Matthew Tift, Ph.D., RYT
Hi, I'm Matthew! I'm a lead engineer at Lullabot and host of Hacking Culture, a podcast about the causes and conditions of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). I'm a yoga and meditation teacher at Spirit of the Lake and host of the Pretty Good Meditation podcast.
My journey started with music. I started playing violin at age 5 and spent much of my childhood playing in orchestras, singing in choirs, and performing in musicals. In 2007, I earned a PhD in musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught at the University of Iowa. However, I could not find a way to support my family as a musicologist and raise my children near their grandparents.
I turned my fascination with technology into a career when I learned how to build websites and write code. During an 8-year tenure at Wisconsin Public Radio, I became a strong advocate for free software — especially a content management system called Drupal — and sharing code among public media, universities, and nonprofit organizations. In 2014, I started working at Lullabot, an employee-owned, fully-distributed, human-focused, family-friendly Drupal development agency.
I have been an active member of the free software community Drupal since 2010. I have helped organize multiple Drupal core initiatives, including CMI (the Drupal 8 Configuration Management Initiative) and the Olivero initiative (the new Drupal 9 front-end theme). I maintain various modules including, NPR, PBS Media Manager, and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). I've been an organizer of Twin Cities Drupal Camp since its inception in 2011. I regularly speak and keynote at Drupal conferences, including numerous DrupalCons, Twin Cities Drupal Camp, BADCamp, NYC Camp, DrupalCamp Colorado (keynote), and DrupalCamp Wisconsin (keynote). I have attended every North American DrupalCon since 2010.
I teach yoga and meditation in various settings. I attended my first yoga class at Spirit of the Lake in Excelsior, Minnesota in 2012. Simple breath awareness while moving through yoga poses brought undeniable benefits to my life, and I completed my first yoga teacher training at Spirit of the Lake. In 2017 I started facilitating meditation groups in prisons and in 2020 I started teaching yoga and meditation at Spirit of the Lake.
I live near Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I enjoy cycling, meditation, yoga, and playing string quartets with my wife (viola) and two daughters (cello and violin).