John VanDyk has been innovating with information technology for more than 20 years. Read more...
John VanDyk's introduction to computer technology began with the Apple II. His early software included GradeWorks, a classroom management suite patterned after Apple's highly successful AppleWorks and a word processor for children called StoryWriter, used in elementary school classrooms.
John at the age of 13 in the computer room of the Gesamtschule, Tübingen. (That's a DEC VT52.)
John then joined MuDiSoft, makers of Music Director's Assistant. The software became popular among Macintosh users while others clamored for a Windows version. MuDiSoft's future dimmed when Apple, which had announced plans for a cross-platform scripting language built on top of QuickTime, reneged on that promise.
In the early 90's John became intrigued with an emerging technology called the world wide web. He set up his first website (it made the NCSA What's New page on May 17, 1994) and as the size of the website grew, he began to search for ways to make website management easier. Dave Winer was working on a bookmarking tool called Clay Basket that morphed into a website generator, and John was hooked.
Mastering the UserTalk scripting language and associated object database, John became an active Frontier developer, contributing plugins to extend Userland Manila. One of his efforts was the Metadata Plugin, released in 2000, which brought tagging and relational capabilities to Manila.
John tried many content management systems while searching for the Perfect CMS, and finally began designing his own, a Ruby-based system called MFramework, with colleague Matt Westgate. However, MFramework never made it out of the laboratory, because by then John had encountered Drupal, which was headed in the same direction.
Some of John's contributions to the Drupal community include the actions, workflow, and workspace modules and he was one of the co-architects of Drupal's Content Construction Kit, the precursor for Drupal's core Fields. He organized the first Drupal Conference with Drupal founder Dries Buytaert in 2005. John served on the Drupal security team from 2005-2007.
Recognizing the need for quality documentation for new developers, John coauthored Pro Drupal Development, a technical book covering Drupal 5 architecture. A second edition, covering Drupal 6, followed. When John turned down authorship of a third edition the publisher went forward with another author.
More recently John has spent quality time with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and KVM.
John's interests include performance, scalability, and security. He's spoken at many conferences. And sometimes he writes in the third person.