This past week we all had a chance to immerse ourselves in the excitement that is Drupal 8 with what I consider to be an invigorated Drupal community at DrupalCon New Orleans. To that end, Unleashed Technologies sought out to discover how the community really feels about Drupal 8, how it affects their future, and how they believe it changes the competitive landscape of open source content management platforms.
We saw some interesting trends within the data, with more than 150 surveys completed by people contributing to Drupal professionally on all different levels.
What Does The Data Tell Us?
From our responses, we see an enormous increase in people that have been developing on the Drupal platform for more than a year—with 34% developing for more than 6 years and an additional 51% representing anywhere from 1-5 years of regular experience on the platform. People with all different roles in their respective organizations feel “confident” in their continued employment to the tune of 90% of responders (with more than 65% of participants feeling “very strongly” in that security).
Perhaps the most interesting change comes in the fact that—since Drupal 6 and moving forward—we’ve seen the platform take a much stronger focus on the enterprise market. Drupal’s features and constant enhancements push it to be the open source solution for large organizations across the world. That shift can be directly correlated to the fact we’ve seen significantly increased salaries for those interfacing on the Drupal platform as the demand has risen for developers. Roughly 75% of respondents feel that they are at “fair market” salaries or “above” the markets expectations for compensation, which in turn helps strengthen the need/demand for the Drupal platform on an international level.
A surprising aspect of the survey was, that in making a selection for future employment, only 8% of individuals rated compensation as the primary deciding factor for taking a new position. This result is in lock step with a new breed of developer surfacing around the country. As long as pay is fair and within market standards, people will quickly turn their attention to two primary factors: work life balance and company culture. The need to be around people of a like mind—in an environment where they can reach their maximum potential—is of the highest importance to the Drupal Community.
In fact, it’s so important that more than 33% of people said they would be willing to relocate at their own expense for the right position, if need be. An additional 25% would be willing to do so if relocation costs were covered by a would-be employer. This says quite a bit about the commitment of the Drupal community to build a better web and focus on a career that has an impact on the world as a whole.
This DrupalCon—more so than others in just the recent past—had an energy that could not be described. Drupal 8 is entering production for many organizations and consulting firms across the nation. It will be recognized as the new standard in enterprise open source excellence. 77% of people responded that they feel the release is timely and they are ready to move full steam ahead. It’s an encouraging sign that we should see contributed modules quickly catching up to the most recent release of Drupal 8. This latest release certainly needs additional efforts to meet the full potential that we’ve seen come to fruition in previous iterations in the platform. However, this data suggests that we may see a reduced length of time in getting those contributions production-ready (unlike contributed code migrations from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7).
As I look at the state of Drupal—and the time that has elapsed since Unleashed Technologies adopted the platform in 2009 as a major pillar of our professional services—I’m in awe. This platform has not only maintained its relevance and kept moving forward, but has done it under a pure community model. The latest iteration of Drupal—that is responsible for so many enterprise enhancements—will ensure a strong future for the platform and a continued investment from organizations in the mid-to-enterprise markets.
If your organization would like to know more about how companies are adopting Drupal into their business or what factors you should consider when making that critical migration from Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 8,. You can connect with me via any of these communications channels at any time.