Acquia Partner Day at DrupalCon – A Developer’s View

Having used Acquia‘s cloud and insights purely from a developers stand point it was a new experience to be at the Acquia Day conference here in Prague.  The day was aimed at Acquia partners, to bring them up to speed on the state of the organisation and to get an advance look at their pipeline.

As a developer who generally would not need to know about information such as the Acquia pipeline on a day to day basis, it was interesting to listen to all the speakers and gain more knowledge of their organisation at the core.


Pushing open source

The talk on organisation from Peter Guagenti, VP of Products, was especially interesting as it highlighted how much Acquia put into pushing open source software to enterprises, but it also highlighted how excited they are about Drupal as a product.

It is easy to see that Acquia are looking at improving thing for Drupal, not just for generating revenue, but to contribute back to the open source community so that the advances are accessible to everyone.

The upcoming Demo Framework

For instance, we had a demo of the framework that they are currently building called ‘Demo Framework’.

Acquia have identified that although Drupal may be powerful, it still lags behind competitors when it comes to demonstrating and articulating Drupal as a viable platform for business.

The talk by Jakob Suchy, Manager of Solutions Architecture, where he demonstrated the power of the demo framework even highlights the fact that a core Drupal install looks confusing, bland and is not very flashed (compared to products such as CQ5, where they have very slick demo themes).

The demo framework itself has been developed as a rapid way to create slick and visually appealing Drupal installs that can be used to convince organisations to use Drupal as a serious contender to competitors (such as CQ5).

Drupal 7 has an interface for developers

As a developer this is fantastic because (as we touched on) the Drupal (7) interface is clearly an interface for developers (or high tech users) and will allow us to rapidly develop prototypes of sites and communicate the power of Drupal in a visually attractive and functional way.

The impromptu question and answer session with Dries, highlighting the importance of the Partner Awards scheme is interesting to hear as well.  Hearing his thoughts on how important it is to reward exceptional sites and how these awards are perceived instils the drive to create a product that could win such an award, instead of hearing it filter down from the managers or owners who are partners.

Not all plain sailing for Acquia

The final talk was a very laid back affair with Tom Erickson, the CEO of Acquia.  He gave a very honest account of the organisation as a whole and admitted that it was not all going to be plain sailing.  Having been one of many developers who complains about the state of the Acquia insights and cloud products, it is refreshing to hear that the CEO knows and admits the problems we face.

The talks certainly were not developer focused, but I gained a lot of important information that does not necessarily impact my day to day job.  I would very much recommend developers of Acquia partners to look up this information (via the partner portal) and expand their knowledge of Acquia.

It has certainly been a beneficial experience for me.

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