DerekAllard.com

New Challenges

Its with a sad heart that I write that I’m no longer part of the wonderful team at EllisLab.

When I joined the company in 2007, there were interesting challenges ahead. I got to be the only developer working full time to bring ExpressionEngine2 to market, and along the way got to envision, design and build some of the most interesting aspects of it - the configurable publish screen and the file manager, among others.

After ExpressionEngine2 made it to market, I had the opportunity to really dig into a new challenge, a new product, with no legacy and no expectations. It was a joy to bring MojoMotor to market. I spent my days dreaming about how it would work, how people would interact with it, and even fussed over little details like naming and icons. It was a lot of fun. MojoMotor has only been available for a short time now, but it is by all measures a success.

EllisLab has a strong core of products now, and a large, engaged community; and also a new management and a new direction. The type of challenges that excite me, that drive me, aren’t available anymore, and so while it appears sudden to some, my time at EllisLab has reached a natural conclusion.

I’m off now seeking new opportunities and the next challenge. I remain passionate about what I do, and what I’m good at - building fun, engaging software.

New MojoMotor updater

Coming in MojoMotor 1.0.4, is a simplified version updater. Here’s a 17 second video preview.

new MojoMotor updater in action

MojoMotor themes

One of the things that hasn’t really been made public about MojoMotor is that it has the ability to be themed. This option is available under Settings.

MojoMotor theme switcher

Its my vision that down the line we’ll be able to offer a few official themes, as well as offer community contributed themes. More focus on this will happen after the beta of course. For now though, I’ve been working on a little theme that I think will go over good with everyone. Now I’m not much of a graphic artist, but it’s pretty slick work (if I may be so humble) for a code monkey. It could use a minor bit of polish, but at the end of the day, there’s a little something for everyone.

If you ARE a graphic artist, please don’t be too critical, but I would be very interested to see what everyone thinks! If there’s enough interest, I’ll make it the default theme.

Want to see it? Keep reading!

MojoMotor, and my EECI2010 review

EECI2010

Well, finally back and enjoying the afterglow of another amazing experience; EECI 2010. Aside from the great things that happened to me personally (I’ll get to those in a moment), it was 3 days of pure and utter awesomeness for the whole ExpressionEngine/CodeIgniter world. I’ll never get to hang out with a more awesome gang then the folks I meet through this world.

Rick Ellis said something unexpected and uniquely insightful during his keynote that really resonated with me. I don’t have the video in front of me for the exact words, but an accurate paraphrase would be “The community is where its at. In many ways, and all the important ones, the software is irrelevant.” As someone who has worked tirelessly over the last 3 or 4 years to build the software he’s referring to, I completely agree with this. The magic-sauce of EE and CI comes from the community of dedicated, passionate people around it. Its easy to forget that when we’re busy fighting deadlines and trying to fix IE bugs.

Now seems about as appropriate a time as any to extend my sincerest thanks to Robert Eerhart, Janneke van Amsterdam, and the entire Whoooz team. These folks put on one of the most professional, well organized, kick-ass experiences I’ve ever enjoyed. Every little detail was tended to, nothing was second rate - I wish I had Robert and Janneke organizing my day to day life… things would be so much better!

MojoMotor

The highlight of the trip for me was finally getting to talk about MojoMotor. Mojo is something that I’ve been working on since around Christmas last year, and its been nearly everything I’ve been up to professionally for 5 months. Anyone who’s watched my keynote at EECI2009 knows that I’m a “social coder”. I crave community; and I consider nerding-out with other people to be foundational to the way I work. Keeping Mojo under wraps for 5 months has been killing me! I want to share, I want to say “hey, check out this cool thing I’ve been doing”, but we decided very early on that we wanted Mojo to come as a total surprise. Now that its out there, I’m glad we did.

Response to the news of Mojo has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m really hopeful that people will end up loving it as much as they love CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine. I few secret tidbits that not many people know about MojoMotor:

And of course, the journey is only just beginning for MojoMotor. The final round of beta testing with “real world” (ie: non-staff) testers is just getting underway, and after that we’re releasing. It’ll be in your hands quickly, I promise. The price has been set at $49.95. I’m looking forward to watching it mature and grow before our eyes.