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Greg

Greggles, Gregorybeans, Frijoles, Beans

Career update: Director Security Services at Acquia

I recently accepted a position as an employee at Acquia. I have been "my own boss" since about 2006. I had a brief stint as a part-time employee at a company that has now ceased operations, but for the most part I've been the "owner" of GVS.

Thoughts on GVS

I founded GVS with a few goals. I wanted a company that mirrored open source values of do-ocracy and collaborative decision making. In part this was to make it easy for us to hire community rock-stars and have them feel right at home. In reality that didn't work perfectly though it worked pretty darn well. In part this was because I don't really like being a "manager" and wanted to have an empowered independent team. That mostly worked :)

GVS has had a ton of amazing clients and projects. Some of my personal highlights I'm most proud of are the work on Economist.com, California Closets, and the Drupalcon Chicago site which really helped push forward the COD platform. Not everything turned out perfectly. We had our fair share of mistakes but I think in the end we at least were honest and did our best to deliver what we promised and what the client wanted.

One of the real highlights was that working at GVS allowed me to take a 9 month long trip through Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru with my wonderful wife. We visited 30+ wineries, drastically improved our Spanish, and had an amazing time. I've asked every employer I worked for to support me in doing that and none really did. Working for myself I could do that. Of course, it was a lot of work to make that a reality. I had to be aggressive about accepting certain clients that would be flexible with me while I was abroad and on flakey internet connections. I also used that time strategically by investing much more than normal in my community work which has had long term marketing benefits.

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Technology things I threw away today (2011 Edition)

I am an early adopter, packrat. When people need an extra phone charger or connector cable they come to me.

So if I throw something out, that means it must be old as dirt. Here is a list of things I threw away today.

  • A Dell PS2 keyboard I got for free with my computer in 1997
  • Palmrests for two keyboards I'm not even sure I own any more
  • A Belkin vga/ps2 KVM switch I purchased in 2004
  • A IEEE1394 (Firewire) PCMCIA card I purchased so I could connect my first generation ipod to my Windows XP powered 2003 HP laptop (I'm keeping the laptop)
  • A PCI E-Sata connector - I think I got this with a 2.5" hard drive enclosure that ran on USB2.0 or E-sata (actually, I'm so keeping this if I can just find the e-sata cable!)
  • 2 RJ11 (yes, 11!) cords - one approximately 10 feet, one 20 feet. Wired telephones??!?! Ha!
  • A 6 foot long USB extension cable (i.e. male to female) that we bought in 2002 so we could put the computer behind the couch and the monitor on the side table like a TV
  • A serial to ps2 connecter that I got for free from upenn.forfree so I could plug in a serial mouse I got somewhere...I don't even remember how this story ends
  • A plug that goes from UK to standard power supply - WTF did I need this?
  • A USB to Sony Ericcson T-9(?)00? connector cable I purchased in 2004. The software it came with sucked
  • A PCMCIA adapter for compact flash I bought in 2000. This was awesome. But, it turns out that compactflash is the biggest kind of flash. Also, I have another 9 way flash adapter that has compactflash in it! :)
  • Not one, but TWO power chargers for mini USB phones. Too bad the industry just standardized on micro USB.
  • An adapter that takes USB/PS2 power and uses that to give energy to an external 2.5" hard drive enclosure just in case your USB1.1 doesn't give the drive enough power. (Yes, USB 1.1!). I bought this in ~2005.
  • A PS2 mouse from a computer I bought in ~2005
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Libraries: what are they good for? (physical stuff)

The Denver Library is checking out these "power meter" kits. You can buy one for about $30 on amazon.com or get it from the library for free.

I feel items like this show off one purpose of libraries in a digital age: sharing physical items that a single house needs for a short time. I need a power meter to do tests on one day, not many days. I need a book only as long as I read it. etc.

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Contributors for Drupal 7 - Final Numbers*

Well, here we are. Drupal 7's release is imminent and once again here are some statistics for folks to review. This is a truly amazing feat: over 950 people were credited in the commit messages as a contributor to Drupal 7. There were, of course, several thousand people involved in the issue queue but a mention in the commit message is reserved for people who did a serious amount of work whether that was writing code, design, reviewing, creating tests, writing text (i.e. documentation), or some other form.

Analysis of the Drupal Commit Data

Here are some items I noticed.

  • There were 954 people mentioned.
  • A total of 10,091 mentions in 6,117 patches means that there were about 1.6 people per patch
  • The top 10 people were mentioned in 30% of the commits
  • The top 20% were mentioned in 85%
  • People with 3 or fewer mentions form a group that are responsible for almost 10% of the mentions; we can't discount that long tail!

If we group people together into 9 somewhat logical groupings we can see this classic distribution.

Mentions People at that level
1 435
2 144
3 71
5 89
8 65
14 50
23 40
56 40
213 20

You can get the file as an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet (.ods) or from Google docs

The top 10 Drupal 7 Contributors (as measured by this method)

Name Mentions
sun 506
catch 403
damien tournoud 398
chx 324
yched 290
jhodgdon 278
david_rothstein 269
dave reid 231
pwolanin 215
c960657 151
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Halloween costume trends 2010: Southern University of Denver / Hampden Hills

I like to keep track of things. For halloween this year I tracked when people came and what their costumes were. You can see the google spreadsheet or download it as an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet.

For me, the interesting things were:

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Ghost of jobs past: Crazy documents from HR/Accounting

A few years ago I started a company to do some website building (gvs). When it was just me we didn't have any "HR" or "Accounting" process really because it was...just me. Our project process was really messy and I didn't necessarily bill hourly, nor flat fee, nor...whatever. Now we're a little more serious. We've got serious benefits, it's a team of 5 people, we do pretty solid work for a lot of different top tier companies.

That said, I found these two documents as I went through some old files today. These are from a company I worked in 7 years ago that was a startup, but had some serious "process" so they could feel like they were a real company. GVS is not now and probably never will be this kind of "serious."

equipment checkout list

holiday schedule for 2002, with clipart

I mean seriously. Look at how much time must have been wasted on that. And I get that a "holiday" list without some sense of design input is just plain depressing, but I don't think the clipart really got anyone into a festive mood.

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