How to Build a Great Drupal Team


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  • Introduce them briefly: “Summer and Meagen have two different roles and work in two very different job markets.”Ask Summer to introduce herself. Then Meagen explains what is different about her role. Summer manages engagements. More comparable to an agency. Media companies. Meagen is managing one engagement. More comparable to an internal. We work for a large federal agency.
  • Blog post
  • Heather introduces "One person can't know everything they need to know." Will described the roles that are cornerstones of a successful Drupal team, each with their own specialty. "For example, the chances of any average developer having JavaScript expertise is pretty rare," he said.
  • Summer – our projects span 3 to 30 people. Small teams work well in agile. Though sometimes you can’t convince a client. Fixed costs waterfall projects work better for large teams. Seen successful in large projects.
  • Meagen has 6 developers, 2.5 project managers, assorted support roles. Fairly large. We use Kanban, overall agile. We support a number of codebases. There are 5 separate code bases. We also work with external partners. In a single code-base… people can do what ever they want. Multiple people on multiple code bases. We have the same dev process across multiple processes. We need pair programming, you need a critical mass – a
  • Meagen, explain this?
  • Devise what you need – an example is included in the blog post. You need your own skill matrix - “We need a JavaScript ninja.”This could be a nice tie in – as you build a Drupal practice. But also with professional development. Here’s where you need to improve.
  • Meagen works in a geographical area where the competition is high. We can’t be competitive with salary. We have to think about requirements – look at skills matrix. What is trainable? We have to think more broadly. We get someone lower on the skills matrix, but higher on the drive. We invest in training and mentoring. Is it a concrete skill + the ability to learn to grow?(We’ll mention “pitching” the company in the next Step) -
  • Responsibilities include:This identifies the tasks that the role carries out on a day to day basis. While these are requirements, it leaves the possibility that individuals could be trained for certain tasks.Candidates will need to demonstrate:This outlines the previous experience which PreviousNext is expecting they will find from the qualified candidates.Desirable:This outlines capabilities or experience which would set out a candidate from other applicants.
  • From Eric Gaffen
  • Summer said she has not seen this before. Summer is in the Bay area. So many start ups, lots of competition. People want flexibility. Meagen: I’ve gotten the question – Work/life balance – how successful at maintaining a work/life balance? The folks in my team 40-44 hr work week. It’s unusual for developers.
  • Summer got client approval ahead of time. Meagen goes to community meet ups.
  • Free to list!
  • Many “working groups” do not like job postings.
  • While posting jobs or making profiles is free for participants, profiles on Careers 2.0 are by invitation only. Will explained the simple mechanics based on trust: "You can pre-qualify by having a certain score on Stack Overflow, meet certain metrics on Github, or be invited by someone at Stack Exchange, or another programmer already in the Careers database. This is to ensure everyone is a programmer, and companies don't have to weed through irrelevant profiles."
  • Advice against spamming: Tell people to come talk with you at an event; share quotes from colleagues, etc. Add value, good content. Not just COME WORK FOR US.
  • Referall
  • Having a robust profile does make it easier to review. With that said, even at Acquia we’ve hired many really great people who didn’t have robust profiles when they applied.
  • Such as explaining something v technical to someone non-technical. Interpersonal skills. Make person comfortable as possible – being a cheer leader.
  • Gotcha questions?
  • How to Build a Great Drupal Team

    1. 1. 5 Steps to Build a Great Drupal Team (ebook link!) 1
    2. 2. Guest speakers Summer Swigart, Practice Manager at Acquia 2 Meagen Williams, Program Director, Acquia
    3. 3. 5 Steps to build your team 1. Understand typical teams, roles and job titles 2. Define your requirements 3. Widen your net with your job description 4. Where and how to post jobs 5. Evaluating applicants Blog series 3
    4. 4. Step 1 Understand team roles and job titles 4
    5. 5. Will Huggins, Zoocha – Dream Team Role Typical tasks A Drupal configuration Comfortable using Drupal; not expert necessarily coding A senior developer, solutions architect Theming / Front end development 5 Planning, research solutions, create demos, discover hidden requirements Develop the front of the site to a design specification
    6. 6. Small Teams • Technical Lead (required) • Project Manager (required) • Junior Developer • Themer • Quality Assurance Specialist 6 • What are “small team” projects like?
    7. 7. Large Teams Project Management Team • Engagement Manager • Project Manager • Quality Assurance Specialist Technical Team • • • • • 7 Technical Architect Technical Lead Senior Developer/Developer Junior Developer Themer • What are “large team” projects like?
    8. 8. An ideal ratio? • 1 codebase = 1.75 people = 8
    9. 9. Devise your skill matrix 9
    10. 10. Step 2 Define your requirements 10
    11. 11. Avoid the laundry list Job posting for Penny Arcade 11
    12. 12. Defining requirements • Meagen: How do you deal with a smaller budget? • Summer: How do you define the absolute requirements? 12
    13. 13. What is absolutely required versus merely desired? • Responsibilities include: – Day to day tasks • Candidates will need to demonstrate: – Expected experience • Desirable: – What will set you apart from the rest From a Previous Next job posting 13
    14. 14. Role of training and mentoring? • What training is available? • What kind of mentoring on on-the-job learning do you provide? 14
    15. 15. Transferable skills 15
    16. 16. Step 3 Widen your net – Write your job listings 16
    17. 17. Pitch your company to candidates They want to know: • What is the company culture? • Will I be working with smart people? • Are you building something interesting? • 17 Advice from Careers 2.0 team
    18. 18. Example job listing outline • Start off with the "30 second elevator pitch" - Why this job and our company is great. • Next, define the roles and responsibilities • Then list the must-have skills 18
    19. 19. Selling the job • Summer: The Drupal market is on fire – how do you “sell” the roles? What are developers looking for? • Meagen: What patterns do you see? 19
    20. 20. Attend community events – sponsor, speak! 20
    21. 21. Working with the community • How do you engage with the community? • Summer- how have you used case studies at events? • Meagen- what are community meet-ups like? 21
    22. 22. Step 4 Where and how to post jobs 22
    23. 23. “g.d.o” 23 Drupal community site - Free listings List in regional groups
    24. 24. Be a good citizen! • Look out for group guidelines • Particularly “Please do not post job adverts in this group” 24
    25. 25. Weekly Drop 25 Newsletter $40 to list 3300+ subscribers
    26. 26. Careers 2.0 26 Connected to Stackoverflow Invitation only to improve quality of candidates
    27. 27. OnSaavy 27 Connect to freelancers Review profiles Add your company profile
    28. 28. Twitter! 28 #drupal #drupaluk Careful of “spamming” at events
    29. 29. How do you hire? • Summer – How do you hire? • Meagen – How does your experience compare? 29
    30. 30. Staff Referrals • Very important! 30
    31. 31. Step 5 Evaluating applicants 31
    32. 32. Use various methods for evaluation • • • • • • 32 Interviews Code review Portfolio review Community involvement Case study presentations “Pair as interviews”
    33. 33. “d.o” profile 33 Public profile for Drupal developers
    34. 34. Ask about community involvement 34
    35. 35. 35 Gild is also aggregating data and helping employers “cast aside preconceived and wide spread biases,” for example about what universities people went to, and increase the chances of talented people finding their dream job. (Gild best practices, 13 Nov 2013)
    36. 36. Screening • Meagen – What advice do you have for non-technical people to screen candidates? 36
    37. 37. Technical interviews • Summer – How do you discover gaps? What do you look out for? • Meagen- What are some good interview techniques? 37
    38. 38. Using case studies • Give an actual problem, relating closely to real situations. • They present a solution to a small team. 38
    39. 39. Any Questions? 39