Denver Drupal Meetup Recap, June 2012

A brief video conference session between the Portland Drupal Meetup (featuring former DBUG host jyee) kicked off conversations of fires, narcotic diversion, climbing Drupal ladders, and entities. As seems to be the trend these days, lots of great companies are hiring. So, if you are looking for an employer or employee, check out the DBUG page and make sure to come down to the next Meetup.

Shout Out: Climb the Drupal Ladder

Drupal has a thriving community, yet only 0.5% of active Drupal users have contributed to Drupal Core. techgirlgeek introduced the Boston Initiative, a plan to change that. drupalladder.org is a site dedicated to offering sequential lessons which if followed, will lead people up the “Drupal Ladder” to be able to be core contributors. The goal is to have 1% of active Drupal users contributing to Drupal core by 2014.

Along with the site, there are also learning sprints and issue sprints taking place across the world. The Denver/Boulder DrupalChix have taken the lead by hosting these sprints each month. Everyone is invited (not just DrupalChix) and it is a great way to get to know other Drupal afficionados, get cozy with Drupal core, and contribute back to the community in a meaningful way.

Drupal Ladder Meetup 3rd Thursday of Every Month (alternates between Boulder and Denver) 

  • 7/19 Denver Drupal Ladder Meetup 6pm Creative Density Coworking 
  • 8/16 Boulder Drupal Ladder Meetup 6pm Applied Trust 

How Cool is Drupal’s Entity API? This cool...

We often talk about Drupal’s power as a CMS which allows for so much extensibility and power through the user interface, but last night’s meetup was a nice reminder that Drupal’s API is equally powerful and adaptable. Our friends, Cirro, just down the hall from Aten, showcased a new web app they are rolling out which leverages the Entity API to efficiently parse data and display information in intelligible and downright fun ways for their client.

The Situation:

Claro Scientific analyzes urine samples for traces of 107 different drugs (yes, very glamorous work). Until Cirro entered the picture, massive amounts of data were being transported in fairly creative ways- from copying Word documents to tracing over data samples with pencil to compare results. Bleary-eyed scientists were poring over thousands of rows of data, most of it empty, spending days analyzing sample results. Suffice it to say the process was cumbersome and expensive.

The Drupal Answer:

Cirro took this problem and decided that their app would need to be able to filter out irrelevant data (typically people test negative for about 90% of the drugs, some of which haven’t been around since the 60s) and drill down to the results that their clients really needed to analyze closely. The age-old question of “Do I try and bend Node to fit my needs or do I build my own Entity from scratch?” came up and in this case they went the DIY route. They went about the typical process of building an entity - naming it, making it fieldable, and adding the fields. Now with an Entity customized to their needs they used EntityFieldQuery to pull the data and with some magic from the Isotope library the clients had themselves an interface to be able to easily load results, read and manipulate data, and make informed decisions on the findings.

Some of us kicked it afterwards at The Interstate, a place where you can find out what a Boilermaker tastes like and why bacon should never be separated from its dear friend mac and cheese.

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