Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Moving on...

This Friday is my last day with designIT. In July designIT was sold and I made the decision not to continue on with the new company. Currently I don't have any plans apart from having a few weeks off, knocking down a brick wall and finding work a little closer to home. I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane before I have my mind scrubbed ready for whatever comes next.

I started with designIT in October/November 2002 working on an online version of a survey that is sent to all university graduates in Australia. While this project was progressing another project was starting that used a CMS called eZ Publish produced by a little company on the other side of the world. Initially the project was to use version 2.0 but given that version 3.0 was to be released soon it was decided to postpone development until it was released (well the beta at least).

Much of the development was based on beta versions of eZ publish and the site went live before the initial 3.0 version was actually released. No documentation existed at this point so many hours where spent reading the source and patching bugs. Even at that point it was clear that eZ Publish was a well engineered product.

This site was to include the ability to search an external database but be integrated with eZ Publish content. This functionality was initially built as an external application and "patched" into the eZ core. At this point there were no contributions and no examples of how to do this.

Martin wrote an article describing the process that can be read here - http://www.designit.com.au/articles/rebuilding_gradlink

Almost 4 years down the track and I've just finished the an extension that exposes data stored in non-ez tables for browsing and searching. This is likely be my last eZ publish project, at least for the short term.

In between these I've worked on a number of eZ publish projects (over 100). Some of the more involved and/or fun include:
Some highlights that occurred over that period include:
  • Attending the first Asia Pacific eZ publish mini expo in December 2006, meeting other eZ people and putting faces to the names
  • Selling the first copy of Form Builder via the eZ site
  • Co-authoring Chapter 8 - "Center for Design at RMIT Case Study" of the "Learning eZ publish 3" book
  • Recreating the designIT site without using tables for layout (using CSS) and getting this method adopted for all new sites.
  • Shaping and refining the production process at designIT
  • Working with the fine people at CWA and FPC
  • All the wonderful clients I've had the pleasure of working with
I've also had the pleasure of working with the best bunch of people you could wish for. There have been a number of people through the doors at designIT over the years but some require a special mention:

Tony Svasek - Tony doesn't stop until it gets done and has an amazing ability to manage umpteen things at once. I'm pretty sure the man doesn't sleep and possibly is only half human. I'm amazed that he pulled last years Asia-Pacific eZ expo together in about 6 weeks.

Karl Latiss - Karl provided rock solid platforms to host the sites we built as well as looking after the internal systems. Everything just worked. Unfortunately as recent events have revealed System Admins only get noticed when things don't work. Hopefully we'll get to see the Tigers in a GF before we are both in wheelchairs!

Wayne Psalia - Mr Design - even the best functionality needs a fantastic design and Wayne constantly churns out beautiful ones with ease. Wayne thanks for making everything look great!

Martin Bauer - Martin is the heart and soul of designIT. Without his drive and dedication the business would not have been able to achieve what it has. We went through some pretty rough times but managed to pull through all the while producing high quality work. I've worked pretty closely with Marty over the years, stayed with him while in Melbourne and sunk many a beer all of which has been a pleasure.

Thanks also to Bec, Dougo, Suze, Jen, Pete, Jo, Pasha, Crystal...and anyone I've forgotten.

I'm really proud of the work that we produced together. It's been a fun trip!

Last but not least to the eZ Community - Thanks for all the help, contributions and support!

2 comments:

  1. We are going to miss you. You will be a great asset to any community you join.

    Take care and I wish you luck in whatever you do.

    Tony

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  2. Hi Bruce,

    Bad news for the community indeed. Hope you're going to be able to hang around, and thank you for all you've shared

    X+

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