43 episodes

We interview our clients, peers, and resident Palantiri who work in web technology, strategy, and design, often with those who work in the open source community.

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    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

We interview our clients, peers, and resident Palantiri who work in web technology, strategy, and design, often with those who work in the open source community.

    DrupalCon Pittsburgh Preview

    DrupalCon Pittsburgh Preview

    Britany Acre, George DeMet, Jill Farley, Joseph Meersman, Ju Vanderwater, Ken Rickard, Tiffany Farriss, Travis Porchia discuss the sessions they'll be presenting at DrupalCon Pittsburgh, what they're looking forward to at the event, and tips for those who have never been to a DrupalCon.

    • 43 min
    On the Air With Palantir, Ep. 08: Los Drupaleros

    On the Air With Palantir, Ep. 08: Los Drupaleros

    Welcome to the latest episode of On the Air with Palantir, a long-form (ad-hoc) podcast by Palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. In this episode, Allison Manley is joined by Juan Daniel Flores of Rootstack, and Juan dives into the Drupal world of Latin and Central America.

    Allison Manley: Hi, everyone. Welcome to On the Air With Palantir, a podcast by Palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to web design and development. I'm Allison Manley, Sales and Marketing manager. Today, my guest is Juan Daniel Flores of Rootstack. Juan spent some time with me a few months back telling me about all the exciting things happening with Drupal in Latin America. Here we are at DrupalCon Baltimore 2017-
    Juan D. Flores: That's right.
    AM: ... in the convention center at the corner of Pratt and Charles Street. I am sitting with ...
    JDF: Juan Flores from Rootstack from Panama.
    AM: From Panama. You came all the way from Panama.
    JDF: Yes, sunny, tropical Panama. Yeah. The temperature is quite a good a change for me.
    AM: Is it?
    JDF: I was born in Colombia, in Bogota, actually. The temperature is more or less like this. I really miss the cool temperature, because in Panama, sometimes it gets really, really hot.
    AM: Well, we're welcome to give you a nice, rainy break, so ...
    JDF: Yeah, I appreciate it.
    AM: Is this your first Drupal Con?
    JDF: Yeah, this is my first personal, my first Drupal Con in the States, but we have been attending Drupal Con like, since five years ago. We are three partners, and they do most of the traveling.
    AM: Okay. Excellent. How long have you been involved in Drupal?
    JDF: We have been involved with Drupal like from seven years ago right after college. We graduated, and we got our degrees, and we started the company. We started with Drupal right away. We learned about Drupal, actually, by a friend in the college. It was like we saw the tool. We saw all the things that you could do, and we were like hooked up, like, "We have to do this. We have to use this." It's been quite a long time.
    AM: Wow. That's great. Were you self-taught or ...
    JDF: Totally self-taught. In the university, they teach you certain things, but to be, to thrive in this world, you really have to be very proficient in learning by yourself. You have to be active. You have to be checking what's going in the world. Thanks to our desire to know more, we picked it up and here we are seven years later.
    AM: And here you are. Glad to have you. You call yourselves the Drupaleros, sort of jokingly.
    JDF: Yeah, that's the term we use for Drupal. That's in Spanish. It's a term that we use in general.
    AM: Universally.
    JDF: Yeah. Universal.
    AM: So that's not just the Panamanian-
    JDF: Exactly. Exactly.
    AM: Okay. I feel like there's a presentation next year for just the Spanish-speaking Drupaleros. I feel like there's some sort of presentation you should make around that and what's happening in Latin and Central America.
    JDF: That will be interesting. Even though like I feel that we're a little bit late to the party, in terms of doing stuff, there has been a lot of work that has been done by Latin developers. For example, there's Jesus Olivas, which is ... Well, and the team from We Know It, that they have been working hard with the Drupal console project, which is picking up, really, a great amount of fans. He gave a talk yesterday. He's from Mexico. There's another guy. His name is Omers. He's also from Mexico. The other guys, Anso and Kenya are from Costa Rica.
    AM: How many would you say there are total between Latin and Central America, you know, that you keep in touch with on a regular basis working in Drupal?
    JDF: It's hard to tell to know a certain number because, unfortunately, the community there is like a little bit shy. But I can say that, for example, if I can measure events that we have gone to, for example, the DrupalCon in Costa Rica, or the DrupalCo

    • 11 min
    On The Air With Palantir, Ep. 7: Getting Started in Drupal

    On The Air With Palantir, Ep. 7: Getting Started in Drupal

    Welcome to the latest episode of On the Air with Palantir, a long-form podcast by Palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It’s January 2017, and this is episode #7. In this episode, Director of Professional Services Ken Rickard is joined by Cathy Theys of BlackMesh.
    Allison Manley [AM]: Hello and welcome to the latest episode of On the Air with Palantir. A podcast by Palantir.net, where we go in depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It's January 2017, and this is episode number seven. This time my colleague Ken Rickard does the interviewing work for me. Ken was at GovCon in 2016, and was speaking with Cathy Theys, who is the Drupal community liaison at BlackMesh. She's got some fantastic information about how to get started in Drupal.
    Ken Rickard [KR]: Today we're talking to Cathy Theys. We're at Drupal GovCon, which is a great event here in Washington D.C., Cathy is the Drupal community liaison for BlackMesh. Cathy, is there anything else we should know about you as we get started?
    Cathy Theys [CT]: Let's see. Right, so Drupal community liaison. I go to a bunch of events for my job. I fix issues in Drupal. I had a long history of dealing with the mentor program. I tend to serve as a contact point when people have questions about how you get things done in the community or there's a tricky situation coming up, they might ask me my opinion on it, how to deal with that.
    KR: I know you from the Chicago Drupal community. I know I run into you at a lot of events where you're helping onboard new Drupal developers.
    CT: Mm-hmm.
    KR: That's one of the things that you're passionate about.
    CT: Yes.
    KR: I think that's a really interesting question here at GovCon, we're dealing with a lot of agencies here who are new to Drupal. The keynote we just sat through was about moving the NIH onto Drupal for the first time. They talked about what that was like. I mean what brought you here, to GovCon specifically?
    CT: BlackMesh, we're based in Ashburn, Virginia, so we're super close by, local. There's a bunch of us here, there's like eight or nine of us here, so it's really great because I travel a lot. I don't get to see my coworkers all the time, so I go to an event like this, we all get to hang out together and that's really nice. The sessions here are pretty top-notch. There's a lot of interesting topics, both for developers and for agencies. There's a really good range of beginner to advanced ones. It's really great.
    KR: And I learned yesterday that I think this is officially the biggest non Drupal Con event in the United States.
    CT:  Wow.
    KR: Yeah. We surpassed [inaudible 00:02:32] bad camps, so that's good. I want to go back to again your role in the communities to help onboard new developers.
    CT: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
    KR: In particular, you're a liaison to make it easier for folks to work with Drupal. Like I said, in the keynote, we were dealing with an agency coming on to Drupal for the first time. I think my first question really is, for a government agency or other organizations using Drupal for the first time, what advice do you have for them getting started?
    CT: The very, very first thing, I think is important is that the agency makes sure that they have an organizational node on Drupal.org. That's just a piece of content where you can put your logo and your company description. It just allows a way of referring to yourself within the Drupal community. Drupal.org is really important for the Drupal community. It's the hub of everything and it's our central conical repository for asking questions and getting answers. So just establishing your agency is the very first thing. Then I think the next thing that's important to do, is to take anybody associated with that agency that might every touch Drupal and make sure they have user accounts. The profiles on these user accounts can be

    • 27 min
    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 34: Remote Teams

    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 34: Remote Teams

    With the advancement of technology, there are infinite ways and opportunities to work remotely, no matter where you are. In this week’s episode of The Secret Sauce, we share some strategies for making remote work - well, work.

    Allison Manley [AM]: Hello and welcome to The Secret Sauce, a short podcast by Palantir.net, that offers a little bit of advice to help your business run better.
    I’m Allison Manley, Sales and Marketing Manager here, and today’s advice comes from Scott DiPerna and Lauren Byrwa. In this global economy, there are infinite ways and opportunities to work remotely, no matter where you are. Scott and Lauren are going to share some strategies on how to collaborate successfully across great distances and time zones.
    Scott DiPerna [SD]: Hi, I’m Scott DiPerna.
    Lauren Byrwa [LB]: Hi, I’m Lauren Byrwa.
    SD: Recently we worked with a client in California who had hired a content strategy team in New York City. Lauren, with our development team, was in Chicago, and I, as the Project Manager, was in South Africa. We had lots of interesting new challenges in this project, and like we do in most projects, we learned a lot about working well with our clients, our collaborators, and with each other.
    LB: So, Scott, what was it like trying to work from South Africa, being seven to nine hours ahead of everyone else?
    SD: Well, it wasn’t that different from working remotely in Richmond, Virginia.
    I do shift my working hours to the evening to overlap with the team in the States. But just as I did in Virginia, we do all of our meetings on a video chat regardless of where we are. It’s part of our process especially with our clients being all over the country, so that part wasn’t really different.
    But we did do a few things differently in this project — not so much because we were all in different places, but because we had multiple vendors and teams collaborating together. Do you want to talk about some of the adjustments that we made in terms of meetings?
    LB: Yeah, so we met with the content strategy team weekly. We met with our product owner three times a week. We met with our full team, our full team of stakeholders, weekly. And in addition to that we still had all our usual agile ceremonies like scrum, demos, retrospectives, that we always do on projects.
    These meetings especially were productive because we had all of the strategic functionality up front, and we could ask specific implementation-level questions early on, and we could vet them both with the product owner specifically, with the strategists specifically, and with the entire group.
    But I think there are a few other ways that the thorough strategy helped. Do you want to talk about those?
    SD: Sure. I think there were two parts specifically that were really helpful. Doing a lot of the strategic planning up front meant that the client was a lot more conversant in the details of the product that we were planning to build for them. We just had a lot more conversations with them up-front and could talk in detail. The other piece was having much of the functionality visually documented in wireframes that the strategy team kept current with changes in the functionality meant that the client always had a “picture” in their minds of what it was that we were talking about. When everyone is working remotely from one another, these kinds of visuals help conversations over video chat be infinitely more productive, which I think is something we see in all of our projects.
    So all of this planning had a really helpful impact on your ability to estimate the work up front, too. Do you want to talk a bit about that?
    LB: Because we had the complete and canonical wireframes from the strategists we were able to fairly precisely estimate all of the functionality that they had scoped out in those wireframes. This meant that even before we started development, we were able to work with our product owner to go over in detail the scope of work we anticipa

    • 8 min
    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 33: Collaboration Tools

    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 33: Collaboration Tools

    Director of Operations Colleen Carroll reveals some of her favorite collaboration tools in this week’s episode of the Secret Sauce.
    Allison Manley [AM]: Hello, and welcome to the Secret Sauce, brought to you by Palantir.net. This is a short podcast in which we offer a quick tip on some small thing you can do to help your business run better. I’m Allison Manley, Sales and Marketing Manager at Palantir, and today’s advice comes from our Director of Operations Colleen Carroll, who talks about how the right collaboration tools can make everyone’s workday go a whole lot smoother.
    Colleen Carroll [CC]: Hi, my name is Colleen, and I’m here today to talk about collaboration tools that we use here at Palantir.
    We use many different tools here at Palantir, but the ones that I’m going to be focusing on the most are the ones that are basic to being a Palantiri — the tools that we use to communicate and collaborate effectively as a remote-first culture.
    Some of the tools that are pretty essential to being a Palantiri are really the Google suite. And by that I mean that we use email, through Gmail of course. And that works, that allows us to communicate with each other. But it’s really all the other things that come with the Google apps domain. We use Google Docs for everything. We don’t have Microsoft Office or anything really installed on the computer. We rely on the cloud, we rely on Google Docs in the cloud, to hop in a document together, to draft a note together, to put draft agendas together or to take minutes together. We also use Google spreadsheets and Google presentations. If we can’t get in a document and look at it together, it’s almost as though we’re missing a critical function. We’ve been using the Google suite for many years now.
    One of the other critical parts of the Google suite that we use is Hangouts. We use that for lightweight video conversations. Because we’re not all here in person sometimes, it’s important that everyone who’s on a meeting be able to see each other, and to be able to talk at balanced and equal volume so that everyone can hear each other. And to that end we also require that people have really good headsets and microphones. So much so that if you’re on a Hangout with a Palantiri, they will correct you and stop the meeting to help you tweak your audio settings so that they can hear you well. Because we have such an inclusive culture here, we want to make sure that everybody has an equal place in the conversation. And you can do that with Google Hangouts by seeing every person and hearing them.
    One of the other nice things about Google Hangouts and, really, many of the video chat tools now, is that it allows you to share your screen. So it’s another way to collaborate. Let’s get right to it, what are you seeing, let me see that, oh, I know what that means. It allows us to really have a much more informed conversation.
    Another Google tool that is crucial to our day-to-day is Google Calendars. Because everybody has a Google account, they can easily subscribe to any other Palantir team member’s [Google] Calendar. They can see where they’re at, they can schedule a meeting, they can ask them if they can move a meeting. It makes it really easy to get things scheduled, because we aren’t all here in person and can’t stop by somebody’s desk. By providing that information on demand, it makes it easier to collaborate.
    The last Google-related tool that I think really empowers the sharing of information and greater ability to collaborate is the Google Drive. Obviously when you use a Google Doc, a Google spreadsheet, a Google presentation, it puts it right up into the Google Drive. But the Google Drive is only as successful as it is organized. And so one of the things that we’ve done is to create a Palantir shared folder, and tried really hard to organize it so that people can easily find things. Again, that on-demand nature is important to our culture

    • 8 min
    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 32: Documentation and Training

    The Secret Sauce, Ep. 32: Documentation and Training

    Senior Engineer Ryan Price dives into the importance of documentation in this week’s episode of the Secret Sauce.
    Allison Manley [AM]: Hello and welcome to The Secret Sauce, a short podcast by Palantir.net, that offers a little bit of advice to help your business run better.
    I’m Allison Manley, an Account Manager, and today we have Senior Engineer Ryan Price talking about the importance of documentation and training.  
    Ryan Price [RP]: My name is Ryan Price, and I want to talk a little bit today about documentation and training. Probably the key person that I think about when I get into the role of writing documentation for a project is future me. Who is the person that will be reading this later, and who is the person that’s going to get the most benefit out of it? Then I sort of go from there, because the more people that get involved with the project — whether it’s someone on the client side, whether they’re technical or non-technical, whether it’s other members of the development team, or maybe my project manager — all of those people are going to read or edit or touch the documentation of a project at some point.
    And on a lot of projects I’ve worked on in the past, I have been in the role of training the new people who are going to be using that project, whether it’s other developers or the content editor who’s working on the client side. And all of those people need to know what this website is supposed to be doing. Beyond just the business goals, there’s lots of nuts and bolts things, and in the land of Drupal we have lots of nuts and bolts things. And for some people those things are totally new, and they have fun new words like ‘nodes’ and ‘taxonomy’ and ‘views.’ And for other people, they know those things, but they haven’t seen this way for placing blocks in this context, whatever that happens to be.
    So I think even a simple project that is just a brochure site would still have documentation that needs to be written for future me. When I come back to this project, I don’t want to spend five hours remembering my motivation behind making a new field for this. It should just be there. What does this field do and why do we have it? You want to get this stuff out of your head. If you get hit by a bus, you don’t want to be the person on the project who made something that was indecipherable and everyone needs to sit around and figure it out.
    And the other thing is, when you explain something, you learn it. There’s doing it and being able to do it yourself, versus having to write it down. For me, translating something out of my head into speaking is when I really understand what it is that I’m doing, or writing it down at the same time. And you can also discover things about the project, too. Like discovering when a requirement is unclear, or when a piece of work is not quite polished. Because you’re getting ready to document it, and you say, it’s supposed to do these nine things and it does eight of them really well.
    So there are lots and lots of benefits to documenting your project and teaching someone else how to use it, and I think probably the key person among those is future me. Thank you for listening!
    AM: Thanks Ryan. That’s the end of this week’s Secret Sauce. For more great tips, please check out our website at Palantir.net. You can also follow us on twitter at @palantir. Have a great day!

    • 4 min

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