I'm Derek Allard - a programmer, author, and award-winning (woo-hoo!) instructor working in Toronto. I spend my day building web applications and other software. I hold an honours Bachelor of Environment Studies, and a Master's of Education - not really the "nerd background" that most people expect. I spend most of my hours in front of a computer, or in the gym training Mixed Martial Arts (mostly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if you're a fight nerd and/or care).
I'm also a standards and accessibility supporter, a scripting and database guy, and an Open Source & Mozilla advocate. I'm the author of BambooInvoice, an Open Source online invoicing system. Here are the obligatory arbitrary images of me, including one of the Derek Allard action figure.
In 2002, I had the privilege of winning "Instructor of the Year" for Computer Specializations in the Computer Studies program at Seneca College; and 2004 I was fortunate enough to be awarded the prestigious "Excellence in Teaching" award in part-time studies at McMaster University.
ExpressionEngine & CodeIgniter
In January 2007, I was proud to announce that I'd joined EllisLab (formerly "pMachine") to serve as the Senior Technical Support Specialist. In December, I accepted a role as Technology Architect. That was really just a long way of saying that I worked my butt off to keep CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine as awesome as they already were. In September 2010, my formal relationship with EllisLab ended, but I remain a fan of their software, and more importantly, the people in and around the community.
This site runs off of ExpressionEngine. As a designer and developer, I enjoy the flexibility it gives me. It assumes I know what I'm doing. It helps out where you want help, then get's the hell out of your way when you don't.
Kill All Humans
The look and feel of the site has sort of taken on a life of its own. I call it, Kill All Humans. It started as a ridiculous joke, and next thing I knew I discovered I love the imagery of doomsday-style pulp fiction robots! They've evolved over the years, and I think imparts my personality on the site. Besides, there's some cool history there:
- The orignal Robot ("Peepo"), and was done by, Simon Oxley, who has gained a lot of notoriety for creating the Twitter bird.
- The second generation robot was custom created, by the very talented Scott Thigpen.
- Some of the "sidebar" robots are courtesy of Cliff Persaud, and it's actually kind of a funny story if you're interested in reading it.
- The current motif is a combination of Waldek Graczyk and my work.
OK, cool history might be overstating it…
The purpose of this blog is threefold. First, its a convenient way for me to stay in touch with colleagues, friends, and current and former students (I’m a fairly prolific instructor), and I meet so many interesting people. It’s a shame to lose touch after the course is done, so this is one way to try to stay in touch.
I also wanted to use this blog to track the development and process of BambooInvoice, and my open and closed source projects. I describe BambooInvoice as Simple, beautiful, open source online invoicing. It is built on top of the excellent CodeIgniter framework.