Meet Michelle!

I am a developer, themer, and trainer working as a Technical Project Manager for BioRAFT. With 10 years of Drupal experience and an innate attention to detail, I guide the developmental team through planning, code review and testing.

My Drupal adventures started in 2006 and I quickly became known for my incredible sense of detail while possessing the ability to see the big picture. These innate skills allowed me to cultivate my specialty of site architecture and multi-phased deployments.

About Michelle

In addition to custom module development and theming, I develop and implement the strategy for complex content architecture and workflows from the end-user experience to the manageability by website administrators.

My resume includes presentations at DrupalCons and DrupalCamps. My dedication to the Drupal community awarded me a scholarship to DrupalCon Copenhagen.

I am a contributing author for the highly acclaimed book, The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, organize Drupal Nights, and coordinate NH Meetups.

In addition to my public appearances, I was recently a smiling face teaching Drupal via, Lullabot's archive of training videos.

When I am not fulfilling my passion as a Drupal developer and community advocate, I am an aspiring archer and outdoor enthusiast. I live in a waterfront cottage in central New Hampshire with my husband and son.


The following is a list of presentations I've given throughout the world over the years.


PresenterThe Derryfield School Alumni Spotlight Networking Breakfast
Networking Breakfast Photo

Alumni Spotlight: Networking Breakfast

On Monday, October 24th, Derryfield hosted its third annual Alumni Spotlight morning. Each year, the Alumni Council invites Derryfield graduates in a particular field back to campus for a networking breakfast open to the entire Derryfield community, followed by campus tours, classes with favorite teachers, and a panel-style all-school assembly organized by the Student Council.


PresenterDesign for Drupal (D4D) Boston, DrupalCon Austin & NYC Camp 2014

From User Personas to Testing: A Project Manager's Journey Towards Behat

With a strong desire to reduce our technical & product debt, or at the very least stop adding more, our team explored options to optimize our QA process. We have landed at the beginning of a new journey starting with user personas and ending with automated testing; behavior driven development (BDD) focuses on the users' experience as the primary deliverable.

"Behat is a tool that makes behavior driven development (BDD) possible. With BDD, you write human-readable stories that describe the behavior of your application. These stories can then be auto-tested against your application. And yes, it’s as cool as it sounds!"

The Process

  • Create personas. Understand "who" is your user base.
  • Write user stories. Figure out what they need/want.
  • Write Behat tests. Make the desired outcome testable.
  • Develop features. Match your specifications.
  • Run Behat test suites. Confirm you didn't break any existing functionality.

In addition to giving detailed examples, showing snippets of "human-readable" code, and running tests, I'll share approaches to reach optimal code coverage.

I am pleased to share this collaboration framework that allows stake holders, developers and everyone in between to finally speak the same language. Easily defined and agreed upon goals, written by both the planning and development teams means a target that can be reached.

I will share all of the resources needed to start a Behat initiative in your organization.

Curriculum AuthorPresenterDrupal Nights

Panel: "High Performance Drupal"

Jeff Shelton, Naryan Newton, and Nathaniel Catchpole literally wrote the book on Drupal performance. This presentation will take a shallow dive into the broad pool of Drupal performance, using the book as our guide. Topics to be covered include: tools for collecting performance-related metrics to establish a baseline, and areas to look to improve Drupal's performance, such as Drupal configurations, module development, caching & swappable storage, reverse proxy caching and MySQL.

Slides Presentation Video


PresenterDrupalCamp NH

Site Building 101

This is an open forum to discuss tips and tricks about Site Building.

  • What tasks should be in your development plan?
  • What is the first thing you should do after you install Drupal?
  • What configurations should you make to your website?
  • What configurations should you NOT make to your website?
  • What modules do you absolutely need?
  • What are the most useful modules out there?
  • How do you select a module?
  • How do you select a theme?

I have a loose agenda that I will follow, however this session is a discussion and I will let you ask questions and drive the direction.



Guest PresenterModules Unraveled Podcast

Nodemaker, Open Source Drupal Distribution

Jake Strawn and Michelle Lauer of ThemeGeeks join me this week to talk about their new distribution NodeMaker.

Basic Features
  • During installation, choose which Apps you want to enable. Using our admin UI, you can change this at any time.
  • Install optional default content that really shows off the power of the distro.
    • Too many times when installing a distribution or Drupal core alone, you really get no idea what’s going on behind the scenes or what the site in front of you is capable of. Our powerful set of default content demonstrates all the features available to you and creates a complete site out of the box that is ready for you to dig into and customize with a much greater understanding of how all the pieces fit together.
  • An interactive launch checklist so you know that you have completed all of the steps needed.
  • Lots and lots of in-site documentation. (Although it is not all written yet.)
Use Cases
  • For new Drupal users, provides all the normal out of the box functionality that you know you want but might not know how to build yet.
  • For the advanced Drupal site builder/developer, cut 2-3 weeks of development time out of every project when using NodeMaker as a starting point.
  • For when that friend says: “Hey, you build websites right?!? Can you build me a website tomorrow? I only have 200 bucks... “ You can actually say “Sure... I can help you out” and launch a site with everything they need in just a few minutes! I mean, you know you really do hate telling your friends that they can’t afford your work, so NodeMaker makes it simple!!
  • Whatever the need for you site, NodeMaker’s core functionality is a very sturdy platform to get you started on your next project.
Podcast Video
PresenterNH Startup Challenge
Union Leader photo

ThemeGeeks, NH Startup Challenge Semi-Finalist

ThemeGeeks - Online service to provide premium products for mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers based on the Omega theme using Drupal open source software. Led by Jake Strawn and Michelle Lauer of Manchester.

Union Leader Article


OrganizerPresenterDrupalCamp NH
DrupalCamp NH 2011 Logo

Ask The Experts: Site Building

This session is an open-ended BOF style discussion, Q&A from experts in site building.

The goal of this session is to pick a few topics from the crowd, and discuss methods, implementations and help tutor those with questions that need answered!

Archive Page

Lessons Learned From Teaching

I train new Drupalers with varying amounts of previous experience. The questions and comments from my students have revealed a lot about Drupal itself and

Archive Page Slides
PresenterDrupalCamp Montreal

Lessons Learned From Teaching

I train new Drupalers with varying amounts of previous experience. The questions and comments from my students have revealed a lot about Drupal itself and

Archive Page Slides


Curriculum Author Organizer PresenterDrupalCamp NH

Training Day

Why DrupalCamp?

This first DrupalCamp in NH has been structured to be a training day for new drupalers, and those interested in learning about Drupal. Our goal is to provide valuable information for those users, and help grow the New Hampshire Drupal community by making it more accessible to users with new and varied interest.

Structured sessions will provide a start to finish overview of everything you should know when putting together a Drupal site from scratch. Topics include setting up infrastructure, Drupal Basics, CCK (Content types), Views and other important contributed modules, along with theming to round off the training.


We will be teaching you how to build a Drupal site from beginning to end including how to work with a localhost and noting best practices along the way.

  • Registration: 8:30 am - 9:00 am
  • Welcome: 9:00 am - 9:20 am
  • Infastructure: 9:30 am - 10:20 am
  • Drupal Basics: 10:30 am - 11:20 am
  • Content Types: 11:30 am - 12:20 pm
  • Lunch - BoF Sessions: 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
  • Views: 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
  • Modules You Should Know About: 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm
  • Theming Basics: 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
  • Closing Announcements: 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
  • After Gathering: 5:00 pm
Slides Curriculum
PresenterFundamentals of Computer Information Systems

Social Media Marketing: An Overview

Slides Paper
PresenterDrupalCon SF

Views Examples: Using Arguments and Relationships

Views are a powerful way to display specific subsets of your content. From a simple list of all nodes in a single content type to a complex collection of related information, each step will be explained so you can easily repeat the strategy in your own views.

I will demonstrate a systematic approach to building all views and show examples of using arguments and relationships.

  • Systematic way to create ALL views in the GUI
  • What are arguments and how to use them
  • What are relationships and how to use them
  • Discussion of CCK node reference
  • Why you should export your Views to code
Slides Code Samples Video


Presentation AuthorPodcamp NH

What Can Drupal Do For You?

Seth Cohn reworked my presentation for this event. Information about the wildly popular CMS to those who haven't heard about it yet.

Slides Video
PresenterDrupalCamp Montreal

Advanced Views Examples

I will give examples of how to use arguments and relationships in views.

Each step will be explained so you can easily repeat the strategy in your own views.

Slides Presentation
PresenterBarCamp Manchester

What Can Drupal Do For You?

Information about the wildly popular CMS to those who haven't heard about it yet.

PresenterDrupalCon Paris

Staging Drupal: Managing your project in multiple environments

This session will familiarize attendees with the tools and processes used to manage development, QA, and production of Drupal projects.


Building complex web applications, especially in a team environment, requires more than just code and geeks; it also requires strategy. Drupal shops need to understand how to manage the platform in multiple environments and in all phases of the application lifecycle.


  • Drupal development strategy
  • Multiple environments
    • sandboxes, staging area, production
  • Managing Drupal with Subversion
    • Repositories, branches, tags, externals, template files, etc
    • Two tier checkout
      • Core repository and project repository
        • Multisite considerations
  • Automate administrative tasks through code
    • views, content types, settings, nodes, taxonomy
    • Install profile “gotchas”
  • Drupal Tools
    • Permissions API
    • Deploy
    • Services
    • Drush
  • What’s Missing


This session will familiarize attendees with the tools and processes used to manage development, QA, and production of Drupal projects.


  • Permissions API (
  • Deploy (
  • Services (
  • Drush (
Slides Fuzzy Video Presentation