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Module/Plugin development should always be ‘Plug-N-Play’

I’ve been developing websites (and web applications) professionally since 1995 and back in the day a lot of development was static and hard coded. When it came to doing a redesign or architecture of a website/web app it would take so much tedious work to change hard-coded content. Oooooh then came web frameworks (and CMS) which took care of so much of the standard features of a website/web app. Seems much of the developers these days still do not take advantage of frameworks and the ability to now develop features as modules/plugins.

With that said I am a strong believer that websites/web apps should be built on content management systems and/or frameworks. Let the CMS take care of the look and feel (themes), user management, meta data, website settings, menus, page types, SEO, security, login/logout/forgot password, forms, etc. The beauty of CSS if you can style just about any standard look and feel of a CMS or plugin to look as you please.

Most importantly website features (and custom functionality) these should be developed out as separate code utilizing the CMS’s module/plugin framework. So the setup of a website would/should be as easily as setting up the CMS and activating the custom features/plugins. Simple as that. NO need to configure to a server or an environment or custom server images or custom database scripts or custom anything. Just setup and activate.

How I came ooooh so close to being CTO of Acquia (Drupal)

In 2012 I was one of the final candidates for the “Co-CTO” position at Acquia (Drupal). The interview experience was grueling and intense that lasted about two months. I passed all the technical vetting (LAMP, Drupal, PHP, web architecture) and meet with the Acquia senior executives. Lastly I spent time with Dries Buytaert who is the CTO of Acquia and the Founder of Drupal. He was surprisingly younger then I assumed though was a well spoken family man who loved keeping close to the technology stack. The Co-CTO position would run the day to day strategy of the current Drupal while Dries would focus more on the new Drupal initiatives.

This was an exciting opportunity though I lost out on it due to my “limited sales experience to the other candidate“. True I am not a salesman though I take pride in that. Overall it was an experience that validated my expertise at Drupal (and PHP).

My Experience with Drupal (12+ years)

In my experience I’ve found Drupal to be a highly scalable web platform. Majority of the Drupal projects I’ve worked on seem to be working on existing Drupal installation(s) that needs lots of work to bug fixes / architecture redesign. While Drupal has an intelligent MVC design… it seems most “Drupal Developers” don’t fully grasp the underlying architecture so the one-off “modules” they build are prone to conflict with other modules. Drupal is built on the LAMP stack (PHP) so you really need to be a PHP Engineer to built out good modules. Drupal has a robust administration that gives developers the ability to configure an application through a WYSIWYG interface yet too much reliance on this could cause havoc when bugs occur and the administrating developer is unfamiliar with the underlying PHP code of the connected modules/views/blocks/etc.

Here are some Drupal projects I’ve worked on:

MassChallenge.org – Worked with the CEO and CTO to redesign (backend and front-end) their website, intranet, and CMS as the existing Drupal was developed by multiple interns which caused lots of bugs and technology limitations.

ViaSat.com – Redesigned website (backend and front-end). Converted website from a custom built website to a new Drupal installation.

Verizon vCommons (Intranet) – Developed several internal social media apps to promote improved communication and collaboration for 270,000+ employees.

Verizon CAB (customer portal) – Developed a customer portal for Executives of high-end clients.

TheWrap.com – Converted a legacy Drupal environment of thousands of news articles to WordPress VIP with supporting applications in a new Drupal install.

Drupal, Templates / Modules (custom)

  • 12+ years experience in Drupal development.
    • 16+ years in PHP experience.
  • Created custom templates (20+) and plugins (50+) for corporations, startups, and agencies used for websites, web applications, and intranets.

Award-Winning Career (22+ Years)

  • 1995 – Present: Worked on 300+ projects, 650+ websites, 200+ web applications, and 30+ products.
  • 2013 – Present: Technology Consultant.
  • 2011-2013: CTO, Adoptive (brand agency)
  • 2010: Chief Strategist (“Enterprise 2.0”), Verizon.
  • 2009-2010: Founder and CEO of SocialSimple, of a targeting marketing (UIX) / ecommerce startup.
    Acquired by NBC Universal for $4.2 million (2010).
  • 2008: Lead Hitachi’s first Enterprise Portal.
  • 2006-2007: Generated 50% of Modern Postcard‘s revenue through online properties / online marketing.
  • 2002: Created ViaSat‘s first “Web” department.
  • 2000-2001: Award-winning Engineer of Miva Merchant.
  • 1995: Started professional career in web development as a Web Developer/Designer (Varigon, Inc).
  • 1993: Self taught web programming.
  • 1992: Captain, San Diego Surf Team (Rank #2 in CA).
  • 1990-1992: Professional Surfer (Rusty Surfboards).

Power-One Energy

Leading provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions.
$1 billion company, 3,300+ employees.

http://power-one.com/

  • Lead Engineer (PHP).
  • Development of custom Drupal themes and custom Drupal modules (plugins).
  • Integration with internal enterprise applications (web services).
  • 2012 – Boston, MA.

Interactivate, Development Tools (custom)

  • Managed product design/development of 15+ custom/proprietary tools for Engineering and Creative development processes/procedures.
  • San Diego, CA.

ViaSat, Corporate Intranet

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Design and development of companies Intranet servicing 2,000+ employees.
  • Integrated Human Resources data for employee directory, birthdays, and employee profile updates.
  • San Diego, CA.

Hype 100 – CTO

An online social audio platform where the community submits and rates their most appreciated audio/video highlights and podcasts around technology and business.
http://www.hype100.com/

  • Served as (virtual) CTO guiding the product from concept to implementation.
  • New York, NY.

IrvineRanch.com

Real estate property management portal for Irvine Ranch.
http://villagesofirvine.com

  • Redesigned legacy website with new a new design, marketing plan, and an improved user experience.
  • Managed development team and design process.
  • San Diego, CA.

ViewBug.com – CTO

Social networking photo sharing website with cash awards to winning contest entries.
http://www.viewbug.com/

  • Served as CTO managing development (backend and front-end).
  • Redesigned and redeveloped website from Django to PHP (Drupal and WordPress).
  • 2008-2009 – San Diego, CA.

Ideablue, Client Portfolio (50+ clients) – CEO

http://www.ideablue.com/

  • Management of clients on technology, public relations, business strategies, and team management.
  • Clients included startups, corporate, agencies, universities, night clubs, and celebrities.
  • San Diego, CA.

VEEO Manager

Proprietary ecommerce plugin for software subscriptions and plugin downloads.

  • Reporting to the CEO, managed international ecommerce development team of web designers, engineers, and QA.
  • Developed on the LAMP stack (PHP).
  • 2002 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat, Web Portfolio (100+ applications / websites)

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Established and managed new web/marketing departments.
  • Managed web portfolio (100+ applications / websites).
  • 2003- 2006 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat.com

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Redesign and development of corporate website (in Drupal).
  • San Diego, CA.

Hitachi, Web Portfolio (~22,000 websites)

$112 billion/year company, Forbes #35 ‘Largest Global Companies’ (400,000+ employees).
http://www.hitachi.com/

  • Reporting to the CIO office, established a new executive sponsored (C-level) department to lead and unify all Web IT / Marketing resources throughout all enterprise web systems.
  • Successfully accomplished executive charter to improve the online user experience and streamline web operations through cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Managed international team of architects, web developers, engineers, UX designers, business analysts, QA (team of 70+).
  • P&L forecasting.
  • 2008 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat WebPoint (extranet)

Corporate extranet for product support and documentation.
https://extranet.viasat.com/

  • Designed and developed custom and proprietary product support extranet for military clients.
  • All code reviewed and approved by the National Security Agency (NSA).
  • San Diego, CA.

Network Mailer

Gives networked organizations the opportunity to unify the direct marketing efforts of their franchisees, retailers, dealers and affiliates.
http://www.networkmailer.com/

  • Product development of affiliate direct mail application.
  • Developed in WebObjects.
  • Managed Engineering team.
  • San Diego, CA.

Modern Postcard, Web Portfolio (40+ clients)

http://www.modernpostcard.com/

  • Reporting to the CIO, lead and established company’s first consolidated group of all web resources.
  • Generated 50% of company revenue ($20+ million/year in online sales) through online marketing, email campaigns, and personalized print marketing (VDP).
  • P&L responsibilities.
  • Managed team of web developers, software engineers, UX designers, QA (team of 15+).
  • Managed web portfolio (40+ clients): USPS, Avery, FastFrames, Jiffy Lube, modernpostcard.com, networkmailer.com.

Interactivate, Web Portfolio (100+ clients)

San Diego’s largest digital agency.
http://www.interactivate.com/

  • Reporting to the CTO, lead and managed all interactive media, user experience (UX), and web development projects.
  • Managed international team of designers, web developers (PHP/.NET), and QA (team of 25+).
  • Managed web portfolio (100+ clients): Sunkist, Wolfgang Puck, Jenny Craig, California Avocado, Kapalua.com, Summerlin.com, IrvineRanch.com.
    • Client websites / projects (partial list): wolfgangpuck.com, sunkist.com, kapalua.com, avocado.org, avohq.com, avocadocentral.com, lyonhomes.com, summerlin.com, irvineranch.com, jennycraig.com, johnlainghomes.com, soyconnection.com, purefinancial.com, verrado.com.

Hitachi Enterprise Portal

http://www.hitachi.com/

  • Managed customer support web systems and applications enterprise wide.
  • Designed architecture of a new web portal unifying 100+ internal applications giving customers a seamless user experience vs multiple logins/experiences.
  • 2008 – San Diego, CA.

Socialjax Framework

LAMP stack framework of reusable code for rapid application development on social graph API connections.

  • Developed from scratch on the LAMP stack (PHP).
  • Web service API connections to 27 social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Yelp, etc…).
  • Enterprise level scalability.
  • 2008-2010 – San Diego, CA.

Verizon, Customer Advisory Board Portal

Advisory board portal for C-level executive clients and customers.
http://www.verizon.com/

  • Managed design and development of a customer portal for C-level executives.
  • Developed in Drupal.
  • 2010 – Boston, MA.

Verizon, Enterprise 2.0 – Chief Architect

http://www.verizon.com/

  • Streamlined enterprise web operations, technology infrastructure, and web development processes.
  • 2010-2011 – Boston, MA

Adoptive, Web Portfolio (30+ clients) – CTO

Brand management think-tank/agency. New York, NY.
http://adoptive.co/

  • Served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
  • Client collaboration and strategic planning on web marketing, technology architecture, social media.
  • Strategic leadership in the areas of technology, mobile, interactive marketing, digital media, social media, cloud computing, and industry insight into the latest trends and innovations in web.
  • Reporting and deep analytics of “Big Data” for personalized user experiences / responsive design.
  • Managed and planned all technology initiatives, strategies, projects, and resources.
  • Managed web portfolio (clients in fashion, health, and technology): Bundoo.com, Macy’s, Walmart, Coach, Komar, Michael Kors, Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Fuhrman, Virgin Airlines.

DrFurhman.com

Healthy living education portal / instructional videos / newsletter.
http://www.drfurhman.com/

  • Strategic planning with executive staff on brand management/awareness.
  • Designed new back-office infrastructure to improve and streamline the POS fulfillment processes.
  • New ecommerce vendor selection.
  • Redesign of new website, design and technology.
  • 2013 – New York, NY.

Quality8 (QA)

Custom built web application to automate the quality assurance (QA) process of website and user experience (UIX) testing.

  • Developed as an ‘application’ in Drupal.
  • Connected to MySQL and Oracle.
  • San Diego, CA.

Qualcomm (app store)

http://www.qualcomm.com/

  • Developed backend web services and front-end user experience designs for company’s new phone app store.
  • Collaborated with Marketing departments on user experience.
  • San Diego, CA.

MassChallenge.org

Startup accelerator connecting high- impact startups with the global resources.
http://masschallenge.org

  • Redesigned the front-end user experience and streamlined the backend architecture.
  • Website and custom web applications built in Drupal.
  • 2011 – Boston, MA.

Wordjax (API plugin)

Proprietary tiered plugin / module with scalable API and template UI hooks.

  • Designed and developed custom framework of resuable code for rapid application development.
  • Developed as a multi-tiered ‘plugin’ for WordPress with custom API hooks into the WordPress theme engine.
  • Developed as a multi-tiered ‘module’ for Drupal.

TheWrap.com – CTO

Hollywood news magazine and website.
http://www.thewrap.com

  • Re-developed and re-designed website and CMS from Drupal to WordPress on WordPress VIP servers.
  • Served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
  • Strong collaboration with CEO, COO, and executive editorial staff.
  • 2013 – Los Angeles, CA.