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There are many great positions available for people who build Drupal sites. For anyone who knows PHP, Drupal is a great extension to your tool chain. Drupal’s unique site building model also allows for non-coding web development. Right now, the job market in Drupal is tipped in the favor of the job seeker. If you need help finding Drupal jobs, you’re in the right place.
I just wrote an ebook “Building a Great Drupal Team” for employers and recruiters, so I’d certainly recommend reading that if you’re job seeking. This will help put yourself in that frame of mind: What are employers looking for and where?
I’m writing this follow-up to potential job seekers; both those who are already knowledgeable about Drupal, and for those who are brand new to Drupal. To start, I have two good things to tell you: 1) You’re better than you think you are, and 2) There’s lots of opportunity.
First: A Drupal hug
Being in a position of job searching can be scary and dark. If you feel that life is uncertain, you don’t know where your next check is coming from, and you’re facing the unnerving prospect of interviews… Take this as a virtual Drupal hug. It’s hard.
First let me tell you something: You’re probably more knowledgeable and capable than you give yourself credit for.
When a colleague of mine, a hiring manager here at Acquia, told me in confidence that the best people he’d hired were those that he had to *convince* to apply… I suspected something was wrong with this picture. While a few people may suffer from delusions of grandeur, the sad fact is that many people in tech suffer from “impostor syndrome.” This can make you feel like everyone around you is way more clued in that you are.
Trust me, most developers have to make up everything as they’re going along. New tools and methods are changing or improving daily. If you’re not learning to keep afloat, you’re drowning. This contributes to the feeling you probably have that you don’t know enough. If you have that feeling, it’s actually a good sign. So take a breath.
I just wanted to set that straight, because if you’re building Drupal sites, if you know PHP, if you’re contributing in the community… and you’re not gainfully employed, we have to fix that. You’re in a very good market. There’s no need for you to stick around in a job you’re not challenged with and growing in. You don’t have to struggle in freelance-ville if you’re not happy there. We have lots of partners and clients who are seeking Drupalists! And we’re hiring too :)
Second: Drupal provides lots of jobs
I wanted to make a quick comparison of the reach of some CMSs with the amount of jobs available. Warning: this is highly unscientific. I thought it was interesting that Drupal powers approx. 2% of the web, but provides a larger share of jobs in comparison to other CMSs. WordPress powers approximately 20% of websites but only provides double the amount of jobs in the US, and about a third more in the UK, when compared with Drupal. Popularity doesn’t mean opportunity. If you’ve hitched your wagon to Drupal, you’re in the biz.
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Job seeking online: Obvious stuff
You may know the obvious methods of looking for jobs on recruitment sites. For me, I’ve don’t think I’ve ever gotten a job “cold.” I found most of my jobs (even the ice cream job) through word-of-mouth. Your network is your strongest asset.
- LinkedIn: Many are convinced about the utility of LinkedIn, yet few use it to its potential. So make sure you have a complete public profile and a photo of yourself!
- Twitter: Announce to your network that you’re looking for a job. Use #drupal and regional hashtags, such as #ladrupal or #drupaluk.
Job Seeking in the Drupal Community: Making connections
Your Drupal.org profile is a key tool for recruiters or employers. Even if you don’t have contributed modules or themes it represents is all your interactions on the forums and issue queues.
For you, what’s more important is that on Drupal.org you’re making connections with real people in the community . If you’ve met someone or helped out someone on the issue queue, try your best to meet them in person at Drupal events. These are the connections that are going to help you get referred for work. Make sure they know the kind of role you're looking for.
Attend meet-ups, DrupalCamp and DrupalCon. If you can’t afford DrupalCon or larger events such as DevDays, keep an eye out for Scholarships. At DevDays in Dublin, each of the scholarship applicants received support for attendance.
The best place to look for jobs is on Groups.Drupal.org/jobs. This page aggregates all job postings across the Drupal Groups community. Employers must post jobs into a group, and it might be that you have a regional group you can join. Why not also post into your regional group that you’re available for work?
Just starting out in Drupal?
If you’re really just starting out it can be hard to know how to “ break into the field." Also new developers might be concerned about zeroing in too much on one CMS or framework. Some developers especially are attracted to the notion that "custom coding" is better than using an existing CMS or framework (See "How much coding is there in Drupal?" on Stack Overflow). However, if you worked solely on one company's internal CMS, you could be stuck just knowing lots about one quirky system. Knowing Drupal gives you access to many top organizations and companies, and you'll be expanding more than just your Drupal skills on the job.
Our training partner, Previous Next created a Drupal Skills Matrix [pdf] to help people figure out if they are Drupal 8 ready. The table provides a useful guideline about the skill areas which commonly show up in job descriptions.
So don’t despair if you’re not a Drupal expert now. There are many peripheral skills and tools used in Drupal development. So if you’re transitioning from another platform or framework, focus on the transferable skills you already have.
And of course, please do check out our training program. We provide on-site training for companies and we run public training for individuals. The calendar for 2014 is just shaping up! http://training.acquia.com/events
Are you looking for a Drupal job? I'm curious what questions you have!