my first Drupal module

Here’s my second blog post for today. (Still sitting around at home, watching storm coverage.)

I recently read an article on CNET about how companies are increasingly looking at sites like GitHub when they’re looking at potential hires, to see actual code, rather than just going on what people say about themselves on, say, LinkedIn. I think the article exaggerates a bit, and maybe overgeneralizes. There are plenty of great programmers working in environments where they’re not likely to be posting any code on GitHub. I have been thinking lately, though, that it would be good if I had some open-source code out there for people to look at. My boss recently wanted me to write a Drupal module that would allow people to embed our store locator in a Drupal site. I recently finished writing the initial version of that module, and posted it as a sandbox project at drupal.org. You can find it here.

Because Drupal itself is open-source, and because PHP is interpreted, you really have to expose your code if you’re writing a Drupal module. So, as a beneficial side-effect, I now have some code out there that I could point someone to, if I needed to show a code sample to anyone. Mind you, I’m not actively looking for a new job, but it’s good to have something out there.

Given the kind of work that I normally do, it’s not that common that I work on any code that (a) I can post openly, (b) isn’t part of a “group effort” that multiple people have worked on, (c) is (somewhat) self-contained, and (d) is non-trivial. I think a lot of developers are likely in this category. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for opportunities to work on occasional projects that fit these criteria, and can be posted publicly to GitHub or similar sites.

I’d like to do a couple of blog posts later highlighting some of the stuff I learned while writing this module. While Drupal is reasonably well-documented (for an open source project), there are a fair number of “dark corners” that are hard to get a handle on, and which I could possibly write some useful posts on.

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