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Drupal Training, Consulting, & Development by Doug Vann
I am a codementor

    

 

Drupal Promotes An Ownership Society, but does Drupal 8 threaten that?

Mon, 2016-04-11 15:30 -- dougvann

Those who know me at all likely know that I have a few catch-phrases I use when trying to explain the impact that Drupal has had on the market for organizations and individuals needing quality web sites.

DRUPAL PROMOTES AN OWNERSHIP SOCIETY

is a phrase that I have used for years and years. When I say that I seek to convey the fact that many organizations and individuals are choosing to rely less on outside vendors and more on internal talent to get things done. I have come to this conclusion simply by observation. As I became more and more in demand I found that many organizations wanted me to come in and empower THEIR STAFF to do the work that needed done. In some cases they already had a site that a vendor built but they wanted to improve it. Others had no site and wanted to build the thing form scratch and learn how to use Drupal along the way. Either way, these clients were going ALL IN for Drupal and decided that Drupal was a tool to have IN THEIR OWN tool belt to use whenever they need it.

Who are these organizations choosing to OWN the Drupal process and rely less on vendors? They are Universities, Governments [Fed, State, Local, etc,] Tech companies, Media companies,  Marketing companies, Agencies, etc. They see others, sometimes competitors, leveraging Drupal and they want the same power, but without the price tag. They know that Drupal is Open Source, meaning free, so they check it out and get so far until they decide they need a push. The come to the point where they need a formal engagement by a knowledgable trainer who can walk with them through a tailored learning experience that addresses the kinds of projects that they will be building. They don't want package {A} or {B} or {C} to choose from. They want to own a personal Drupal training experience to equip them to build their personal web experience.

And that is exactly what I give them!

So.... How's that going for you? 

I've kept in touch with these clients & I see many of them attending and participating in Drupal events. I watch them launch site after site. Some of them wind up hiring in some Drupal talent to augment the staff. When that Drupal talent arrives, the other staff are already well oriented to the ways of the Drupal! [Hmm. perhaps a new catch phrase!?] 

Let’s not forget too that many of these organizations have cancelled their expensive licenses for proprietary CMSs and are now enjoying a more agile and productive process of increasing their web-appeal.

AND ALONG CAME DRUPAL 8

I've criss-crossed the country teaching Site Building, Theming, Module Development. People have been amazed at what you can do with Drupal core, some Contribute modules and NO CODE! But the fact is that you are highly likely to need code eventually. If you truly want to create the website EXACTLY to specs, then a little hook here and a little hook there and a theme-variable or 3 or 4 will get you considerably closer to those specs. One custom module with 1 to 4 hooks along with a dozen lines in your template.php and a few extra print commands in a few TPL files will make significant changes to your site. I have taught people how to do this for years and they LOVE THE POWER.

Now I look out at the landscape of Drupal 8 and I am trying to imagine going back to those same clients and telling them to forget it ALL and learn OOP, Symfony2, PSR, and Twig. Is it possible? sure it is! Can I do it all in one week? Not at all likely. Drupal 8 is a game-changer primarily because it threw out most of the rules and started over. So what is an accomplished Drupal trainer and consultant to do? Well. I have discussed this with some of my clients. Some are choosing to ignore Drupal 8 until more contrib modules come of-age. Some are thinking they will ride out their volume of D7 sites until D9 is a topic and the idea of D7 end-of-life is a concern. NONE are overly anxious to start over and jump into a world where most of what they learned before no longer applies.

And yes.... I do tell them that BACKDROP CMS is a viable solution to get tomorrow's features built on a platform that they already know and enjoy and are skilled at.

So you tell me. Have you observed organizations and individuals taking an ownership position of Drupal and relying less on vendors? Do you agree that that approach is more difficult for “many” organizations due to the degree of code rewrite that D8 experienced?

I gotta be honest... When someone asks me D7 or D8? I ask them, do you or your organization plan on OWNING the site or do you want to rely on vendors? Along with that I will ask, do you have some young Comp-Sci cats in your org who can be delighted by the near-MVC-like rewrite of Drupal?

Insert the usual caveat here...
I believe in D8 and its power to bring Drupal to whole new levels of appeal to bigger markets. I also believe that smaller markets have already been and will continue to be "put-off" by the volume of changes that do not necessarily add value to the ways in which these smaller markets utilize this powerful tool.

Alrighty... SHIELDS UP! Sock it to me, PLEASE, in the comments below! :-)