Meet Speed & Function at DrupalEurope!

Next week, Europe’s Drupal community will gather in Germany for the biggest event of the year — DrupalEurope. More than a conference, this event brings together over 1600 attendees to discuss the latest tech developments, solve complex challenges, and contribute to Drupal’s continual improvement.

Beyond attendance, the Speed & Function team looks forward to contributing our Drupal knowledge in our session, Fields, Bricks, Paragraphs, etc… What’s the next? Media Driven Content Architecture. We’re honored and excited to be presenting, as there’s no better way to ensure true understanding of a concept as teaching it.

If you’re attending DrupalEurope and interact with media in Drupal, we highly recommend attending our session on Thursday, Sep 13, 14:10, Room: 3.03 Germanium. In it, we’ll share insights to help reframe your approach to using Media in Drupal. Typically, Media is used for the following content types;

Drupal core Media types

However, did you know that we can expand the content types used and manage them all as Media Entities? For example, you can create text blocks and use them as Media item. Once you learn this approach, you’ll wonder why you ever used regular text blocks.

Building Sandcastles to Build a Stronger Team

As our US-based team celebrated Independence Day last week, our European team decided to get in on the fun with a team-wide beach party. Laughter was all around as the team and their families spent the day under the rays of summer sun. Complete with an adrenaline spiking banana boat ride, the friendly competition of a beach volleyball tournament, it was an unforgettable team building experience!

Being a predominantly remote team, culture-building activities are a major value-add; whether they’re casual happy hour in a Philadelphia beer garden or a full out European beach party. Collaborating across time zones isn’t always easy so, getting to know each other outside of the office is both a treat and absolutely fundamental to how we function.

Kyiv Drupal Camp 2018

The world of development is constantly in flux. There are always new tools, tricks, and frameworks to learn so staying on top of industry news and events are key in order to keep your skills sharp. Last month, our Drupal team attended Kyiv Drupal Camp 2018 to see how other developers are using the open source software, share how we work on the platform, and see what new skills we could glean for our own projects.

I highly recommend development meetups as they motivate you to increase your technical knowledge, tap into industry trends, and of course, are great opportunities to contribute to the development community.

Kyiv Drupal Camp was divided into 4 tracks Read More

Tweaking the Twig Tweak Module: A Simple Drupal Site Recipe

front page twig template

Many years ago I worked for a printing company. While I was there, we implemented a workflow that allowed us to produce business cards within 15 minutes of the client submitting their request. Through that experience I learned the competitive advantage of providing a simple service in a short timeframe.

At Speed & Function, we typically work on complex projects where completing the design, development, and QA phases can take months. However, a little known fact is that we can also tackle quick and simple tasks.

There is a common assumption that Drupal is only for large multi-user projects with complex business logic and high page counts. It is also believed that Drupal has significant restrictions on the design and templates that can be used within Drupal’s themes. Both of these assumptions are false.

In this post, I’ll demonstrate a quick and easy way to launch a simple, custom designed site on Drupal 8. Read More

Performance and Scalability — A Primer

Performance is how fast your application runs and it’s directly tied to scalability – the amount of users it can handle. The less resources your application uses, the higher number of users it can handle without additional investments (getting additional server, database, etc.).

The most common performance problem of web applications is the web page loading speed. Time is a hot commodity for web users and if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, they tend to skip it or are less likely to come back.

The performance issue that affects many successful startups is the application downtime and data loses. Usually, startups don’t invest in performance upfront, so as their users base grows, their application doesn’t have enough capacity, resulting in crashes and downtime. Even worse — all the data sent to the server during the downtime is usually lost. This leads to a decline in reputation among users, which is one of the reasons a startup can fail fail after a successful launch.

The good news is that a solutions exists. If you’ve already launched your product and are watching the number of users grow each day, now is the right time to think about performance and scalability.

Examples of regular performance issues:
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Why Should I Care About Mobile App Development?

We’re living in the age of mobile technology. Everyone has a smartphone. Almost everyone uses tablets. Desktops and laptops are becoming less and less popular with these small, user-friendly devices. So what does that mean for software development?

Well, it’s simple: mobile app development is growing a lot faster than browser-based software.

But what is mobile app development? Well, let’s start by talking about what it’s not. It’s not the process of building an app for one kind of device. It’s bigger than that. People own all sorts of mobile devices and the app you build must be able to run on any kind of operating system on every kind of smart device. Not so simple, huh?

 

Then what’s so exciting about mobile app development?

Here’s the draw for businesses: an app can be built in a short amount of time.
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Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

Are you running a growing IT company? Maybe you’re managing a growing tech team. All at the same time, you’re developing long-term plans, acting as a liaison between departments and partners, and putting out daily fires… all within the constraints of deadlines and budgets.

And on top of that, you have to manage your team. Ideally, your employees are busy with new projects, never being over- or under-worked.

But let’s be realistic: it’s impossible to sustain consistent workflow.

When you land a big new project with strict deadlines, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So how do you possibly find talented engineers with experience to tackle your complicated project and no need for full-time or permanent employment?

That’s how staff augmentation can be your answer.

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How do I identify the right amount of money for my project in 2018?

Creating a business plan is a good first step towards answering the fundamental, and critical, question of how much money it will take to get the venture started.

When launching a new product, the main expenses to budget for are product development and marketing.

In this article, we will explore costs associated with product development. We’ll save marketing for a future post.

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Learn CX, not just UX

User experience (UX) is an incredibly important aspect of product design. Any product, whether physical or not, must be comfortable and clear for your customer. The shift in focus on User Experience has allowed companies like Apple to create mass dependence on their products as their designers are always prototyping more user-friendly products.

But we often forget that effective designers are looking through more than just the lens of users. In order to create a viable and profitable product, designers must also focus on Company Experience (CX), which requires them to put themselves in the shoes of of business analysts, sales professionals, developers, project managers, and others. In other words, it must be possible for the product to be developed in an inexpensive way without reducing the quality that users expect.

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