My Drupal 8 Adoption Strategy That Some Will Not Like

So what’s my D8 adoption strategy?

Drupal 8 image

  • Selling D8
    • I WILL be selling D8 services including Training, Consulting, & Development as soon as I feel like I have the requisite skills to do so.
    • BUT, I’m in no hurry to jump on D8 for now. [See Reasons below]
    • My current D7 workload is a flood. I'd love to read all the blogs and watch all the videos, and gain some valuable D8 skills, but due to the "higher than ever before" learning curve, I simply can not be casual in my pursuit of D8. I don't think I'm alone in that assessment.
    • I'm really looking forward to DrupalCon Los Angeles where I expect a large number of Drupal 8 sessions on which I can really focus. I even suspect that some sessions will be targeted at individuals such as myself, those without a comp-sci background who have done very well with Drupal 7 and earlier. [hint hint]

Drupal 7 image

  • Selling D7
    • I will continue to sell D7 services and I fully expect the demand to remain steady or, more likely, to grow throughout 2015.

Backdrop CMS Logo

  • Selling BackdropCMS
    • I have supported BackdropCMS from the beginning. 
    • Version 1.0 launches 1/15/15 and I’m excited about promoting, selling, and developing with it!

Let me say unequivocally that I'm absolutely excited about Drupal 8! I will be delivering a Drupal 8 Site Building Workshop at SxSw Interactive this year where I will be extolling the value, power, and business case for D8!

I believe:

  • a] The front-end experience will be amazing! This will allow us to cast off "some" of the shackles of legacy UI complaints.
  • b] End-users will really appreciate the improvements to the content authoring experience.
  • c] The move to OOP and Symfony2 components will:
    • 1] Usher in a new era of “higher-end” developers.
    • 2] Usher in a new era of shops, who don’t use Drupal now but are very successful in other technologies. I see these shops going after the “higher-end” clients.

At the same time, I also believe that:

  • Change comes with a cost [Borrowed that phrase from a Jen Lampton & Nate Haug keynote]
  • Some Drupal shops and some independent developers will be very slow to ramp up to the complexities of Drupal 8
  • These D7 holdouts will still be selling D7 services for a long long time to come. [1yr? 2yr? more?]
  • Within the first 12months after Drupal 8 is released, we will still see large projects starting on Drupal 7 or BackdropCMS.
  • In the 2nd 12months after the release of Drupal 8, many will be shocked at how many sites STILL will be launched on Drupal 7 or BackdropCMS, some of them “high-profile.”

Why do I believe all of this?

Simple… I spend a lot of time with Universities, Governments, Private Companies, Non-profits, etc. who have benefited significantly from using Drupal. I don’t sit at a desk 40+ hours/wk doing Drupal. I fly around and train and consult to help people truly take “Ownership” of their Drupal projects. While they will LOVE the front-end experience of Drupal 8, I am here to tell you that they are already concerned about the sweeping changes that they know are coming in Drupal 8. Many of them have mastered hooks and TPL files and they are very used to that system. Moving to Drupal 8 sounds like moving to a whole new CMS. They are exactly right in their assessment. I see BackdropCMS as an easy sell to organizations who will find themselves in this common situation.

NOTE::: This is a calculated cost. It is well known that the sweeping changes will result, to some degree, in a fall-off of developers and clients. But the anticipated upside is that D8 will pick up new, and possibly lucrative, markets that hold the potential to more than replace the losses. This is a change that must happen. It’s a healthy, natural evolution of a proven tool. [See next point]


I believe that too. I believe Drupal MUST make these changes. I believe that Drupal has been evolving slowly over time and is now making a quantum leap into this position. Abandoning 1999 coding practices in 2014 is the very definition of “Showing up late to the party.”
I get it…
But just because I support the change doesn’t mean that those changes won’t come at a cost. Some say I’m fear-mongering or creating an unhealthy community atmosphere because I speak of the cost of change. I kindly disagree and invite them to wait it out and see what the real cost will be once D8 launches.


Stay tuned for an ALL BackdropCMS blog post.
But for now, I will tell you that I believe in the market viability of BackdropCMS. 
In as much as D8 creates a gap for some clients and developers, BackdropCMS not only fills that gap, but builds epically upon a the proven success of Drupal as we know it now.
It will be exciting to watch the project progress!


I'm shaking with anticipation of how dramatic a change Drupal 8 could have on the web and how many new and exciting ways Drupal 8 will be implemented. I saw Drupal 7 blow 6 out of the water. I saw 6 improve upon 5. Can I expect any less from 8?
I'm also hedging my bets and taking care of my existing clients and clients similar to them. I'm insuring that I can offer a suitable solution for their current, as well as future, needs. I believe that BackdropCMS is a sustainable, viable, solution that will fit many use-cases going forward.