Why Cypress Is the Core of Our Speech: Mark Shropshire | FLDC

A day left for DrupalCamp Florida 2023! Prior to the camp, we talked with different stake-holders of the camp including its organizers and a few of the speakers. We were focussing on the speakers’ Drupal journey and what their training and session will comprise of.

Here is our interview with Mark Shropshire, one of the maintainers of Guardr Project, a Drupal distribution with a combination of modules and settings to enhance a Drupal application's security and availability to meet enterprise security requirements.

Mark works at Mediacurrent, as a Senior Director of Development. In this interview, you will have the opportunity to read about Mark’s interests in Drupal security and what lead him toward the open-source community. 

Alethia Braganza, sub-editor at TheDropTimes (TDT), reached out to Mark via slack and carried out a written interview, sending in a set of questions via email. Below is the completed interview.

TDT [1]: A brief introduction about yourself and your journey with Drupal.

Mark: I work at Mediacurrent, a full-service digital agency, as a Senior Director of Development, where I empower leaders and coach teams to deliver best-in-class projects with open-source technology. We focus on Drupal but also work with other open-source technologies, mostly in the React space. I love helping individuals reach their potential and building highly successful teams through leadership and mentorship. My journey with Drupal began in 2004 when a few technical leaders at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and I were looking for a CMS (Content Management System).

Having developed a CMS from the ground up, I had a deep understanding of the downside of developing a product such as this without a team. It led me to the benefits of open source! After researching numerous open-source solutions, a student I knew recommended Drupal. I dug in on Drupal with a co-worker during a conference and simply fell in love with it as a product and the great community!

From there, I moved from site building to developing and leading teams building Drupal. I can say Drupal set a course for my career, which has led to working with many amazing clients and team members.


TDT [2]: I am someone who isn’t tech-oriented but was immediately drawn to the intimacy of the Drupal community and the willingness to constantly reach out a helping hand. What has been your experience with the Drupal Community?

Mark: The Drupal community has been more important to Drupal than the technology involved in making it a best-in-class product. Great things can be created with positivity and a great team. Also, the community is warm and welcoming, regardless of the skill level or background of the person approaching with questions and comments. One thing that has greatly impacted me is meeting community members in-person via video chat, Drupal camps, and DrupalCons. Working with Drupal has reinforced just how much we all have in common. 

TDT [3]: The Free and open-source Software and tech industry never gets a rest. There are those who are looking into working and building interest with Drupal. How would you go on by guiding those who are just starting?

Mark: Sign up for an account on Drupal.org, join Drupal Slack, and look for a local Drupal user group and/or regional Drupal camps. Those are good first steps that will help make connections. Finding mentors in the Drupal community will be very helpful. Many in the community are willing to mentor you, and they can help you take your next steps depending on where and how you would like to plug into Drupal. Don’t give up! Keep moving forward, and know you will get there.

TDT [4]: Can you tell us about your interest in Drupal security and the motive that led you to be involved in the Guardr project? How has Drupal 10 improved the security of Drupal as a web content management system?

Mark: My security interests in Drupal and web development started due to regulatory and standards requirements at organizations where I have worked. Guardr was developed as a way to satisfy many of these requirements. The maintainers figured that it would help others with similar needs. 

This link is a good place to learn more about Drupal security. Drupal 10 core has many new features and improvements which help to ensure it continues to be a secure and maintained system for building modern websites and applications. The important note is that Drupal 10 is officially supported by the Drupal Security team for security advisories and related updates.                

Mark presenting at DrupalCon Portland 2022

TDT [5]: Could you discuss what you will present in The Florida DrupalCamp and who should attend your session?

Mark: Jonathan Daggerhart and I are presenting “Looking to Test Decoupled Sites? Get Ready to Be Impressed with Cypress!” where we will focus on the Cypress testing framework for functional testings of Drupal and related headless frontends. Anyone who is part of a team that builds Drupal sites and is interested in becoming more familiar with headless or decoupled CMS architectures will benefit from attending this session. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Get started with Cypress, integrating it into their existing and new applications.
  2. Summarize the benefits of leveraging Cypress for automated testing in decoupled architectures.
  3. Focus efforts on the essential tests.

TDT [6]: We know the benefits of using the Drupal CMS to create websites. It is versatile, stylish, and has many more characteristics. It is also known to have a fairly well-organized Decoupled system. In your session brief, you will talk about using Cypress to test Decoupled systems. Can you give us a gist of why you are choosing Cypress specifically?

Mark: I think why we selected Cypress for this session, and functional testing at Daggerhart Labs and Mediacurrent is the most interesting point of discussion. Jonathan and I have been searching for a testing framework that is easy to install and get started, has great developer experience, and actually works. We have tried several systems over the years, but nothing has quite clicked for us like Cypress. Come to the session or watch the recording later, and you will get all the details!

Disclaimer: The information provided about the interviewee has been gathered from publicly available resources. The responsibility for the responses shared in the interview solely rests with the featured individual.

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