Interview with Christophe, Drupal Expert

2 May 2017
Christophe_Microsoft
Today, we met with Christophe, who recently joined us and is very involved in free and open-source solutions through his many extra-curricular activities.

1/ Christophe, can you please tell us about your experience at AUSY? When did you join our team, and what projects are you working on?

I joined AUSY Sèvres in June 2016. My role is rather cross-sectional, revolving around PHP and Drupal CMS.

Since I arrived, I have participated in different Drupal projects for large accounts, completed various migration or project evolution audits, codes and maintenance and even participated in Calls for Tender. I work alongside different teams, but a friendly atmosphere is always important, no matter the operations’ level of difficulty.

Of course, before joining AUSY, I participated in numerous projects related to different sectors, like the media, aviation, industry, health, insurance …The technologies used relied on PHP, Drupal CMS and SugarCRM…

2/ You are very active in the open source community. Can you tell us more about it?

For me, the open source community is a rich source on a human level as well as on a technological level. The community offers an open ecosystem, which is an alternative to the software offers in the closed source sector. For my part, I am mainly involved with four open source and free communities, which are: PHP, MariaDB, Drupal and Mozilla. Since getting involved with the Internet, I have mostly leaned towards the back-office side, and more specifically on the non-visible part of the web with regards to languages and databases. Over the years, I have also been interested in the front-office.

It’s why I began with programming, getting interested in different languages while saving PHP for last. Over the years, I published different office automation applications, scripts and participated in translations. I was the treasurer of the Association Française des Utilisateurs PHP (French Club of PHP Users) several times, and I am still the moderator of the Parisian branch. I have also published two books on this language with Editions ENI. The second is titled “Construisez votre application” (Construct Your Application). PHP has a mascot, the elePHPant, which is an original logo designed by Vincent Pontier. Using this design, I made the stuffed animal and, as a result, one could say that I am the creator of the stuffed animal.

Christopheetmascotte

This language is associated with a database, which is also why I was interested in MySQL in order to join its fork, MariaDB, in 2009. At the current moment, I am the representative of the club LeMug (MySQL/MariaDB User Group France).

These two related technologies make it possible to complete Internet sites and to publish information and content. In order to facilitate these achievements, I worked on CMS (content management) in order to choose Drupal CMS and to make publishing on the Internet easier. My great interest in Drupal has pushed me to get involved in the Drupal France and Francophonie club, of which I am still a very active member. This involvement also produced a new opportunity to publish a book, co-written with Vanessa David, called "Drupal avancé" (Advanced Drupal) with Editions Eyrolles. 

Finally, to sum it all up, a navigator is needed because without it, it is difficult to complete business applications with the previously mentioned technologies. In order to follow this logic, I chose Firefox from the Mozilla Foundation, of which I have been the official French representative for several years. I was even recognised globally as the best official representative of the foundation in July 2016.

Of course, these four guidelines embed other technologies like Web security and OWASP, tests, performance, accessibility and the RGAA, web applications, IoT (Internet of Things), Cloud, community manager (evangelist)…For the moment, I remain less involved in other communities, but I’m always listening. 

3/    You participate in many conferences on a variety of subjects, what topics are most exciting for you and why?

My centres of interest are very large, but remain focused around the Web and new trends. When I do not participate as a speaker at conferences, I take part in Meetup evening events, which offer many themes for learning about new technologies that will create tomorrow’s Internet. 

My interventions currently rely on my different community involvements. This connects them to other trends, linking them to free source, to open source, to security, to DevOps, to navigator extensions, to Big Data, to NewSQL (NoSQL and SQL), to facilitation… 

Some of my presentations are available on my Slideshare account: https://fr.slideshare.net/hellosct1.

4/ What are the next events in which you are planning to participate?

There are many events in which I am going to participate:

First of all, as an organiser:

  • PHP Tour 2017 on May 18 and 19 in Nantes, organised by AFUP
  • Drupagora on June 29 in Paris, an event about Drupal destined for information system directors and project managers
  • Forum PHP in Montrouge at the end of October
  • Open Source Summit: December 6 and 7. I am taking care of a part of the club village, and Drupal, PHP and Mozilla will be present

Additionally, I have begun working on the next DrupalCamp Paris, which is organised by the Drupal club.

Many Meetups are planned basically everywhere in France. For my part, I am organising a PHP evening in Paris on May 2. For Drupal Paris, the date has not yet been decided, and for MariaDB, this will be before the beginning of the summer.

Nevertheless, I plan to participate in the next DrupalFR Meetup, and I have been asked to participate in digital creation in the Rhône-Alpes and the DevCon #3, which will be about the API and the Cloud. More specific topics are currently being validated.

5/    What are your orientations, research and development (R&D)?

My orientations are very large but will remain around the Web and close to my centres of interest presented before.

The subject of the moment concerns web extensions, which impacts all Internet navigators (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Edge…) in 2017. It’s about complementary modules (Add-ons) making it possible to add or modify a functionality of a navigator. The objective is to harmonise the compatibility of web applications with HTML-CSS-JS.

Of course, the PHP language, which turned 20 years old in 2015, remains a major language on the application level and still has its place in tomorrow’s Internet as well as with he RUST language (pushed by Mozilla) for a use more oriented towards IoT (Internet of Things).

On the side of Drupal CMS and the database MariaDB, new versions are regularly published, and new evolutions appear.

Finally, the editorial portion will result in articles being published in different magazines (Programmez…) and blogs. It will also result in at least two books but I cannot say too much about it. Additionally, my radio talk show will resume, which will take place 1 or 2 times per month on the station Libre@toi.

6/ Any final words?

The Internet changes quickly, and this is the same with open source evolution. In 2000, the rate of use was less than 1% and in 2016, it was 30% of the market. It’s why a business that always wants to remain competitive must be able to adapt itself to tomorrow’s solutions. 

Event Website Links:

PHP tour: www.phptour.org

Drupagora: www.drupagora.com

Forum PHP: www.forumphp.org

Open Source Summit: www.opensourcesummit.paris

DrupalCamp: www.drupalcamp.fr

May 2 Meetup: www.meetup.com/fr-FR/afup-paris-php

DevCon #3: www.programmez.com/programmez-devcon-3