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Posts Tagged ‘atlantaplone’

Note: This post was co-written by ifPeople intern and Atlanta Plone Member Steve Allgood.

I’ve been thinking recently about how to get more out of our monthly Atlanta Plone meetings and how we could get more people interested in coming to meetings.  We have a lot of people with a solid understanding of Python and Plone in the group, but the group felt stuck.  It didn’t feel like our members were progressing in their knowledge of Plone or their involvement in the community.

I was inspired to change the way we do things after watching this video about the book Drive by Daniel H. Pink.  The argument is that what really motivates us to do tasks, requiring more than a basic level of cognitive skills, is self-determination, mastery, and purpose.  I focused on mastery and purpose as motivators for our group.  We should be a group that creates people who really know the ins and outs of Plone.  We should also be a group that gives back to the Plone community.

A discussion was started on the mailing list and continued at the June 2, 2010 AtlantaPlone meeting about changing the format of the monthly meetings.  There was some concern about the amount of effort required for presentations when the group is so small and there was a desire to do more hands-on learning. Our feeling was that we could really hone our Plone skills by working on an actual Plone project.

Some ideas were tossed around about organized python learning, working on a Plone product, mini-sprints, lightning talks, pair programming, and having themed meetings.  Of course we were all still interested in the social hour aspects of the meeting, so we came up with a plan to continue that tradition as well.

5:30pm – 6:30pm Happy Hour & arrive when you can
6:30pm – 7:30pm Any|None Lightning Talks, then Learning Session where the group works through exercises or tutorials
7:30pm – 8:30pm Development session where the groups works on a pet project or PloneTuneUp issues in a pair/extreme programming development style

This gives us a little bit of flex time before 9pm in case there are more lightning talks than usual or a session runs over time.

The first book that we will be tackling is Philipp von Weitershausen’s Web Component Development with Zope 3, which includes exercises.  And we will be looking at creating a Plone product together that would be a benefit to the greater Plone community.

We’re looking forward to it!

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This month’s Atlanta Plone meeting was a little bit of a rush job, as we had no presentation topic up until the time the meeting started and there were even prizes offered for anyone who was willing to present.  Despite this, we had a really nice meeting.  Brandon Rhodes took up the challenge of presenting and talked about what he had been working on the night before.  He had been wrestling with a Turbo Gears site for a number of weeks, trying to create a form that would allow a client to post published articles on their site.  His main challenge was in setting up the form so that he could upload, view, and potentially change an image file associated with the articles.

After struggling with Turbo Gears, Brandon realized that Plone is really good at helping users manage content.  He set up an archetype for his article in Plone, made use of the amazing image widget, and had his problem solved in one evening.  Brandon then set up a bit of ad hoc content mirroring, and had Plone creating content for a Turbo Gears site.

It was a great presentation in that it showcased one of the things at which Plone is exceptional.  I’m hoping that the longer version of the story is coming soon on Brandon’s blog.

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This year has gotten off to a great start. Go 2009! I just realized we have 3 Plone events going on this month:

  • Reaching Website Nirvana with Plone, at Atlanta Plone. A warmup for the talk the next night at PyAtl, but with a slightly more Plonista crowd A talk that has been loosely brainstormed with Jon Stahl, and will be in extremely condensed version here…
  • “Why Choose Plone”, at PyAtl, the Atlanta Python group. Will briefly touch on the “why” (who uses it, why is it cool), the what (features) and the how (getting started, what to expect, where are the goods). This is part of kicking off the Plone presence at PyAtl for the year and will be done in tag-team with Josh Kidd of ifPeople.
  • Plone content management refresher, a webinar we are giving for our clients to give them a chance to brush up those content management skills for the new year.

That’s a lot of Plone in a month! Speaking of Plone…did you see that World Plone Day 2009 is already in the works? Mark your calendars for April 22, 2009. Perhaps since it’s also Earth Day in the US, we can drink green beer while Ploning?

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You may have recently seen a holiday treat suggestion from Redomino, with the corresponding recipe for Plone Cookies. For those that are looking for a more savory treat, how about Plone Pizzas?

The mini-pizzas, pictured here from last nights Atlanta Plone meeting are wheat-free, almost entirely vegan, and tasty :).

The meeting was good too…attracting our largest crowd in a while, with two newcomers. Kim, who works at Georgia Tech’s OIT, and Scott Brown, whose company Sability has used Plone for a number of years now, attended their first meeting. The regulars, including Steve, Derek Richardson, Brandon Rhodes, Josh Kidd, and myself (with Alon), also attended.

Plone Pizza Inventor

Plone Pizza Inventor

Kims first Plone meeting

Kim's first Plone meeting

The meeting was a chance for us to give some practical help to Scott on Plone challenges he is facing, as well as to discuss our plans for 2009. Highlights from the planning include:

  • Organizing ourselves as a Special Interest Group of PyAtl to connect with more of the Python community in Atlanta
  • Present Plone during 2009 PyAtl meetings. January will be the first of hopefully several presentations to the wider Python audience.
  • Adjust our meeting times to be more accommodating:  5:30pm happy hour, 6:30pm official meeting start time.
  • Broad support for doing a Plone Bootcamp in 2009 led to discussion of next steps and logistics.
Alon becomes Plonista for pizza

Alon becomes Plonista for pizza

Thanks to Steve’s contribution, I want to announce that Atlanta Plone’s 2008 Culinary Innovation Award goes to Steve Allgood, who consistently adds an extra touch to enriching the taste sensations of Atlanta Plonistas! Sure, I made the award up…but great efforts deserve recognition :).

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