Posted to Volacci's blog on December 21st, 2010

Interview with Treehouse Agency CEO Michael Caccavano

Yesterday we sat down (virtually of course) with the CEO of Treehouse Agency, Michael Caccavano, and asked him some questions about Drupal, DrupalCon Chicago and life in general. Here are his responses:

Q: What are you most looking forward to at DrupalCon this year?

A: I think that, like most everyone else, one of my favorite parts of DrupalCon is getting to catch up with Drupal friends and colleagues from places I don’t get to visit often. Beyond that, I am excited to see what insights people have drawn from their early experiences with Drupal 7 and their explorations into project processes and best practices.

Q: If you could only bring one thing to DrupalCon, besides your laptop or cell phone, what would you bring?

A: Treeblocks!! They’re more fun than a barrel ‘o beer! :D We didn’t bring them to San Francisco, and everyone definitely missed them.

Q: What are a few of the sessions your team is proposing this year? What do you find most interesting about them?

A: We have ten, in total, but there are a couple that I am particularly excited about because they reach out into less conventional Drupal areas.

The first is Behavior-Driven Development, which is being proposed by Steven Merrill. This is a very exciting concept to me, as it allows you to engage non-technical clients in creating the detailed technical specifications you need to get the project right. The plain-language test development make it easy to connect their intent with the necessary functionality.

Another very cool idea is The Magic Bullet: Connecting Developers and Clients through UX, by Fredric Mitchell and Brian McMurray. I think a lot of people automatically associate UX with visual design, but the principles can be applied for so much more than that. By applying some of these core principles to your development process, you can get to a place where both you and the client have a single vision for what the project ought to be and how the system ought to work.

Lastly, if I may say so, I think that There's a technology for that!, a session I’ve proposed along with Steven Merrill, offers a lot of value to developers and agencies pushing the limits of what you can do with Drupal. We have found that blending non-Drupal technologies into our Drupal projects has been critical to their success, especially with regard to scalability.

(For a complete list of sessions proposed by Treehouse have a look at their recent blog post -, and don't forget to go vote!)

Q: Which session(s) are you most excited about?

A: I’m very interested in Teaching Drupal: Creating Effective Drupal Training Materials for Clients, Employees, and the Public. While there is a lot of information out there for developers, I think that fostering better understanding of Drupal by our clients and potential future clients is a valuable area for investment. We’ve definitely been paying more attention to training our client end users and internal teams, and I would love to learn some new techniques for helping them to learn.

Q: What's your Drupal New Year's resolution?

A: Continue to give back as much as we possibly can; this includes code (module maintenance), presenting session at Camps and Cons, organizing and sponsoring Drupal events (professional and social) and simply sharing our knowledge/experience with othe Drupal developers thru our Blog.

I'd like to thank Mike for taking the time to answer all our questions. He's been a great partner and friend of Volacci over the past few years and we appreciate everything he does for the community. I'd also like to thank the Director of Marketing at Treehouse Agency, Amy Cham for making this interview and blog post possible!