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Palantir: D8FTW: Your Next Drupal Hire Isn't a Drupal Hire

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2014 - 6:17am

One challenge the Drupal community has faced for some time is a labor shortage. There are, quite simply, not enough skilled Drupal developers to go around. That's quite a problem when the Drupal market is continuing to grow steadily.

One of the challenges to finding good Drupal talent is that Drupal has historically been, well, weird. And by "weird" I mean "entirely unlike any other system on the market". That makes few skills transferrable between Drupal and any other PHP framework, application, or system. Developers trained on Drupal cannot easily transition to any other system and developers trained on any other modern PHP system get lost in arrays the minute they set foot in the door. It's a sufficiently large problem that I've talked to other development shop owners that have said outright they have more success hiring fresh, junior developers and training them on Drupal as their first system than hiring anyone with experience, as those with more extensive PHP experience run for the door.

That's a big problem. Fortunately, that's about to change.

For the past several years, the Drupal project has been working to Get Off the Island. Drupal 8 will be using more standard, common PHP and programming-in-general tools, techniques, and architectures, making it more accessible to more developers than ever before, even non-PHP developers. The number of Drupal developers showing up at non-Drupal events is rising; For example, Lonestar PHP 2013 had two; Lonestar PHP 2014 had 10 (which for a 200 person conference is a very respectable number). I've noticed similar trends at other PHP conferences.

But to really seal the deal and help fill the Drupal employment gap, it's time for Drupal employers to step and do their part: Selling off the island.

With Drupal 8, and the buzz around it in the general PHP community, there will be an increasing number of general PHP developers interested in working with Drupal and who are better qualified to work on Drupal. (Not with no training, but with far less retraining than Drupal 7 requires.) Those developers, though, won't just walk in the door. They have no reason to come to a DrupalCamp, and probably not even a DrupalCon. As a Drupal consultancy or Drupal-based company you need to go out and find them. The core team has done its part, now it's time to do yours.

A friend of mine once said that if you want to meet people with whom you have a shared interest you need to go where people with that interest hang out. That applies for hiring, too. So where does the next round of Drupal talent hang out? At non-Drupal events. If you don't then someone else will hire the next generation of senior developers before you do.

  • Have a presence at events: Ensure that your employees aren't just going to Drupal Camps. Make sure that some of them go to general PHP or general Javascript conferences, too. Not only is is good professional development for them (which makes them stronger developers and therefore stronger members of your team) it's good advertising for you. The word-of-mouth impact of knowing one or two smart, friendly people at "that Drupal shop" greatly helps when someone is looking for a new challenge.
  • Have a presence on stage: Make no mistake, presenting is hard work. It takes a lot of preparation to give a good talk, and that takes time. But the impact of having someone from your company on-stage is 10x that of having them walking around the hallway with other attendees. If someone from your team can present on work that you've done that's fantastic. But even just presenting on something cool, interesting, insightful, or otherwise useful can be a big help to your company's brand. Also, light branding of the presentation itself is completely OK as long as it's not gratuitous. That's a much more targeted form of marketing than exists anywhere else, online or off; you have a self-selecting group of potential hires in one room together. Let your team be what they're there to see.
  • Sponsor: Drupal shops sponsor events all the time. Every DrupalCon and DrupalCamp has a long list of sponsors that help make the event happen and many of those have a physical presence as well with a table or booth. Sure, that is in part to help support the community and it should be commended. But let's be honest, few companies are going to sponsor an event unless they think the marketing value of it is a good return. Clearly, many companies do think it's a good return because they keep doing it. Why should the return be any different at a non-Drupal event? Historically it's been lower because Drupal was so isolated from the rest of the PHP world but that's changing. Sponsoring a general PHP, Javascript, or web developer conference is becoming just as useful a marketing endeavor as sponsoring a Drupal-specific event.

At the start of 2013 I laid out a challenge to Drupal developers: Attend at least two non-Drupal events that year. I'll now lay the same challenge out to Drupal-based companies: Encourage your team to present at at least two non-Drupal events in the next year, and sponsor at least two non-Drupal events in the next year. There's no shortage of them; there's over a dozen PHP conferences just in the USA every year and more around the world.

Your next Drupal hire is going to come from a non-Drupal background, especially a senior-level developer. If you want to hire them before someone else does, get out to where they are. It's a whole new market if you're willing to embrace it.

Categories: Drupal

Commerce License OG

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2014 - 5:10am

Commerce license integration for Organic Groups. A blog post detailing the development of this module can be found at DrupalCommerce.org!

Categories: Drupal

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Contribute to Drupal(.org)!

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2014 - 4:00am

So at DrupalCon Austin I had a great time at the contribution sprints. I worked on some issues affecting Drupal.org, it was great fun!

The issues we worked on over the week range from simple things through to some pretty difficult issues.

Although Drupal core can always use more contributors, I would suggest that Drupal.org is also desperately short of contributors too.

Categories: Drupal

KnackForge: Drupal 7: Invoking custom callback in maintenance mode

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2014 - 3:10am
In a Drupal site, if we have any module upgrade or configuration related work to be done in our live site, it is recommended to put the site in maintenance mode, so we can prevent end users from experiencing glitches.   When the site is operating in maintenance mode, any page request would return only maintenance message. Some pages are allowed to access though. The login functionality for instance will work in the maintenance mode. Recently, I faced such a requirements in which a custom module's callback to be invoked as to let Single Sign On (SSO) work for admin in maintenance mode. I would like to explain the way I fixed the same in this blog.   There is a hook in Drupal 7 for that, hook_menu_site_status_alter(). With this hook we can control the site status before menu dispatching, So we can change the site status for the particular path.  
Categories: Drupal

User Popup Info

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2014 - 2:37am

With this module, you can see a mini profile view of a user when mouse is hovered over his/her profile link anywhere on the website. The effect is similar to what you get when you hover mouse over your friend's name on social networking sites like facebook, linkedin, etc.
You also get a feature where you can ignore certain links on which this module should not operate.

Categories: Drupal

I'm Reaching My Limit - by Benjamin Quintero

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 August 2014 - 1:26am
Can I just buy my games please?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Brains as Carriers : One Moment... you are being reprogrammed - by Andreas Ahlborn

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 August 2014 - 1:24am
Why Free-to-Play is a good thing if you are seriously into Zombies.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Open Source and social capital

Dries Buytaert - 26 August 2014 - 12:27am
Topic: Drupal

The notion that people contributing to Open Source don't get paid is false. Contributors to Open Source are compensated for their labor; not always with financial capital (i.e. a paycheck) but certainly with social capital. Social capital is a rather vague and intangible concept so let me give some examples. If you know someone at a company where you are applying for a job and this connection helps you get that job, you have used social capital. Or if you got a lead or a business opportunity through your network, you have used social capital. Or when you fall on hard times and you rely on friends for emotional support, you're also using social capital.

The term "social" refers to the fact that the value is in the network of relationships; they can't be owned like personal assets. Too many people believe that success in life is based on the individual, and that if you do not have success in life, there is no one to blame but yourself. The truth is that individuals who build and use social capital get better jobs, better pay, faster promotions and are more effective compared to peers who are not tapping the power of social capital. As shown in the examples, social capital also translates into happiness and well-being.

Most Open Source contributors benefit from social capital but may not have stopped to think about it, or may not value it appropriately. Most of us in the Open Source world have made friendships for life, have landed jobs because of our contributions, others have started businesses together, and for others it has provided an important sense of purpose. Once you become attuned to spotting social capital being leveraged, you see it everywhere, every day. I could literally write a book filled with hundreds of stories about how contributing to Open Source changed people's lives -- I love hearing these stories.

Social capital is a big deal; it is worth understanding, worth talking about, and worth investing in. It is key to achieving personal success, business success and even happiness.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Open Source and social capital

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2014 - 12:27am
Topic: Drupal

The notion that people contributing to Open Source don't get paid is false. Contributors to Open Source are compensated for their labor; not always with financial capital (i.e. a paycheck) but certainly with social capital. Social capital is a rather vague and intangible concept so let me give some examples. If you know someone at a company where you are applying for a job and this connection helps you get that job, you have used social capital. Or if you got a lead or a business opportunity through your network, you have used social capital. Or when you fall on hard times and you rely on friends for emotional support, you're also using social capital.

The term "social" refers to the fact that the resources are not personal assets; no single person owns them. Instead, the resources are in the network of relationships. Too many people believe that success in life is based on the individual, and that if you do not have success in life, there is no one to blame but yourself. The truth is that individuals who build and use social capital get better jobs, better pay, faster promotions and are more effective compared to peers who are not tapping the power of social capital. As shown in the examples, social capital also translates into happiness and well-being.

Most Open Source contributors benefit from social capital but may not have stopped to think about it, or may not value it appropriately. Most of us in the Open Source world have made friendships for life, have landed jobs because of our contributions, others have started businesses together, and for others it has provided an important sense of purpose. Once you become attuned to spotting social capital being leveraged, you see it everywhere, every day. I could literally write a book filled with hundreds of stories about how contributing to Open Source changed people's lives -- I love hearing these stories.

Social capital is a big deal; it is worth understanding, worth talking about, and worth investing in. It is key to achieving personal success, business success and even happiness.

Categories: Drupal

Simple Language field

New Drupal Modules - 25 August 2014 - 11:22pm

A simple language field for Drupal 8 with 2 widgets - select options and autocomplete

Categories: Drupal

Greetings from Magrathea: Biomes 101: Tundra & Desert

RPGNet - 25 August 2014 - 11:00pm
Just add climate.
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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