DerekAllard.com

(Fire)foxes can hold their breath!

Remember years ago when you didn’t have Dropbox or Air Sharing and you relied on a trusty USB pen when you went somewhere and needed to physically pass files around? I do. Having spent almost 10 years doing training and going from office to office, computer to computer, it saved my life many times.

In 2007, I met one of the Mozilla guys at a conference (I think it was Benjamin Smedberg) and he gave me the last USB pen I ever owned.

Firefox USB pen

I tucked it in my backpack, and that little guy has been everywhere with me, even causing momentary confusion in Germany when a customs agent pulled it out of my bag and excitedly showed it to me. At the time I thought I was about to get interrogated by a German Jack Bauer; turns out he just was a Firefox lover. It saved my butt once again late last week, when I was in a foreign computer lab with no internet access (wireless or otherwise). I’m sitting there with my laptop, needing to get files to another computer that’s hooked up to a projector, and drawing a blank. I momentarily contemplated burning a single file to a blank DVD, but then I remembered ol’faithful. So out it came, files got moved, and I tucked it away quickly into my pocket in case I needed it later.

...And then I did something stupid…

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.

EE 2 Week Straggler: The Return of Derek Allard! (Interview)

Last week my good friends over at EE_Insider focused on the imminent release of EE 2.0. If you haven’t read it yet, go read it now. They feature articles, interviews, and news, and always with a bit of humour (yes Kenny…. there’s a “u” in that word). They asked me for an interview, but after EECI2009 my wife and I took a few more days to tour around Holland… and l long story short… the interview only got finished right now :)

Go read EE 2 Week Straggler: The Return of Derek Allard! (Interview) for my thoughts on the future of CodeIgniter, the development of EE 2.0, and what it means to unite CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine.

We had sent out a set of interview questions that we weren’t sure we would receive for ExpressionEngine 2 Week. Derek Allard, one of EllisLab’s developers, was on vacation. Since he’d been slaving away for years on EE 2, we gave him a free pass. But Derek is what the kids call a “trooper” and he came back to us this week with the answers! It turned out to be a really great interview, timely due to the discussion and popularity of CodeIgniter and EE, and we got permission from the ‘Lab to post it. So, EE denizens, it’s my pleasure to give you our interview with the great Derek Allard

EECI2009 all wrapped up, EE2 details announced

The last night of EECI2009 is coming to an end. What an amazing time I’ve had. I’ve been under a fair amount of stress prepping for it, getting my speech ready, and getting ExpressionEngine 2 ready for release on December 1(!!). But it was all worth it!

Les Camacho presenting at EECI2009

Our fearless President Leslie Camacho gave an amazing speech. As he said, the cone of silence has been lifted! Highlights? Pricing details, licensing details and a release date! Exciting times. Punchline? Non-commercial License, $149. Commercial License,$299. Upgrade, $50. Coming (as stated) December 1.

Derek Allard presenting at EECI2009

I also had the opportunity to speak. “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants : How Community Shapes Development in EllisLab” went very well. It was recorded, and I’ll share the video here when its made available. In the meantime, here are my slides. I’ll be out of commission for about a week, but when I find more time I’ll post another blog entry summarizing and complementing the presentation for anyone who couldn’t be there.

Edit: the video is now available. EECI2009 Videos and Slides page, or directly on Vimeo.

A group of spectacular speakers at EECI 2009

I met an amazing group of folks, and this time I had a chance to hang out with some real superstars of the community. Everyone is just as awesome as you might think.

Whooz! WebMedia hosting EECI2009

The city that hosted us, Leiden, is of course stunning; and our hosts from Whooz! WebMedia (particularly the eminent Robert Eerhart) made us feel welcome and wanted.

Beautiful Leiden, Netherlands

And now, I’m off to enjoy a (frankly, well deserved) few days of R & R with my beautiful wife storming around Europe!

Late Night Twitter Fun

In a late-night bout of work, boredom and tiredness crept in. In that magical moment, this seemed incredibly funny. I wish now we’d thought to hashtag it first.

Twitter Fun

All your DerekAllard.com are belong to us

They’re coming…
Conquering the worlds of web design

The robot invasion is progressing

robot invasion teaserWho can this invader be?

Has the spaceship been repaired?

Is it true that they’ve made it out of the fields?

Have they really fought their way into our cities?

How many of them are there?

Can anything stop them?

Can DerekAllard.com survive…

In Flanders Fields

Thank you for your brave and selfless sacrifice. It means more to me, Canada and the world then we usually say.

Poppy by graveIn Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

I’ve been gone for a week, I need home for a rest

This is clearly one of the posts I write that belong in the “personal” category (where it is).  If you’re looking for nerdly goodness and don’t give a flying-fadoo about my personal life (and honestly, who really does?) then feel free to skip this post and just hang tight watching the RSS feeds for my next post on “liberating” wireless from pretty much any airport in North America.  If you want to know what I’ve been up to for a week, well then, by all means keep reading!

“You gotta get up to get down” - Name that tune

So, its undoubtedly the long nights of coding, and repeated triangle chokes I’ve been enduring, but I’ve had this 80’s song in my head and I can’t get it out.  I don’t know the name of the song, or the artist, and I now consider it my personal mission to figure it out.  This song is my white whale.  Its a poorly rapped song, and between every verse is some dude in the background singing “you got to get up to get down… you got to get up to get down…”

I know that’s not much to go on… but if you’re a child of the 80s, it should be enough.  Now I know all you whipper-snappers won’t know it, so if you want to participate, but don’t know the song, then just tell me what song was your white whale.  Sharing in my misery will make me feel better ;)

Please, I beg you.  If you know this song, throw me a lifeline!  If you’ve never commented on a blog ever before in your life, make this a first.

Things are getting scary.  A video search for “gotta get up to get down” brought me
this video, which is probably the single most scary thing I’ve ever watched.  And yeah… I’m ashamed to say that I did watch nearly all of it.  Its like a car accident… you know you shouldn’t look but you can’t avert your eyes..

What a bad… bad… bad song!

I hereby pledge that ExpressionEngine 2 will not be released until I have an answer for this.  Jones, Ellis, Camacho… you guys listening!