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Drupal Web Developer Career Series Post 1: Drupal Jobs Landscape

DrupalEasy was really jazzed to host the career how-to session with community leaders, living Drupal success stories, and a panel of talent-hungry recruiters from Drupal organizations around the world At DrupalCon Austin. Drupal Career Trailhead; Embark on a Path to Success provided so much great information on mapping out your Drupal Career, and so many people asked about follow up, that we realized it warranted some further dissemination.

Don't Be Afraid! We'll Walk You Through It! Migrate in Core Testing Sprint at DrupalCon Austin

Getting involved with Drupal core development is scary. There's a lot of really smart people involved and it can be intimidating. The learning curve can be steep and an "easy" task can turn into hours of frustration. Your inner voice tries to convince you that you don't know enough to contribute to Drupal core, and your fear of embarrassing yourself has you referring to Drupal core contributors as "them" instead of "us".

Luckily, the Drupal community provides a cure for all this. DrupalCon sprints. Imagine a day where the entire community comes together looking (stalking, perhaps) for new contributors, regardless of their skill level, sits them down at tables with some of the most experience developers in our community, and takes the time to take them from zero to productive in less than a day. Sound exciting? It should - and if you're going to be in Austin next week, then there's only one place you should be on Friday, June 6.

Our Big (even by Texas standards) DrupalCon Session

It’s no secret DrupalEasy’s commitment to Drupal talent career development is as big as our passion for Drupal itself. What’s not been so conspicuous, is the role of so many organizations that share that commitment, many of whom support dozens of our students with mentoring, internships, jobs and referrals. Their stealth ends in Austin.

We are so happy to announce (and lure you to) our Texas-sized panel of awesome Drupal talent-focused players who will be enlightening us at the Drupal Career TrailHead; Embark on a Path to Success business track lab session at DrupalCon. The team includes insightful executives, living case studies, career experts, and recruiters for Drupal’s fastest growing organizations that represent what is and what will be coming down the pike for Drupal talent in the US and abroad.

Nancy Stango, CEO of BlinkReaction, will charge up the session with her take on where growth is the greatest, and where you should be focusing your talents to steer your career toward opportunity-rich niches. Nancy knows a little bit about growth; having just hired 35 excellent Drupalers to Blink over the past few months, and comes to DrupalCon with one mission; to hire 35 more.

Florida DrupalCamp 2014 - Six Years In, Stronger Than Ever

More than 300 people from all over the country converged on the sixth annual Florida DrupalCamp the weekend of March 8-9. We made some changes to several aspects of the camp based on feedback from previous years, most of which attendees embraced.

Perhaps our most significant deviation from previous camps (and from most DrupalCamps) was that we did away with the keynote speaker. We had a couple of reasons for doing this. First, our venue's auditorium wasn't large enough to hold all of our attendees (or to even come close). Second, we found that it is difficult to find a single keynote speaker that a large majority of the attendees will be interested in. Our solution was really well-received: double-length sessions with "featured speakers" well-known in the community.

Light a Candle

Right now, there are nine, highly motivated people on the East Coast of Florida who are burning the midnight oil... focusing evenings on classes and labs, and days on projects and resources to master the Drupal skills that build new careers and make them valuable members of the Drupal Community. They are the select few of the 2014 Drupal Career Starter Program, and in less than two months, most will be ready for work experience as interns.

Florida DrupalCamp 2014: Breaking New Ground

FLDC home page

For the sixth consecutive year, Florida DrupalCamp will be one of the largest gathering of Drupal users in the southeast United States. Taking place on Saturday, March 8 (sessions) and Sunday, March 9 (community day), there’s no better way to level-up your skills, network with the Drupal community, and to remind you how awesome it is to be involved with this amazing project. Along with numerous other organizations, DrupalEasy is once again proud to help to sponsor and organize Florida DrupalCamp. Our amazing team of organizers from around the state (as from outside of Florida as well!) has decided to rethink a couple of the standard DrupalCamp “things” in an effort to make the event more productive for attendees and sponsors.

Feed Your Organization's Pet Drupal Project a Willing New Site Builder

Most Drupal shops always seem to have a few pet projects on the to-do list that are perpetually 2-3 months off - those pesky bill-paying client projects always seem to get in the way. If only there was some way to throw some person-hours at them as a way of gaining some momentum and making some progress. It's actually not that difficult to find the right developer (if you know where to look), the payoff could be great (especially if it can be an additional revenue stream for your organization), and it could help max out your karma score.

tl;dr: We're getting ready to graduate 18 such developers - contact me if you'd like to see if one of them is a good fit for your organization.

Bringing on a new Drupal developer who is hungry for experience could be the perfect solution since many of the posted job openings for Drupal talent are for (seemingly) everything but junior developers.

Filling the Drupal Talent Pool

fountain image Thomas Edison said, "There is far more opportunity than there is ability," which still holds true in many technology sectors today, especially in the Drupal Community. For years we’ve sailed onward with a pretty lean "experienced" talent pool – sometimes overextending ourselves, our employees, and our contractors. We’re good, but we lack numbers. And if we keep on this way, we are not only going to lose market share for Drupal, we’re going to lose talented people to burnout and discontent.

A Different Kind of Drupal Community Contribution: Mentoring

mentoring

The Drupal community has a problem, or perhaps it's better to say a perception problem. We tend to look at contributions to Drupal through code-tainted glasses.

This isn't really all that surprising, seeing how we are an open-source software project. We'd be nothing without the plethora of talented developers who, over the past 12 years, have helped make Drupal one of the top content management systems available today. It's also fair to say that two other types of contributions are well-known: documentation and community organizing. Both play a vital role in the health of our project. Without strong documentation it would be (even more) difficult climb the Drupal learning curve, and without community organizers, I doubt anyone would argue that our growth wouldn't be nearly as fast.

But there is another huge contribution that needs to come into view. It's one that I'd argue is equally as important as code, documentation, and community organization if the project is to grow and develop; and that is mentoring. A lack of guidance among newbies is creating longer paths to proficiency, and we are destined to keep struggling with seasoned-talent shortage if we, at least some of us, don't shift our priorities a bit. We've got plenty of awesome code, but it's no small issue that our supply of developers, at the level we are all looking to hire, is becoming a handicap to the development of Drupal.

We feel it is so key to Drupal's future, that we've made it an integral part of our 10-week Drupal Career Starter Program.

tl;dr version: we're looking for mentors, you should apply.

Can government do for Drupal talent what Drupal has done for government web sites?

Talent/Idea crossword Everyone seems to need more and better Drupal talent. There are too many instances where projects are delayed, or even turned away or lost because we can't find the people with the proficiency to do the work. Even though high demand for Drupal is a relatively good problem, it is still one that begs for a solution. There's a plethora of training programs (including through DrupalEasy) out there for the self-motivated, tech savvy, Drupal-aware. The issue is, even with the mass of training available and promoted through the community, we still can't fill the gap, especially for the community's long term needs. This dilemma exists for the same reason that we face awareness challenges of the Drupal CMS overall; there is no sizable list of behemoth companies with huge marketing budgets or focused, funded, grand scale efforts to raise awareness outside of the community.

Florida DrupalCamp 2013 Coding for a Cause

Caught doing good braceletsFlorida DrupalCamp 2013 invited four local non-profit organizations to take part in our annual Coding for a Cause event. Held the day after the camp sessions, over 30 volunteers help with site-building, theming, and content management tasks for the lucky organizations.

This year's event focused on four local 501(c)(3) non-profits that were selected from the application process. Each selected organization was required to agree to:

Video: What is Drupal? (for people who don't know what a CMS is)

I've been on the road a lot lately, touting the opportunities that Drupal offers to workforce and economic development efforts of regions and states. Thing is, before we can get to all the advantages for regions to develop a Drupal-talented workforce, we have to educate a lot of government leaders, commissions and committees on what Drupal is and does.