1. So Derek, what's your role at Mediacurrent, both internally and client-related?
I’m a Developer, which means internally I write a lot of module code or do site config, as well as helping with code reviews and development pipelines. I also work with clients to provide options that meet their individual needs and create the best ROI within their project timelines.
2. We're so glad to have you! Give us an idea of what professional path brought you here.
I started my own business selling websites at age 10, so you could say I’ve always been in web development. After I graduated from UCF and hit the proverbial glass ceiling during my stint in Corporate America, I decided if Life, Love & Hope were important to me I’d better get back to my Drupally roots.
3. How did you first get involved with Drupal?
I usually Don’t Look Back, but I started looking into CMS products right as Drupal 5 was being released. My first CMS-based site was in Drupal 5, and my biggest project (a chiropractic reseller) was in Drupal 6. I used the profits to help pay for college.
4. Is there a go-to Drupal module that you like to incorporate whenever possible?
Yes, whenever I Walk On a project I like to use Devel, Ctools, Features, and Panels with Classy Panels. Besides that standard set, I highly recommend Coder. I have it integrated into PHPStorm and together they prevent a lot of stupid “why won’t this work” scenarios when writing custom code.
5. Do you have any recommended reading or books that you would suggest to others?
Code Complete by Steve McConnell and Design Patterns from Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides. I don’t advocate following the writings religiously, but they’re essential to growing as a developer and especially for communicating with other programmers. Too many graduates skip around most of these books in their CS courses without taking the core lessons to heart, which do not include just memorizing best practices or paradigms.
6. Any mobile apps that you use regularly?
I’m in love with Waze (especially when I have a cooperative co-pilot), but I do spend lots of time in Inbox by Gmail and Feedly. I’m also in the Third Stage of Clash of Clans addiction.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
What, besides hiding references to Boston album covers in my Q&A sessions? I spend my free time teaching my dog to track, kayaking, drawing, writing music, and playing/making games or programming my 3D game engine.
8. What do you like about Mediacurrent?
Hands down it’s the people. It really feels to me like we’ve got the best right here, and working closely with my co-workers on our projects is a very fulfilling experience.