Agency and Community Engineer++

Last year I became Pantheon’s first Agency and Community Engineer. We are now searching for our third. (Apply here!) Pantheon created the Agency and Community team out of a recognition that most our business is driven by agencies. Pantheon succeeds, and the Drupal and WordPress communities succeed, when agencies can efficiently deliver value to their clients. Our team is tasked both with evangelizing Pantheon among agencies in the OSS community and bringing feedback into Pantheon.

My friends at Drupal and WordPress conferences often ask me how this job compares to my previous work as a freelance and agency developer. I tell them that being an ACE at Pantheon feels like the most exciting and enjoyable parts of my previous job have been expanded to be my entire job.

Steve speaking at DrupalCon

In a little over a year with Pantheon, I have traveled to 14 conferences to present sessions on performance, scalability, project management, and development workflows. My fellow ACE Andrew Taylor and I even gave a WordPress-focused session at DrupalCon. I regularly remind myself what a privilege it is to be spending regular work time preparing conference presentations on topics I’m passionate about.

This job has also given me more paid time for open source work than I have ever had before. I wrote our Search API Pantheon bridge module for Drupal 8. I worked with Daniel Bachhuber, the maintainer of wp-cli, to add Behat tests to many of our WordPress plugins. Daniel and I also collaborated with Pantheon CTO David Strauss implement his LCache caching library in WordPress and Drupal. Over the summer I wrote a couple of blog posts on using Drupal 8 migration module. In doing so I also wound up writing a patch to Migrate Upgrade, improving Pantheon’s documentation, and making an example repository with tests that run every night to confirm that the basic migration process still works.

The best part of my job is seeing the real impact Pantheon has on agencies. Last winter I did a Fast Track with InRESONANCE. They are an agency that builds Drupal websites for independent schools. They’re a perfect fit for Pantheon's Custom Upstream product. On paper, the purpose of the Fast Track was to explain technical concepts and clear the path for migrating dozen of sites. In practice, we got to analyze and improve many aspects of their day-to-day workflow. It brings me such joy to run into the InRESONANCE team at DrupalCons and elsewhere. They cite the Fast Track as a turning point that freed up significant time and empowered more people on the team to take charge of projects.

I started my web development career in the marketing department at a theatre company. I got into Drupal just by trying to find a way to make my own job easier. As I ventured deeper into the world of programming, I always kept my mind on how my own workflow could be better or more efficient. As an ACE I get spend most of my time gathering, understanding, and sharing ideas for how web developers can work smarter. If you work with the same mindset, please consider applying to be our newest Agency and Community Engineer.

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