Drupal is a tool-building tool: Drupal at Stanford and beyond with Zach Chandler
by Jeffrey A. McGuire
Drupal is a major presence at Stanford University, one of the world's premiere educational and research institutions. Since the creation of Stanford Web Services and its in-house Drupal hosting platform in 2011, the number of Stanford Drupal sites has more than tripled and 2-3 Drupal sites are created there every day.
Zach Chandler, Web Strategist at Stanford's Web Services Group – Stanford's own internal Drupal shop – talks about the growth of Drupal there and some of the reasons it is the ideal tool for innovation in higher education and (well) beyond.
"Drupal allows me to be productive on a number of fronts at the same time. There's no way I could have invented anything resembling Drupal, no way, not in a lifetime. Drupal empowers you to be creative in [your area of expertise] because you have 10 thousand peers that are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It allows you to bring the things you know to it and then craft something new.
"Drupal is a tool-building tool. It's not the hammer that makes every problem look like a nail, it's not even a Swiss army knife; it's like a 3D printer that can print its own tools. It's an opportunity for you to take what you know about your domain, your field, and encode that."
"A successful Drupal website should be built for what you do an enable you in some way. It's not 'just a website'. It makes new things possible, it's a bridge to other technologies that would have otherwise been extremely expensive."