How to Hire a Developer for a Drupal Project

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These are slides from a presentation by Allan Hoffman of Web100.com at DrupalCamp Philadelphia on July 31, 2009. Here's the abstract: Companies, startups, and nonprofits often decide on Drupal for a project, but they don't always have a clear idea about how to hire a company/developer with Drupal expertise. This session will answer questions about hiring a Drupal firm; it will provide tips on how to streamline the process, learn about Drupal (in order to communicate effectively with developers), and do everything possible in order to increase the chances that the project will go smoothly and achieve the desired results.

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How to Hire a Developer for a Drupal Project

  1. 1. Allan Hoffman<br />CEO and Founder, web100<br />Drupaldelphia (DrupalCamp Philadelphia)<br />July 31, 2009<br />How to Hire a Developer for a Drupal Project<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />What we will cover:<br />Benefits of learning about Drupal<br />Deciding what type of developer/company is right for your project<br />Researching developers/companies<br />Contacting and assessing developers, and sending out specs (the more detail, the better)<br />Interviewing developers<br />Seeking references<br />Getting involved in the Drupal community<br />
  3. 3. How and Where to Learn about Drupal<br />Test-drive a Drupal website (the admin interface, that is)<br />Read Using Drupal<br />Watch Lullabot videos<br />Attend a Drupal meetup or event<br />Hire a tutor to answer questions<br />Acquia<br />Install Drupal and experiment with it<br />DAMP (from Acquia)<br />TopNotchThemes<br />
  4. 4. Learning Resources<br />
  5. 5. What to Learn: Terms<br />Node<br />CCK (c0ntent types)<br />Views<br />Theming<br />Modules<br />Core<br />Contrib<br />Taxonomy<br />Clean URLs<br />MySQL<br />LAMP<br />PHP<br />
  6. 6. Study Great Drupal Websites<br />Popular Science (popsci.com)<br />Fast Company<br />Emmys.com<br />Spin Magazine<br />Spread Firefox<br />Zicasso<br />Konigi<br />HarvardScience (harvardscience.harvard.edu)<br />ConsumerSearch.com<br />
  7. 7. Produce Detailed Specs<br />
  8. 8. Types of Firms/Developers<br />Independent/freelance developers specializing in Drupal<br />Web development companies/shops known for Drupal work<br />Companies/shops working with Drupal, among many other technologies<br />Full-service firms/agencies (user experience, marketing, design, development)<br />Developers learning about Drupal<br />
  9. 9. Ways to Scare Off Potential Developers<br />Say: “We’re not really sure what we’re looking for with this project.”<br />Say: “I’ve got no idea how much we need to spend on this.”<br />Say: “I see on oDesk you can hire PHP pros for $10 an hour.”<br />
  10. 10. Sell Yourself<br />Sell your team and your company to developers:<br />Detailed specs<br />Knowledge of Drupal<br />Fun to work with<br />Know what you want<br />Seek a company that’s enthusiastic about your project.<br />
  11. 11. Researching Potential Developers/Firms<br />Local Drupal and web development groups<br />DrupalCon: Look for sponsors and attendees.<br />Drupal.org listings<br />Acquia partners<br />Recommendations<br />One of the best ways: Review the websites created by developers/firms. Which firms have produced websites you like, or websites with functionality similar to yours.<br />
  12. 12. Questions to Ask<br />What questions do you have about the project?<br />What are the challenges of the project?<br />How will you approach Feature X [choose a feature on your site]?<br />Will the site require custom modules?<br />Will you have a project manager working on this, or will we be expected to act as project managers?<br />What do you do to ensure SEO?<br />What happens if we get a spike in traffic?<br />Will you install the site on a server and get it up and running?<br />
  13. 13. More Questions<br />Who at your firm will be working on this? What’s their typical schedules?<br />Can I speak with them?<br />What are some best-practices for Drupal development in use at your firm?<br />How many hours per month of site maintenance do you think this project will require?<br />What sort of contributions has your company made to Drupal?<br />What do you think are the key ingredients to making a project successful?<br />Is there training or support included?<br />Will you recommend a server/host? Do you have a preference?<br />
  14. 14. References<br />Ask for the company’s three most recent clients.<br />Ask references:<br />How would you rate the team’s communication skills?<br />Was it easy to reach team members?<br />What did you like about working with the developer, and what didn’t you like?<br />Were they responsive to your comments and requests?<br />Was the project on budget and deadline?<br />
  15. 15. Contact Info<br />If you would like to contact me, please visit:<br />www.web100.com/contact<br />www.allanhoffman.com<br />Thank you!<br />

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