By now, we all know that recruiters worldwide are putting in long hours trying to find Drupal talent for their clients. Recently I had a LinkedIn exchange with a recruiter who asked me three questions. After answering them, I decided it would make a nice blog post.
Here's that exchange:
- Do you think that the Drupal market will continue to grow at such impressive rates?
I truly do.
Drupal 8 is do out early next year  and will take an already amazing, high-demand platform and make it even better! National Governments, States, Cities, K12, Higher-ed, Private Enterprise, every market is seeing tremendous growth in Drupal. I only see that increasing and I see it increasing rapidly!
- What do you think the advantages of Drupal over other CMS providers such as Joomla or WordPress are?
As a community, we welcome in people like no other platform. We have volunteer led programs that help people learn Drupal. We have volunteer led programs that help people contribute to the project either through code, documentation, or other means.
The marketplace knows this too. I can't tell you how many times a decision has been made for Drupal because the potential client realized that Drupal is a community out of which the software comes. The user groups are well organized, the regional conferences [DrupalCamps] often get press for their famous keynotes and goings ons, our national conference [DrupalCon] take place in a number of continents once a year and see thousands of attendees and again, lots of press.
Drupal is more than a platform. It's an extension and driving force of the OpenSource movement. Any one can gain a Drupal site and they will realize the benefits of having one. However, if they adopt some agile, OpenSource ideology and methodology, they stand an excellent chance of not only decreasing costs but also substantially increasing the quality of their web-experience, and becoming an innovator in their field rather than a follower.
- Do you think Drupal has the potential to become the biggest CMS provider worldwide?
I'm going to answer that in terms of Market Share and respond with "Maybe not."
The market for CMSs is not a zero sum game. There are more sites using a CMS today than there were a year ago. There will be more tomorrow. I believe that many of these new sites are very simple and serve a very narrowly defined purpose. For those situations, I am seeing organizations buying one more license of their proprietary CMS or throwing up another simple instance of WordPress.
Another factor of this is that the supply of Drupal developers is currently too low. The corollary to that is that the high demand is driving up the costs of getting a Drupal site developed. Thus fewer Drupal Shops are really targeting those smaller projects. I loved small projects years ago. Today I find small project have too much overhead of client wrangling which eats into the profit margins.
I expect to see the smaller website market continue to not embrace Drupal for the foreseeable future. Solutions like http://DrupalGardens.com and the proliferation of Drupal distributions https://drupal.org/project/distributions have helped Drupal stay in the game on the lower end, but I believe the Supply Side of Drupal Economics [We need more Drupalers!] needs to improve before we can keep up with, let alone dominate in the rapid launching of these smaller sites on other platforms.
I can't say we're going to become the "biggest CMS provider worldwide." But I will say that we are already the biggest CMS provider worldwide for "larger" organizations and "larger" sites such as Universities, Governments, Media organizations, Marketing organizations, etc.
- The demand for Drupal is climbing quickly.
- The demand for people who can build Drupal sites is extremely high. this includes Front end, Back end, Site building, Theming, Project Managing, etc.
- The number of recruiters looking for a Drupal developer is also growing quickly.
- I believe the success rate of recruiters finding Drupal talent is quite low. I think many times the client realizes it isn't going to happen, then chooses to seek a Drupal consultant or a Drupal firm to handle the need.
- The situation is so desperate that even the recruiters are partnering with Drupal consultants and Drupal firms to find creative solutions to satisfying their clients appetite for Drupal talent. I have done a few relationships like this where I perform the exact role of a consultant or contractor BUT I'm actually employed by the recruiting agency. So far, that has worked very well for both me, the recruiter and the client.