In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic - OPTASY would like to offer DRUPAL website support for any Health Care, Government, Education and Non-Profit Organization(s) with critical crisis communication websites or organizations directly providing relief. Stay Safe and Stay Well.

How to Hire Drupal Developers: 5 Ways to Find the Right Drupal Talent for Your Project

How to Hire Drupal Developers: 5 Ways to Find the Right Drupal Talent for Your Project

by Adriana Cacoveanu on Oct 18 2019

Say you already have your product specifications clearly written and you start "hunting" for the right Drupal talent for your project. Where should you start your searches? And, once you've found a pool of talent, how to hire Drupal developers who are the perfect match for your skillset requirements and who fit your organization's needs?

What recruitment strategies should you apply to... speed up things a bit?

What criteria should you use for filtering through your candidates?

What questions should you prepare for the selected Drupal developers and... what questions should you be asking yourself, too? About your project needs, scope, budget constraints...

Let's get you some answers.

Here's a handy checklist including 5 tips that'll streamline your searches and optimize your selection process:

 

1. First: What Is a Drupal Developer?

What does a Drupal developer do?

Generically speaking, a "Drupal developer" does a lot of things:

 

  • conducts researches, selects and installs those Drupal modules that fit your project's feature needs
  • develops new modules, from scratch, tailored to your project's needs
  • tweaks and extends existing modules so that they provide the precise functionality that you require
  • handles the look and feel of your Drupal website/app by creating a custom theme that meets CSS/HTML code standards
  • handles different PHP implementations
  • architects your Drupal solution incorporating data, display, and information infrastructure
  • migrates your existing websites to Drupal
  • puts together and runs performance-boosting strategies on your existing Drupal website

     

And this leads us to the 3 main Drupal roles that you might "bump into" while running your investigations.

Each one with a specific skill set to evaluate and to set against your own project's size and scope.

For instance, no need to look for a Drupal themer when it's a new functionality that you want to get developed and integrated into your website...

 

1.1. Drupal Site Builder

If your Drupal project doesn't require highly complex feature implementation or a PHP "guru", but rather someone who:

 

  • is familiar working with the latest versions of Drupal and, overall, with site frameworks 
  • has basic Drupal project management skills
  • has a decent understanding of the essential concepts of JS and PHP code

     

... then a Drupal site builder experienced enough to put together core and the right contributed modules and create a fully functional website is what you need.

 

1.2. Drupal Front-End Developer

Looking for someone to "revamp" your Drupal site's presentation layer?

Or we're talking about a new project, that you want to make sure it'll deliver the best user experience?

Then a Drupal front-end developer (or themer) is what you should be looking for.

One that:

 

  • is experienced enough to develop new themes and to customize existing Drupal themes
  • has extensive knowledge in basic PHP, JS/JQuery, HTML, CSS
  • sticks to the best testing practices to ensure that the delivered theme is fully responsive and light enough not to impact your website's performance

     

1.3. Drupal Back-End Developer

Or maybe you need someone with proven expertise to set up a robust "bone structure" for your Drupal project?

One who can:

 

  • develop a whole new module, if needed, to fit specific functionality needs
  • tune an existing module till it meets your feature needs to the slightest detail
  • prove his/her expertise in CSS, Object-Oriented PHP, HTML, JS/Query

     

Note: a Drupal back-end developer's knowledge is not limited to code; a great one knows what goes into building a Drupal site, knows general design concepts and deployment best practices, as well.

Of course, the list of Drupal role doesn't end here. From Drupal Design/UX to Drupal Architecture, to Drupal Product Owner to Drupal DevOps Engineering... you could populate it with pretty much any level of specificity that you aim for.

Which brings us to the next question: 

 

2. What's Your Project? 

In order to find the answer to your "How to hire Drupal developers for my project?" question you should first try to answer:

 

  • What's my project scope?
  • What about its size?
  • Which are the general and (more) specific feature needs?

     

For, as you've already seen, there's a whole bunch of Drupal roles out there and selecting the right one(s) for your project can get challenging. To say the least...

So, to narrow down your options, identify and examine your needs:

 

  • is it Drupal maintenance that you need for your current website? Then you should get reasonable and not expect a lead Drupal developer to "jump" right in
  • is it a whole new enterprise-grade Drupal solution that you need? Then you might want to adjust your budget and time resources to the level of Drupal experience required and the complexity of your project
  • is it just back-end Drupal talent that you need, maybe just someone to integrate a new feature to your website? Or a... full-stack developer?

     

Do you just have a rough idea of what you'd like him/them to develop or clear wireframes and project specifications already laid down? Such as:

 

  • Drupal security updates
  • enhancing your website's overall performance
  • various eCommerce integrations
  • custom-built content tools

     

... etc.

Do you need a freelancer Drupal developer or a contract-to-hire? Or you'd like to go with a staff augmentation solution?

As you take the time to ask yourself all the right questions you gradually start to identify:

 

  • what level of experience you need
  • what skill set your project requires
  • whether you need a Drupal developer to pay specialized attention to a specific area of your project or a generalist 
  • what technology stack your project depends on

     

While you have your "Aha!" moments, simply turn your answers into... job responsibilities. 

 

3. How to Hire Drupal Developers: Where to Look?

OK, now that you've identified your skillset needs and included them in your job description, it's time to "go hunting".

"But where can I find developers that have experience working with Drupal?"

You can run passive or active searches or... both.

 

Top channels to consider for passive searches:   

 

  • job portals like LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed ...
  • online Drupal (or PHP) communities
  • freelance platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Scalable Path

     

Top channels for your active searches:

 

  • social media Drupal groups
  • local IT communities
  • LinkedIn (when you start analyzing particular profiles on LinkedIn your passive search becomes... active)
  • Drupal.org (select the top Drupal profiles there and start evaluating them against your own requirements)
  • developer communities like GitHub, Stack Overflow

     

Note: an effective way to identify the perfect match is to delve deep into those profiles and evaluate those developers':

 

  • portfolios; are there any projects in there similar to yours? 
  • Drupal roles that they "played" in different projects that they worked on
  • type of questions they posted
  • proof of them volunteering in different Drupal projects
  • documentation skills

     

Also, keep in mind to run a deep scan of the candidates' own social media profiles, as well. They're often packed with valuable information like:

 

  • number of connections within the Drupal community
  • number of projects that they've worked on, time spent on each of them and... number of clients, as well (is he prone to working with the same client on multiple projects?)
  • developer groups that he's joined
  • client feedbacks

     

4. 4 Questions to Ask Your Candidates

So, you've shortlisted your candidates and your "How to hire Drupal developers?" dilemma has turned into:

"How do I... know which is the best Drupal talent for my project?"

Here are 4 questions to ask them (among other things), which will speed up your "identification" process:

 

  • What techniques would you apply to enhance a Drupal website's performance?
  • What modules do you find essential, irrespective of the projet's scope?
  • Do you have a Drupal project portfolio that I can have a look at?
  • Have you contributed to developing or improving any Drupal modules?

     

5. What to Look for in a Drupal Developer: 8 Things to Evaluate

Level of experience, community involvement, proven expertise reflected in the projects that he's worked on, certifications... what precisely should you analyze first when you're evaluating your candidates?

Since the number of aspects that you could be checking can get... overwhelming, here's a shortlist of things to look into to identify your best match from a group of potential candidates:

 

5.1. GitHub Profile

It's a never-ending source of priceless information about your candidates: 

 

  • how much time they spent on different projects
  • samples of their written code
  • details on their contributions

     

5.2. Experience Level

And here, what you should pay attention to is the no. of Drupal versions that they've worked with. The more... the merrier.

The more experienced that particular candidate is, the more familiar he is with Drupal's specific "roadblocks" and how to address them.

 

5.6. Technical Expertise

How do you assess their level of technical expertise? There are 2 straightforward methods to apply:

 

  1. ask your candidates to review some of their own code 
  2. challenge them with a specific scenario: a challenge that they should find a custom solution to (e.g. "What module would you use to...?")

     

5.7. Community Involvement

An experienced Drupal developer is (most of the time) an active member of the Drupal community, as well.

Look for profs of his/her active involvement: discussions where's he used his expertise to help out other developers, contributions to different projects...

 

5.8. Client References

Are there any client references online to have a look at? If not, can he/she give you any references that you could talk to?

And this is particularly important if it's Drupal agencies that you're evaluating.

 

The END!

These are the 5 aspects to look into for finding your personalized answer to the "How to hire Drupal developers" question. Happy "hunting"!

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash 

Development

We do Web development

Go to our Web development page!

Visit page!

Recommended Stories

Drupal Performance Optimization: 17 Drupal Caching Best Practices To Speed Up Your Page Load Time- Part 2
"How can I make my Drupal 8 website faster?" Are you still struggling with this? Still striving to figure out which are the best (and most straightforward) Drupal performance optimization techniques for your website? Well, here I am today with a handful of 9 more ways that you can speed up your Drupal site. In addition to the 8 ones that I covered in the first part of this post. And yes: it's another round of Drupal caching best practices that'll help you boost your page load time. So, let's dive right into it: Tip #9: Use the Dynamic Page Cache Module  ... to cache for both authenticated and anonymous users. Unlike the Internal Page Cache module, that I mentioned in Part 1, which only caches pages for anonymous users. Tip #10: Use Distributed Cache, A Highly Effective Drupal Performance Optimization Technique But how does it work, more precisely? Once you've installed a distributed cache, it'll store your database's cache tables (Drupal's "cache_" tables) either in: file or memory Tip #11: Enable Drupal Cache for Anonymous Users Another one of those quick, yet powerful Drupal performance tuning steps that you can take. Tip #12: Use Squid to Cache Images and Static Content on Your Website "How to optimize Drupal for better performance?" You could go for Squid, an open-source caching proxy server. Now, since Drupal's already famed for its particularly dynamic content, the only cases where Squid does make a great performance booster are those where you need to cache static content. Tip #13: Add a Front-End Cache (i.e.Varnish Cache) Here's another handy Drupal performance optimization method for you: Use Varnish Cache to reduce the load on your server. How does it do it? It stores the HTML response, so that next time that the same page is requested, it serves it from memory. The result? Bypassed PHP and web server and... improved page load time. Tip #14: Use the Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation Module to Improve the Front-End Performance of Your Website  Combining your assets together is one of the most straightforward and effective ways to address those Drupal performance issues on your website. From: file grouping to caching to compressing ... the AdvAgg module handles all the steps that you need to take to aggregate your CSS and JS files. Tip #15: Install Memcache to Reduce Your Database Load You know how you're often struggling with keeping your database load to a minimum by caching database objects in RAM? In this respect, Memcache makes a great Drupal 8 performance optimization technique. It helps you reduce that load on the database and boost your page loading time. How? By taking standard caches out of the database. And by caching the results of resource-intensive database operations... Tip #16: Use the Entity Cache Module to Cache... Entities   Another caching best practice to boost Drupal 8 with is installing the Entity Cache module.  And its name says it all: it helps you cache entities. Tip #17: Cache Views  Here's the situation: Page requests made by registered users on your website lead to loads of queries to your database. Which impact the page load time. Now, to query the database, views are being used. And this is where this views caching module comes in handy to... boost things in there.   The END! These are our 17 recommendations for you on the best Drupal performance optimization methods for boosting your page load time. Not thrilled about the idea of having to go through the... Memcache installation process or to configure Varnish for Drupal? Or to put your current projects on hold so that your team can set up a... distributed cache? Maybe you don't have a professional Drupal maintenance team that could handle all these caching settings? We're here to help! Just drop us a line and let's figure out which of these 17 techniques are best suited for your website and the specific performance issues that it's struggling with. Let's speed things up in there! Image by Izwar Muis from Pixabay   ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Jun 23'2020
Drupal Performance Optimization: 17 Drupal Caching Best Practices To Speed Up Your Page Load Time- Part 1
"Why is my Drupal site so slow?" "How do I speed up my Drupal website performance?" In other words, what Drupal performance optimization techniques should you use? Which is the: most budget-friendly quickest most straightforward most effective ... solution to those Drupal performance issues that are slowing down your website? Caching... And luckily, Drupal 8 (it is a Drupal 8 website that you have, isn't it?) "spoils" you with one of the most advanced caching systems out there. The trick is that you follow the Drupal caching best practices and use it to its full potential. Speaking of which, here's a list of 17 such best practices: * I'll be covering 8 of them in this post, leaving the 9 remaining ones for the next blog post. But First: What Is Caching? "What is the purpose of caching?" "How does caching improve performance?"  2 legitimate questions that you might be yourself right now. Let me start by defining the Drupal caching process: Once a user accesses a page on your website, content elements and web data from that specific page (images, HTML, CSS, etc.) get stored in an accessible space. When that user visits the same web page again, your website will serve him/her the cached version of the content.  That if you haven't updated it since his/her last visit, of course... And this translates into: reduced bandwidth faster page loads Tip #1: Use the Internal Page Cache Module to Cache Pages for Anonymous Users   Say you have an "Add to cart" functionality for anonymous users on your eCommerce website. You can use this module to cache precisely this functionality. A Drupal performance optimization tweak that'll take you less than a minute to set up. Tip #2: Go for the Best Suited Tools for Heavy Traffic Drupal Sites Say you have a fairly busy Drupal 8 website. You've turned on caching in your performance settings, but... you haven't noticed any significant impact on your site's loading speed. So, you need to bring in the heavy artillery. To use powerful caching tools designed for high traffic websites. Here are some of the best tools and optimization techniques to try: switch to a Drupal-specialized hosting provider like Pantheon or Acquia move your database to its own VM/container (that if you still have it running locally, on your Drupal web server) upgrade to PHP 7.1.0 Enable OPcache via php.ini.  Put a proxy (i.e. Nginx) in front of your server Tip #3: Enable Block Cache - A Quick and Easy Drupal Performance Optimization Solution How to increase Drupal 8 performance? You cache those blocks that don't get updated frequently (like from one user to another). Tip #4: Use Views Content Cache to Update Upon Content Changes Only How does this Drupal module help you optimize your website for better performance? It allows you to expire views caches every time you update or remove content. The great thing about this caching method is that you get to cache blocks that appear on thousands of pages. Tip #5: Use a Content Delivery Network By far the most powerful Drupal performance optimization solution for your website. Why? Here are the 2 strongest reasons why you'd want to use a CDN to cache the static content (files, CSS, images, JS, fonts...) on your website: you keep the network delay to a minimum since your CDN has endpoints across the globe you get a better page loading time: your CDN has a domain different from your website's, so web browsers load content requests to your domain in parallel with the content coming from the CDN Tip #6: Set a Far Future Expiration Date for Your Static Assets Set up a "Newer expire" policy for your static components (e.g. use a far future Expires header) Tip #7: Use Redis as a Drupal Performance Optimization Technique to Store Large Amounts of Data Data that wouldn't fit into your server. "But what is Redis?" you ask? An in-memory store optimized for high-performance. Tip #8: Set the Maximum Time that Your Pages Can Remain Cached Another one of the Drupal caching best practices is setting the maximum amount of time that browsers should keep your cached data. The END of Part 1! And these are but 8 Drupal performance optimization solutions focused on caching. I have a whole list of 17 tips ready to share with you... So, stay tuned for another round of simple and effective caching techniques that'll help you speed up your website... But what if you don't have the time or the people in your team that you could assign tasks like: enable a block cache set up Redis  install the... views_content_cache module ...?  What if you could have a dedicated Drupal maintenance team implement all these performance optimization techniques on your website for you? We're ready to help you speed things up on your website. Drop us a line and let's set up the best caching strategy for your Drupal website. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay   ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Jun 19'2020
What Are Some Good Examples of Drupal Sites for Nonprofit Organizations? Top 10 Nonprofit Websites Built with Drupal
Feeling a bit... uninspired? Or maybe you just don't see why you should consider Drupal for your NGO website? What if you could have a look at the top 10 nonprofit websites built with Drupal? And we're talking here about some of the world's most influential charity and non-profit organizations. Here are the 2 main criteria that we've used for putting together this top:   to be straightforward and easy to navigate to be visually pleasing and engaging: a clean and simple design helps the NGO's message shine through   Are these your own requirements, as well, for your non-profit website? Then, get ready to find plenty of inspiration by scanning through these great examples of what other non-profits have managed to do with Drupal: 1. Equal Opportunity Community Initiative  Who is EOCI?  The organization defines its own mission so clearly on its website: “... to build a world where children have equal opportunities to reach their dreams.” And all their projects and initiatives converge to meet this goal: providing equal access to educational resources for all children. Equal opportunity to compete and to succeed. The website that we've built for this international profit (revamping an age-old site, with little traffic and low conversion rate) is still one of the projects in our portfolio that we're most proud of. What makes it a great nonprofit website?   it's visually engaging: it tells a compelling story through visuals it's well-organized and easy to navigate: Drupal 8 has made it easier for us to structure content and to put together an information architecture that's easy to step through it's fast: the better the user experience, the higher the chances that they should turn themselves into the future volunteers or donors supporting the EOCI's initiatives   “The site’s beautiful and performing exactly how we’d hoped it would. The company that manages our Google Ads has found that our conversions have increased...  A couple of our donors are thrilled with the website and have committed their support again. They’re happy to be on the partners' page with a fresh look and approach to the public.” (Sean Kelly, Executive Director, Equal Opportunity Community Initiative, Source: Clutch.co)  2. Rotary International, One of the Top 10 Nonprofit Websites Built with Drupal  Who hasn't heard of Rotary International? A global network of community volunteers (1.2 million leaders and problem-solvers) actively involved in a wide variety of campaigns:   kicking Polo out of Africa providing clean water growing local economies supporting education   Why did they go for Drupal? For 2 strong reasons:   it's flexible: there's a module for almost any feature, any functionality they needed to implement to their nonprofit website it's extensible: no matter how "ambitious" the organization's future causes and campaigns and expectations from their website might get, Drupal's built to scale up to their growing needs 3. Doctors Without Borders Probably one of the best examples of nonprofit websites built with Drupal is Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). A Nobel Prize-awarded organization of volunteering doctors, nurses, other staff, and journalists. Their mission? Providing medical aid to people affected by pandemics, epidemics, natural disasters, or armed conflicts, no matter their sex, nationality, religion, or political affiliation. Why Drupal?   because it's a multisite network that this global NGO needed and Drupal's famed for its built-in multi-site support. because Drupal's robust enough to withstand massive amounts of traffic (it's the biggest NGO in the world), all while being a conveniently flexible content management solution. 4. Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)   Another one of the top 10 nonprofit websites built with Drupal. HFHI is an international, Christian NGO with a clear mission: building and renovating houses for low-income people.  To carry out its mission, it brings together donors, volunteers, and members of the families in need, who're co-opted in the process of building/repairing their own houses. How come their website is built on Drupal 8?   Drupal 8 is mobile-ready right out of the box it's open-source, which translates into lower costs it's flexible enough to empower their team to create, update, publish, and manage content on the go it scales to meet all the organization's future needs it ships with outstanding multi-language support it's fast 5. World Vision International "What are the most popular nonprofit websites that run in Drupal?" World Vision International's website is listed in any "top 5". No wonder:   the organization is the world's largest international children charity their website taps into Drupal 8's best features: easy third-party integration, freedom of customization, flexibility, and scalability guaranteed by its rich module collection   A nonprofit multisite that tells a series of highly compelling stories and grants a simplified donation process. 6. Human Rights Watch   A worldwide known independent organization, headquartered in New York, dedicated to protecting human rights.  And they define their own cause better than anyone else: "... we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.”  Why did one of the most powerful NGOs in the world opt for Drupal?   because it's the best option for multilingual websites because it makes it easy to keep consistency while "joggling with" multiple content types  because it empowers content authors and editors to publish content quick and easy 7. Save the Children Spain   A member of the Save the Children International — the world's leading NGO dedicated to protecting and improving children's lives — Save the Children Spain has its website running on Drupal 8. And it is, by far, one of the 10 best nonprofit websites out there. Not just due to the global reputation of this humanitarian organization, but thanks to the complex needs that the Drupal website manages to meet:   it handles an entire network of operations that are critical for the NGO's activities: donations, news publishing, crowd fundings, training, collecting signatures, communicating with the press, etc. it withstands large influxes of traffic it supports a multi-site infrastructure it makes it easy for multiple teams (see Drupal's granular permission and access control system) to operate on the website, to integrate the tools they need for doing their work it integrates easily with all kinds of e-commerce third-party platforms (needed for their donation process, signature, membership, etc.) 8. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity   One of the UK's largest charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (GOSH ) is dedicated to supporting the Bloomsbury-based children hospital and its patients. How? By focusing their efforts in 4 major areas:   supporting the little patients and their families investing in rebuilding and renovation projects pioneering research into children's health investing in life-saving medical equipment   When did Drupal come into the picture?  When the charity looked for a platform that would provide them with:   scalable architecture for their website, robust enough to scale up and down, to their fluctuating levels of traffic multi-site support, out of the box: GOSH.org is made out of 2 large websites and an ecosystem of 10 different sub-sites easy third-party integration: they needed to keep the same staff, so they looked to streamline their team's work, by integrating time-saving tools  9. The Wildlife Trusts We couldn't have left the Wildlife Trusts website out of our list Drupal nonprofit organization websites that stand out. The UK-wide group, comprising 45 local Wildlife Trusts, shares a common interest in preserving the wildlife and the biodiversity in their local area. And we're here talking about 2,300 nature reserves, on 98,000 hectares. 46 different independent charities, each with its specific activities, constitution, and membership criteria, under one “umbrella”? This multi-site project had “Drupal” written all over it... Now, let me outline, briefly, the key reasons why Wildlife Trusts has chosen Drupal for its website:   it provides great multi-site capabilities: the organization wanted to empower each trust to control its own content creation and publishing process, but they still needed some sort of a “central hub” it provides outstanding content management capabilities, much needed in this case, where huge volumes of content had to be managed effectively it meets their need of delivering the best mobile user experience it empowers the Wildlife Trusts editors to tailor page layouts as needed: and we're talking here about a multi-site that's rich in stunning visuals and video content 10. Top 10 Nonprofit Websites Built with Drupal: Allard Prize for International Integrity Another project from our portfolio that we're particularly proud of. The Allard Prize for International Integritiy is a photography competition that recognizes and awards people and organisations standing out through their efforts in fighting corruption and defending human rights. Why did they go with Drupal?   because they wanted to give their website a performance boost because Drupal provides them with a reliable translation system, a crucial feature when dealing with a global audience In Short, Why Would You Choose Drupal for Your Nonprofit Website? Here's a short inventory of the main reasons why you'd choose Drupal for setting up your nonprofit website:   you save money (Drupal's open-source) you get your multi-site, multi-language website ready to go in no time (especially if you opt for a Drupal distribution) you're free to further extend your website's capabilities by adding new modules and integrating new third-party apps  you get robust SEO features right out of the box you get a website that scales to fluctuating levels of traffic  you get to categorize, neatly structure, create, edit, publish, and manage your content quick and easy you're free to customize your page layouts to your liking   Need help setting everything up? Just send us a message with your feature requirements and specific expectations from your future nonprofit website and let's get your message out there. ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Jun 05'2020