Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jamaica Plone Meetup July 2013 - Part 1 of 2

Some of the participants in the meetup
(Jason is behind the cell phone camera)

This is the first time in a while that the Plone community in Jamaica has come together for any form of event.  Thanks to +Jason Murphy for the pictures. 

The People at the Meetup

Jason "JSON" Murphy in the front and
Tarik Carey in the background.
“I got tired of PHP” 
Jason Murphy is my person to watch in the Plone community, Jason “JSON” Murphy is Co-founder of a startup called Artuvic. “the Plone work we do is based on my interest, mostly because I got tired of PHP and wanted to find a language that I wanted to work with... the only one that stuck was Python” says Jason. He became interested in it after hearing how a Python script was used to get through a firewall in the movie “the Social Network”. “My love for Python set me looking for an alternative CMS and that led me to Plone.” 18 months later he is now a contributor to the Plone project having released a Bootstrap based carousel extension for Plone True Gallery. He considers this a modest contribution, expect to see more stuff in the future.

Tarik Carey has mostly done work with PHP based platforms, he's strongest with Joomla and Wordpress and has been around the web for awhile. Based on his interest, it looks like his first stop on the Plone road is going to be Diazo theming. We introduced him to Plone Theming Step by Step and he introduced us to

Anthony Coore (centre) and Ricardo Stewart

Anthony Coore has done web work with ASP and JSP type platforms in the past as well as some simple sites using Wordpress. He is currently working on a “top secret project”* and has selected Plone as his platform. After exploring a few options, including Wordpress, the scale and feature set needed for the project led him to narrow it down to Drupal vs Plone, in the end he decided on Plone. His research led him to believe that it would be easy to set up, so "I decided to invest my time in”. He's definitely on the learning curve but he's armed himself with the Plone 4 Development book so he's moving in the right direction. He already knows how to create his own components using Dexterity, next he's working on learning how to customize the editing and viewing experience.
* Regarding Anthony's top secret project, he says that he may be willing to recruit people who are willing to work for free, there would be some partnership opportunities.

“Through the years I’ve found Plone very simple to implement and it is easy to train users (once you know MS Word you can use the interface)”

Valdeck Rowe (centre) flanked by Ricardo and Wendy
Wendy Dressekie-Gordon “We’ve been utilizing Plone at UTECH for internal websites and are in the process of … getting ready to deploy the main site using Plone”. They run everything in a Windows environment, not the most commonly selected platform for Plone deployments. The Plone community isn't as helpful to Windows users. “Through the years I’ve found Plone very simple to implement and it is easy to train users (once you know MS Word you can use the interface)” she said. She's definitely an integrator, so her focus tends to be implementing custom workflows, which can be tricky. Overall she summarizes it as follows “It’s been good.... ”

Ricardo Stewart was introduced to the word “Plone” by Valdeck Rowe at 5 pm (the meeting started at 5:30 pm). He has experience with Python and has done a little Java and C. So he didn't have too many preconceived ideas, as he puts it he was “here to learn and ...see where it goes”.

“I'm looking to see how I can reduce my work by utilizing the features that are already there”

Valdeck Rowe got into web development as part of the CIT programme, started with JSP and Java and switched to PHP when he realized how much he could get done with less code. He has done a few websites and even built a CMS in PHP. In his own words, “Having built a CMS, it opens up understanding to the things needed for running a site”, he found himself adding features to his CMS as he found use for them. “Then I discovered Plone which already had the features I had built and done [them] better”, he has started to look at Plone as an option and is considering it for future projects.

Valdeck says that he “Co-founded a company that did software engineering and websites etc... ”, now he is looking into developing web marketing services. To this end he is considering a move to Python for some of his existing projects which are currently implemented in PHP such as his mobile marketing platform ( He's also explored a couple other ideas including a food ordering and delivery service Regarding Plone his goal is simple “I'm looking to see how I can reduce my work by utilizing the features that are already there”.

No comments:

Sign up for my upcoming Plone 5 Book & Video tutorials

plone 5 for newbies book and videos