Employee Spotlight: Anthony Fournier
Each month, we spotlight one of our amazing team members who work hard to bring you great work. Today, we interviewed Anthony Fournier who is a Drupal Developer that has been with Mediacurrent for over 2 years! Let's get started!
1. What’s your role at Mediacurrent, both internally and client-related?
I work as a Backend Drupal Developer.
2. Give us an idea of what professional path brought you here.
My path started with application programming in legacy telcom systems, then I moved into web application development for retail supply chain management. I did a bit of game scripting for a children’s online game, then went back into telcom for awhile. Toward the end of that last telcom period I became interested in website development and learned to create simple web applications using open-source tools like PHP, Apache 2 server and MySQL database. While living in Malaysia as an expat “trailing spouse” without a work visa, I had the opportunity to learn more about website development, and began working as a freelance developer on Wordpress websites. At that time I began learning more about Drupal and decided to focus my freelance work on Drupal development exclusively. Working with Drupal continued to challenge and interest me, so I decided to make a career out of it and here I am.
My desk at one of the telcom jobs, with HP desktop computer. The screen shows some JCL code. That’s Job Control Language that runs on an IBM mainframe. Yup, they still use that technology today.
3. How did you first get involved with Drupal?
I met a Drupal developer for the first time at a company party where my wife, Diane, worked. This company had contracted an agency to redesign their Drupal website and this developer was at the party. I remember talking to him and he told me about Drupal and his work. I remember thinking it sounded pretty good and that stuck with me. Later, when I was working on Wordpress sites, I came across talk of Drupal online and I remembered that conversation. I started reading more about Drupal and I installed a Drupal site on my laptop and started playing around with it. It seemed pretty cool and I liked how much more flexibility it had compared to Wordpress. When I started doing freelance work with Drupal I was in way over my head at first. I found it difficult to learn how to do things in Drupal despite the Drupal community online. You had to skim and scrape through all kinds of issue threads to find some crumb of useful information. This made me angry, but when I finally figured out how to do something and got it to work, there was this feeling of elation. That’s how I got involved in Drupal - anger and elation.
4. Is there a go-to Drupal module that you like to incorporate whenever possible?
Lately I’ve been interested in the Configuration Split module and would like to make use of that on most Drupal 8 websites. It gives you the flexibility of having different configuration for different instances of the same website. For example, we developers work on a local instance of the website where we make our changes. On that instance we would have some alternate configuration, such as enabled development helper modules, which we don’t want to have enabled on the hosted test sites or the live site. Configuration Split helps manage those differences and much more.
5. Do you have any recommended reading or books that you would suggest to others?
Drupal 8 Development Cookbook (second edition) by Matt Glaman.
6. Any mobile apps that you use regularly?
My favorite mobile app is the iPhone camera app.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m into music and art. I had kind of forgotten about art for a long time because I would normally spend my creative time playing drums or guitar. But recently I started doing some painting again. It all started after I posted an animated gif on our team (I’m on the Hook Line Sinker team - and proud of it!) channel in slack. There was a question about whether anyone could help with T-shirt designs and I said something snarky like, “Yeah, I can scribble”, and I posted this gif of a little girl scribbling on a piece of paper with a blue crayon. It was funny because she was looking directly at the camera with this inane smile on her face while scribbling. The more I looked at that gif the more I thought, “That actually looks like fun. I want to do that!” I’ve been scribbling ever since.
That’s me drumming with my old band, Foggy Wednesday. We always got together on Tuesday nights.
8. What do you like about Mediacurrent?
The people, period. These are the best people I’ve ever worked with. They are smart and funny and helpful. Mediacurrent people are good people. I aspire to be more like them.