Each month, we spotlight one of our amazing team members who work hard to bring you great results. Today, we interviewed Melissa Bent from our development team. Let's get started!
1. What’s your role at Mediacurrent, both internally and client-related?
I am a Senior Drupal Developer. Internally I architect and build what’s “under the hood” on a site. On the client side, I consult to provide technical solutions to our clients’ business requirements, helping them be successful with and confident in their online platform.
2. Give us an idea of what professional path brought you here.
I was originally going to be a high school math teacher. After graduating college, I taught and tutored math at the college and high school level for a few years before I moved on to work as a graphic designer at a local non-profit. While there I worked as a graphic designer, copy editor, network designer, desktop support technician, sound engineer, musician, educator, manager, etc. When I left I was their IT Director and Website Developer managing, maintaining, and developing about 12 sites I’d built with Drupal 6 and 7.
I started at a small agency in Colorado and from there was hired at Mediacurrent. I wanted that remote life and I’m loving it!
3. How did you first get involved with Drupal?
I was a hobbyist for a number of years, building out my personal site in iframes (ew). My first, in-depth experience came from working at a non-profit where they asked me to redo their site however I wanted. And I wanted to go open source. Drupal was the first and best choice for them considering the crazy things they liked to do with data. :-)
4. Is there a go-to Drupal module that you like to incorporate whenever possible?
For its utility and usefulness: Metatag. Every site should have it. And Search API for all things search. It’s a solid module and has a great ecosystem of modules supporting it.
5. Do you have any recommended reading or books that you would suggest to others?
The documentation on Drupal.org is filled with all sorts of knowledge about the framework. For non-Drupal though, I would say Quitter by Jon Acuff. It was a huge help to motivate me to work toward my dream job of being a developer. Before reading it I had been mulling over my options, but it helped me organize my thoughts and make a real plan for my career. Something I’d never done before because I’m so interested in so many things it’s hard for me to focus myself in a single direction.
6. Any mobile apps that you use regularly?
Besides any game that resembles either Tetris (that music is the best!) or Bejeweled, leaving out social media apps, the next app I use a lot is Pillow to track my sleep. When I was on android, I loved the Llama app for programming workflows into my phone based on where I was located. I still miss that app. Do you want to turn your ringer off, start your alarm clock, and dim your screen when you plug in your phone after 10 pm? That’s the app for you.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play with my dogs! I have three. But I also have quite a few hobbies. I am a musician, so I sing and play guitar. I love gardening, both indoor and outdoor, which has led to a plethora of houseplants in every window. I also do crafts such as quilting and embroidery. I love reading or listening to books and watching tv shows and movies. So, a little bit of everything.
8. What do you like about Mediacurrent?
I love that I can work from anywhere. But the true bonus of working at Mediacurrent is the people. We have amazing humans here who make coming to work a true pleasure.