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FedEx Day #2 Delivers

FedEx Day Delivery NoticeOn January 12-13, 2011, Six Feet Up held its second FedEx Day, an internal exercise aimed at increasing creativity, efficiency and team spirit. For the occasion, Six Feet Up welcomed Human Resources Consulting and Outsourcing firm Aon Hewitt, who sent observers investigating the FedEx Day concept for one of their internal projects. Over the course of 24 hours, the Sixies worked on 10 projects of their choosing and delivered an outstanding variety of tools and solutions to improve productivity.

Chrissy researched and posted a review of Plone theming methods including Diazo (XDV), Deliverance and Plone Themeeditor. She also researched options to replace Yugma with a more reliable tool for web conferences that require screensharing.

Lauren identified close to 40 organizations who would benefit greatly from an upgrade to the latest version of Plone. She and Stephanie also worked on automating our billing process by finding a way to export time out of Timetask and import the data directly into Quickbooks.

Stephanie our official FedEx Day coach getting ready to motivate the team.

Lucie updated the collective.lineage product. She tested and merged the changes done by other members of the community in Plone 3 and 4, fixed a few bugs and answered questions. In the end, she closed 12 out of 17 Lineage tickets and released Lineage 0.6.1 to Pypi. This latest version of Lineage fixes issues with the migration from v0.1 to the latest version, which allowed one user to successfully migrated over a dozen child sites.

Clayton and David worked on streamlining our release process with Fabric. The current solution now shaves off around 75% of the standard release time. David also worked on some Fabric code to bring back data from production for local and QA use. These new scripts will save a lot of time for our clients and developers.

Thomas wrapped up a blog post on "Plone vs. Drupal" about the core features of both CMSs and wrote another one, focusing this time on add-on products: how to find them, add them, and keep them up-to-date. He also started a new post on adding content.

Calvin battled hardware and software to perform various VoIP upgrades. One roadblock after another was thrown up while attempting to upgrade our aging, but stable, Asterisk server. Most of the roadblocks were eventually busted though and Calvin ended up migrating our Jabber server to new hardware and powering off 3 old servers that were lingering in the rack during the process. We now have a Bluebox server that is sitting waiting a few last tweaks to be made live. At that point we will be using FreeSwitch for our VoIP needs.

FedEx Day Dinner and Hacking

Gabrielle and Carol developed 9 new marketing programs to be rolled out in Q1 of 2011.

Jim and Lars worked on deploying Tinderbox for Six Feet Up. Tinderbox is a product used to simplify and speed up the administration of software running on the FreeBSD operating system by automating the building FreeBSD packages. During Fedex Day, Jim and Lars deployed and tested Tinderbox as a prototype. Upon completion of testing and evaluating the Tinderbox prototype, Jim and Lars moved forward and deployed Tinderbox into production and started the process of building packages we use on our servers. Finally, they posted a blog post on their experiences with Tinderbox.

Kurt worked on automatic ZFS snapshot management & replication that works on both FreeBSD and OpenSolaris, greatly increasing our choices for storage architecture moving forward. This will allow us to migrate our storage cloud to FreeBSD, or add FreeBSD storage arrays into with our existing infrastructure.

And FedEx sent a delivery person up our stairs to bring us a package during the event wrap-up!

Ultimately, the team is extremely happy with the outcome of this second FedEx Day and is already making plans for the next one, which will take place in April 2011. Contact us if you are interesting in participating or observing our next FedEx Day!

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