Open Source

Switch - how to change things when change is hard - for open source contributors

This book has been sitting on my desk for so long precisely so I make sure I share my enthusiasm for it with more of you. I've been suggesting this book to several friends and so far the feedback from them was also overwhelmingly positive.

While Chip and Dan Heath do not deal much with software development and absolutely not open source in this book, I'd boldly say this is one of the greatest books I've read for those who want to get something done in an open source development environment. There are countless great stories in this book from all areas of life. From getting children with cancer to take their pills through saving species to attracting more customers to your carwash, it deals with situations when you seemingly don't have any directing power over the change you want to see in behavior/direction from your peers. You are not a boss, you don't pay these people, maybe you don't even know who they are, but you want to see a positive change happen.

Check out this video for example with a short summary of one of the tips that feels very relevant to the state of Drupal 8:

The authors built the structure of this book around a metaphor from University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt, saying our emotional side is an Elephant and our rational side is its Rider. The whole book is structured around tips to direct the rider (eg. provide specific guidance for the critical moves), motivate the elephant (eg. shrink the change or show how its already underway) and shape the path (eg. build habits to get there in a natural way).

I'd highly recommend Switch - how to change things when change is hard to anybody who want to get something done in an open source community and would not plan to go it alone.

Open source as life insurance - how did that work out?

Back in the day when I was a college student, I was participating in "technology roadshow" events around the country presenting Drupal to various people. At one occasion, I presented to primary school and high school teachers and surprisingly, one of the teachers from my old high school was there, interested in the topic. We explained with my co-presenter István Palócz, that Drupal is free (as in speech and in beer), and that they can just install that for their school (as István did at that time), and use as an intranet or their public facing site.

Adventures in Redmond: Microsoft, Open Source and Drupal

Microsoft Open SourceA few weeks ago, I received a surprise invite from the Hungarian Microsoft office to an event in Redmond, WA, which turned out to be due to my strong involvement with the Hungarian PHP community, but was also luckily connected to my Drupal 6 work. I was lucky to be able to set aside the required days for the so-called Web Development Technology Summit, which seemed to evolve around PHP people and Microsoft technologies. Interesting mix!

This was my first time in the US, and would be able to tell you fun stories for hours about how one gets a visa quickly, copes without a credit card (but with a debit card), with a phone not working in the US, with a plane coming 6 hours late, with fun border officers who were (really) a pleasure to discuss web development technologies with, without a hotel room booked, without a name card prepared at the event, with extreme stuff billed in the hotel, a plane leaving 24 hours late (overnighting on Northwest's expense) and finally with luggage missing (but received a day late) back home. So it was a very fun experience all around, especially looking how I was able to team up with people spontaneously to solve problems on airports, which helped me out in some cases.

But actually, I was more interested in what Microsoft is up to with inviting some interesting heads from the PHP community, including three well known Drupal developers, as well as Gallery, Facebook, CakePHP, PHP core developers, and so on.