Acquia U

Due to Drupal's remarkable growth, the demand for Drupal talent continues to exceed the supply. Every Drupal company I talk to -- and I talk to many of them all around the world -- has a difficult time attracting enough qualified Drupal talent. The same is true for Acquia.

To help address that problem we are launching Acquia U, a program to employ and train recent and upcoming college graduates in Drupal. We will enroll these candidates in an intensive 6 month paid training program.

Selected candidates will start the training with six weeks of hands-on, classroom-style training in Drupal. After this initial training, they will rotate through Acquia's support, engineering and professional services teams, through select Acquia partner projects, and continue to receive on-the-job instruction and training. Candidates will spend 6 weeks in each team. Combined, this program will give candidates 6 months of real-world experience, and give participants insight into available work in Drupal.

At the end of the program, candidates will become part of one of the teams at Acquia. We believe that this effort, and similar ones undertaken by our partners and customers, will create some of the key Drupal contributors of the future.

We're very excited about this program so let us know if you are interested!

Comments

Zohar Stolar (not verified):

This is truly remarkable. A step towards Drupal certification? ;)

November 7, 2011
Kelly Bell (not verified):

I don't care about certification. A brief conversation with a candidate-developer is all it takes - that, and a drupal.org username.

I do, however, care very much about training up as many new highly-trained Drupal developers as possible, as fast as possible, since we're obviously in a crisis. Access to a coherent, cohesive, well-written curriculum would be a real step forward.

Crossing fingers,
-kbell

November 8, 2011
Sree (not verified):

Good to see this initiative taken!

I suggested this at few places where I worked on some Drupal assignments. But, I couldn't get enough support from management to this initiative.

It is good to see this initiative being actioned now.

November 8, 2011
Anonymous (not verified):

Where will this be? Any plans in Europe?

November 8, 2011
Kelly Bell (not verified):

Are you going to open source the curriculum? Now THAT would be a significant step forward, with the added bonus of being the right thing to do!

Kelly Bell
Founder and CEO
Gotham City Drupal

November 8, 2011
Erich Ludwig (not verified):

@Kelly -
Glad that we are on the same page about training as many "new highly-trained Drupal developers as possible, as fast as possible."

That is exactly what is behind the range of efforts we're engaged in here at Acquia including:

  • Our heavy involvement in the open-curriculum initiatives within the community - http://groups.drupal.org/node/172419
  • HelloDrupal - http://training.acquia.com/hellodrupal - an introductory course we developed and are encouraging anyone and everyone to run. This is designed to quickly grow the number of people who are exposed to Drupal and know how to do basic things. Anyone can download and use this material.
  • Free training for students in the Boston area - see my blog post on this: https://acquia.com/blog/free-drupal-training-students
  • Acquia U - this awesome (imho) new program we're launching to hire, pay, train, mentor, and develop potential new rockstars. This represents a significant investment by Acquia in growing the community, as well as growing our staff and the learning material around this program.

As to the question about open-sourcing the curriculum for Acquia U - there is certain to be quite a bit of what we're doing that will be Acquia-centric and specific to the outcomes we're looking for with this program (for example - the support ticketing system we use, the hosting platform we use, etc). The parts that are more general (assuming the program is successful), will be worked on in concert with various Acquia training partners, and lessons learned funneled back into the open curriculum discussions. I'm hoping to discuss these lessons and outcomes at Denver (I've proposed a session there), which would be a great opportunity to discuss this in full community.

I'm in active discussion with a variety of our training partners now on how to expand and grow this program. These partners are looking to also make investments in hiring and training. I'm certainly interested in hearing more voices on this (many hands together make a lighter load). Feel free to contact me directly to discuss further.

@anonymous - we're starting Acquia U in Boston (full press release here: https://www.acquia.com/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/acquia-launches-...). If it goes well, we'll see where it heads next...

Best,
Erich Ludwig
Director, Learning Services @ Acquia

November 9, 2011
Heather (not verified):

@ Zohar, if you're interested in certification, please come and participate in mapping skills within Drupal in the Open Curriculum project. We need a few more hands on deck!
See: http://groups.drupal.org/node/172439 You could map even one skill set, and that would be a huge huge help. http://groups.drupal.org/node/172434

@ Kelly - In a sense, we're taking a group of college students and bringing them on staff, in paid on-the-job training to learn Drupal. There is no pre-requisite that they know anything about Drupal or even have a Drupal.org account :) They will be learning our products and services. They'll be working on staff in client advisory or other teams. For example, if they work on Drupal Gardens, they are also likely working on contributing back improvements to core or contributed code. I hope that clarifies things a bit?

@ Anonymous - we hope if we can make this work we can share experience and insight with others who want to try the same thing, all over the world. We feel this is the best way to grow the Drupal community.

November 9, 2011
Zohar Stolar (not verified):

@Heather: Done! :) http://groups.drupal.org/node/172434#comment-624859
It's only a comment for now, not embedded into the graphic yet.

November 10, 2011
Alex UA (not verified):

This is phenomenal, and something we (at Zivtech) have been considering doing for a long time, though ultimately we're much more capital and space constrained than Acquia is, so it's never been practical. This has the potential to seriously raise the bar for Drupal trainings, and I look forward to learning from your experience (albeit from afar).

One thing that we've struggled with as we've brought on people who weren't already Drupal community members is that we can teach them to be great developers, but it's much harder to teach them to become enthusiastic community members. I'm wondering: are you going to try to get these individuals to engage with the community during this period? If so, how?

November 9, 2011
Mac_Weber (not verified):

I am very excited about Acquia U.

I have been helping the community as a moderator of PT-br at l.d.o, I sent some patches to core, but I really want to be able to help even more and spread the knowledge I get.

Please consider international applications!

November 9, 2011
Bryan (not verified):

I would love to be a part of this. I graduate within a year and I definitely intend on applying. :)

If prior knowledge of Drupal isn't a requirement, then what is most important? I guess I am asking, would should people like me do between now and the time they apply to have an excellent shot at being accepted?

November 13, 2011
Erich Ludwig (not verified):

@Bryan -
Great! Please do go apply at http://acquia.com/careers/acquia-u

Most important is interest and ability to learn (ie - potential). If you don't already work in Drupal, starting to learn and explore the community and the software would certainly be helpful to both your application and your eventual success in Drupal. Feel free to direct further questions to this blog or to training [at] acquia.com

November 14, 2011
Dhintak (not verified):

So hire fresh graduates at lower rates, train them and lay off Sr. Development Team?

What happens when these graduates get head hunted by other firms?

November 14, 2011
Erich Ludwig (not verified):

@Dhintak -
Cynical much?

We need MORE people in Drupal, and MORE people in Acquia. So your plan doesn't make sense. We hire "fresh graduates" and use them to supplement the rest of our team. We get to then each focus on different aspects of our products, services, and continue to growing Drupal. Given the recent press around a lack of entry level jobs in our economy, we think Acquia U represents a really great opportunity.

Hopefully throughout we're creating the kind of environment where we keep employees happy and engaged in their work and in the community here at Acquia. If and when employees leave Acquia, we hope they stay engaged in the larger Drupal community.

November 14, 2011
Jacob Singh (not verified):

Trust me dude, I'm not worried about my Sr. Developer job getting taken ;)

two points:

1. If you're good in software, you'll have no problem finding work at a good salary. This isn't art history here.

2. A company needs a mix of fresh and experienced to be successful. Both for cost reasons and culture reasons.

The counter to your argument would be a world where there were no entry level positions because everyone needs to be worth $100k/yr before they could be hired.

November 25, 2011

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