[consulting] Drupal considerd dangerous
jeff at viapositiva.net
Tue Dec 26 21:31:01 UTC 2006
Kaliya * wrote:
> They thought because it was Open Source and an established platform
> that they the smart developers would be able to get up to speed and do
> what they want. You are all experts hyping a platform you are all
> experts in and then charging people high prices. Obviously it is
> working to some extent and some folks are getting 'hurt' and that is
> the way it is.
I'm all in favor of being open and honest about the limitations of
Drupal and any other piece of software. But I don't think implying that
there is some conspiracy taking place is helpful.
I've worked as a developer and a consultant on a wide range of projects
since the late 90s, with Perl, VB, VBScript, PHP, C#, ASP, ASP.Net,
Java, ColdFusion, Xoops, MovableType, WebForms, and a few custom-coded
monstrosities that emerged from the depths of the early 90s. I have seen
companies thrive with those platforms, and I have seen them crash and
burn. I've seen companies burnt by OSS software that didn't live up to
the hype, and I've seen companies get burnt by Microsoft hyping
technologies, then pulling out the rug. Heck, I remember the days when
companies tried to build their businesses around Apple's cutting-edge
OpenDoc system. Remember those companies? Either does anyone else. ;-)
I discovered Drupal two years ago after working with and hacking on half
a dozen of the top-flight OSS CMS packages. I embraced it because it was
the best I found for what I needed to do, and I spent two years working
with it and building on it for no pay. Worked on it during the evenings
and weekends and lunchhours (as my wife can attes). Eventually I took
several jobs at rates that can easily be considered 'starvation level'
in contract programming and consulting circles, because they offered
opportunities to enhance and build the Drupal platform.
Drupal is powerful and flexible, but like any other piece of software it
has limitations due to its origins, its design, its intended uses, and
the finite pool of manpower for development. There's a lot of enthusiasm
in the Drupal community, and sometimes a lot of blindness to Drupal's
weaknesses and other systems' strength. But, as others have said... that
phenomenon is in no way exclusive to Drupal's developer community. I
have ColdFusion vs. ASP flamewar archives from 1999 to prove that. ;-)
None of us are happy when a company using Drupal is hurt, and all of us
are thrilled when a site using Drupal succeeds. It's not some master
plan. It's not some evil conspiracy. In all my conversations with Drupal
developers, I've yet to meet one who charged exorbitant rates -- the
issue is that Drupal's growth is currently in the 'upswing' of the
statistical hockey-stick pattern and the pool of developers with strong
hack-fu is smaller than the demand.
That's the big story.
It doesn't make things easier if you're part of a startup project that
desperately needs experienced Drupal folks and doesn't have the capital
to hire them away from wherever they're at. That's no fun. But it's the
same with any other framework. Sorry if I come across as touchy on the
subject; I just wanted to respond to the 'experts hyping a platform
we're experts in, and charging premium rates for it' comment.
More information about the consulting