ExpressionEngine Conference Profiles Please reply to these questions and send them to: email@example.com or if you would prefer to do this over the phone email me and we can coordinate a call. Please do not hesitate to include additional information not included in the question line up. Part One: Bio -
Please attach your most current bio.
I am managing director of UK-Based ExpressionEngine development agency Made by Hippo. I can be found most days slaving over a hot keyboard developing sites in ExpressionEngine, building add-ons in PHP/CodeIgniter or thinking of magical ways to enhance client experiences with ExpressionEngine. I am a husband and father of 3 children (2 daughters and a son) and owner of a 16 week old puppy, Alfie. Part Two: What Are You Working On Today? 1. What are some of the projects you are working on today? Give us a brief overview of it. I have just finished an large e-commerce build for UK flooring company Flooring Megastore (www.flooringmegastore.co.uk). We’re working on a number of custom commissioned add-ons to integrate with ISSUU, Vimeo, Xero and quite a lot more that we can’t tell people about (yet). 2. Any industry announcement you want to give a sneak peek to through this profile? For those who know and use our add-on AdMan - we’re working on a Version 2.0 release of that which has actually been in development for quite some time. The new release is going to be quite feature packed, will include integration for front-end commerce, ad management and quite a bit more. No launch dates yet - but we’re getting there! 3. What’s next for you in your work? What are you looking forward to? We’re scaling up work with one of our long-standing clients FreshNation which originally started as an e-commerce build (powered by BrilliantRetail) into something which does a lot more now. We’ve developed multi-vendor commerce functionality for the system, interactive home delivery and are currently working on GeoLocation and HyperLocal techniques to present their vast dataset in a variety of useful ways. Part Three: ExpressionEngine Specific 1.
What do you enjoy most about ExpressionEngine?
For me it’s the flexibility. Every ExpressionEngine install and project I work on starts with a blank canvas. I can choose how I develop functionality, what I want to extend and how the client interacts with it.
What do you wish other people knew about ExpressionEngine?
Again, for me it’s the flexibility that it affords developers/designers and clients. Most of the work that we do is from clients and agencies who have come from other platforms to ExpressionEngine and although like what they see - don’t fully grasp how flexible and extensible ExpressionEngine is. There’s nothing it can’t do - it just needs a developers eye to grasp the requirements 3.
Why be involved with the ExpressionEngine Conference?
It’s a *huge* networking exercise for my business. Speaking at these conferences and supporting the organisers of them further cements my absolute 100% commitment to the platform and enables me to generate business leads and form friendships with other people in the industry. Listening to stories from other speakers and from attendees how they utilise ExpressionEngine is simply inspiring. 4.
Topic of your Discussion at the Conference:_______________________
Handling Multi-Lingual Websites in ExpressionEngine and Making the Control Panel ‘Consumer’ Friendly. Part Four: Paying It Forward 1. Why is your topic important within the Conference line up? Multi-Lingual websites are the holy grail of site development. Handling a multitude of different language content within one structure can be a logistical nightmare as well as a technical one. My talk is going to focus on some of the pitfalls you might (will) encounter and give you a ‘headsup’ to avoid/deal with them on your project. The Control Panel has always been an after-thought for most developers/agencies. With the exception of tweaks like AntiPink (who doesn’t love pink?!?!), most people don’t think about how they could make it easier for the consumer/client. I’m going to go through some of the ways you can increase and create more value for the client by spending a little time on your control panel. 2. What are key points to be discussed during your presentation? See Above 3. What do you hope your audience will take away from your session?
My talks aren’t going to be ‘how-to’ guides - they are going to offer pointers, suggestions and ideas for you to develop your own multi-lingual strategy. They’ll give you a heads-up on what to look out for, rather than telling you how/what you should do. Customising the control panel is going to be something which is unique to each project - depending on the requirements of the build. I’m going to explain some of the solutions that I implement, show you a couple of different systems that I have done to give you inspiration going forward. 4. If there was one piece of advice you could pass on to aspiring professionals, it would be… Welcome to the ExpressionEngine club, you’ve made a wise choice! My one piece of advice for you would be to *always* keep an open mind for each project you do. Too many developers get stuck in a ‘single’ way of doing things - yes, there are going to be bits of functionality that are pretty much always done the same way, however you need to be open to a different approach which could give you up-sell opportunities for your client and allow you to go that little bit further. And if you ever get stuck with something in ExpressionEngine - I’m only a Skype or a tweet away! :)