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Dev Hacks: My Other Office

by Nathan James
July 1, 2015

Our team uses innovative strategy, design thinking, and scalable technology to help our clients grow their business. We know that the path to success is complex, but the best practices in our new “Hacks” series can help you navigate the Drupal, Development, and Digital Strategy waters.

Working remotely from my home is such a wonderful thing.  My commute is walking down my stairs, down a hall, and entering my home office, coffee in hand.  I can spend my lunch breaks with my family, whether that means eating PB & J at a loud table (I have 7 kids) or spending that hour with them in some other way like sledding down my road.  In general, my office gives me a great, comfortable environment.  All that I need is my laptop and the internet to work on Drupal sites, communicate with colleagues and clients, and learn and grow as a Drupal Developer, but every once in a while, I find the need for an additional office.

I recently had a client that brought an issue with their site to my attention that only occurred on the iPad.  I started down the normal route to reproduce the issue.  I didn’t see the issue in the browser tools.  I didn’t see it in the Xcode simulator.  I tried it on my first generation iPad, which didn’t render the site at all.  I tried it on my wife’s iPad Mini.  It still did not reproduce the issue.  

The client didn’t see buying me a newer iPad a priority of theirs, so I had to get creative.  I thought about borrowing someone else’s newer iPad, but how many would I need to borrow before I found one that would reproduce the issue.  Then, it came to me.  I needed to relocate my office.

The next morning, I got in my car and headed to the new office.  As I walked in, I wondered just a bit, if I would be turned away.  It was so pristine, and everywhere I looked, there were people smiling and so many devices.  Someone approached me and said, “Welcome to the Apple Store.  I’m Steve.  How can I help you?”  That’s right.  My new office for the morning would be the Apple Store.  

So, I told Steve about the site problem that I couldn’t reproduce and asked if I could use a device to try to isolate it.  He simply said, “That’s what they are there for.”  I pulled up a chair, connected my laptop to an iPad, updated a few quick settings, and had reproduced the problem in under 30 minutes.

The seat may not have been quite as comfortable.  I didn’t have my own coffee, and I did have to change out of my PJs (well, maybe I didn’t have to), but the convenience of having the full line of Apple devices for testing at the simple cost of gas to the Apple Store was definitely worth it.  So, next time you have a pesky mobile device issue that you can’t replicate, I highly recommend relocating to The Apple Store.

Additional Resources

Establishing a Remote Workflow | Mediacurrent Blog Post
The 5 W's of Analyzing a Compromised Website | Mediacurrent Blog Post

Meet team member, Nathan James

Nathan received an early introduction to open source during his days at the University of Arkansas’s Computer Engineering program. From Linux and shell scripting, to PHP and MySQL, to Asterisk PBX, to Drupal, Nathan has demonstrated success at learning, developing, and implementing open source technologies. He has five years of experience with Drupal.

During his time with Mediacurrent, Nathan has worked with a variety of clients, allowing him to round out his knowledge of Drupal. He enjoys when a project involves something challenging and different from his previous projects.  He has found it exciting to work on multilingual initiatives, complex migrations, and panels customizations in Drupal 7; and any time he gets to work with Drupal 8, especially in migrating data, he is having fun.

Nathan enjoys spending time with his wife and seven kids, whether they are just hanging out around the house reading, watching movies, or off on adventures (sometimes just going to the grocery store is an adventure with seven kids). He and his wife have been involved in foster and adoptive care since 2009.

Learn more about Nathan >

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