DerekAllard.com

EllisLab Developer Summit 2008

Time for a little self imposed isolation. For the next 2 weeks, I’m living, breathing, and dreaming ExpressionEngine as me and Derek Jones have left the comfy confines of our homes to drop into the quiet little town of Portland for some serious “think time”.  Over the next 14 days I’ll be considerably less active then usual, as I try to put all my energy into developing.  Most of the crew live in and around Portland, so I’ll get the opportunity to finally meet our new Code Mechanic Jesse Hurlburt face to face, bring Lisa a big plaque picture of all of us as our superhero selves, and get beaten up by Rick (that’s what you get for working for a bjj expert).  Good times.

I’ll try to post images and updates as I go, but I didn’t bring a camera, so I’ll be relying on the charity of strangers, and my macbook’s built in camera.

Derek Allard, “Master” of Education

I’ve been pursuing my Master’s of Education part-time since 2003.  I took a year and a bit off in the middle of there somewhere, but other then that, I’ve been pretty steadily marching towards it for 5 years.  In April I finally finished off the last of my course requirements, and last week I got the official paperwork; I’ve finally finished off the degree.  Huzzah! I’m now legally allowed to call myself a “Master”, um… not that I ever would.  Oh no wait, I would.

I’ve considered sharing my final thesis with the world but I’ve decided against it.  Frankly, its been under enough scrutiny and the truth is that I just don’t want to think about it anymore.  It’s basically a theory on how to teach highly technical concepts to a largely untechnical audience.  Sort of a theoretical backdrop to the teaching I do.  It may undergo a few changes and get resurrected yet.  We’ll see.

So would I recommend the process to anyone else? In a word, “maybe”.

I’m channeling Vanilla Ice to build ExpressionEngine 2

As proof that my eyes are going bleary and that I'm working really hard on ExpressionEngine 2, I present this little gem. Sometime near the end of yesterday, I started to lose my mind. I had been coding for nearly 2 days straight, and had hit setback after setback (I have very little to show for those 2 days unfortunately). An interesting thing happens to me when I'm stressed and tired and frustrated... my mind wanders. It wanders far. In this case, back to 90s rap (keep reading, I swear I'm going somewhere with this). So I did the only logical thing, I decided to drag Derek Jones into the gutter with me and hit him up over IM. He was having a frustrating moment of his own. I was eager to offer a solution:

Me - I have a solution. extend the magic class...
Jones - ::slaps head:: I forgot about it, as per usual.
Me - here's some code

$this->magic->2_legit_2_quit('hey hey'); 

Jones - you didn't...

And it goes downhill from here...

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.

Stupid pet tricks

Ever get so wrapped up in your work that you forgot to eat?  I found an alternate source of sustenance.  My cat.

Mr. Grumpy Pants

:: deep sigh of relief ::

I feel better now... ;)

What the heck!?!  Psychics DO know everything!

Strangest thing I’ve read in a week.  Could someone tell Yahoo I’m very happily married?

Note: I think this is cute, and a humourous diversion, nothing to get ancy about…

Is it possible to drink too much coffee when programming?

Is it possible to drink too much coffee when programming? My heart tell me no, but the rest of my body twitches disapprovingly.

Next question - beer.

There’s a special seat in Rock and Roll heaven for Tom Petty

This post will constitute the extent to which I’ll talk about the Superbowl (which surprisingly, turned out to be a great game).  Tom Petty is the Man.  Period.  There’s a special seat reserved in Rock and Roll heaven for guys like Tom Petty and Neil Young.

Don’t worry, Elvis is up in Rock and Roll heaven too… someone has to fetch Jimi Hendrix drinks…

I’ve joined the EllisLab development team

I’m very proud to say that I’ve formally joined the EllisLab development team as a Technology Architect.  In the near term future, I’m focusing on code changes to ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter in our goal to get EE 2 out the door (its a major task).  I’m looking forward to sinking a bit more time into the codebase, which I really haven’t had the opportunity to do.

Not many people realized it, but I was only onboard with EllisLab part time.  I’d spend a few hours each day working there, mostly in the support forums, where I acted as Senior Technical Support Specialist.  The rest of my day was spent running my business, which I’m fortunate was pretty busy.  So yeah, I was the classic “freelancer” - keeping busy with client projects and programming.  Freelancing was very good to me, but it’s a bit “unrewarding” (is that a word) to pour yourself into a project, and then have it end.  What I really wanted professionally, was to be part of something “bigger then I am”.

Now EE 2 development is underway, and EllisLab needs a few more hands on deck.  If ever there was something worth joining, if ever there was something that I want to have a legacy in… its ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter. So I did something that scares the hell out of me - I put my business (which I’ve proud to say I’ve built up into a nice little organization since 1999) on hold, and accepted a senior role at EllisLab. 

Time to start building up a new legacy.