premise load balancers are vulnerable to local network conditions, hard to scale out as you grow regionally, and at risk of expensive hardware failure. Existing cloud-based solutions have smaller network footprints (increasing latency) and a lack of effective DDoS mitigation, which we see as critical to running high-availability infrastructure.

Flexible Configuration

Traffic Manager is designed to be flexible, and we want to share some of the many supported use cases.

We had three primary scenarios in mind: load balancing, failover, and geo-steering. Underpinning these choices is our health checking functionality, which allows you to define what a healthy origin means to you. We can probe your origin web servers from every Cloudflare data center (or selected regions) over HTTP(S), check for status codes you define as healthy, parse the response body for specific text, and timeout as you see fit. We'll also send you email notifications as we detect availability changes, so you're able to pin down exactly when we saw that server fail.

Round robin configuration (“active-active”) load balancing, where load is distributed across all healthy servers. When a server is identified as unavailable through health checks, we'll seamlessly avoid routing traffic to it until it's available again.

Failover configuration ("primary-secondary"), where we route traffic to a specific server or pool of servers, and failover completely to a secondary server or pool when the primary is identified as unavailable. Being able to failover between your own datacenter, AWS regions, or even across major cloud providers are all supported (and easy to configure).

Geo-steering configuration, which directs traffic to the nearest origin based on region. For example: European clients to your Berlin datacenter, East Coast US clients to your New York datacenter, and Oceanic clients to your Singaporean datacenter (as a simple example!).

Of course, all of these approaches can be combined: you can load-balance across multiple locations in a specific region, failing over to the next-nearest datacenter should the first (or second) fail. You can also fine-tune what you consider to be a failure mode: given a pool of five servers, you might be able to sustain two unhealthy ones, but a third failure might be the trigger to steer traffic to your next data center.

How We're Using It

In fact, we're currently combining the above ourselves: the new Cloudflare website combines both failover and geo-steering configurations so we can serve one half of the world from Europe, and the other half from the US.

We've associated each origin web server with their respective regions, and Traffic Manager then automatically directs neighboring regions to those origins without further configuration - e.g. users in Africa are steered to our EU origin, and similarly, users in Asia Pacific and South America are automatically geo-steered to our US origin.

When we add more origins globally, it will be a minor configuration change—with no interruption to traffic—to make that happen.

When our EU origin is taken out of production for maintenance or marked unhealthy, users on that side of the world are automatically steered to the healthy US origin, without us having to interfere manually.

Our own website is critical to our business, and we know our customers feel the same way about their own web properties. We trust Traffic Manager to keep our website available despite what the Internet might throw at us!

Early Access

Starting right now, we are accepting participants in our Early Access program, before we bring this service to all Cloudflare customers. Early Access requires some additional technical savvy, at first, and a willingness to share your feedback with us. For the duration of the Early Access program, Traffic Manager is free to use, with no charges. When introduced generally later this year, Traffic Manager will be available to all customers on all plans, with usage-based charges.

Fit the criteria? Fill out the Early Access form and we'll reach out with the details. We're keen to show off what Traffic Manager can do.

Blair Wadman: A gentle introduction to Namespaces in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal -

Drupal 8 represents a major shift away from “Drupalisms” to mainstream object-orientated PHP. Experienced developers who are used to other frameworks like Symfony, should find it much easier to pick up Drupal now than they would have in Drupal 7 and previous versions. But this shift presents challenges for those of who are used to the Drupal 7 way of doing things and aren’t necessarily up to speed with all the new PHP best practices.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tutorials on some of the key concepts you need to understand in order to master Drupal 8 module development. This week, we are going to look at namespaces.

Control your traffic at the edge with Cloudflare

Cloudflare Blog -

Today, we're introducing two new Cloudflare Traffic products to give customers control over how Cloudflare’s edge network handles their traffic, allowing them to shape and direct it for their specific needs.

More than 10 trillion requests flow through Cloudflare every month. More than 4 million customers and 10% of internet requests benefit from our global network. Cloudflare's virtual backbone gives every packet improved performance, security, and reliability.

That's the macro picture.

What's more interesting is keeping each individual customer globally available. While every customer benefits from the network effect of Cloudflare, each customer is (appropriately) focused on their application uptime, security and performance.

Traffic Control

Cloudflare’s new Traffic Control allows a customer to rate limit, shape or block traffic based on the number of requests per second per IP, cookie, or authentication token. Traffic can be controlled on a per-URI (with wildcards for greater flexibility) basis giving pinpoint control over a website, application, or API.

Customers seek reliability and availability in the face of popularity or unexpected traffic such as slow brute force attacks on a WordPress site, Denial of Service against dynamic pages, or the stampede of requests that comes with success. We are the leader at stopping significant DDoS attacks and offer a comprehensive WAF to target specific application-level attacks.

Now we are adding the capability to give each customer fine-grained control over the traffic that reaches their origin servers.

Even well-engineered applications have a resource limit. Any dynamic endpoint either has a hard system limit or an economic limit on the number of servers you can afford. Those expensive endpoints need additional protection against floods of traffic, including legitimate visitors. You can provision for the worst case...but when you find a new Pokémon Go on your hands, the best case hurts, too.

To shield origins from attack and preserve uptime, Cloudflare Traffic Control lets you throttle, block, and otherwise control the flow of traffic to maintain availability, limit economic impact and preserve performance. All of which can be done with thoughtful configuration, testing rules to measure their impact, and applying changes globally within seconds.

That solves several problems. Traffic Control protects APIs as well as web pages. Different version of your APIs can not only have different rate limit triggers, but they can return custom JSON responses or response codes if, for instance, you want to obfuscate the standard 429 HTTP error code.

Static pages are easy to cache at Cloudflare's edge, so high traffic on a home page is welcome. But a competitor scraping your search results is different, and may cause economic pain in server resources in addition to disrupting business as usual. So Traffic Control lets you define specific URLs with lower limits and different policies.

Similarly, rules designed to protect a login endpoint enables real users to still access your application while defending yourself from brute-force attacks designed to break into your system or simply exhaust your resources. Traffic Control gives customers this power, in part, by distinguishing between POSTs versus GETs and identifying authentication failures through the server response code.

From rate limiting within your applications to replacing hardware capabilities at the top of your rack, Traffic Control solves a problem that otherwise requires several tools and custom development to solve. In the future, Traffic Control will become even more intelligent, automatically enabling caching on your marketing site on a product launch, queueing customers on Black Friday to ensure your ecommerce system handles the demand, and helping to maximize the return on your IT investments by protecting them from damaging spikes and traffic patterns.

Traffic Manager

For many customers, gone are the days of running a single server for their web application. Two scenarios are common: a single datacenter or cloud provider running multiple load-balanced servers, and replication of that infrastructure across multiple geographies.

Customers have moved to load balanced infrastructure to provide reliability, handle traffic spikes, and handle traffic locally in different regions of the world.

The beauty of the single server approach was that it was simple to manage: all traffic from everywhere on the Internet hit the same server. Unfortunately, that doesn’t scale to today’s Internet and so controls are needed to handle load balancing across servers and locations.

Cloudflare’s new Traffic Manager enables a customer to keep their application running during a failure or better handle unexpected spikes in traffic by load balancing across multiple servers, datacenters, and geographies.

Traffic Manager has four major features: health checks, load balancing, failover and geo-steering.

Health checks automatically test the availability of individual origin servers so that Traffic Manager has a real-time view of the health of your origin servers. This information is used for failover and load balancing.

Load balancing automatically shares traffic across a collection of origin servers; if an origin server fails a health check it is automatically removed and load is shared across the remaining servers. For more complex environments an entire collection of origin servers can be removed from receiving traffic if the number of failed servers in the collection falls below some safe threshold.

Geo-steering allows a customer to configure traffic delivery to specific origin server groups based on the physical location of the visitor.

Health checks, load balancing, failover, and geo-steering work together to give customers fine grained control over their traffic.

Cloudflare Traffic Manager checks the health of applications from 100+ locations around the world, taking automatic action to route around failure, based on policies crafted by each customer.

Fiber cut in Malaysia? Host not responding for customers in Minneapolis? Checking from every location on a network with more public internet exchanges than any other company means you get localized, specific decision making. When a problem crops up on the network path to one of our customers' servers, we'll route that traffic instantly to another healthy, available server -- without changing the policy for other, healthy routes.

Sometimes, it's not the network. With Traffic Manager, you may load balance across individual hosts and across multiple hosts. Application down on AWS? Send those visitors to your Rackspace-hosted application in seconds. Failover from a cloud provider to your own datacenter, and back again as soon as your primary location is healthy again.

Other times, customers run different instances to account for the speed of light, and be as close as possible to their customers -- much as Cloudflare does. With Traffic Manager, you can route visitors to your site to the nearest host, based on their region. Choose to send visitors in Munich to your datacenter in Amsterdam, and visitors from Kansas City to your St. Louis datacenter. These policies can be combined, so if your European datacenter is down, then and only then send that traffic to your United States datacenter.

Many of our customers put significant investment into the availability of their infrastructure. Traffic Manager extends that investment across Cloudflare's ever-growing global network.

Early Access

CloudFlare Traffic is now available in Early Access for all customers, and will be available publicly before the end of the year. Read more about Traffic Manager and Traffic Control and request access in your Cloudflare dashboard, in the Traffic app.

Amazee Labs: A day at DrupalCon with Sarah

Planet Drupal -

A day at DrupalCon with Sarah

Third day of DrupalCon and the second day of the sessions was packed with awesome talks and interesting encounters at our Café Amazee booth.

Sarah Geissberger Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:58

Starting off my day with the first talk by Junaid Masoodi on Design Principles for MVP (minimum viable product). He covered the basic UX principles:

  • Unity / Harmon
  • Balance
  • Hierarchy
  • Scale / Proportion
  • Dominance / Emphasis
  • Similarity / Contrast

Showing examples like Evernote's or Airbnb’s onboarding screens, that users normally skip very quickly but still aim to give enough information on a company’s unique value and leaving a nice first impression.

The second talk I listened to was by Lauri Eskola about Drupal 8 theming in depth. Starting with an introduction to twig, covering basic syntax he dived deeper into some twig magic such as includes, twig blocks, embeds and building reusable component-based approaches. Stating that “Our deliverables should be systems, including components not pages”, meaning elements that are self-contained and nestable. The talk also included a high-level summary of Drupal 8 theming system and how it works in the backend.

Packed with methodologies and hands-on examples on how to get over some everyday struggles as a frontend developer, I went on to listen to another talk on the frontend track. The speakers Nikhil Sukul and Vidit Anjaria talked about how to Animate your site. They began with a short history of animation on the web: from gifs how it first started to Flash in the nineties and to todays CSS3, Web GL and HTML5 animations. Continuing with the 12 animation principles, they spoke about the performance of specific animation options and attributes and ended their speech with straightforward examples.

Meanwhile, the HoloLens was a big success on our booth, a lot of people came by to search and destroy robots. Never done that? Then come by our booth and give it a try, it’s great fun!

My third day at DrupalCon ended indulging in a very delicious dinner with the whole Amazee DrupalCon crew at Opium. A restaurant in the hub of Wexford Street, serving top-notch Thai and Vietnamese food. Beautiful interior and sparse lighting completed the impression but see for yourself on the picture, or better go check out their fantastic food!

The first annual Drupal CEO Survey reports that there is a bright future for Drupal in the enterprise segment

Drupal News -

Results from the global Drupal CEO business survey conducted by One Shoe and Exove, in partnership with the Drupal Association, indicate that Drupal will adopt a role as an enterprise level platform. The Drupal CEO Survey has been carried out this year out for the first time and gives insights in the key issues that Drupal agency owners and company leaders worldwide face.

Among the surveyed 75 Drupal companies, the C-level respondents mainly work at digital agencies (37.8%) and software companies (27%). Most of the surveyed companies were small to medium sized enterprises. Only 9.9% said they have more than 80 employees, while 21.9% reported five or less employees.

A bright future for Drupal in the enterprise segment

A vast majority (90.5%) believes that Drupal has reinvented itself with the release of Drupal 8, the newest version of the CMS, released in November 2015. Even though Drupal has become somewhat more complex, respondents don’t think this is a turnoff for developers (77.1%). As one respondent said, "Some developers will resent the added complexity, but I see it becoming the defacto standard for 'Enterprise' CMSs." This respondent is not the only one: 89.2% of the respondents think that the popularity of Drupal for clients will grow in the next three years. Drupal is seen as being a leader in larger enterprise deployments in the future. As one respondent stated, "Drupal will see continued growth for clients who are committed to their digital strategy and see its importance as part of their overall business goals. But it will probably tail off for clients who just need a website." Or, as another respondent sees it: "Drupal will become the platform of choice for enterprise level solutions."

Drupal is popular for enterprise healthcare projects

The surveyed companies serve clients in numerous industries. From enterprise perspective, the major industries are healthcare and medicine (40.0% respondents have clients from this industry), banking and insurances (38.7%), and retail (37.3%). Overall, Drupal companies also work with charities and non-profit organizations (64%), government and public administration (56.0%), media (49.3%), IT (45.3%), and arts and culture (36.0%).

The cost of an enterprise solution project varies from company to company. Most of the companies (28.0%) work in 100,000 - 250,000 euro range, while 18.7% of the companies charge 250,000 - 500,000 euro. Another 18.7% charge 50,000 - 100,000 euro for an enterprise level solution built on Drupal. Only a handful of companies, 4.0%, charge between half a million and one million euro. Compared to the typical cost of enterprise level solutions, Drupal based solutions are implemented with less costs. This is due to the good fit of Drupal to the enterprise needs, flexibility of the platform, and huge amount of readymade modules.

Drupal empowers growth

The most important strategic priorities of the companies also focus on growth: finding the right talent, 53.3%; ensuring financial growth, 45.3%; and developing new growth strategies, 41.3%. The executives expect to face challenges in the coming three years on the same areas: finding the right talent, 59.5%; talent retention, 36.5%; and ensuring financial growth, 33.8%.

While finding and retaining the talent is seen challenging, 60.0% of the respondents do not outsource work to vendors. Companies operating in Europe less use outsourcing, as 67.0% of these companies do not employ vendors. European companies outsource work to Asia (17.0%) and Europe (17.0%), while non-European companies use vendors in North America (25.0%), South America (25.0%), and Asia (19%).

Also illustrating the growth-empowering aspects of Drupal is the geographical presence of companies. One third (31.1%) of the surveyed companies have offices in more than one country, and 12.0% has offices in five or more countries.


The survey organizers Janne Kalliola from Exove and Michel van Velde from One Shoe are very happy with the results. "This survey confirms a number of positive indications about Drupal which we have been seeing in our markets. I am especially happy with the strong enterprise focus of Drupal companies across the globe, as our experiences with enterprise customers have confirmed that Drupal is an excellent fit to enterprise," Janne Kalliola says. Michel van Velde continues: "We are foreseeing steady growth of Drupal in a number of markets. There are so many untapped opportunities for Drupal and it’s great to see that Drupal 8 is now equipped to compete with closed source solutions like Sitecore and Adobe.”

Megan Sanicki, Executive Director at Drupal Association says, "I am excited that this survey has been made and so many Drupal companies have answered the call. The results validate the positive and energetic feeling we see and hear in the Drupal marketplace. To help the agencies, the Drupal Association is working together with the Drupal business community to amplify Drupal’s success on Drupal.org. We connect enterprises evaluating Drupal with agencies providing Drupal services, we organize DrupalCons to attract and train new talent to work with Drupal, and we support the local business communities in countries around the globe."

Dries Buytaert, the Drupal founder and project lead, President of Drupal Association, and CTO of Acquia, says, "The results of the survey verify my understanding of the situation of companies in the Drupal business community. I am very proud of the new opportunities and prospects these companies are creating for Drupal - and also feel satisfied that Drupal is seen as so good fit for their needs. And it gets even better with the soon to be released Drupal 8.2."

About Exove

Exove delivers digital growth. We help our clients to grow their digital business by designing and building solutions with agile manner, service design methodologies, and open technologies. Our clients include Sanoma, Fiskars, Neste, Informa, Trimble, and Finnlines. We serve also start-up companies, unions and public sector. Exove has offices in Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and London, United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.exove.com.

About One Shoe

One Shoe is an integrated advertising and digital agency with more than 10 years experience in Drupal. With more than 40 specialists, One Shoe combines strategy, UX, design, advertising, web and mobile development to deliver unique results for international clients like DHL, Shell, Sanofi, LeasePlan, MedaPharma and many more. For more information, please visit www.oneshoe.com.

About Drupal Association

The Drupal Association is a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, OR, USA. It helps the Drupal project and community thrive with funding, infrastructure, and events. Its vision is to help create spaces where anyone, anywhere, can use Drupal to build ambitious digital experiences. For more information, please visit association.drupal.org.


For media enquiries, please contact Janne Kalliola ([email protected]), Michel van Velde ([email protected]), or Bradley Fields ([email protected]).

Issue 259

The Weekly Drop -

Issue 259 - September, 29th 2016 From Our Sponsor Across the Spectrum: The Different Approaches to Progressively Decoupled Drupal

Progressive decoupling allows you to continue leveraging Drupal’s rendering system, while simultaneously using a JavaScript framework to power client-side interactivity and a richer user experience. There are many different approaches to progressively decoupling Drupal. This webinar will cover the different compelling approaches and some use cases of each, with success stories from weather.com, Warner Music Group, and more.

DrupalCon DrupalCon Dublin 2016: Keynote - Driesnote

The full Driesnote as well as a few words from Drupal Association Executive Director Megan Sanicki.

DrupalCon Dublin DriesNote in Pictures

If you don't have time to watch the Driesnote you can check out Paul Johnson's summary including pics.

Configuration Management: Theory and Practice Articles Asset Aggregation in Drupal 8 Core How to Get Behind the Great Firewall of China How to QUICKLY and SAFELY Deploy to the Live Site WITHOUT Comprehensive Testing! Sponsored

Want to get changes out fast, but can't fully test (manually or automatically) before taking them live? Here's an effective strategy that you can steal and use for your own clients!

Lullabot: Modern Decoupling Is More Performant

"Two years ago, I started to be interested in API-first designs. I was asked during my annual review, “what kind of project would you like to be involved with, this next year?” My response: I want to develop projects from an API-first perspective."

Why Should We Base Drupal's Theme System Around Components? Yesod (And Haskell) from a Drupal (And PHP) Perspective Tutorials Change the Displayed Username in Drupal 8 Ala Realname

Jeff Geerling shows us how to display a real name in place of the user name in Drupal 8.

Drupal Code Standards: The t() Function Responsive Image Configuration in Drupal 8 The Perfect Website Launch Sponsored

Don’t be one of the 60% of websites that fail to launch on time. Download our latest eBook - The Perfect Website Launch / A guide for your next website project, from planning to deployment.

Projects Drupal Console: Make Contrib Modules with DrupalConsole Commands Compatible with RC-1 Introducing Drupal 8 and Drupal Commerce 2.x: An Interview with Matt Glaman Releases Advagg 8.x-2.0-Rc2 auto_login_url 8.x-1.1 Cdn 8.x-3.0-Rc1 Df 8.x-1.0-Beta8 Drupal 8.1.10 Drupal 8.2.0-Rc2 Flag 7.x-3.9 Group 8.x-1.0-Beta4 Lightning 8.x-1.05 Yamlform 8.x-1.0-Beta18 Video Component-Based Theming in Drupal 8: The Video Series Embedding Videos Easily with Video Filter Podcasts DrupalEasy Podcast 186 - Please Don't Burnout (Mark Carver - Bootstrap) Lullabot Podcast - Building Social with "Open Social" News Drupal 8.1.10 Released

Drupal 8.1.10, a maintenance release which contains fixes for security vulnerabilities, is now available for download.

Drupal Core - Critical - Multiple Vulnerabilities - SA-CORE-2016-004

"Users who have rights to edit a node, can set the visibility on comments for that node."

A New Look for Drupal.org

"As you can see we've put a fresh coat of paint on Drupal.org - but the changes run below the surface. This latest iteration of the front page brings the key concepts of our design system to the forefront: Clean, Modern, Technical."

Drupal Core Announcements: Media in Drupal 8 Initiative Plan Posted for Review

"As we are ramping up to work on significant user improvements for Drupal 8.3, one of the key areas of progress could be with media management user interfaces and features. For that to happen, we need to agree on what we are going to work on and then have people to implement it."

Jobs List Your Job on Drupal Jobs

Wanna get the word out about your great Drupal job? Get your job in front of hundreds of Drupal job seekers every day at Jobs.Drupal.Org.

Featured JobsHCP Portal Technical BA


HCP Portal WebMaster


Drupal Developer for Digital Agency

Centretek US

Annertech: Annertech: Web Agency of the Year

Planet Drupal -

Annertech: Web Agency of the Year

My fingers are trembling typing this. I can't believe it. This morning everyone in Annertech land is thinking "did that really just happen?" It appears it did, we are the web agency of the year!

Last night, to top off the other three awards we won - best arts and culture website, most beautiful website in Ireland, and best website - we then went on to win Best Web Agency 2016.

Speaking to accept the award, Alan Burke thanked the great team we have in Annertech and our fantastic clients who trust us with such important work.

Annertech: Ireland.ie/Annertech are the Big Winners at Realex Web Awards 2016

Planet Drupal -

Ireland.ie/Annertech are the Big Winners at Realex Web Awards 2016

We knew Ireland.ie (built by Annertech on Drupal) was a special website. The design is beautiful thanks to the amazing work of BigO Media, the content, media, and experience is second to none thanks to the the team in the Ireland.ie office at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The implementation is without flaw (if we say so ourselves!).

erdfisch: Drupalcon Dublin: Come to the island and get off the island

Planet Drupal -

Drupalcon Dublin: Come to the island and get off the island Single image:  The beach around the corner from our Dublin apartment 28.09.2016 Michael Lenahan Body:  Getting off the island

As a back-end developer, one of the surprising and fun things about this Drupalcon is how much I have learned about front-end and theming in Drupal. This has been my way of "getting off the island" and learning about things a little outside my normal comfort-zone.

The kitchen table track at Drupalcon Dublin

There were two things that were the impetus for this. Firstly, I came to Dublin with Pascal https://www.drupal.org/u/hydra who works with us at erdfisch as our front-end development expert. I spent the weekend learning (and documenting) our approach to rendering content in flexible ways to achieve more sophisticated output of content than Drupal usually allows. In a nutshell, this allows us to provide very sophisticated front-end design.

The module driving this is called "seem". We were working on it this morning at the kitchen table.

Exam time

The second thing that happened was that Stefan https://www.drupal.org/u/sanduhrs and I decided to jump in and take the Drupal 8 Acquia Certified Developer Exams. Stefan has passed the two Drupal 8 Exams this week (Acquia Certified Drupal 8 Site Builder and Acquia Certified Developer Drupal 8 Front-end Specialist).

I passed the Acquia Certified Drupal 8 Site Builder and am taking the Front-End Specialist exam tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

All this has, of course, given me lots of motivation to go to sessions related to front-end and theming this Drupalcon. More to come on that in another blog post.

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Keeping a project journal

Lullabot -

Have you ever felt insecure when starting a project? Usually, I feel excited, as it means a new challenge that I will face with other Lullabots. However, last year I had my first experience flying solo on a client project and, this time, I felt nervous. My main worries were:

  • Do I have the required communication skills to transform client requirements into tasks?
  • How can I avoid missing or forgetting things that the client says?
  • How do I know if I am meeting Lullabot's expectations managing the client?
  • How do I know when to say No to the client?

Being diligent in my note-taking and email communication would ensure nothing was lost in translation or forgotten so I could check off the first two concerns on my list. But the last two items on my list were more about me feeling that I needed external support; someone at Lullabot who could oversee my notes and tell me every once in a while "this is great Juampy, keep it up" or "Juampy, perhaps you could handle this in some other way."

Writing is something I love to do: I like to document my code, I like to describe my pull requests, and I like to take notes on kick-off meetings. Not only does this help the project, it helps me in the future because I have a bad memory. When I am in a cafe, I see waiters taking mental notes and, on their way to the bar, taking even more notes, nodding, and getting it right! I admire their memory. You can ask them "what are the orders?" and they tell you what every table ordered, with all the details. I can't do that so I take notes of everything that I do, or have to do, and then I turn that into tickets, calendar reminders, or TODOs.

In the following sections, I will share with you some of the benefits that I discovered by keeping a journal. Throughout, I will refer to some examples from the journal that I kept while I was part of the Module Acceleration Program.

Starting the day with a plan

When I start working, I spend the first minutes gathering notes from what happened while I was away by reading email notifications and chat logs. I also look at yesterday's notes to see if there was anything that I did not complete. With that input, I make a list of tasks like the following one:


Once I have a list like the above, I feel that I have a set of things to complete by the end of the day, which motivates me immensely. If I manage to complete them all (plus whatever else may arise), then it's time to celebrate. If I can't, then I will leave a comment underneath the remaining tasks that describes their status. I may also copy and paste these statuses into their respective tickets so the client knows my progress. The next day, I will continue working from there.

There are days when I don't get much done. With the journal, it is easy to go back and remember why—that something else happened such as "one of my teammates got stuck with a bug and needed help" or "we suddenly had to jump into a video conference that took too long." With these notes, I can see where the time is going and make future adjustments in how I manage my time.

Ticket writing

Countless times I have closed a tab by mistake while I was typing something and had to write it again. While there are some ticket systems and browser plugins that can restore your draft, others don't. Besides, some systems like Jira seem less natural and break up your writing time when, for example, you need to paste a screenshot (no, you can't just hit Ctrl + v). Both Dropbox Paper and Google Docs are great for writing a journal because you can copy and paste screenshots, add links, create TODO lists, etc., in a more seamless way. 

While working on tickets, I suddenly started to write my findings and paste screenshots in the journal (especially on the tricky ones). Then, if I completed the ticket, I would use this material for my pull request to ease peer review. If I had to work further, I would copy my findings from the journal and paste them in the ticket so the team could see my progress. Here is an example from my journal, with some annotations that describe how I will treat the notes:

undefined SCRUMs / Stand-ups

With the journal, it is very easy for me to share my status as it is just a matter of reading my notes out loud. I also use it to take post-SCRUM notes in the journal, which I use as follow-ups for my next tasks. Here is an example:


There have been times where I offered myself to lead a meeting since I already had some material in my journal that could serve as the agenda. In these cases, I shared my screen with everyone and took notes that could be seen and discussed in real-time. This approach proved to be a way to structure and provide leadership for a meeting.

Keeping your peers up to date

Betty Tran, Sally Young, and I did an on-site last year for a potential client. By the end of the on-site, we had two weeks to write a document that contained our project proposal. During these two weeks, there were many emails and shared documents sent by the client with data that we had to classify and filter to use it in the proposal. It was crucial to keep everything organized in an efficient way so I asked Betty and Sally to subscribe to my journal, where I would keep a log of all the events that happened every day with a link, each item linked to its respective document. Doing so allowed them to focus on writing the proposal and use the data without having to skim through email threads. Here is an example of how a day in that journal looked like:

undefined Management likes it

My managers at Lullabot, Seth Brown and James Sansbury, realized that keeping a journal was a transparent and effective way to monitor projects. By subscribing to my journal, they get an email every day with my latest changes. Furthermore, I can mention them, and they will get an immediate email notification to help me by posting a comment. Therefore, they encouraged Lullabot Architects and others doing solo work on projects to start writing a journal.

For example, I subscribed to Dave Reid's journal, who is currently working on a project with me. Every day, I get an email like this with his updates:


This gives me a chance to support him and keep up to date with what he is working on. If I want to add feedback, I can open his journal and write a comment.


Try it for a week using a writing tool that feels natural to you. The less that you need to think about the tool, the better. Leave it open at all times and take all your notes in this one location. Eventually, you will either experience some of the benefits that I mentioned above or realize that you are like one of those waiters with an elephant's memory that I admire so much.

Thanks to Seth Brown and James Sansbury for your feedback while writing this. Also thanks to Adam Balsam for letting me share the journal that I kept while working at the Module Acceleration Program.

Hero photo by Barry Silver.

OSTraining: New Drupal 8 Ideas in Dries' Dublin Keynote

Planet Drupal -

This week is DrupalCon Dublin. And as always, Dries gave the keynote address on the first morning of the event.

This year's keynote was broken into two sections: "Drupal 8 Update" and "The Why".

In "Drupal 8 Update", Dries talks about the technical side of Drupal. From minute 27 to minute 42, Dries talks about what's new in Drupal 8.2, which arrives on October 5th. We've covered those new features in previous posts. Then, from minute 42 to 48, Dries discusses features may arrive in future Drupal versions. If you're short on time, watch those 6 minutes. Scroll down in this post, and we'll cover those 6 minutes in detail.

In "The Why", starting at minute 40, there's a much broader focus on the larger purpose of Drupal. This section of personal anecdotes and stories of Drupal in action.

Deeson: The DrupalCon Dublin 2016 Wrap-Up - A View from the Floor

Planet Drupal -

As a former tech journalist I am well experienced in attending conferences all around the world, so I was very excited to attend DrupalCon Dublin on the behalf of Deeson.

With DrupalCon, it was a great opportunity to learn more about Drupal straight from the mouths of a thriving community. But with the ‘Future of Work’ approach being one of a number of reasons I decided to join the company, it was a great opportunity to share our message and the way people can thrive at Deeson with its openness, autonomy, flexible working, paid sabbaticals and paid time to contribute to the community.

DrupalCon Europe was very different to the conferences that I’ve experienced in the past in that instead of the slickness of a warm-up act with sales patter and a costly presentation, I was presented with fun and games from the Drupal community, including a singalong, viking claps, and some Irish dancing. Already I could tell this would be different experience to the tech events I’ve been used to.

An early morning Irish jig to get us ready for the #DrupalCon Dublin sessions today. #morningexercise pic.twitter.com/r0gQWlCOUQ

— Asavin Wattanajantra (@Asavin) September 27, 2016

This was great preparation for the day, and the first presentation I saw was a powerful keynote by the founder and lead developer of Drupal Dries Buyteart about how wide and far the community stretched, and how it gave opportunities in terms of a career around the world.

Below is a video of the keynote, and is certainly inspiring for anybody thinking of getting into Drupal, whether it’s as a developer or non-technical person like me as a marketer, a project manager, or business developer.


This is how the rest of the week will shape up.

Amazee Labs: A day at DrupalCon with Sebastian

Planet Drupal -

A day at DrupalCon with Sebastian

It is on! DrupalCon Dublin has officially started and it's going to be epic.

Sebastian Siemssen Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:36

The second day at DrupalCon started early with the in-famous prenote. After a long first day setting up our gorgeous booth, exploring the convention center, meeting new and old friends, a lot of hugs and a fabulous finish at the Amazee Storyteller and Gravedigger bus tour the early timeslot of the prenote was a challenge for many. If you missed the prenote, you can watch the recording on Youtube. Look out for the Pot of Gold!

As usual, the Prenote was followed by the Keynote aka the “Driesnote”, in which Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, gave an overview of the state of Drupal and its outlook for the future. You can watch the Keynote on Youtube too.

For me, the rest of the morning was packed with interesting discussions and code sprints around GraphQL for Drupal. If you are interested to hear more about that or get involved, find me at our booth or in the sprints room.

I fueled my sugar addiction with an unhealthy amount of Amazee lollipops at our gorgeous booth during the breaks. If you want one too, come by our booth and find one of our lollipop dealers.

In the afternoon the sprinting continued and I got to show off our Microsoft HoloLens to a couple of people.

If you are interested and want to give it a try, come by our booth. It's fun, I promise!



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