Vancouver, October 5-6, 2012

Freelancer weapons of mass productivity

Community, Business and Project Management
Experience Level: 

In the battle to stay organized, efficient, sane and maximize on billable time it helps to have systems in place to help deal with the daily business processes and management that make sure that you are working on what you should be and that projects, budgets and timelines stay on track. In particular, when you work on your own, its critical to have things like billing, time tracking and project management as a natural and seamless part of your workflow.

This session aims to be a whistle stop tour of some useful open source tools and subscription solutions I have found to be well worth their costs - including how they can be used effectively together to allow you to make the most efficient use of your time designing and developing Drupal sites.

I work as a remote contractor & consultant and my clients are drupal shops and companies needing web sites and systems designed, built, themed and/or maintained. These tools and services work for me to help stay organized and on top of my workload and help me to manage my responsibilities across multiple clients and timezones effectively.

The material in this session is geared more towards individual freelancers although much of it will be relevant for larger drupal shops and teams too.

A few of the topics I intend to cover will include

* Project Management with Redmine - an overview of this powerful open source project management system and a demo of some of the plugins that extend its functionality and integrate well with Drupal, Dropbox, Github, Chrome and others.
* Simplifying getting paid and easy record keeping - Easy invoicing, credit card processing and automatic importing of expenses using Freshbooks & Stripe
* Design to theme tricks and up and coming in-browser design tools and workflows using Styletiles, CSS Hat, SASS, Typekit, Typecast & Livestyle
* Faster Drupal development tips using Alfred & Sublime Text
* Rapid protoyping using Bootstrap/Jetstrap/Zenstrap
* Site building strategies using install profiles and drush make files
* Deployment and Maintenance using Aegir
* Server monitoring using New Relic & load testing using Blazemeter
* Hosting and managing your site in the cloud suggestions

It is my aim to introduce ( in some cases briefly) tools and services that have made a difference to me that may have the potential to add to and improve your existing workflows.