I've been a Drupal developer since late 2006, and have been working as a freelance consultant since March, 2007.
I originally started working with Drupal in early 2006 while I attended Redeener University College for Computer Science from 2003-2007. During my time in University, I started spending some time experimenting with web development. After trying a series of frameworks and CMS's, I stumbled upon Drupal.
Drupal drew me in quite quickly. At that time, the community was quite small, Drupal 4.6 was the newest and best, and we hadn't heard of CCK (let alone fields) yet - everyone thought Flexinode was awesome.
I launched my first Drupal site in November 2005. It was just a little information site about a random topic I picked out of an encyclopedia. That summer, I did a coop placement as a Java developer during which I had the opportunity to put some of my Drupal experience to use for the company I was employed by. In spring 2007, with my University time drawing to an end, I decided to step out and launch a small business as a Drupal developer.
Over the next few years I took on a succession of projects for various clients. While I was moderately successful as an end-to-end developer, I quickly realized that I did not have much interest in the design, layout and theming aspects of web development. Furthermore, while I had developed long-lasting and strong relationships with most of my clients, I unfortunately had a few negative encounters with clients who tried to take advantage of me as a small developer as well.
In 2009, I decided that I would much rather prefer to focus on backend development, and began to look for subcontracting work that played more to my strengths. I soon began a contract relationship with Open Circle Technology as a Drupal developer. During this time, I was able to strengthen and deepen my Drupal skill set. It was a true learning experience - for the first time in my career, I was working with colleagues with significant experience as Drupal developers, and was given exposure to projects that were larger and far more technologically challenging than I had encountered as a one-man front-to-back development shop.
In 2010, I began a long-term subcontracting relationship with PINGV Creative. At PINGV, I grew into the role of a Senior Drupal Developer and took technical leadership on most of their projects during my time there. Our team at PINGV was top notch, and we took on some very challenging projects. A large part of my work at PINGV revolved around migrating sites from a wide range of sources. I also managed integrating client projects with third party platforms, and handling performance auditing and remediation work for clients.
While at PINGV, I took on several side contracts with Transport Canada and the City of Ottawa. These also provided challenges in their own way - for Transport Canada, we helped make Drupal run on Oracle!
During summer 2014, I contracted with REDspace as a Senior Developer. As part of the great team there, we are focused on a particularly exciting client project. The site we are managing has a million users with nearly 25 million records associated with those users. When I joined the team, this project had one of the largest databases at Acquia, topping out at just over 385GB. One of my first large challenges involved optimizing their data storage both for performance and space efficiency. We've re-architected their storage to shrink their data storage to 14GB while improving every measurable performance metric.
In 2015, in addition to continuing my relationship with REDspace, I am also now contracted as a Computer Teacher at Timothy Christian School in Williamsburg, Ontario. I teach computer class for grades 1-8. My role there has involved developing a curriculum and lesson plans for all grade levels, as well as handling a portion of the school IT needs. Additionally, I have been tasked with helping guide the integration of technology (including tablets and Chromebooks) into the classroom.