June 8, 2011

Bulk view

Thinking about our development practices

We’re gearing up for another Drupal project. This one is going to be interesting in terms of workflow. I’m working with the clients, an IBM information architect, a design firm, another IBM developer, and a development firm. Fortunately, the project manager (Lisa Imbleau) has plenty of experience coordinating these inter-company projects.

I feel a little nervous about the project because there are a lot of things to be clarified and there’s a bit of time pressure. I’m sure that once we get into the swing of things, though, it’ll be wonderful.

I’m used to working with other developers within IBM, and I’m glad I picked up a lot of good practices from the people I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. I’m looking forward to learning even more from the people I get to work with this time around.

In particular, I’m looking forward to:

  • learning from how Lisa manages the project, clarifies requirements, and coordinates with other companies
  • learning from the other developers about what works and doesn’t work for them
  • planning more iteratively and getting more testing cycles in
  • implementing continuous integration testing using Hudson and Simpletest
  • getting even deeper in Drupal: Views, Notifications, maybe Organic Groups
  • using a git-integrated issue tracker such as Redmine
  • … while knowing when to just use pre-built modules, of course

It’s also a good opportunity to figure out which of our practices are new to others, and to write about those practices and improve them further. Some things that have turned up as different:

  • We organize our Drupal modules into subdirectories of sites/all/modules/: features, custom, contrib, and patched.
  • I use Simpletest a lot, and would love to help other people with it or some other automated testing tool.

Much learning ahead!