Wanted: more Drupal talent in Melbourne -- and elsewhere in the world

As some of you may know from my recent tweets and blog posts, I'm currently on a tour down under in Australia. After attending Drupal Downunder in Brisbane, I spent two days in Melbourne. Although my schedule was packed, I was able to meet with several Acquia partners based in Melbourne. I also met with various Drupal users such as the Australian Conservation Foundation (AFC), Monash University, Lonely Planet, Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC), Victoria University, Red Cross, State Library of Victoria and others. In the evenings, we organized a Drupal meet-up at the Belgian Beer Cafe in which I met about forty Drupal developers. Good times!

In talking to these people, I noticed a common pattern, other than the fact that everyone was excited about Drupal 7. In Australia, Drupal had a reputation of being a system for those who couldn't afford a "real CMS". Over the past year, though, that has changed. And now Drupal is considered in competitive evaluations and often wins. Interest in Drupal is growing rapidly and, like everywhere else in the world, the big challenge is to find enough Drupal talent, both for the Drupal shops as well as the large organizations that are looking to build internal teams.

We need to train more good Drupal people. We can do this through more and better documentation, mentoring, evangelizing, organizing code sprints, meet-ups and conferences. Whatever it takes, we have to figure out how to keep up with the demand -- not just in Australia, but everywhere in the world. If only PHP were more sexy, it would be much easier to attract more talent. Most good engineers don't realize how much better Drupal is compared to raw PHP, and that building a big, scalable Drupal site involves much more than PHP.

The next 36 hours I'm in Sydney to meet with more partners, users and developers. Should be fun and productive.

Drupal meetup Melbourne

Some of the Drupal developers that showed up at the Drupal meet-up in Melbourne. About 30 to 40 people showed up in total.

Comments

Heather (not verified):

Heh, I suppose this would be a good time I can plug Acquia's training program!

http://training.acquia.com/

January 27, 2011
Cafuego (not verified):

Something that sets Australia apart from the rest of the world in terms of Drupal adoption in business and government, is that Australia has a very strong commercial player in the LAMP CMS market - mySource Matrix from Squiz (Donna mentioned their in-line editor during the panel discussion)

They have a lot of the "enterprise" market (government/education) down under and open sourced their product some time ago now. In that sense, the only advantage Drupal has is the community, but that doesn't necessarily stack up against a local vendor which offers commercial support for it's own competing product.

I think that playing field has been leveling, so you'll probably see more Drupal more often now :-)

January 27, 2011

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