I joined my current Drupal project two weeks ago after documenting and wrapping up my other Drupal-based project (which I'm happy to report is chugging along quite nicely without me). Since then I'd been quickly going through my task list. I've also been poaching other people's tasks, such as the configurable group home pages and the deployment scripts. As I told my cat, I'm having fun rocking Drupal. ;)
Today, one of my project team members demonstrated the site to members of the other consulting team. He wasn't sure if the reception would be neutral or even hostile. He walked through the various features we'd built in two weeks of work, a short period of time that included the numerous issues other people encountered and my ramp-up time as a new member of the team.
One consultant from the other team couldn't help but say, "Wow." And the rest of the team really liked it, too!
So I guess I can count that as my first "melting a tough client" story. =)
What worked well?
- Even though I was new to the team, my team members gave me plenty of latitude in building tools and reorganizing things. There were a couple of changes that we needed to discuss, but usually, the practices I suggested made things a bit easier and the changes weren't difficult to get used to.
- I set up my local development environment (my uber-tricked-out Emacs) to make it easy for me to quickly shift between files in different branches of code, look up definitions of functions, and re-build the site.
- As a lazy programmer, it's in my best interest to automate as much as I can. I kept tweaking the build process until I could get it to work without manual intervention, and I plugged it into the web-based deployment script I'd written for my previous project.
- I reused as much as I could, relying on a combination of grep, var_dump, printf, tags, and asking coworkers what's responsible for what.
- Also, starting work at 5:15 AM turns out to be pretty good for me. I get almost a full day of work into the morning, I can spend a little time in the afternoon attending to things that require less creative energy, and I can even take a short catnap in the afternoon sun (complete with purring cat!).
I'm looking forward to tidying this site up, and I'm sure I'll have lots of fun getting the next site off the ground, too!