My Ambitious Experience with Drupal 8; the Rest is History

Jack Garratt, Debug Academy

When Drupal 8 was described as best suited for “ambitious digital experiences”, there were various reactions to the choice of phrase. Does that mean that Drupal is enterprise-only? What about smaller organizations who have come to rely on Drupal?

After receiving my PhD in history and being chronically underemployed as an adjunct and part-time history teacher, I decided to pursue a career in web development. I enrolled in a Drupal course and ended up playing a leading role on a migration for the non-profit organization the American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS) to Drupal 8.

Hear about my and my classmates’ experience using Drupal 8 for a non-enterprise use case with only a cursory background in web development. Additionally, hear from the ARCS representatives about their site’s shift from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8; would they do it again?

Questions that I will address include:

How to determine whether a small, non-enterprise website with a limited budget using Drupal 8 is logical and feasible?

What skills and technologies did students need to learn to be able to build the website? What Drupal skills were “out of scope” for a project of this site?

From the client perspective, what was better in Drupal 8 which made migration to Drupal 8 worthwhile? What was their experience with the new layout builder like?

Audience for this talk:

1. D7 devs who are trepidatious of learning D8

2. Clients/Misc who are worried D8 is too expensive

3. People who don't see the benefit of going to D8

4. Non-Drupalers who are considering learning a programming language

Jack Garratt
Drupal Web Developer and Instructor @ Debug Academy
I am a web developer and instructor at Debug Academy. In my previous life, I studied German and African history, where I was fortunate enough to have lived in Berlin for year. After considerable effort, I received my PhD at The George Washington University. I have adjuncted at the university level and taught at secondary schools.

In 2018, I changed careers to web development and have since worked on non-profit websites, mentored aspiring Drupalers, and helped assist with Drupal 4 Gov's introduction to Site Building. I have thrown myself headlong into the DC-area Drupal community!

When not in front of the computer, I bird, bake bread, and ferment Sauerkraut.