Large Robot is a collection of articles, links and other odds and ends from Christefano Reyes (that’s me!). Learn more

Coders with a Cause

Next month I'll be co-presenting at a conference for non-profits on the Coders with a Cause program we started at Droplabs, the coworking space and computer lab I co-founded in 2011. One of the subjects is on "community barn raisings" and how we work to harness the good will and technical expertise of our software developer community to aid non-profits who are in need of those resources.

If you're unfamiliar with the "barn raising" term, I'll get to that in a minute.

This presentation is just one session among many at the conference, but it's on a topic that's very close to my heart. I'd like for this presentation to cover as much as possible within its allotted time and I'm requesting input, ideas, questions — and even answers from everyone reading this — to make the session the best it can be.

Save me, I'm going to GLADCamp!

GLADCamp, the Greater Los Angeles Drupal Camp, is coming up in a couple weeks and I'm helping organize a couple events that make up the conference program. I'm incredibly excited, and at the same time I'm feeling like I might be going out of my mind.

Depending on where you are or how far you're willing to go, this kind of event just doesn't happen very often (if at all). We have a non-profit summit, a job fair, an employers summit, a barn raising for a non-profit and our first-ever website performance speed competition.

That's in addition to a general DrupalCamp with keynotes, sessions, BoFs, trainings and code sprints.

Recharging batteries

For the first time in 8 years, I'm leaving the phone and email behind and am taking off for a few weeks for a much needed vacation. This is the first time I've unplugged since plugging in back in the early 90's.

Christefano is charging
[ * * * * * * * . . .] - 70%
Estimated time to complete: September 9, 2013

Due to the large amount of email I receive, the best way to reach me is to contact me again by phone or by email after I return. In the meantime, below is a fine list of links that might be helpful.

GLADCamp finds a home

GLADCamp, the Greater Los Angeles Drupal Camp, has found a home at the Hilton Pasadena in Pasadena, California, and is March 7-9, 2014. I posted a report of the site visit to the venue earlier this month, but the ink on the contracts is only now just drying.

For anyone who knows of GLADCamp's brief history, this has been a very long road for the conference and our organizing team. Coming to an agreement with the Hilton Pasadena is a large milestone for us. Now that both the venue and the dates are set, we can begin planning our our general conference dedicated to all things Drupal.

Finding a Couchsurfing.com replacement

With the "digital nomads" breakout session at DrupalCon Portland still on my mind, I came across an intriguing blog post today by Nithin Coca about the "rise and fall" of Couchsurfing. For me, one of the big takeaways from reading the post is I learned that Couchsurfing.com went commercial last year. Nithin Coca's argument is that as a result of its commercialization, its business model makes room for "quantity over quality" and the site and its community has gone downhill.

Introducing Feedmine

There are plenty of website feedback collection services like GetSatisfaction, but for me they've always been… unsatisfactory. If you already have a ticketing system for your project, why use yet another tool and segregate your content across multiple services?

Today I'd like to introduce a new tool to enter the fray: Feedmine. It's designed for businesses and organizations who already use Drupal and Redmine and don't want or need another system to manage.

Things to do in Boston

Having recently relocated from Boston to Los Angeles, I've found that there are many, many things I miss about the Boston area. I've actually had more frustrations about this move from Boston to LA than any other move in my life, and I've wondered how much is has to do with with Boston (which, I'll admit, I was always looking forward to leaving) and the layers and layers that I've learned exist in Los Angeles.

For mysterious reasons, LA is a city of secrets. Friends here have sworn me to secrecy before sharing things like which restaurants to go to, what to order that's not on the menu, and so on. It feels good to be part of an exclusive club, but I can't shake the feeling that it's also a bit strange. So, when a fellow startupreneur recently moved to the Boston area and asked about things to do in Cambridge, I found myself writing down a stream of thoughts that I couldn't resist sharing.

Chess in the square

There’s a place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where humans, birds and wooden horses can be seen fighting for their lives. Chess players gather together in a small, outdoor courtyard with their sandwiches, cigarettes and cups of coffee, and engage one another in frequently fought battles while the birds feed off the crumbs the humans leave behind. The tensions in the square lower a bit at the end of each game, and tensions raise again with the arrival of a regular in the courtyard, who is sometimes armed with a chess set, and perhaps, a water pistol to keep the birds away.