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Drupal and Acquia at Web 2.0 Expo

Acquia was one of six companies chosen to present at the Launch Pad event at the Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco last week. Selection for Launch Pad was a great honor - more than 150 companies submitted applications - and a tremendous opportunity to showcase Drupal to the 10,000 attendees at the Web 2.0 Expo.

Jeff, Barry and Bryan worked hard building a five minute presentation and demo that highlights all the goodness of Drupal and explains what Acquia does. A video of the presentation is included below. Great job!

My first months at Acquia

Every week, several people ask me what I spend time on at Acquia? What does a co-founder and start-up CTO in a high-tech company do?

In starting a company, there are lots of things that have to be done but my main responsibility right now is to deliver Acquia's first product to the customer. This includes managing multiple threads ...

Roughly 50% of my time is spent building a rockstar team. So far I've been very lucky in finding folks smarter than myself. I've looked at over 100 resumes from engineers the past weeks and we interviewed many candidates. We hired one. If you're interested, we're actively looking for first rate hires ...

Approximately 25% of my time is spent running engineering and directing product development. The latter includes specifying the product, defining what our engineers will work on, ensuring that we're on track, and making sure that we have the best technology. I also enjoy talking to other projects and companies to create options for both Acquia and the Drupal community.

In my role as CTO, I don't think I've contributed a single line of code to Acquia's upcoming products. I expected this, but I find it surprising nonetheless. Instead I'm often sidetracked into marketing, human resources, and customer service related activities. It is interesting and refreshing to be on both the technical side and the business side of things. I like it a lot.

I obviously spend a substantial amount of time working in the Drupal community -- often after hours like has been the case for many years. Drupal continues to be an act of passion. I'd say 40% of my Drupal time is spent in the Drupal.org issue queue, 60% of that time is working behind the scenes. For example, at the end of 2007 I spent 3 weeks connecting publishers and authors, and if all goes well, this should result in 10 Drupal books being published in 2008. In other words, a lot of (strategic) e-mail.

Going forward, I'd like to spend more time talking to Acquia's engineers and contributors in the Drupal community. I have many ideas in the back of my head, both for Drupal and for Acquia, but I simply haven't had time yet to describe these ideas as complete and detailed as I'd like to. I have a desire to express my ideas but I've to research and refine them first before I can comfortably do so. I'll need to allocate time for that. Until then, they are just that; vague ideas in the back of my head.

MotoGP using Drupal

Motogp
MotoGP is the world’s premier motorcycling championship, with a season of 18 Grands Prix in 14 countries bringing together the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, Aprilia and KTM - plus an elite crop of riders from every corner of the globe. Their website just relaunched on Drupal: see http://www.motogp.com. Rumor has it that on racing days, they serve up to 2 million pages a day. Yowza!

Acquia is a Red Herring finalist

Acquia (my company) is part of an exceptional group of companies vying for the 2008 Red Herring 100 North America award. The award recognizes the top 100 privately held companies in North America. This is big because previous winners included companies like Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape, Salesforce.com, and YouTube. It is still early days for Acquia but it is good to get noticed early on. The winners will be announced in May so fingers crossed ...

Google to invest 105,000 USD in Drupal

The summer is off to a great start as Google continues to blow loving kisses at Drupal.

Google just announced that they will sponsor 21 Drupal developer stipends in this year's Summer of Code program (SoC). To inspire young developers to work on FOSS projects during the summer, Google will provide a stipend of 5,000 USD to each student developer, of which 4,500 USD goes to the student and 500 USD goes to Drupal Association (or to the mentors). With 21 accepted applications this adds up to a 105,000 USD investment over a three-month period.

The accepted students, their projects, and the mentors are listed on the official Drupal.org announcement. Many of the listed projects touch Drupal core, so it looks like I'm in for a really busy summer. Congratulations to all successful applicants, and thanks to the Drupal Summer of Code organizers, the Drupal mentors, and last but not least, Google. Great!

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