DerekAllard.com

EllisLab hiring to the support team

EllisLab is hiring an ExpressionEngine Technical Support Specialist. I won’t bore you with the job specifics (you can already follow a link and are literate) but I will say that 3 out of the 4 people doing development started in the support team (the forth fourth is Rick… who apparently founded the company or something), as well as the Director of Community Services.  I’ll also tell you that its fun, the EllisLab staff are awesome, and working on the product is rewarding.  If you are a CodeIgniter user and thinking about it, drop me a line, I’d be happy to answer questions.  The truth is, aptitude and attitude are universally more important then experience (although, that goes a long way to help). Its a part-time position, so you can get your foot in the door, and still keep freelancing if you wish.

Fluid, Campfire, DataMapper and useful links

In no particular order, here are some things that I’ve found interesting, useful, or funny.  Mostly useful.

Fluid

A Site Specific Browser (SSB) that you can use to run web applications in.  I use it for BambooInvoice, ExpressionEngine and Campfire.  It rocks my socks.  Find it at http://fluidapp.com/.

Growl Notifications with messages for campfire and fluid

I tried using Pyro as a client for Campfire, but it didn’t go so well.  It looks like promising software, but for now… wasn’t working.  Enter my favourite app from above, Fluid handles it like a champ, but one thing that was bugging me was the lack of Growl notifications (if you aren’t using Growl yet and are on a Mac, go install it right now).  First result in Google was Growl Notifications with messages for campfire and fluid.  :: sniff ::... its like they read my mind.

Also useful is the Fluid Icons Flickr group.  I’ve got to get one for BambooInvoice into there…

DataMapper

DataMapper is an Object Relational Mapper written in PHP for CodeIgniter. It is designed to map your Database tables into easy to work with objects, fully aware of the relationships between each other.  Well documented and with a loyal following, it looks like Simon Stenhouse has a real winner on his hands.  I’m hoping to find time to really sift through the code but so far haven’t had the chance.

[edit: And D’oh! I was a fool for not also mentioning IgnitedRecord at the same time!  Thanks for the comment m4rw3r.]

Sequel Pro

Sequel Pro  is a desktop program for managing your MySQL databases.  It runs beautifully, and I think I’ve mentioned it before, but was asked again recently about it.  The only catch I found is that with Mamp I needed to set the “socket” to “/Applications/MAMP/tmp/mysql/mysql.sock” when connecting.

ExpressionEngine Plugin: SS Friendly 404

The SS Friendly 404 plugin suggests relevant pages to users on your 404 page. It is used in your 404 template and returns suggested weblog entries based on the final segment of the 404 URL.  Well documented and cleanly implemented.  Well done!

jQuery Pumpkin

Found in the jQuery blog, the jQuery pumpkin had me smiling for 30 minutes.
jQuery pumpkin

EE Road Show Wrap Up

EE Road ShowWell, the highly anticipated Vancouver EE Roadshow was on Friday.  It was attended by (among many others) Rick Ellis, and a very secret guest… me! ;)

Before I even discuss the actual show, the community, or the wonderful city, I’d like to send out a few words of thanks to Kevin Shoesmith, Travis Smith, and Monique Trottier for putting on a killer event.  It was very well organized, run, and attracted the type of folks who I love spending time with.  Thanks all!

As to the show itself, it was an afternoon of connecting with a bunch of really smart people, who are passionate about what they do, and how they do it.  All the sessions were worthwhile, and well done.  First was Susannah Gardner, whose talk “Templates and Buckets” was well thought out, and a fantastic demonstration of the over-arching ideas behind any EE site.  I wish I could have packed the room with EE-newbies for this one, as in 45 minutes she clearly laid out the flexibility, power, and utility of EE, as well as a few handy tricks and tips!  Rick and I gave a talk following Susannah (more on that in a sec), and then after us was ExpressionEngine SEO (they’ve given me much to think about on my own site) and Justin Crawford and Travis Smith wrapped up the day by teaching me and Rick how to build extensions for EE ;) - truly, they did a great job, and while extension building is a bit on the “high-end” for most EE users, I spoke to several people during the (ample) beer drinking afterwards who told me they were inspired to start in on a few of their own extensions.

For our talk, Rick and I weren’t sure what we were going to do, since the conference attendees ranged from people who were only investigating EE, and haven’t even used it, to grizzled EE-veterans who have seen it all and done it all.  We opted to give a glimpse into the future of ExpressionEngine, highlighting some of the new features of EE 2 that will allow administrators to customize the control-panel experience for their clients.  After I clean up a few loose ends in the actual code, we’ll release another video showing some of this to the world.

The most fruitful part of the day came after the conference, as these things usually do.  I was surprised at how engaged and passionate people really were.  They view ExpressionEngine as “the home team”, and root for it, support it, and help to shape it into what it is today.  I met people from Ottawa, Alaska, Cranbrook, and of course several Vancouver-ites.  Each of them, people I’m happy to have gotten to know.  Ray and Alli were 2 users who have been with ExpressionEngine since the 1.0 days!  Wow!

Seriously, I want to take a moment to thank everyone.  The community gives back to us as much as we try to give back to them.  After the talk, and over beer, I had this conversation that I think sums up how we stand with respect to EE users:

So wait a minute.  For this small conference, you sent Rick (President and bigcheese), and you, and you came thousands of kilometers, and gave up days of your time, and you brought all this (referring to t-shirts and swag) and gave away the EE licenses?  I can’t think of any other company on the planet who’d do that.

And the truth is yeah, we did, and we loved it.  I can’t wait for the next conference either.  Selfishly, I really hope its in Canada also.  Go Canada!  Way to reprEEsent (oh, clever, clever play on words there - cheap shots at my lack of a humour bone are welcome in the comments).

Cool Stuff for Cool People

Man there’s good stuff on the net, and sometimes I even get a moment to read it!

CodeIgniter 1.6.3 & ExpressionEngine 1.6.4 released

Despite mad work going into ExpressionEngine 2 development, we’ve still be heavily focused on keeping our current products the best we can.  To that end, today we managed to eek both a new version of CI and EE out the door.  While relatively light on new features (there are some nifty ones in there though) the main thrust was a significant improvement to the Input library for both security and performance.  To this end, I’d like to publicly express my gratitude to Pascal Kriete (Inparo), whose tireless efforts helped us immensely.

Things worth reading

I've been kind of in isolation the last week or so, (more on that in another post) and I've not even taken the time to read my RSS feeds latesy, only skimming a few things here and there, or marking things for reading later. So today, I had a bit of time, and boy am I glad I took the time to re-visit those! Here are a few wonderful things worth your time to read.

Man, there was some good stuff on tap! Something from each of those will be making their way into my work in the very near future.

New look for EllisLab.com, and the GREATEST about us page of all time

EllisLab.com got a bit of an over-hauling yesterday by Rick.  The new site is much more spacious and clean, and well… sexier.  Now normally a site redesign would be a one line entry, or possibly no entry at all, but this new site brings something very, very cool with it.  It features what I consider (without overstatement) to be the greatest company profile pages of all time. Each of the EllisLab staff have been masterfully illustrated as a super hero.  The results are positively stunning.

Keep reading to see them.

Video of the ExpressionEngine talk at South by Southwest

I’ve wrote about my 2008 South by Southwest experiences earlier, but try as I might, one of the things I just couldn’t capture was the fun and excitement I felt when we gave our presentation.  For my part, I got to chat for 10 minutes about CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine, and the communities, and future plans.  It was a blast.  Kind of like being secret agent revealing stolen plans ;)

After SxSW, I wrote up a blog entry for EllisLab called ExpressionEngine 2.0, fully CodeIgnited, where I tried to outline (on a professional level) all the cool s**t we had in store, and (on a personal level) how excited I was.  That excitement part… yeah, didn’t come through.  So today I leared that Andru (Dru) Edwards posted the video that he made during one of the presentations.  Pure Awesome.

screen capture of website with video

If you want to learn a bit about the future of ExpressionEngine, CodeIgniter, and our plans as a company for opensource, ecommerce, and all points in between, then take the time to watch it at http://video.gearlive.com/video/article/q208-bleeding-edge-tv-expressionengine-20-sneak-preview/.

I hope it captures a little bit of the excitement I get to feel every day.

failed screencast

So, I just spent the last hour getting a screencast built to show how you can start using ExpressionEngine on your site now, even if you don’t “know” ExpressinEngine yet.  Good times.  Used Screenflow, had a sexy little video thing going… and then realized that I recorded the blasted thing nearly fullscreen on my computer (it’s a 24inch iMac).  I tried to scale it down so that it would fit onto 1 screen for most people, but then so much detail got lost that it looked like crap.

How frustrating.

So I’ll re-build it at some point in the near future, and for now, you can admire all my hard work in static, useless, image form ;)

the screencast in screenflow

Want to work on at EllisLab?

Exciting news, EllisLab is hiring 2 new technical positions.  You can read more on the EllisLab jobs page, so I won’t rehash things here, but they are 2 great opportunities to get in with a cool company, working on exciting stuff, with a bunch of smart, interesting people.

If you’ve been thinking about it, and are interested in working with ExpressionEngine, CodeIgniter, and the amazing communities around each, we’d love to hear from you.