Two weeks ago Steve Burge was looking for “a reliable Drupal developer working as freelancer, not within a big agency”.
Can anyone recommend a reliable Drupal developer working as a freelancers, not within a big agency?
— Steve Burge (@SteveJBurge) January 27, 2016
and Roger Perren mentioned me
— Roger Perren (@blueforce1) January 27, 2016
Well, why not 🙂
I like to work with Drupal. In 2006 I started with Drupal 4.x and wrote the first book in German language about it. Since than I have been building and maintaining small, medium and big sites in Drupal 4,5,6,7 … and now in Drupal 8.
Clever “Content Construction”, theming, performance and site upgrades were always a topic in Drupal and I tried to avoid to develop custom modules to keep things simple.
This behaviour is a bit unusual in the Drupal world which is often regarded as a developer community. Yes, of course, I’m able to develop custom modules. I build a few and it’s fun. But I realized very fast, that it’s not necessary in more than 90% of the projects. Mostly there’s no budget for research & development in a clients project. It was always a challenge to make clients think that if they really want to develop it’s a good idea to contribute code to existing modules and not to reinvent the wheel.
I got the impression that it’s far more necessary to talk about the aims of the project, the budget, the way people work together, the hosting and performance part, the maintenance costs, the visitors and users of the site and their aims and all these little bits and pieces that are far more complicate and time consuming than any other part in the life cycle of a Drupal site. Drupal is still a content management system like a Swiss army knife. It has everything you need. It’s far more easier to build a complicate Drupal site than to build an easy one. If Drupal has no module or module combination for your problem, than there is usually no problem. To rethink again about needs and to check out how similar scenarios are already solved in Drupal often helps to find an easy to configure solution. This doesn’t mean, that it’s not necessary to invent new stuff. It just means, there’s already enough available for building “your website”. The biggest challenge is to find the appropriate way in the Drupal jungle.
Ten years ago, Drupal was more about “one man armies” like me. I have been often invited by big companies to tell them more about Drupal.
Today, Drupal is mainstream in bigger companies. It simply works. Of course, it still scratches the surface of the possible market share but it is amazing to see the development of the project. A lot of big and small Drupal agencies exists and/or pop up. This has advantages and disadvantages (you probably know).
To get an idea, what I’m doing at the moment:
Beside working on clients websites I’m restoring houses in Southern France ;). My son in law and one of my daughters are/were deeply involved in the Drupal community and both do/did amazing jobs, so Drupal is always a topic when we meet (of course beside a lot of other stuff). In the last three months I did three Drupal 6 to 8 migrations and an art project. Here is one example: der-film-noir.de. It was a migration from an old Drupal 6 site (my experiences).
My Drupal work often contains teaching clients about the structures in Drupal so that they are able to maintain and further develop their site(s). I do development work too but as mentioned above, I try to avoid it (I know it’s an easy source of income but I’m more sustainable oriented 🙂 ) A lot is possible without touching code, just by configuring modules and apply custom CSS.
I offer also hosting for friendly clients. This often makes life easier, mine and those of the clients, because own servers are usually easier to maintain compared to different hosting business models, but I’m also happy about everyone who has found a “suitable hosting solution”.
My wife and me are running a company based in France called cocoate.com. May be you have heard the name before. The company exists since 20 years and we did … well … a lot 🙂
But back to Steve Burges question.
Yes, I think I am a reliable Drupal developer working as freelancer, not within a big Agency and of course, you can hire me.
Interested? Contact me
I’m also good in restoring old houses, gardening, wood working and much more. I’m on time and reliable… may be I’m more German than I thought in the past 🙂
And a little secret which is often complicate to explain: I could write nearly the same text about my work on Joomla and WordPress 😉